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When it comes time to sell your car or trade-in your used vehicle, make Zimmer Chrysler Dodge Jeep Ram your first - and last - stop. We’re always buying quality used vehicles here at Zimmer, offering top-dollar and sending you away with a check in hand or a great head-start on financing your new vehicle. The used market is hotter than ever, with dependable used vehicles selling for all-time highs. However, while your used vehicle might easily command a surprisingly high price, the actual selling process is another matter altogether. That’s where we come in.
It all starts with our online selling tool. Powered by TradePending, the web-based app offers real-time market data, giving sellers all the relevant information to ensure a smooth and fair selling process. Simply enter your vehicle’s make, model, and trim, provide some basic contact info, and the TradePending app does its thing. Sellers can also enter information on the vehicle they’re looking to trade-in for, making the app the perfect one-stop shop for both buying and selling.
Once you’ve entered your information, the TradePending app will spit out all the relevant metrics, including a fair value range and an estimate on the number of days it will take to sell broken down by your specific vehicle, the model year, and vehicle style. It also provides a chart of comparable vehicles and their expected trade-in value, as well as a detailed estimate showing how the app arrived at the suggested value. Print off this simple one-sheet report, and you’ll be armed with all the information you need to begin the selling process in earnest. Rather deal with a real person? The team at Zimmer is happy to help, guiding you through the process and offering the type of friendly, expert service that’s made us one of the area’s most respected dealerships.
Selling your vehicle directly to the dealership is the quickest, easiest way to free up some space in the driveway for your new ride. While the internet has, in theory, made private car sales easier than ever, the online marketplace is still fraught with frauds, flakes, and people who you’d rather didn’t have your home address. Sites like Facebook were never designed to sell vehicles, and while it might be a tantalizingly large Marketplace in which to advertise your vehicle, it’s full of scammers and time-wasters who could make the selling process drag on much longer than it needs to. The social media giant had dedicated more resources to policing its Marketplace recently, but with 400 workers each responding to around 600 complaints a day, some sketchy users are likely to slip through the cracks. The scams are getting more complex all the time. While we all know to ignore the pleas of deposed Nigerian princes at this point, we might not be as wary of buyers asking us to purchase fraudulent accident/vehicle history reports.
Craigslist is not only a notorious hangout for scammers, but the used vehicle section is also largely dominated by dealers looking for a cheap advertising venue. This means that posts from private sellers can get lost in the shuffle and not garner many clicks, further delaying the sale. eBay does provide an escrow service to shield buyers from scams, but unless you’re looking to sell a particularly rare model, it is still one of the slower avenues to making a sale.
A number of vehicle-specific selling sites have popped up in recent years, but even they’re not really comparable to working with a dealership. While they might offer speed and convenience, it comes at a cost, namely: profit. These online dealerships typically offer lower prices than the market average, and there is no room for negotiation or relationship-building. On sites like Cavana, sellers are given a price and a limited window in which to accept the offer, and, as another strike against their convenience, sellers are responsible for transportation if the vehicle isn’t located within 100 miles of one of their locations.
Used cars are always a hot commodity. While a lot more emphasis and marketing dollars go into pushing newer models, used vehicles actually account for 70 percent of car sales in the U.S. each year. Used vehicles are the bread and butter of many dealerships, and as such, they're eager to keep the inventory up. This makes dealerships particularly motivated buyers, so if you’re looking to unload your used vehicle ASAP, a dealership is the place to go. In many states, dealerships also offer a little-known tax loophole that allows sellers to deduct the value of their trade-in from their overall tax liability when purchasing a new vehicle. For example: sell your old sedan for $6,000, buy a new crossover SUV for $23,000, and you’ll only end up paying taxes on $17,000 total.
Remember, at the end of the day, your local dealership is part of your community. It has a brick-and-mortar storefront you can visit if you’re dissatisfied, and it’s simply more beholden to the local customers that ensure its ongoing success. Online buyers are far more difficult to hold responsible if something goes wrong, easily disappearing back into the digital ether as soon as you’ve signed over the title. Some websites might offer a seller review system so you can more easily tell who you’re doing business with, but it’s still not the norm. In contrast, reviews for local dealerships can easily be found online, and recommendations from friends and family still often provide the best results.
If you want to get the best possible trade-in value when selling your vehicle, there are a few simple tasks to complete before you head to the dealership. As in many sales situations, the keyword here is “curb appeal.” The dealership likely already has a ballpark idea of your vehicle’s worth based on the age, make, and model, so it really comes down to making sure it’s in the best shape possible so you can get maximum value for your trade-in.
At the bare minimum, you should have your vehicle thoroughly cleaned out of all your personal effects and give it a once-over with a vacuum, some wipes, and maybe even a car wash. The DIY approach works well enough, but for between $100 and $200, you could spring for a full detailing job. In every step of this process, it’s important to be mindful of how much money you’re investing in the vehicle pre-sale versus how much it’s worth. A $150 detailing job might make sense if you’re selling a high-end luxury or performance vehicle, but the return on investment equation is a little different if we’re talking about a 20-year-old clunker.
In the same vein, leave any major repairs for the dealer to handle. It’ll lower your trade-in value for sure, but chasing down issues in a vehicle being prepped for trade-in is a good way to eat through any profits. Stick to smaller repairs and maintenance, such as topping off fluids and repairing any broken or dim lights (pro tip: a little toothpaste and some elbow grease will have your headlight assembly looking good as new). When cleaning out the vehicle, don’t neglect any important documents that might be stuffed into the glovebox and, if you have a newer vehicle, make sure to clear the GPS/infotainment system of any saved addresses, app logins, or payment information.
Every trade-in is different depending on the vehicle’s condition, location, and current market demand. Two identical Honda Accords produced in the same year, for example, could command very different offers based on both serious mechanical factors and seemingly trivial cosmetic flaws. Sellers should also walk into the sale armed with all the relevant information they need to get a fair price, so head over to a trusted automotive research website like Kelley Blue Book (KBB) and use the handy My Car’s Value feature. There you’ll be asked to enter specific information on make and model, as well as optional features, wear and tear, and the like.
The last step of this process is perhaps the most important. When asked to describe the condition of your vehicle, answer honestly: you’ll only be robbing yourself if you don’t. On KBB, these conditions break down into four categories: fair, good, very good, and excellent. While it might have been the apple of your eye at one point, to the dealership, it's just a car, so try to refrain from nostalgia if you want a fair deal. Only 2 percent of vehicles valued on KBB qualify for an “excellent” rating, with a vast majority (50 percent) falling into the “good” category. Once completed, the website will spit out a ballpark market value and even allow you to start the trade-in process online through a number of local dealerships.
As one of the area’s most trusted dealerships since 1929, Zimmer is your trusted partner in the process, providing honest, fair quotes with none of the hassles, negotiating, and spam one finds in a private sale. We offer a hassle-free experience from start to finish, giving you all the tools, guidance, and support you need to get the best deal possible. Once your trade-in is complete, we’ll be here to make sure you leave the dealership in a vehicle that fits your needs. With a wide range of models from Chrysler, Dodge, Jeep, and Ram, there’s a car, truck, or SUV for every driver here at Zimmer. We also offer an impressive stock of commercial vehicles, making Zimmer an ideal partner for those looking to expand their fleet.
Knowledge is power, and our Vehicle Configurator web app allows buyers to build a new vehicle to their exact specifications, giving you the ability to price out different trim, powertrain, color, and package options well in advance. From there, you can search the inventory, request or quote, or book an appointment to come into the dealership and discuss your options with a member of our sales team. Customers can also search by payment using metrics like cash down, financing terms, and credit score, streamlining the process and allowing you to search through vehicles that fit your budget.
At Zimmer, we pride ourselves on building a relationship well past the day of sale. We’re proud to be a member of the local community and know that trust and reputation are everything. That’s why we offer the Zimmer Promise. This comprehensive guarantee includes a powertrain warranty for life, free oil changes for a year, free inspections, luggage carrier loaners, body shop estimates for two years, free shuttle/loaner service, and much more. The free program also includes a 5 percent discount on all accessories and a $250 bump on any future trade-ins. We also seek to build a closer relationship with our customers through our rewards program, which offers 10 points for every dollar spent in our service or parts department. Exchange these points for discounts on future service visits up to $2,500 and get double your value when using points to help finance a new vehicle.