When it’s time to purchase your next vehicle, there are many routes you can take, especially when you’re looking at used car sales. There are dealerships, but then there are all of those other less-vetted marketplaces. You find paper signs posted around your neighborhood about a vehicle for sale. You see a vehicle you’re interested in on Craigslist. Maybe you hear from a friend of a friend that somebody has the model you’re after. Going these less official routes can be tempting, especially because many shoppers have the misconception that they’ll pay premiums at dealerships.
In reality, private sellers might give you the worst price because they’re just selling one vehicle. They could be relying entirely on the profit of that one car to bankroll their rent or purchase their next vehicle. Dealerships, on the other hand, are in the business of housing and selling dozens of vehicles. Because we carry so much inventory and are making sales regularly, we are often more ready to give you an excellent deal than your neighbor’s cousin, who is selling that old Camaro he’s emotionally attached to. When that price for a three-year-old Kia Sorento on Facebook Marketplace looks too good to be true, it probably is. Here are seven reasons to shop with a dealership instead of a private seller.
If you shop with private sellers, you will have to drive all over the city, and maybe even the state, to check out a handful of models. We’ve even met customers who admitted they crossed state lines to check out a vehicle. Your private seller is only going to have one vehicle to show you. If it’s not for you, you’re on your way and have to drive to the next seller. Ask yourself what your time is worth because at a dealership, you can see dozens of models, all in one place. You won’t have to spend a full day running around to private sellers.
At Victory Kia, for example, we have a vast array of used Kia vehicles, as well as models from other top names. So you can check out tons of manufacturers all in one place. Plus, we have relationships with other dealerships and are part of a larger network. If we don’t have the vehicle you want, we can likely find it for you. A private seller simply can’t do that.
Our dealership has a team filled with experts whose job it is to know about vehicles. When you work with a private seller, they will likely only know about the one model they’re selling. Meanwhile, a dealership like ours has sales personnel who know about not just one model but different generations, trims, and comparable models. They can help you determine which vehicle has the exact features that will be right for you. Sometimes, private sellers aren’t even familiar with all of the features of the exact model they’re selling. They aren’t a car expert; they’re just a person trying to sell one car. If you want professional guidance, you need to work with a dealership.
We love when shoppers trade in their old vehicles with us. It helps us keep a constantly rotating selection of inventory, and we love to reward drivers who participate in our trade-in program. For that reason, we regularly offer specials to customers who trade in, helping them finance their next vehicle.
When you shop with a private seller, you’ll have to handle the sale of your old vehicle elsewhere. Rarely the person selling a vehicle would also like to purchase yours, so you have to dedicate a lot of extra time to getting rid of your old vehicle. That means listing it yourself, negotiating, handling low-ball offers, meeting people for test drivers, and more. When you trade in your old vehicle with us, we’ll take care of the paperwork so you can feel confident that all pertinent transfers were handled correctly. Plus, we’ll give you a fair offer.
Shopping with a private seller means making payments on their terms. Many want cash, and those who are willing to work with buyers who are getting financing don’t have much patience. If you need even just a couple of days for your loan to come through, the seller might move on to another buyer.
On the other hand, we empower our customers with many finance options. Once you find a vehicle you love, you’ll handle financing right here at our dealership. You can get approved on the spot, so there’s no waiting around for a loan to go through. We also have relationships with many lenders, allowing us to show you tons of payment packages. Private sellers typically want you to approach them with payment in hand. Dealerships will patiently help you figure out financing and provide you with tons of options.
If you shop with a private seller, you’re bound to get into a bidding war with other interested buyers. You’ll make an offer, but someone else will make a higher one, and suddenly you’re in a back-and-forth as the price rises. You’ll never get into a bidding war at our dealership. Once you’re interested in a vehicle, you’ll move on to figuring out a price and payment plan with one of our sales team members. You can enjoy the shopping process without feeling pressured or rushed. If you need some time to think about a vehicle and find that when you return, somebody purchased it, the good news is that we likely have others just like it. That won’t happen with a private seller.
One thing a private seller cannot offer you is their own special warranty. If you’re lucky, some of the manufacturer’s warranty might be left on the vehicle, but that’s it. Meanwhile, at Victory Kia, we offer a dealership lifetime warranty on the powertrain of all new and most used vehicles. That means you’ll be covered should something happen to the vehicle's components, like the engine or transmission. And that can save you tons of money on repairs down the line.
This is just one of the assurances you get with a dealership that you won’t get with an individual buyer. When you shop with an individual, you might realize the vehicle is a total lemon after buying it. Then, you might discover that the person who sold it to you is nowhere to be found. Meanwhile, when you shop with us, you always know where to find us. If something comes up with your vehicle, just come back, and we’ll work hard to find a fair resolution.
We don’t only want to sell our customers excellent vehicles; we also want to help them take care of their cars. That’s why we have a terrific service and parts department ready to help you maintain and service your vehicle. Our technicians are Kia experts, so you’ll instantly be working with a team that knows the ins and outs of your model. Plus, we offer coupons and specials on routine maintenance as well as service and parts to our dealership companies. When you purchase a vehicle from a private seller, you’re on your own in terms of finding the right service department or technicians who specialize in your model.