Avoiding Common Trade-In Mistakes

Trading in a car is different from selling one in a few ways, and at Auction Direct USA, we handle both situations. Our trade-in specialists will help you with several details of the process, and our expert appraisers will generally take under half an hour to come back to you with an offer for your used car.

What are some of the mistakes people often make when trading in their car with a dealer? Let’s look at some of the key errors you can avoid during this process.

Not Knowing Value

You may not be able to narrow it down to the dollar, but you want a good idea of the basic value of your car before you head in for a trade-in. Use online tools like Kelley Blue Book or Edmund’s Trade-In True Market Value appraisal tool – many people even print the results and keep them with them for reference at the dealership. Appraisal values here are just averages for the area, so don’t expect them to be perfect, but they can give you a good idea of the range you need to be looking for in an offer.

Overestimating Worth

Many people become attached to their vehicles, and are naturally biased during a valuation process. Most owners tend to slightly overstate their car’s condition level – only 3 percent of cars on Kelley Blue Book fall under the “Excellent” condition category, but you’d hardly know that based only on owners’ assessments. Try to be as realistic and conservative as you can to fight this bias.

Too Many Repairs

Putting a bit of time and effort into repairs and cleanup is good before a trade-in, but investing in expensive fixes will often not be worth it – dealerships can often make these fixes for a much cheaper number than what you’d pay, and in these cases, you’re better off letting them do it. That doesn’t mean take no care, of course, but do research on the kinds of repairs that are smart to make.

Just One Offer

If possible, it’s always good to get more than one appraisal to see how much they vary. Offers may vary based on current inventory, re-sale ability and other factors.

Want to learn more about the right steps to take during a trade-in, finding the right used car value, or any of our other services? Speak to the specialists at Auction Direct USA today.