I filled out my survey (gave my sales guy very high marks. He earned it), as well as mailed in a two-page letter on how unhappy I was regarding my C6 trade-in. I won't bore you all with it here -- and it was mostly my fault for falling in love with the Stingray -- but still, I feel the dealer used the situation to totally misrepresent the value of my very low mileage C6. The same car they put on their lot for $6,500 more than they gave me in trade. Lesson learned -- never, ever, ever trust anything a dealer tells you. So anyone out there trading in a C6 -- stand your ground. Unless you are weak like me..
I've seen dealers let irate C6 trade customers leave in a huff when they came in to pickup their C7. The most recent guy was offered 21.5 and he wanted 24K. He must have gone home and started calling other dealers to reorder but that was fruitless. A couple of hours later, he came back and took the trade offer and the C7. I'd love to see folks stand their ground but it's a crap shoot with the C7. For the time being, dealers are holding the high hand. With any luck and a little more time with C7, the 'sting' of the trade will subside. That said, it's still food for future thought!!!
There's nothing all that unique about this situation. It's rare that anyone who isn't really connected with the car business feels they are getting full value for their trade whether it's a Corvette or a Kia. The reality is that 90% of the people who own performance cars have an inflated sense of the cars value and only assess that value based on what they see on sites like ebay, autotrader or fanboy sites which, BTW, only publish asking price, not the price the vehicle eventually sold for, if it sold at all. Also remember the price the dealer puts in the ad for your used car is rarely, if ever the price they actually sell it for.
You really need to arm yourself with the facts before you sit down and start to work out a trade deal. Blackbook is about the best at estimating what your car is actually worth on trade but you'll need to find a dealer site that subscribes and make sure you put in bogus information in the contact section unless you want to get hounded by a dealer after you submit the pricing request. There are 2 other avenues you should pursue in parallel, carmax and autotrader. Autotrader has a guaranteed trade in pricing tool that's the Internet equivalent of a carmax offer. Both will give you a realistic value of what your trade is worth wholesale, I.e. To someone with cash in hand ready to write a check.
Ignore KBB, NADA or Edmunds, their estimates are so broad as to be worthless and usually are as much as 10% higher than what a dealer is really willing to settle for.
Having this information in your pocket lets you negotiate from a much better position. I just purchased a Silverado and traded my Jeep SRT. I had a firm offer from the dealer I purchased the jeep from as well as a carmax offer when I went in to negotiate on the Silverado.. The first offer they came at me with was $3000 lower than the carmax offer and $3500 lower than the jeep dealer. I told them they had to at least match the Jeep dealers offer or I walk. They also didn't have the option of packing the sales price of the new truck to compensate, that price and rebates was already locked in under supplier pricing. I got the deal I wanted but even at that number fanboys on the SRT sites think I took $4000 less than they think their precious trucks are worth.
I understand how some dealers may take advantage of the current supply situation knowing that if you walk they can sell to the next guy in line but you still have the upper hand, you can always reject the trade offer and sell it on your own. If the only way you can make the deal work for you financially is to make the trade then yes, the dealer holds all the cards. If you are in this situation I suggest you start marketing your current car the minute your order hits 2000 status and have it sold long before your new C7 arrives.
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