From: Bob Rankin
Subject: TOURBUS - 05 Aug 03 - Car Buying & Selling
Are you thinking about buying a new car? Whether you're buying or selling, new or used, today's TOURBUS will point you to the websites you MUST visit before your trip to see the man in the polyester suit.
Before we begin today's tour, I want to remind you about a new feature on the TOURBUS website. "Very Strange Things on the Web" is a collection of links to offbeat sites. This just in: Traffic Cones, Band-Aids and Banana Stickers...
On with the show...
If you're thinking of buying or selling one of these...
Acura, Audi, BMW, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Eagle, Ford, Geo, GMC , Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Isuzu, Jaguar, Jeep, Kia, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Mercedes, Mercury, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Oldsmobile, Plymouth, Pontiac, Porsche, Saab, Saturn, Subaru, Suzuki, Toyota, Volkswagen, Volvo
...then I suggest you visit Edmunds Automobile Guide first:
Edmunds, the well-known publisher of automobile information is online and offers a wealth of free information to car buyers and sellers. It's been a favorite site of mine for years -- here are some the features you'll find at the site:
In addition to vehicle prices (MSRP & dealer invoice), you'll learn what's new for the current model year, pros and cons of the car, and you can read Edmund's Review. Many cars have an Options Calculator so you can figure the cost to add various options packages. You'll also find links to several insurance companies that offer online quotes.
Edmunds has consumer comments and lists competing models so you can do some comparison shopping. You can browse though warranty info, insurance cost, specifications & safety features. This will really prepare you well for that trip to the dealer!
In addition to the trade-in and retail value of your car, you'll find Edmunds ratings on safety, reliability, performance, comfort and value. Also, the car's standard and optional equipment is listed, along with features that were new for that model year.
One nice feature of this site is that they don't simply list prices for a particular car. They show you how much to add or subtract from the standard figure, based on the mileage and the features your car has. This helps you determine the true market value of a car before talking to a salesperson.
There are also links to some very helpful services on this page. You can search the Marketplace Classifieds to find sellers offering this car within a 50-mile radius of your zipcode, or post a free listing to sell your car in Edmunds MarketPlace Classifieds. Or run a free Carfax Lemon Check to learn your vehicle's history before purchasing. You can find out if the vehicle's odometer reading is accurate, if it was ever seriously damaged, in a flood, or returned as a lemon.
Get expert advice on pricing, buying and financing your new or used car. You'll learn everything you need to know to make an informed purchase at the best possible price.
Learn how to sell your used car. There's help on setting a value, placing classified ads, dealing with interested parties, answering common questions, and effective negotiation techniques.
If you're financing your purchase, find out how much that car is REALLY going to cost you. At the bottom of the page, you'll find a handy loan calculator. Enter the interest rate, loan amount and click the Calculate button to see what your payments will be for various terms.
Jeff Ostroff, host of CARBUYINGTIPS.COM will teach you how much dealers pay for cars, and how to formulate your best offer. Free guides on this site claim to help you save $2000-$4000 off MSRP, learn how to buy new cars & avoid scams, get the best car loans, and navigate the used car auctions. See also the "Annual Top 10 Car Dealer Scams" at this site.
AUTOBYTEL gives you access information on pricing and specifications, safety data, manufacturer incentives and vehicle reviews to help you make your buying decision. When you're ready to buy, you submit a request for the car or truck you want to buy, and a rep from a nearby AutoByTel affiliated dealership will call you within 24 hours.
CARS.COM is billed as the most comprehensive car information Web site, providing users with comprehensive inventories of new and used vehicles. You can use the cars.com Web site to help you find a vehicle that is right for you by using the site's extensive tools, such as automotive reviews, model reports, advice, dealer locator, financing information and much more.
The Kelley Blue Book site provides the legendary Blue Book values on used cars and trucks. A few years ago, it was hard to find this info outside of a dealer showroom. I remember once going to my bank and asking if they had a Blue Book for customer use. The bank clerk glanced around the building and warily agreed to let me have the book (which was actually brown) "for a few minutes" but only if I stood right there at the counter. Times have changed!
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That's all for now, see you next time! --Bob Rankin