We may earn money or products from the companies mentioned in this post, which is at no additional cost to you. :)
Time vs. Money – As members of the Sandwich Generation, it can be a constant “war” between saving time or saving money. It’s really nice to find ways where we can save both money and time. One company that provides that is CarMax.
I discovered CarMax few years ago when a good friend needed a new vehicle. As the manager of a bustling business and working full-time on her B.A., she was definitely short on both time and money. She did her homework well, using www.ConsumerReports.org (This is a fee-based subscription I have enjoyed for years. It has paid for itself over and over!), other online auto research sites, the resources available at the library, and asking various and sundry friends. Once she settled on the make, model and year she wanted, she started watching the papers and checking various websites, including CarMax. They had a couple of options available so off she went to check them out.
After test driving them, she settled on her favorite. It was a newer model, low-mileage SUV with a price tag that was in her budget and well within the guidelines of BlueBook – and Edmunds. After running a check on it through AAA, she decided to purchase it. There were no games like you often find at dealerships, no tricks, and no hassles. They wrote up the paperwork and made it easy and relatively quick for her. It took a couple of hours, but for car purchasing that’s pretty fast! They took her old vehicle out for a test drive, then gave her a reasonable trade-in price for it. She also opted to purchase their extended warranty and has used it happily a couple of times since the purchase. Today, she still has the car, still loves the car, and still raves about Carmax!
I remembered that this month when sitting at the car dealership, waiting for the repair of my car’s umpteenth problem. It’s not that old of a car, but that particular make and model has a terrible track record for repairs and I have the bills to prove it. I’m beginning to get serious about buying a new one and have started the research process. I’ve narrowed the choices down to three. I popped into a Kia dealership for one of them, just to see if the size of the vehicle will be big enough for all the grandkid and grandparent toting I do. Even though I told them I just wanted to look at the car, and wasn’t interested in buying right now, it still took me half an hour to do a five minute look over.
Among other things, I was a recipient of the game, “Keep her here as long as possible.” As I prepared to leave, I explained to the salesman I would probably be buying used, but just in case, I would like to take his business card. “Just a minute,” he replied. Ten minutes later (I kid you not!), I walked over to where he was talking to his manager, explained I was late for an appointment, and again asked for the card. He told me he was trying to get me more information on the car (which I hadn’t asked for), but did go ahead and give me his card. Don’t get me wrong, I understand business is slow, and I understand he is trying to earn a living. When a possible customer asks for your card, however, you don’t leave them hanging for ten minutes, just to try to change them into buying from you! I left with the card, but also with a bad taste in my mouth for that dealership.
I went home and headed straight for CarMax’s website. There I was able to peruse all the cars available within the mileage parameters I selected. I was also able to set up “alerts.” Now, when a car that meets my specifications becomes available, they send me an email with a link to the website for that car, with over 20 pictures, full details, and an email address I can contact for questions. When I write them my questions, they get back to me within 24 hours. When the right car finally comes along, I will go down there, spend a couple of hours of what should be no haggle, no hassle car buying, and head back home. For caregivers, whose days are often full of plenty of hassles, that’s a major blessing.