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i've been thinking about upgrading to a used slk55. with prices dropping on slk55s and the rest of the r171s, which used car pricing website is a good pricing guide? there's a few out there but the prices vary greatly.

www.nadaguides.com
www.kbb.com
www.clearbook.truecar.com
www.edmunds.com/appraisal

it seems that most used car dealers take $200 off the price of their cars listed online. how much more can one further negotiate with the price, if the car is in clean condition?
 

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That is a tuff question to answer. Not like a new car where a dealer has a set cost of the car from company. A used car can have various cost to the seller. What he paid for it at a auction, what he allow on it for a trade on another car. How long has he held the car. What kind of offers he has had. How bad does he want t sell it. Some dealer will sell a car at a auction once they have had it so many days. If happen to hit them the day before they send it to auction you might get it near auction price.

The question is how much you will pay for a car. Decide on that answer and go shopping until you find the car you want and the seller will come to your price.
 

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James,
My process has always been to keep a spreadsheet with cars listed in my area along with all of the features that effect price (mileage, options, condition, etc.). Once I get 20-30 cars on it I get a feel for the asking prices that are out there. The softness of the specific car is something that you can only find out when you get down to brass tacks. Granted, I tend to be a price buyer and so I'm looking for outliers low, and those are the ones I go after. With AutoTrader.com, CarMax, and Cars.com comparables are easier to track nowadays. Granted these are asking prices and not selling prices, although if you watch an eBay transaction you can go back and look at it to see what it settled at, though I never really saw that many cars actually sold on eBay. That tactic worked better on guitars than it did on cars. :biglaugh:
 

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I also use a spread sheet...because there are so many variables, the most obvious is mileage. I tried to quantify options and color as well...but that's very subjective. Happy to send it to you James.

I suspect that there is probably not a $1000 worth of maneuvering with a dealer, a private seller perhaps more as they tend to over estimate their car's value.
 

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In CT, I have always found kbb prices very high, especially for trade-ins (if you negotiate the price of car prior to trade-in) Edmunds a bit low for purchase but right on for trade in. The NADA prices seemed close to actual prices that cars sold for. I think the kbb is a tool for dealers, making their prices look good, sort of like "suggested retail price"
For trade in values, real car dealers go by paid, monthly regional publications that list the range of prices cars sold at auction for in the previous periods.
 

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In CT, I have always found kbb prices very high, especially for trade-ins (if you negotiate the price of car prior to trade-in) Edmunds a bit low for purchase but right on for trade in. The NADA prices seemed close to actual prices that cars sold for. I think the kbb is a tool for dealers, making their prices look good, sort of like "suggested retail price"
For trade in values, real car dealers go by paid, monthly regional publications that list the range of prices cars sold at auction for in the previous periods.

Many dealers are online to auction houses and are up todate as to what cars sold at this week. When I was trying to trade at two different car dealers they check online as to what the latest action price was and that was what they offered as trade.
 

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Many dealers are online to auction houses and are up todate as to what cars sold at this week. When I was trying to trade at two different car dealers they check online as to what the latest action price was and that was what they offered as trade.
Which of the online guides (kbb, edmunds, NADA, etc.) was closest to the tradein value offeredby dealer?
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Which of the online guides (kbb, edmunds, NADA, etc.) was closest to the tradein value offeredby dealer?
NADA seemed to be the closest to the "trade-in" or wholesale value. The quotes given to me by CarMax, We Buy Any Car ($140 more), and a used car dealership ($800 more) were very close to the NADA price. I thought it was funny that CarMax listed on their appraisal that I had a good looking SLK with nice aftermarket modifications.

Thanks for the replies everyone. I guess one can never really know if you got a great deal on a used car. I was looking at a particular SLK55 in December and the price just went up this year! It's still cold and snows in February here in Virginia. I figure I'd try to jump on the nearest, affordable SLK55 before top-down season. It does seem like the AMGs are far and few. We'll see what happens.
 

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James, you are right. I looked for a 55. There are a few in the DC area, but I only found one CPO with a close to right price. I offered the dealer $1K less than they had it listed for which was $6200 less than KBB. 2 hours later, it was detailed and had my new tags on it.

The right price for any car, new or used is one that you can live with.
 

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James, you are right. I looked for a 55. There are a few in the DC area, but I only found one CPO with a close to right price. I offered the dealer $1K less than they had it listed for which was $6200 less than KBB. 2 hours later, it was detailed and had my new tags on it.

The right price for any car, new or used is one that you can live with.
Same, I ended up with something just over $1K. I focused on the final out-the-door price (sale price minus the trade allowance plus taxes and fees). After that, they adjusted the sale price and gave more for my trade-in to reach the final price.
 

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Research what you want, know what you can pay, stick with it until you find your car. Try to keep emotion out of the equation. Always be willing to walk away. This has worked for me over the years.
 

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James has bought his 55 fyi
 
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