Report: #1145430

Complaint Review: CarMax - Duarte, CA

  • Submitted: Fri, May 09, 2014
  • Updated: Fri, May 09, 2014
  • Reported By: Ripped Off — Toluca Lake California
  • CarMax - Duarte, CA
    1131 Central Ave
    Duarte, California

Show customers why they should trust your business over your competitors...

I would like the 2 hours of my life wasted at this CarMax back. I went with a buddy to get an appraisal for his 2009 Mini Cooper S. We were told it would be 30min. It actually took over an hour to see a sales consultant, then another hour with him. He was shown a super clean car in excellent condition. The sales consultant was excited about the car and mentioned several times they would like to purchase it that night. After an hour of the sales consultant going back and forth in the room asking us questions then talking to the buyer, they provided a ridiculously low offer of $13,000, which was well below the blue book price for a dealer trade-in and way below market value.

The same car with more miles and less features was on their own lot for $16,998. Previously I had asked him how much CarMax tries to profit per vehicle...$3-4,000? He avoided the question - because it's more. They have a very transparent methodology; invite you into office, sales consultant gathers info then leaves to talk to buyer, comes back and says we should have an offer soon though no offer comes through system, he fishes for more info, then a coworker pulls him out of room for "something else", makes you wait even longer as he fills in buyer with additional info, come backs and we stare together at his computer screen with "anticipation" as the offer transmits complete with silly countdown and lame "drum roll" sound from the sales consultant. What a joke!

Only the most unsophisticated or desperate people would fall for these tactics. We politely told him the offer was ridiculous and left. I was so annoyed that I called back that night and spoke to the actual buyer to question his lowball offer and complain about wasting our time. He came up with some garbage that it typically cost them $2000-$2500 to recondition Minis. I asked him to tell me ONE item that needed to be reconditioned on this vehicle. The tires were new, brakes were new, recent tune-up, no body damage, and it was just detailed. He had no answer.

Basically their "reconditioning costs" are thinly veiled profits centers. The buyer told me they could sell this vehicle for $18-19,000, which is a $6,000 profit for CarMax. On the call he was also mentioning things that my buddy only told the sales consultant, so we know they were in cahoots. The crazy thing is if they offered $1,000 more it would have been theirs that night. They were hoping my buddy was desperate enough to take their lowball offer and lost. I was skeptical about going to CarMax with good reason. This place is for people who need cash quick and don't mind selling for less than the value of their vehicle to just unload it. CarMax does not provide the "honest and fair" offers that they advertise.  Rather than being taken by these shady people, my buddy decided to sell privately.

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This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 05/09/2014 01:56 PM and is a permanent record located here: The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year. Ripoff Report has an exclusive license to this report. It may not be copied without the written permission of Ripoff Report. READ: Foreign websites steal our content

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#1 Consumer Comment


AUTHOR: MsGem620 - (USA)

 I live in Azusa, CA and I'm originally from Duarte, CA. I know that not far from the CarMax dealership that is in Duarte, CA, is the Mini Cooper dealership in Monrovia, CA. Why would your friend trade in or sell at CarMax of all places, when he has the option to trade in or sell to the Mini Cooper dealership? If he is trading in for a newer car, this would be the first place I would have gone. I would figure the Mini Cooper dealership would have more appreciation for the vehicles they sell and he could have gotten a better offer or a better deal. My sister owns a Mini Cooper and leased hers from the dealership in Monrovia. She says the people there are really good, so perhaps that would be an option if your friend hasn't sold the car, privately.

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#2 UPDATE Employee

Not so

AUTHOR: Steve - ()

I am a CarMax sales person in MD. While CarMax is not perfect I can tell you for a fact that the sales people have no input into the appraisal offer other then what they report on the computer. The appraisers get their information from the computer and do not have leaway in what they can offer. There is profit in flipping a car ofcourse but even a car with no issues goes through a basic process of inspections, cleaning an oil change and full tank of gas at minimum. Often cosmetic work and mechanical work is done as well.  There are sales commisions to both buy a car and sell a car and numerous employees must be paid including buyers, business and service employees. Then there is overhead to run the facilities, advertising etc. There are costs in flipping the title when the car is bought as well as other expenses. Sure there is profit but not as much as you think.

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#3 Author of original report

Still a Ripoff Bob

AUTHOR: Ripped Off - ()

Obviously it would be more satisfying to respond to someone who works for CarMax, or at least has first hand knowledge, but instead I will respond to Robert, the angry, and I suspect lonely, man who negatively commented on my post.

I will give you credit on your comment that my statement of $6,000 profit to CarMax was flawed. It would have been more accurate if I stated a “mark-up” rather than profit.  What you did not read or seem to grasp was the offer from CarMax was way below the going rate for a “dealer trade-in” using several sources including Kelly Blue Book and CarMax has the same types of overhead and operating costs as other dealerships; yet they provided an offer lower than the current range for this vehicle.

Wondering why my friend would want to get rid of his car was an odd question. Being that we are now in 2014, and he has had this car since 2009, it is pretty self-explanatory given the technological advances in the automobile industry from year to year. Changing vehicles within 4-5 years is the norm. If you have the means, you might want to consider doing the same. Who knows, change might make you a happier person.

We walked into CarMax with full knowledge that the offer would be below the amount to sell privately. My friend was more than willing to take a hit for a few thousand rather than having to deal with selling on own. However, out of principal, the lowball offer from CarMax was rejected because it was not even in the range. An additional $1000 would have been on the low end, yet worth it not to deal with the hassle of selling privately. This requires carving time out of the day to meet with tons of lookiloos, hagglers, and I am sure a fair amount of genuinely odd people. Hopefully you are not in the market for a 2009 MINI Cooper Sport. Unless of course you are willing to pay the $30,000 you mentioned someone on the street would pay. If so, then it is all yours!

Your closing comment, “Oh and don't think that we don't know that you are actually the "friend" was confusing to me.  Were you insinuating that this was my MINI all along? If so, that is another wrong assumption Bob. I am quite tall at 6’5…it is like crawling out of a clown car for me. 

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#4 Consumer Comment

No RipOff...

AUTHOR: Robert - ()

There is no RipOff here. 

First of all you try and come off and make it sound like they gave you the worst offer in the world.  After all they only offered your friend $13,000.  But the we get into the details about how bad this offer actually was.   Where we find out if they only offered him $1000 more your friend would have taken it.   So in your mind a difference of what amounts to about 8%, you are trying to make out as the worlds worst deal and how dare a company try and rip your friend off.

I asked him to tell me ONE item that needed to be reconditioned on this vehicle. The tires were new, brakes were new, recent tune-up, no body damage, and it was just detailed. He had no answer.

- Gee if your friend just put all of this money into it why in the world would he want to sell it?

I do like how you automatically assign how much profit a company can make.  But I am going to figure that you are not a business major, and probably haven't worked a real job a single day in your life.  After all, in your own computations if they bought the car for $13,000 and sold the car for $19,000 that is $6,000 in pure profit.  Really?  So I guess the salesman, and all of the staff work there for free?  I guess the land that the building is on doesn't cost them a cent.  I guess that the local utilities give them all of their electricty and water for free.   I haven't even added in things such as insurance, taxes, or the dozens of other overhead costs that go into running a business.

Oh and of course this is assuming that they sell it for $19,000.  What if they only sold it for $14,500?  What if it took them 6 months to sell the car?  How about this..what if they were only able to sell it for $12,000.  Would you come and give them $1000 back so they don't loose money?

So I am glad your buddy is selling the car privatly.  Perhaps after they finally sell it they will realize how it probably wasn't such a bad deal.  Or should I guess that your buddy already sold the car.  Where he didn't even have to place an ad, he just sold it for $30,000 to the first person he saw walking down the street.

Oh and don't think that we don't know that you are actually the "friend".

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