Is it better to trade in or sell privately? - Mazda3 Forums : The #1 Mazda 3 Forum
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 09:26 AM Thread Starter
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Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

I currently own a 2004 Mazda3s and I'm in the market for a 2009 Mazdaspeed 3 Sport.
Would it be better to trade in my vehicle to the dealership or sell it individually myself?
I've been into 2 accidents before and the car is currently modded.


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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 09:45 AM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

If you're able to sell it privately to another enthusiast, that's probably your best option. That way you won't have to take parts off, and you might get a more reasonable price for it since they would see mods as a good thing.

A dealership won't give you a better price for it with mods on it, so I would sell it to someone looking for a modded car or part it out and then sell the car. You'll get a better price selling privately in either case.

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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 10:00 AM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

take your mods off and sell them seperately. Otherwise you are just throwing that $ away. You'll never get more for a modded car.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 04:29 PM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

2 Accidents? If your car has a Rebuilt Title, then you probably will have difficulties selling the car. If the car has Active title then you will have a better chance of selling the car. Anyway, no one wants to buy a modded car, they prefer it stock. If I were you I would probably go to the dealership and see what they might give me for the car, after that I will try to sell mine at a higher price, if I don't succeed I will trade in the car.

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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-11-2010, 04:37 PM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

Take your mods off and trade it in.

When you trade, you pay sales tax on the balance due, not the entire purchase price of the car. This can add up to a lot of money.

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 12:44 AM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

danielj makes a good point, but I'd say you should crunch the numbers first. It's quite possible that the difference in amount you'd get selling the car private party vs. trading in could be big enough to offset the decrease in tax.

For example, say you want to buy a $20k car. At 7% tax, the total amount you'd pay would be $21,400. If your old car is worth $10k as a trade-in, that effectively makes the new car cost $10k, so with tax you'd pay $10,700 for the new car. However, if you can sell your old car for $12k private party, you'd effectively only pay $9400 for the new car ($21,400 - 12,000). The higher the tax rate in your state, the more you'd have to sell the car for private party to make it advantageous.


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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 06-12-2010, 01:52 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

Taking off the mods is such a pain the a**. Unfortunately, the exhaust system will stay on because the original was so rusted though it was thrown away. I'm afraid with all the little dings and paint issues (rusting under top coat when the car was re-painted) the car's value really isn't on the top of that scale.

I was thinking of re-painting her completely, but if I plan to get a different car in a year or 2 anyways, I feel as if it won't be worth it.


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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-19-2010, 02:25 PM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

Private party is usually best when you have a nice car that is in demand. With a car in poor-fair condition like yours, you might be better off trading it in. Having tons of people come look at your car just to decide not to buy it because of defects in a huge waste of time. Another option is selling it to Carmax. You should at least see what Carmax would offer you.

Something that a lot of people don't realize is that many states give you a sales tax credit if you sell a car and then buy a replacement within 120 days so trading your car in isn't the only way to avoid paying sales tax on the full purchase price of the new vehicle.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 04:39 PM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

Trade in is hassle free, but you should not expect to recover much. Private party is the good way to have gain more money, but it takes time and effort.

I tried to sell my 08 350z privately and it was just not easy(alot of potential buyers but it was tough to get to the point where we can agree on pricing).
So, I just took my Z to mazda dealer and trade in for MZ3 5 sport for $0 down, 0% APR, 90 day no payment, $1,000 rebate which reduced my monthly payment really low. I am happy

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 07-22-2010, 04:55 PM
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Re: Is it better to trade in or sell privately?

[quote author=bijou-ms3 link=topic=174456.msg3736703#msg3736703 date=1279827595]
Trade in is hassle free, but you should not expect to recover much. Private party is the good way to have gain more money, but it takes time and effort.

I tried to sell my 08 350z privately and it was just not easy(alot of potential buyers but it was tough to get to the point where we can agree on pricing).
So, I just took my Z to mazda dealer and trade in for MZ3 5 sport for $0 down, 0% APR, 90 day no payment, $1,000 rebate which reduced my monthly payment really low. I am happy
[/quote]

I have a very similar story. I, too, ended up trading in my 08 350z at Mazda for my 3. It was easy, no hassle, but definitely wouldn've recouped at least an extra 1000-2000 extra had I sold privately. The question is...how hard do you wanna work for an extra 1-2k?
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