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November 28th, 1999 Article
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A few weeks ago I wrote about trading a vehicle in and since that time I have received a number of E-mails that could best be described as "Interesting". It brought up the "Other side" of the deal, meaning someone else is going to buy the vehicle that gets traded off.

How often do you hear about people buying a used vehicle that turns into a nightmarish money pit? Or, how often have you heard about someone claiming that they were "Ripped off" by a used car salesperson? Both of these questions have a lot to do with the bulk of the e-mail that I received on this subject. I got notes from people suggesting that I was "Crazy" to recommend someone spend time and money on a vehicle they were just going to trade off. So, I thought I would spend a few minutes exploring this trade in process and also the purchasing side of the vehicle that has been traded in. (Stay with me, as this is even confusing to me.)

OK, a person buys a used vehicle that is in very poor condition and it requires a lot of expensive repairs. How does this happen? Does the car dealer that has taken the vehicle on trade, purposely inflict a lot of damage to this vehicle before they sell it? I know that is a stupid question but just think about it. One of the biggest reasons for trading a vehicle off is because it requires a bunch of repairs that the current owner does not wish to deal with. Someone has traded the vehicle in to the dealer in that condition, so who is really at fault for the condition of the vehicle? Is it the dealer or the person that traded the vehicle in? (The answer is obvious isn't it) Sure, some dealers try to do as much as possible to make sure that the vehicles they sell are somewhat "Reconditioned", but the amount the can do is limited because they have to try and sell the vehicle for a cheap price.

The majority of people want to buy the NEWEST model they can and condition has very little to do with the purchase. For example: Lets say that there are two IDENTICALLY PRICED vehicles sitting on a lot, but one is three years older than the other, which one would you buy? Would you buy the vehicle that is three years older because it is in better condition or would you buy the newer one thinking that you can fix it up? It seems that the majority of people would buy the newer vehicle rather than buy the older vehicle even though it was in better condition.

Here is where the dealer is caught in the middle, if they spend too much money on reconditioning the vehicle it will be a lot more difficult to sell. So if the majority of people trade vehicles off because they need expensive repairs and the majority of buyers want the newest model for the cheapest price, who should be blamed for the problems? You know the funny thing is, I have had hundreds of people tell me that they believe that they get what they pay for and then these same people go out and buy the "Cheapest" vehicle they can find. Then they come back to me to complain about how they got ripped off. (??????)

Bottom line: You get what you pay for and the vehicle you trade off is going to be someone else's problem. Do you care whose?

"TOOT" Rick "The Wrench" - November 28th, 1999
Copyright of Rick The Wrench, 1999

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