worth buying used from carmax?
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This is a discussion on worth buying used from carmax? within the New Member Hangout forums, part of the Community - Meet other Enthusiasts category; Hey guys, my RX-8 is on lease right now, and is up in 1 1/2 years...At the moment we're paying ...

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    Cool worth buying used from carmax?

    Hey guys,

    my RX-8 is on lease right now, and is up in 1 1/2 years...At the moment we're paying out the butt for it ($900 for monthly payment AND insurance). How much do you guys pay for insurance? Im looking for the 25 and below age, since at 25 in TX (not sure about everywhere else) the insurance drops.

    Anyway, back to the point, would it be safe/reliable to buy an STi from carmax with less than 20K miles? this will most likely be my only choice, since a new one *MIGHT* be out of my price book

    I was teeter-tottering between Evo or STi, and STi looks like the way to (reliability wise!)

    thanks for any ideas/suggestions

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    Registered User shawntron's Avatar
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    i've also been debating on buying from carmax - the transfer costs can be a bit pricey, but the inspection process seems pretty solid..

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    Registered User lowerlevel's Avatar
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    i sold my 04 sti to carmax.. it only had 6000 miles on it and was treated great.. the gave me 24500 for the car if that helps .. but like the guy before said they have a quality inspection and will also warrenty up to a certain extent, or u have the option to get extra warrenty i beleave.. so i would say go for it. most peeps who sell there sti,s to carmax lose on the deal, and are more than likely car lovers and treat there cars good "we hope" have a great day!


    austin tx represent!!1 on a side note i was paying 700 a month for my sti "negative equity" and around 850 every 6 months insurance im 28...
    Last edited by lowerlevel; 09-10-2006 at 06:18 PM.
    civicdreamin....

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    I pay about $1600 a year and I am 24 with nothing on my record. That was the cheapest I could find after shopping around for a couple weeks. My old insurance company wanted me to pay $2200 a year. That was a thousand more than I was paying for my Integra.

  6. #5
    Registered User SonicYellowWRX's Avatar
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    I wouldnt trust buying a car from CARMAX. I've heard of many tech's there doing poor work, taking shortcuts on everything. Poor work is done quite often, even at the dealership level... so unless you really trust them, dont pay more for a car they repaired.

    Recently, I helped my friend buy a used car... I didn't really like the dealership or the car cuz the lines werent even, but he wanted it cuz it looked the cleanest. Turns out the car has had a lot of shoddy work performed on it and he's since had to fix a ton of problems that they caused.

  7. #6
    Registered User Ludicrous Speed's Avatar
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    Cliff's Notes - Carmax good, other places bad. A++++++ car buying place! Would buy again!


    Quote Originally Posted by SonicYellowWRX
    I wouldnt trust buying a car from CARMAX. I've heard of many tech's there doing poor work, taking shortcuts on everything. Poor work is done quite often, even at the dealership level... so unless you really trust them, dont pay more for a car they repaired.

    Recently, I helped my friend buy a used car... I didn't really like the dealership or the car cuz the lines werent even, but he wanted it cuz it looked the cleanest. Turns out the car has had a lot of shoddy work performed on it and he's since had to fix a ton of problems that they caused.
    Hmmm...not to be a cheerleader for them, but I was a Sales Consultant at Carmax 7118 (the Superstore in Laurel, MD) from '01 to 03. Not sure who you "heard" from, but let me tell you what I know and saw.

    The 125 point inspection process is huge - each one of those points has subcomponents which are also inspected. Every tech who touches the vehicle signs off on whatever they inspected - whether they be reconditioners, the brakes guy, or whatever. They offer a 30 day limited warranty which the customers can have any work done on the vehicle to their satisfaction (to a point). ie, You buy the car and notice the seat heater and a/c don't work. They give the car back to the tech who signed off on those components and he has to make it right - but he doesn't get paid the second time around. That's incentive enough to do the job right the first time. If a tech gets enough of those callbacks, they're let go. There's not a lot of turnover with the techs, and every single one of them has at least one ASE certification.

    At any point during the entire reconditioning process (and this is not your average wash-the-car-and-throw-it-on-the-front-lot job), everyone is empowered with the power to kick a car back to another department. The detail crew finds that the driver's seat isn't fastened? Kick it back to the techs. Techs find that there's a body panel with a gouge? Kick it back to paint (and so on).

    With that being said, sometimes the volume of cars coming in is too great for even a large store like Laurel to take care of, so they would sometimes work out deals with other dealerships to recondition the cars (using the same process). This is where things get a little tricky, because the only thing they can do if a car slips through the cracks is apologize and hope to make it right. Believe me, when you sell over 1,000 cars a month on a regular basis (in just our store alone), there will be a few that slip through the cracks. That's not saying that there are a lot, but a small percentage will get by.

    And you mentioned that poor work was done at the "dealership level" - what exactly do you mean? Every single one of them is owned by corporate - there are no franchises. Everyone gets their checks signed by the same person and adheres to the same policies.

    The other thing to remember is that Carmax is huge - there are a lot of people who walk through those doors everyday. Laurel would routinely see 100+ cars sold every Saturday and the record was 1314 cars in one month. That's a lot of tire kickers and test drives for the average stay of 3 days that most cars would have (compare with some lots having cars sit and gather dust for 6+ months). There are a lot of people who touch the cars so yes - they will get dirty. Yes, they will feel strange - how often have any of us gone out and beaten the hell out of a car during the test drive to make sure it held up to what we wanted it to do? Emergency stops, high speed lane changes, and so on - eventually the cars won't be in the same condition as they were when they left the back lot where all the recon work took place.

    We checked out a turbo 94 Legacy in Norfolk and that car looked like they drove through Iraq with the windows open, the handle for the hatch broke off in my hand, the door panels looked like they had been used as ashtrays to put out cigs, and the exterior looked like they used the car as a weapon in a WWF cage match to the death. Dead battery, smelled like buttcrack, one rotted tire, and when the engine finally fired up I thought there was a blender full of nuts and bolts going away.

    We just bought a used 99 Forester S from a small lot in PA this Saturday - decent price, but the car needs a ton of work. Driver's seat heater is kaput, it thinks a door is open when they're all closed, a faint scraping/grinding from the left rear wheel at low speeds, "warped" rotors, and the right fender is crunched badly enough to cause the passenger door to creak when opening. When I asked the co-owner of the business what they do to recondition his vehicles he replied that they send it to some Menonite guy up the road who has really cheap prices. My discoveries (aside from what I previously noted) were broken cruise control, needs new wiper blades, exhaust gasket is severely corroded, HG shows signs of minor leakage, air filter looked like a sandbox, and the thing was filthy. Not just dusty, but it had splatter on the headliner (coffee?) and so on. But for $3300, a 99 S with 5spd is not a bad deal at all (other Foresters we've been looking at had people asking at least 5-7k for L's - a lower trim level - that were older and had more miles).

    The Carmax SC's are also paid the *exact* same no matter what car you buy - I didn't care if you were broke and had to scrape to buy a $6k car or you were loaded and bought a car for each member of your family (got lucky enough to have that happen once) - I made the same dollar amount per car. There's no incentive for us to sell you a "bad" car when we can just take you down to another similar car that's in better condition. We also had notecards to carry with us so we could always bring them back to the desk and say, "stock # 1758324 in C11 has these issues" and it was taken away as soon as possible to get recon'd again.

    When it's all said and done - compare a Carmax car versus your average used car dealer and tell me you trust the mom & pop down the street more. Didn't think so.

    Disclaimer - the only reason we didn't get the Forester from Carmax is b/c they didn't have one in our price range or as a 5spd.
    You must unlearn what you have learned!

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    Registered User BlkWRXWag's Avatar
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    If you don't mind me asking, what kind of money can you earn as a salesman at Carmax?
    -Max.

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    Registered User SonicYellowWRX's Avatar
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    first off, i am a factory toyota/ lexus certified tech and i have a couple ASE's. (i stopped taking them cuz i found out they dont mean anything in the real world)

    now here's what i've found... most of the people on the road dont notice problems on their car. these people also would likely take their cars to the cheapest place to get it worked on. i've worked on these cars after some dumbass has and its always been a mess. you know something simple as a lug nut or a oil drain plug is commonly over tightened... leading to broken lugs and stripped oil pans.

    during my time, i have met more than enough idiots i would never trust my car with. many of which who cannot get a tech job at reputable places like toyota, but still manage to find work at places like carmax. i dont how good the process is, but without good tech's you are screwed... and good tech's are hard to find.

  10. #9
    Registered User TheMainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlkWRXWag
    If you don't mind me asking, what kind of money can you earn as a salesman at Carmax?
    If im not mistaken they maike a flat comiison on whatever car they sell... meaning

    If they sell you a $10,000 they get the same commision as if they sell a $30,000 car...

    Please correct me if im wrong.. and last i checked the local one was $500 a sale




    As for there car and if yo can trust CarMax... I purches my Silver 02 WRX from them with 42K miles. It currently is stage 3 and is treating me very well. The salesmen where helpfull... I got a free transfer from another carmax... Very please with the financing i got as a FIRST TIME buyer... Even the CarMax guys was impressed with the interest rate i was offered since i was 23 and never finainced a car before... but he said my credit looked very nice for my age...

    All and All... I love the car... have had no problems with it.. I have never even considered brining it to them on the 30Day period cause the car was impecable...

    I WOULD DEFIANATLY NOT HESITATE TO BUY FROM CARMAX AGAIN!
    Bugeye Mafia #125 - And Proud Of It!

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    wow, very insightful information guys, i REALLY appreciate it!

    Its nice to see a forum that FINALLY has people who are willing to lay down a helping word, rather than a *certain* other forum, where all they say is "Get an EVO."

    Again, thanks a lot to everyone who responded!

  12. #11
    Registered User TheMainFrame's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tazraz
    wow, very insightful information guys, i REALLY appreciate it!

    Its nice to see a forum that FINALLY has people who are willing to lay down a helping word, rather than a *certain* other forum, where all they say is "Get an EVO."

    Again, thanks a lot to everyone who responded!
    You wont find alot of that here... Thing i love about ClubWRX is that its got a very accepting audiance and not the large amount of flamers that a certain other forum does...

    I Wont name any names but it start with an "N" and then goes on with an "A" and i think it has a "S" and an "I" and an "O" and if im not mistaken it ends in an "C"...

    but like i said i wont name names!
    Bugeye Mafia #125 - And Proud Of It!

  13. #12
    Registered User Ludicrous Speed's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlkWRXWag
    If you don't mind me asking, what kind of money can you earn as a salesman at Carmax?
    While I am no longer an employee there, I can't remember exactly if I signed some non-disclosure statements saying that I had to keep all this stuff top secret hush-hush G-14 Classified...so I won't disclose exact dollar amounts (Once again for the reading challenged and any/all litigators working for Carmax Incorporated - these are not actual dollar amounts paid out), but the breakdown is like this:

    You sell a car and you get $100 per unit. You sell warranties, you get $50. Accessories are a percentage of the cost. Bonuses alternated every month - one month was a unit bonus, followed by a warranty, aka ESP (extended service plan), bonus month. Basically, extra $ per unit/bonus based on the month. So if it's a unit bonus month and I sell 6 (quota for a PT SC), then I get 600 + 6xBonus (say, $25). That comes to another $150. A whopping $750 for the month. If I "buy" cars as appraisals (not as trades), I would also get $ per vehicle (say, $25). You also needed to make quota on ESP's at 60% (so a PT SC needs 4, a FT SC needs 6). So let's say you get lucky (and there is a lot of luck involved) and you hit all your numbers. You get out 6, get 4 warranties, and purchase 3 cars (appraisals are actually not based on quota, but on the number of appraisals you do). That's $600 (units) + $150 (bonus) + $200 (ESP) + $75 (appraisals) for a grand total of $1025. You also needed to do a set $ amount for accessories, but that varied based on how your manager thought you could do - I can't remember quota though.

    Remember, these are not dollar amounts, and the actual money earned was much more than this. The really dedicated (ie, 2x divorced, burned out, overweight, poor diet, etc) FT SC's could make over six figures. The cost? One guy at our store (the top earner) actually had a heart attack in the show room. He was back selling cars as soon as he was able. My average take? I worked FT elsewhere and their numbers aren't realistic for anyone to hit unless you bend a lot of rules regarding the # of hours you worked (won't get into that here). Basically as a PT guy working only 3 wknds a month and one 3 hr shift per week in the evenings, I pulled in about $18k. I was not your typical PT guy, but my percentages were almost always spot on, even if my unit quota wasn't because of time constraints.

    And - if you were a consistent producer, you would get promoted to various levels where you could earn extra cash per unit, ESP, appraisal, and accessory. You still got the same no matter what you sold, but you just got more of it per item sold. Nice perk.

    Long days, sore feet, bouts of thirst, hunger, and lots of waiting for someone who didn't think you were evil incarnate because you worked at a dealership. Met lots of good people there, and the benefits were decent (employee vehicle purchases, stock plans, and so on).

    And Sonic, I'm not questioning your qualifications or anything, but you have to admit that every organization has its share of idiots. When you shop at Mom & Pop's Hardware and get some guy with lousy skills and or knowledge, you have to take it with a grain of salt and hope that not every emplyee is like that. Take it further and imagine a nationwide Fortune 100 corporation, and you know there are going to be more than a few morons in there. Just can't help that. Hell, look at all our past (or present, if you prefer) presidents and their advisors. Same dealio.

    Sorry for hijacking the thread.

    Once again - yes, I would buy from Carmax but it really depends on the vehicle. Even though they look the vehicles over the best they can, there is no way to account for manufacturer incompetencies (ie, '00 Ford Focus w/14 recalls last I checked in '02) or the failings of the previous owner (gasp, I was supposed to use premium?). I did not want to buy my WRX used there, because I know that no matter what checks they do, the typical WRX driver is younger, more aggressive, and has never owned a turbo AWD car before. I didn't want a beat-down transmission. Used performance cars will come with some issues.

    Should you look at the STi, do me a favor and see what the ESP cost is. The average price for the max term (also varies by vehicle) was about $1200. Think of it like insurance - the more you pay, the more their "insurance" companies (there are three that back the plan so it will almost never fail) think that the vehicle is high risk to warranty. FWIW, Fords would average at about $2k for the max term ESP, yet <insert Asian brand> would hover around $1-1.2K.

    Uhm...that's about all I have to say about that! Let me know if you need more info, and good luck with the buy!
    You must unlearn what you have learned!

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