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Jazee

Anyone Trade-In Via Vroom or KBB Instant Cash Offer?

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I'm a Car Guy that has kept my cars pristine so I've always either sold my cars myself.  This seems to be very rare these days, especially in the over $15K price range - more common under $15K - hence Craigslist it's more common for low-end cars.  Most people just don't want to deal with it - great for the dealerships - lot's of profit!

So I'm in an unusual situation in which my sister needs a new car.  She has a 2010 Acura MDX with only 75K miles.  However the leather on the driver seat is pretty worn (no tears), she had a minor fender bender that required a new quarter panel and she can't tell the paint is slightly off but I can, but I'm a "Car Guy."  She also says her check engine light came on recently but went away after an oil change.  Guy said he reset it for her.  She wants to trade it in and get the best price with the least hassle.  

So I did a little research for her and it looks like either Vroom or KBB Instant Cash Offer might be the way to go.  Would give her the widest choices of where to buy the new (used) car from and make the trade in easy on her.  With Vroom you answer a bunch of questions, they give you a trade price and come pick up the car and take it to Texas.  I would imagine they don't pay you until they've inspected it.  With KBB Instant Cash Offer you take it to any one of the dealers that are hooked up with them and they inspect it and modify the offer if necessary.  The think about KBB is they are owned by Cox which owns Manheim auctions.  So even if the dealer doesn't want to keep it, they know it will go to the auction (although I thought that was the case with any dealer whether they have a relationship with KBB Instant Offer or not, they can all send their card to Manheim - but maybe the KBB relationship has its benefits.)

So my question is, has anyone out there used either KBB Instant Offer or Vroom on a trade and how picky were they?  It would seem to me, being having bought and sold 35 cars in 30 years, mostly from dealers, it might be best to overestimate the condition of the trade and let the dealer or Vroom counter offer after inspection.  I see no downside as long as she's willing to take a far less amount.  If these places are always going to talk you down on the trade value (which most of them are) then might as well start with a highball quote.  

One thing I wonder on Vroom is if you don't agreed to the revised trade, what happens to the car?  They don't have the title so it's worthless to them, but will the hold the car hostage until you pay the return shipping fee or do the truck it back for free?

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