Friday, July 29, 2011

CarMax,, and IQ Auto Buyers Review


No emails or phone calls are involved in the selling process. Car owners must visit the office in person for physical inspection and a firm appraisal with an offer will be issued and printed after the inspection. The offer only lasts for 7 days. An extension for a few days is possible but re-visiting the office to obtain a new document is required. The inspection is about 30-40 minutes while extension could be around 15 minutes. If the offer is accepted, CarMax will issue a bank draft that guarantees the fund is ready for collection. The bank draft definitely provides peace of minds to people who leave the states or return to their countries. They can ensure that the money is available and waiting for them to collect when they are out of the states. After the selling process, you have to arrange your own transportation home.

IQ Auto Buyers

IQ Auto Buyers purchase cars nationwide and offers field inspection. But recently they have their policies changed without notifying their customers. They don't offer free inspection in the field until you are willing to drop off your vehicle to their local office. For the details, see this post. Thus, what the process advertised in their site is slightly different from what they promise. They will issue a company check to you if you accept their offer. originally bought salvaged/totaled vehicles that were still running and then sold parts to car dealers. And now they become a well known online auto auction site. They are also a publicly traded company, NASDAQ:CPRT. They do buy cars directly from owners. Their processing service is very simply and their response is very fast. There is no physical or visual inspection. Everything is based on your description of your car conditions. They take your words for it. Because of this, their offer is ridiculously low. It looks like you are selling them a salvaged car. Towing fee is not included. It means if you accept their offer, you have to pay the fee and they will arrange the service for you to tow your car to their office.

It is a brand new online office of Continental Automotive Group (CAG) which manages all online nationwide transactions. is less than 6 months old in the market. Every auto dealership belonging to CAG is currently based in Austin, Texas. As soon as you submit a request via their site or talk to them over the phone, they will send you an email to confirm your request accepted along with the sale agent information. The email will also go with the local dealership logo instead of The domain name used in the email address is from some place else (currently It looks like a spam mail! Then two subsequent follow-up emails will be sent within the next 4 days. The sale agent will contact you in a day or two. A verbal quote is usually given over the phone based on your description and the basic information collected from your VIN number so that you have a rough idea how much your vehicle is worth. If you persuade further, a visual inspection is required. You either visit their local dealership office or meet the sale agent somewhere for appraisal. Unlike CarMax, no written appraisal document is issued unless you ask for. Their offer currently is valid for 2 weeks. If you decide to sell your car to them, the local dealership will write you a company check right away. Unlike CarMax, no sale document is issued in print saying that your car is sold to them. The only proof document is your receipt of the check; it has a brief description of the purchase by them. The sale agent will then give you a ride home if needed. Currently the service provided by is as good as CarMax. The process is a lot simpler. The price may beat CarMax

Personal Experience

In some cities or states, certain types/models of vehicles are overstocked or cannot be sold. Thus, if you walk in a local small dealership and they tell you that they have # of vehicles like yours, they are not interested in having your car. They just put their words in a polite way and hint you out. The price for cash or trade-in offered by them is definitely unreasonable and low. You should walk away. I am unfortunate living in those cities or states. I tried to lower my price, nothing helped. isn't helpful either. Indeed, it is wasting subscription fee. I conclude that the problem is not the price but if there is someone who is interested in your car. In my case, I put a trade-in price offered by a well-reputable dealership for more than a month in my ads. I didn't receive a single query. Then I changed my price to what I cashed out from a dealership. The same situation remains unchanged. Therefore, if you can't hear any response from your ad for some time, you have to do some research and reach out some other options.


There is no doubt that it will be awesome if you can cash your car from a private party. But in some occasions, it may be impossible, especially for people who would like to get rid of their vehicle in certain time frame. To them, selling a car to a private party may not be a good option. In addition, nowadays it is very difficult to sell a car unless you own a decent Japanese car that everyone wants.

Depending on where you live, if CarMax is located in your city, it will be your last resort. For sure, they are happy to take your car regardless of its condition. Indeed, they issue a bank draft instead of a company check, which really gives everyone peace of mind. Before doing so, you should try other options first. is new. They are as good as CarMax but they may not have their local dealership or office to where you live. Since they just start the Internet service and still provide field inspection, you may consider giving them a call for details.

You may want to talk to IQ Auto Buyers if they have an office in your location. Otherwise, you can simply forget about it because they no longer provide inspection in the field unless you don't mind driving hundreds miles away to their office.

You should forget about selling your car to copart direct if you have a decent car because their price doesn't make any sense.

Good luck to everyone who is trying to sell his car.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I really wish there was a good alternative to Craigslist

If there is something better than Craigslist, I would rather not go Craigslist.

In the past, I liked Craigslist but not any more, least to say many spams. Fortunately, I am not an active seller or buyer. I only used it lately. For the past 4 years, I didn't go Craigslist at all. As soon as I used it, I found quite a few of problems with Craigslist and have begun to understand why a lot of people are getting frustrated. I would not recommend Craigslist to everyone if he or she could find a better alternative. If your neighborhood has a community Website, you all should promote your community site and try to use it first to eliminate frauds, especially frustration from Craigslist.

Recently I've tried to post something to Craigslist, their phone verification drove me nuts. Their application is not reliable. And Craigslist support is very poor. Most likely you won't get a solid answer or help from them. The verification may work for some people but some may never get through without a reason. It doesn't support VoIP, which kicks out a lot of honest and legitimate users. With the phone verification, Craigslist may eliminate some spammers from the seller-side but there are plenty from the buyers. All sellers are in great risk while the buyers are somehow protected. I also had to use Google Voice phone number for ad instead of email. Otherwise, my email account would be full of Craigslist spams.

Using Craigslist could make you more frustrated than ever. If you hang around their help-desk discussion forums, you would find that there are a lot of people posting the same issues over and over again such as phone verification, ads not shown, trouble with re-posting and something similar. Those questions could be easily resolved if Craigslist app could have alerted and explained why their posts fail when the users place their ads. Currently, Craigslist does nothing; instead, it lies and tells the users that their posts are successful and asks them to wait for a few minutes for update. Unfortunately, those posts are automatically ghosted or flagged as soon as the ads are posted; thus their ads would never be shown or displayed in the search due to prohibited content, violation, unsupported hidden characters or other issues. According to their forums, it is one of their ways how to eliminate spams. To me, it is wasting time and $$. Those supports are answering the same questions daily again and again. Why do I hire people answering the same questions over and over again while there is a better way to handle the issues? I could be wrong about it and don't see the whole picture. In addition, the languages used by those supports sometimes are very rude and offensive [see one of the thread discussions below]. The worst is that Craigslist forums don't welcome user discussions and discourage users to discuss any Craigslist issues while there are a lot of unresolved issues. If you do any discussion in their forums, you may be flagged with thread hijacking without a valid reason and then possibly reported to the staff. I wonder if the users would care about this when they get frustrated. Why not let them to vent the angers? Indeed I don't understand why user discussions becomes an issue to Craigslist. Or is it just a makeup rule by those supports who are running the show?

Luckily I don't have to deal with those issues but I feel the pain for the people who are still bothered by those issues, plus fraudulent activities are still active on Craigslist. Nowadays there are more and more negative comments on Craigslist than positives. I hope that there will be soon a better site than Craigslist or Craigslist begins to listen to their users.

Here is one of the examples extracted from Craigslist forums. Those guys with channel names <FeatureNotABug_>, <__:)__> and < - > are the supports. The thread was posted and started by a user called < jo27 >

[ Full discussion on Craigslist forum ]

 Post Active not showing in Search < jo27 > 07/26/11 16:12  
      : . . your ad < - > 07/26/11 16:13  
      : . . : . . anybody else not as mean want to assist? < jo27 > 07/26/11 16:15  
      : . . : . . : . . your ad < - > 07/26/11 16:17  
      : . . : . . : . . : . . since this man is disrespectful, anyone else? < jo27 > 07/26/11 16:18  
      : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . so sorry for the troll, we < FeatureNotABug_ > 07/26/11 16:20  
      : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . anyone for real on here besides these 2 clowns? < jo27 > 07/26/11 16:22  
      : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . Ignore, Flag and ignore § < getaliferudeass_ > 07/26/11 16:24  
      : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . So can anyone help me with my post? < jo27 > 07/26/11 16:26  
      : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . : . . Event services is for those < __:)__ > 07/26/11 16:30  

There are plenty of this example found in Craigslist forums. When I read it, I just cannot believe my eyes.