TrueCar Review: 5 Things To Know Before You Buy or Sell
If you’ve been shopping for a car online, you may have stumbled upon bartering. The digital auto marketplace makes it possible to shop for used and new cars, search for car values, or list your own car online, all without leaving your home.
but is bartering the right dealer for you? Clark’s team has explored the process of buying and selling vehicles with trade-in and compared it to other online dealerships to find out.
Reading: True car buying service review
In this article, I’ll take a look at how barter works and what their process is for buying and selling cars. I’ll also show you how to use barter as a research tool and give you the pros and cons of buying and selling vehicles there.
- how does bartering work?
- buying a car through bartering
- sell a car through bartering
- use of bartering as a research tool
- final thoughts: pros and cons
how does bartering work?
barter is a digital automotive marketplace that allows you to see prices for new and used cars at local dealerships. the online approach allows you to quickly compare available vehicles in your area.
truecar says it powers more than 250 car buying programs, including those offered by sam’s club and american express. i also reviewed the app on the app store and it had a 4.8 star rating with 46.4k reviews as of january 2023. on google play the app had a 4.3 star rating and 12.1k reviews.
barter does not have a physical inventory and does not own the cars listed on its website. instead, you’ll be able to shop for new and used cars at several different car lots in your area. Once you’ve found a car that interests you, you can contact the seller directly to schedule a test drive and/or purchase the vehicle.
You can use barter to buy new, used and certified pre-owned cars or research the value of your own vehicle before selling it. You can also lease a car through trade-in or sell/trade in your current car. If you want to sell your current vehicle, you can get an instant cash quote that’s good for three days at a certified dealer near you.
buying a car through bartering
barter makes it easy to find cars for sale. You can start from the home page and choose whether you are buying new or used. you can then narrow your search results by brand, type, or price.
When I checked out the website, I clicked “buy used,” selected a make of car, then entered the model and my zip code. once you see the results, you can sort them by best match, best price, distance, and more. You can further filter your results by body style, years, price ratings, and more.
When I searched for a Toyota Camry for sale near Lexington, Kentucky, I came up with 1,122 listings.
As you browse available vehicles, you’ll see ratings including “high price,” “fair price,” “great value,” and “great value.” Below each rating, you’ll see an estimate of how much cheaper or more expensive the selling price is compared to the average list price for similar vehicles.
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You’ll also be able to view the car’s mileage, distance from you, and a brief vehicle history report. Once you’ve found a car that interests you, click on it to see more pictures, features, and seller’s notes. If you’d like to see the car in person, click “check availability” or “get your actual price.”
To continue, you’ll need to enter some personal information, such as your name, email address, and phone number. You will also need to check a box indicating that bartering and your partners can contact you. That means you can expect some spam emails, phone calls, and text messages from barter and its partner dealerships.
For this reason, make sure you are really interested in a car before checking its availability. You can also find dealer contact information in the notes to seller section. contacting the dealer directly could save you from at least some of the spam.
It is important to note that a trade-in vehicle price estimate does not include dealer-installed accessories, taxes, title, license and documentation fees, other state and government charges or fees, dealer locator for sold out vehicles or any other applicable charges/fees.
sell a car through bartering
If you’re looking to sell your current vehicle, getting a trade-in cash offer is a great place to start. you can enter basic information about your car to get an online quote. then you can enter additional details and get a real cash offer from a local dealer. that offer is valid for three days.
To get started, click on the “sell your car” tab at the top of the page.
From here, you can enter your license plate number, vin, or the make and model of your car. then click “get started”.
I entered my car make and model when I tried the service. After you’ve entered the details, you’ll immediately see an estimated price range for your vehicle. For a 2018 Toyota Camry, trade-in estimated a value of $17,100-$21,300.
After that, you’ll be able to select a few more details about your car’s features and appearance. as you make each selection, you will see how the overall price is affected. For example, the color of my car dropped in value by $150 because it was not in demand at the time. Beyond the color, you’ll also be able to enter the car’s exact mileage and your zip code. and you will have to answer some questions about its condition: if the vehicle has been in an accident, if it has any damage, if it has any modifications and if it has any warning lights on.
If you want to trade in your car, you’ll be able to enter some details about the type of car you want to buy. This helps trade-in find you the best dealership. (If you’re not looking to trade in your car, you can skip this step.) you’ll then be able to see a cash estimate and a breakdown of where that number came from.
To connect with nearby dealers to sell or trade in your car, continue clicking “get your real cash offer.” When I went through the process, I got a message saying that the offers were not available in my area at the time, but that the feature “would be available soon”. Unfortunately, that was a bit of a waste of time, as there didn’t seem to be a way to check the availability of the offer feature before entering all my car information.
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still, this process gave me a great base quote to consider when looking to sell or trade my car elsewhere.
use of bartering as a research tool
In addition to being able to search for available cars and sell or trade your own car to nearby dealers with barter, you can also use the website as a search tool. Whether you’re looking to research and compare models, calculate a lease, or calculate a loan, Barter can help. To get started, click on the “research” tab at the top of the page.
You can use the tools on this page to prepare for your next purchase. You’ll be able to view detailed descriptions of each make and model, look at photos, and read reviews. When you enter the details of a car you’re interested in, you’ll see its starting msrp, average market price, pros and cons, ratings, popular features and more. If you have a question about a specific car, this tool can help you find the answer.
You can scroll down the page for guides to the top-ranked cars and trucks. There you’ll find the top 10 lists for categories including Best Sedans, Best Hybrids, Best SUVs and more.
Further down the page, you can search for new or used cars by make or answer a few questions to find the car that’s best for you. The short quiz asks which body style interests you the most, which features are most important to you, and your desired price range. Once you’ve answered these questions, you can search for vehicle listings that meet your search criteria.
Finally, you can use the loan and lease calculator to calculate your estimated monthly payments. You will be able to enter the details of the loan, including your maximum total budget, desired down payment, interest rate, trade-in value, and loan term.
If you want to lease, you’ll be able to enter the vehicle’s msrp, desired down payment, residual percentage, interest rate, currency factor, trade-in value, and lease term. you will then see an estimated monthly payment based on the information you entered.
Overall, trade in is a good resource to check whether you’re buying or selling a car. Even if you’re just gathering information, the website offers some great resources under the “research” tab. You can also use the “sell or trade” tab to determine the current estimated value of your car. However, if you don’t plan to buy a car you find on barter, please avoid entering your email address or phone number to avoid unwanted calls.
When I checked out trade-in, I looked up the values of some popular vehicles, including my own. I did the same on a few competitor sites including autotrader and cargurus. although there were slight differences in the estimated values, they were all within the same range. for this reason, I feel you will see relatively reliable auto values in barter.
When it comes to the actual cars listed on barter, you’ll see the price that the dealer is posting on the website. If it’s deemed a high, fair, excellent, or excellent price, you’ll see a label indicating the rating.
after testing barter myself, here are some of the main pros and cons I found on the website:
Have you bought or sold a vehicle with a trade-in? Please let us know about your experience in our clark.com community!
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