The correct way to trade a car?

CrzRsn

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So as many of you know, I'm going to be trading my car in for a Mustang quite soon. Seeing as how I've never traded a car before, I want to be sure I'm doing it right.

If I were trading my TT for a car on the dealer lot, that would be one thing and straight forward, but I'm not - I'm ordering my car and it will be 4-6 weeks until the factory builds it, and I don't want to get screwed over in meantime.

I got my TT appraised at one dealer, and got a really lowball offer. I told the salesman that it wouldn't be possible and he would have to do better. I then went to another dealer, where they gave me an even lower offer, but "really wanted my businesses". I told them to try to beat the cross-town dealer, but they said they were scamming me and that their offer was the best I could get. The next morning I got a call from the first dealer saying they were willing to meet my requested price, but the 2nd dealer kept telling me not to go there because it was a scam.

What I'm worried about most is them agreeing to give me how much I want at first, but then decreasing the value when I come back to pick the Mustang up in a month or so. They do say the trade appraisal is valid for 30 days, but I'm worried that I'll come back and they will say "Oh, you drove more than X miles, so we're taking $2000 off the trade value". I asked about a contract, but they said there wasn't one, but I call BS seeing as how on a deal where the value is that high, a written contract is mandatory (hooray for taking something away from my 2 law courses!). How do I avoid this problem?

I don't see why a dealer wants to screw me over on the trade seeing as how I don't put any money on the agreement (not counting a $1000 fully refundable deposit that I can get back if the terms change), and I hardly doubt they want to be stuck with a bright green Mustang they won't be able to sell easily.

On a slightly unrelated note - I love how there are at least 10 Ford dealers within a 35 minute drive of my apartment. Probably double that if I explore north or east seeing as how I've only been west and south.

EDIT: Please excuse me if this post didn't make sense. I just got off an 11 hour night shift at the plant and my brain is fried. I've already corrected a few instances where I've gone on and on unnecessarily. It makes sense to me as of right now, but I'll clarify tomorrow if there are any questions.
 
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Jens

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Any particular reason why you would want to trade it in instead of selling it yourself?
Also, maybe the second dealer can give you a bigger discount on the Mustang to compensate for the lower offer on your TT?

Over here it works like this:
You configure your car with the salesperson and they give you a 7%-ish discount.
They ask you wether or not you want to trade in your current car.
If yes, they give you an offer (usually takes a couple days), you negociate a bit by trying to bump up the offer for your car or you try to get a larger discount.
When you reach an agreement they substract the agreed amount of money from your order and then you sign it.
Then they place your order.
Car arrives, you leave your old car with them and leave with your new car.
 

CrzRsn

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One thing I should probably note is that I get a fixed discounted employee price and theres no negotiation on that. Its the same no matter what dealer I go to. So the only way to reduce how much I pay is to increase the trade value

And I thought of selling it myself, but there is just too much headache with that. Theres no guarantee that it would sell - especially now that winter is coming and no normal person in Michigan would buy a roadster - and even if it did, what would I do until the Mustang was ready? Rent a car? As an under-25 driver that would cost me $100 a day and the amount I'd be up would all be gone and then some.
 

Jens

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When inquiring about a Golf VI earlier this year they told me I could try and sell the car myself while waiting for the new car to be delivered. If I hadn't sold it by the time the new car was delivered, they would take it for a price we agreed on (in a signed contract). Also, it is not uncommon here to sell a car and note in the advertisement that it won't be available until certain date. If someone wants to buy it in that timeframe they give a down payment and most often a clause is included in the agreement that states that the car should have no more than X miles by the time it is available.
 

Spectre

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Here is an article that points out what you should know about this, with regards to the US market, from the mouths of car salesdroids:

http://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/trading-in-your-used-car.html


More info:
http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=sell&subject=how_trade&story=trdStory

http://cars.about.com/od/buyingadvice/a/trade_in.htm


It should also be pointed out that trying to sell a convertible this close to the winter in the North is going be very, very, very difficult and the prices will reflect that. The time to sell a convertible is in spring or summer. Fall is debatable, winter is all but impossible unless you're dumping something at a fire-sale price.
 
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CrzRsn

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So I've been in and out of the dealers over the last week negotiating the trade. I'll probably end up ordering the Mustang early this week. But what I'm amazed at most is there is no legal binding trade agreement. Even when I order my car, nothing is holding me to buy it when it comes in, and nothing is holding the dealer to give me the agreed amount for the Audi, or to even take it in when the time comes.

I was sure there would be a document that would be signed that would essentially say something like "A agrees to buy the specified Mustang for $X, and the dealer agrees to take in the specified Audi in exchange for a trade value of $Y provided that the vehicle remains in the same condition and A does not drive more than Z miles". Something that could be taken to court if either side flakes out. But nope, they're essentially going to tell me anything I want to hear to get me in the door and to order, and then there is a high chance that they change their mind when the Mustang is on the lot knowing that at this point I'm most likely going to take it since its so close.
 
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GRtak

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The mustang is a popular model, unless you ordered it in a strange color or other options, they will be able to sell it. If it were a less popular model, they might ask you to sign a purchase agreement.
 

CrzRsn

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The mustang is a popular model, unless you ordered it in a strange color or other options, they will be able to sell it. If it were a less popular model, they might ask you to sign a purchase agreement.
I'm getting it in Gotta Have it Green. Working at Ford, I see more Mustangs a day than I've ever seen before. The Development Center's parking lot alone has maybe 30 or 40 MY2013s parked in it during the day. In the last month, I've only seen one green one. Its not a very popular color. And both dealers I've talked to say they would never get a green one for the lot - only for a customer order.
 

LeVeL

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Even when I order my car, nothing is holding me to buy it when it comes in
Bingo! I doubt a dealer wants to have a Mustang in a weird-ass color get stranded without a buyer in late fall when they are unlikely to sell it for a few months. That should keep them from screwing you over on the trade-in.
 

_HighVoltage_

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Do you think you will get pulled over much in such a bright colored car? :p
 

rickhamilton620

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Re: The correct way to trade a car?

Have you considered taking the Audi to a place like CarMax to see what they'd give you?
 

Canadian_Stig

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Every time I've traded in a car, they've given me the bare minimum -- they want to turn a profit on it. And, on some occasions, I've shrugged and taken the loss.

And, every time I've sold it privately, I usually made out OK - always better than what a dealer would have offered. Even if you have a convertible in the north, you should be able to get a decent price.

It's a desireable car - advertize it in some publications that get sent to sunnier parts of the U.S. (Florida and California). Or get on an Audi forum and tell people about it there - you might have a few bites that way.
 
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