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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
How much would you expect to get for your Elise as a Trade In?


Went to test drive an FRS because why not. Actually liked it, and it would be a more comfortable and convenient daily driver. Just out of curiosity I had the dealership appraise my Elise (big name Toyota dealer, most would probably recognize, they have several across the country). I have an Aspen White '06, sport and touring pack, 70k miles, clean title, excellent condition. Didn't expect much over $20k from them.

They offered $15,000.

Was the appraisal guy on his lunch break? I mean, you can't get a rebuilt title for much less than $25k. And even then you have to fly to Florida.
:shrug:
 

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Less is Better
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Not sure what you expect. Dealers have to make money and the like to negotiate. As a first offer, I'm not surprised at all by $15k.
 

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Maybe the appraisal guy was a big-time Lotus fan and and was shocked by your total lack of judgment wanting to trade your Elise in for an FRS. LOL
 

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Sell your car on this forum, then buy the FRS.
 

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Seems fair.... Like stated they are in business to make money. They can't offer you retail for your car and expect to haggle from there. They must start low which would give them money to play with at the negotiation table

What is your car worth at retail? $25k or so? Maybe more?
 

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trade in

I'm in same boat - listed mine on AutoTrader yesterday - now I need to post here 9 more times to un-restrict my account so you can all see what I have - good luck to you!
 

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I was a buyer for one of the largest dealerships in the country for a number of years. As an appraiser(buyer), you can only offer you what their data suggests is reasonable. I would typically be at least $1000 behind wholesale on most offers. That being said, I would expecty your car with miles similar to be worth $18-20k at auction. So is $15k completely out of the ballpark? it may be a little low but not unrealistic.
 

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How much would you expect to get for your Elise as a Trade In?
Answer: About 75% or so of what you would expect to get at a private sale. That's how dealers pay for their overhead, and it's not "unfair", it's just not much of a deal for you, unless you really want/need to sell your car instantly.

It's rare, however, for a dealer to disclose the amount actually offered for trade-in because they usually inflate that figure by reducing the discount offered on the new car price. In the end, they have to purchase your used car at or less than auction price, otherwise they could simply purchase a similar used car for less than yours, and that doesn't make business sense.

This does emphasize how much better you can do if you don't mind the hassle, risk, and time needed to sell your own car on the open market...
 

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Answer: in the end, they have to purchase your used car at or less than auction price, otherwise they could simply purchase a similar used car for less than yours, and that doesn't make business sense.
There is a aspect of purchasing(buying,appraising) that I had not thought of for this post orignally."arbitration" lets say you drive your lotus elise into my dealership to get it appraised. I would look at it/drive it and determine what I felt comfortable paying so that it would resell at auction and hopefully make money. But lets say I buy the car from you and 20 minutes later the engine blows up as its idling outside. What recourse do I have? None. You sold it, I bought it . The End. UNLESS I bought it from an auction. I may have a window (typically 5 days or more) to buy the car and make sure it doesnt have any major mechanical defects. If I brought the car back to my shop and it turned out to have a bad 2-3 shift, I could either return the car or be reimbursed the costs of the repair. So the question is... should a dealer pay you the same ammount as an auction? If it blows up will you take it back?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I'm not interested in trading in my car at all. Just curious.

I get that dealerships need to make money, and I get the additional risk they take on by purchasing a car. That being said, the other "big name" dealership a mile down the road offered $22k. There isn't a single Elise for sale under $23,000 in the entire country.

Again, I wasn't expecting $50k for my car. I just think more than $10,000 under retail is unacceptable, borderline insulting.
 

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There is a aspect of purchasing(buying,appraising) that I had not thought of for this post orignally."arbitration" lets say you drive your lotus elise into my dealership to get it appraised. I would look at it/drive it and determine what I felt comfortable paying so that it would resell at auction and hopefully make money. But lets say I buy the car from you and 20 minutes later the engine blows up as its idling outside. What recourse do I have? None. You sold it, I bought it . The End. UNLESS I bought it from an auction. I may have a window (typically 5 days or more) to buy the car and make sure it doesnt have any major mechanical defects. If I brought the car back to my shop and it turned out to have a bad 2-3 shift, I could either return the car or be reimbursed the costs of the repair. So the question is... should a dealer pay you the same ammount as an auction? If it blows up will you take it back?
And that's exactly why I listed RISK (or lack thereof for the seller) as a reason to sell your car to a dealer... If I were a dealer it wouldn't make sense to offer anything above auction price for a used car unless:

1. You are trying to save auction shipping and handling charges and this is a car you would have purchased on auction anyway.
2. You know that you have a ready buyer for that car and you will therefore have very little holding cost.
3. You want to use the car as a unique traffic stopper to draw in more business and it therefore has more value to the dealer.
 

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There is a huge difference between the book value and market value on our cars. I sell cars for a living (you should get a BRZ instead of the FRS BTW...)

When I got my Lotus last summer, I talked to one of the banks we deal with - the MAX they would loan me for my 07 Elise (28k miles) was $25k - I lol'd and asked him to find me one at that price and I would jump on it! (my credit score is just south of 800 and income isn't an issue)

USAA came back and said their underwriter would approve me up to $42k based on MARKET value - but the book value was in the mid 20's.

Not to mention the risk of taking a Lotus on a trade in - it's a car that scares alot of people.

So chances are the appraiser looked at the auction price, black book and called it a day.

I know this isnt helping you get more $ - but its probably the reason you got lowballed on your trade
 

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I would never trade these cars in.

Such limited supply - sell it outright. Time of year is coming up and should be easy to do. I'd assume you can get $23-26K depending on buyer. Miles is the only concern.

Yes, dealers have to make money, but $15K is absurd.

And trading in an Elise for an FRS is like trading in Jessica Biel for Jessica Chastain. Both are pretty good, but Jessica Biel is just SOO much better.
 

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I had a trade offer on my car which is an 06 NA Elise with 50k miles, near excellent with some nice adds to it... 28K

Sad thing is, I wasn't ready to take on a much larger loan after number crunching so I had to pass. I love my car too much, even for another Lotus I can't part with it at least for the present time. Maybe I'll find something better... newer, stronger, faster, until then I'm keeping mine.
 

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Yeah, the dealers gotta clean up the car, pay for overhead, and make a profit. These things don't work in your favor. And, if this isn't a dealer who wants a Lotus on their lot, they're just going to send it to auction. And of course, they'd rather not lose money on that.

the only upside to trading in a car - Tax offset. But it's usually not worth it.
 

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I suspect a toyota dealership has little to no interest in an elise, so they looked up the wholesale price and put an ambitious margin on top of it.

Id rather sell 9 former rental car camrys in a week than deal with a dozen tire kickers wanting a test drive in an elise
 

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Gamera The Atomic Turtle
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it's a time intensive sale that's for sure. On a car lot i mean. Even on LT, Eliges can be out there for 6 months, some sell in 6 days. It seems that the cars that get priced correctly tend to sell quickly on LT..
 

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Look at it from the dealer's end.

Obscure sports car coming in on a trade. He looks up value. He looks around the web to understand the car a bit. He finds that a little tweek in the chassis would total the car. He finds that a cracked clam that has been professionally repaired drops $10k off the value. He thinks "well, this nightmare of a British unreliable, unrepairable car isn't worth my time" and offers you $10k as a "go away" offer.

Now......if you were trading at a Lotus dealer towards an Evora, they likely will offer more since they know the car.
 
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