Posted Sunday, Aug 25, 2019
CarMax VS Trevinos Auto Mart - You like convenience, right? Everyone likes convenience. And that’s just what used car dealers like CarMax promise. It’s easy and straightforward. You don’t have aggressive salespersons pushing you to buy overpriced vehicles. There’s no haggling. The price on the sticker is what you pay.
So, what’s the problem with buying from CarMax or other online car dealers?
As “The Truth About Cars” website makes it quite clear. CarMax prices are more expensive than other dealers, sometimes several thousand dollars higher for similar models. Why is that? The website makes it clear: “To be blunt about it, CarMax has to pay a lot of middlemen. They have a fully staffed corporate office, over ten thousand employees and $4 billion in long-term debt. Between the shareholders, executives, bondholders, employees, and contractors, there is a lot of margin that needs to be made on each one of their cars.” So, you wind up paying more at CarMax.
On the other side, what about selling your car to them? Well, at least they tell you up front that they’re not going to pay you market rates for your car. You can do better selling it to another dealer.
Then there’s that great selection of cars, which can seem endless. How do they do that? They buy entire fleets of car, often times sight unseen. That means they’re not that selective about what they buy. They’ll clean it up before you see it. They want to sell you the car as quickly as they can and move on to the next customer. Time is money for CarMax, but, that doesn’t always give you the best car.
Ralph Garcia, from Trevino’s Auto Mart, said the best way to buy a car is to spend just a little more time being careful. “First, we’re very selective about the cars we do buy. We look at about 30 different things before we buy a car, things like model, mileage, repair history, accidents, etc. We want to get the highest quality car we can get.” So, Trevino’s inventory isn’t as big as CarMax, but the quality is there.
What about price? “We don’t have the overhead that CarMax and other large dealers have,” Garcia said. “We can afford to give you a better price.” That means that Trevino’s often beats CarMax and other large and small dealers on the price.
You’ve also seen the ads where CarMax offers its “no haggle price.” The price on the window is the price you’ll pay. Trevino’s Auto Mart has the same policy. “The ‘no haggle price’ is nothing new. We do that. Our salespeople aren’t on commission. We don’t start with a really high price and see how much we can get. Our prices are low and fixed. Once you’ve decided on a car, we have a little room to help you close the deal, but we know what a good, competitive price is.”
Then there’s credit. As a national company, CarMax should have some good credit options. Unfortunately, when a company works with big national and international lenders, the lenders have a very narrow window for who they can finance. “We know our customers,” Garcia explained. “We know their credit situation and their job history. That makes it easier to find them the best price and the best credit options. We’re local. We know local. The banks, credit unions and financial service companies we work with understand the unique nature of the South Texas economy and the people who live and work in McAllen, Harlingen and Brownsville area. That gives us great flexibility when it comes to credit.”