I need to sell a car.

I want to sell it to a dealer.

I checked the estimated price on Kelly Blue Book, edmunds.com, and clearbook.com. According to those sources, it's worth somewhere around $23,000 to $24,000.

I also searched for similar cars for sale on autotrader.com, cars.com, carmax.com, and Kelley Blue Book used car search. It's difficult to find an apples-to-apples comparison because there aren't a lot of late-model single-owner Murano SLs in perfect condition with less than 10K miles on the market. I found an SV (a lower trim line) being offered in my area for close to $27,000.

I've presented the car to two local Nissan dealers. One offered $21,000 and the other, upon hearing about that, offered $22,000.

I strongly suspect that the actual maximum amount they would be willing to give me for the car is higher.

The question is, how can I discover what that amount is?

  • 3
    Kelly's Blue Book, Cars.com, and many other resources can give you typical owner-to-dealer and owner-to-buyer sales prices for a given combination of make, model, year, major options, and condition. (Remember that your idea of the condition is probably biased...) But that's just a statistical average. How much a PARTICULAR dealer will give you depends on how much demand they think there is locally for that particular car... and how little they think they can get away with offering you. And the opposite for you. The only way you discover it is by trying it. Or trying elsewhere.
    – keshlam
    Nov 8, 2014 at 3:30
  • 5
    There is no way to know for sure the actual maximum amount that an individual person will be willing to pay for anything. That information exists only inside the head of that indivudal, and may not be consciously known even to them. I think most methods of gaining information about it fall more into the category of psychology than personal finance.
    – BrenBarn
    Nov 8, 2014 at 3:38
  • 1
    Remember: what the car is worth to someone who is buying it for themselves is a different number from what it is worth to a dealer (who then has to pretty it up, store it until it finds a buyer, and make a profit when they resell it). Sometimes very different. And prices cars are offered for are often further increased over the price they will actually sell for, out of a combination of hope that some sucker will pay that much and the knowledge that people feel better paying less than asked even if the ask was unreasonable. The "offered" price is not a useful reference point; SOLD price is.
    – keshlam
    Nov 8, 2014 at 4:17
  • 1
    Go back to the first dealer who offered 21k and advise another dealer offered 22k, see if they improve their offer. If they do, rinse and repeat.
    – davidjwest
    Apr 24, 2015 at 9:42

1 Answer 1


So far you have two quotes. The difference between the 27K you saw advertised and the highest amount you were offered (22k) is to cover the dealers overhead, expenses, and profit.

Can you do better? Nobody can know. If there is a glut of cars like yours the amount they will offer you is lower because they don't need more cars like yours. Remember glut is relative. If they have 3 cars and only sell one a quarter they don't need yours. If they sell 3 a week and only have 5 left they are looking to buy more.

You have to decide what the minimum you want or need to take. Then you keep trying to find a buyer; sell it on your own; or drop your price.

One other thing with a new car dealer: if you are selling a car only, then you are only a partial customer. They also make money from selling cars and making loans on cars. When somebody does all three it can be very hard to get the true amount they received from the trade-in, because the dealer is working all three numbers.

You might get a better price from a dealer who sells mostly used vehicles. The regular dealer gets most of their used cars in trade-ins and end of lease events.


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