Undervaluing a Vehicle Trade-in
Used car dealer fraud can occur at essentially any stage of the purchasing process. This includes unfair or deceptive advertising, concealing the inclusion of certain add-ons in the purchase contract, selling a flood-damaged vehicle without notifying the buyer, and rolling back an odometer. While these are perhaps the most well-known schemes utilized by used car dealers, they are by no means the only ones. For instance, one strategy used by many dealers is to undervalue or underpay a person for a trade-in vehicle. This type of conduct can constitute fraud, so if you recently purchased a vehicle based on a trade-in that you later learned was purposely undervalued, you should consider contacting an experienced used car fraud attorney who can help you seek compensation for your losses.
Negotiating a Purchase Along with a Trade-in
Even car owners who have a good understanding of their car’s value could end up being taken advantage of by unscrupulous dealer when it comes to trading in a vehicle. This is because used car dealers have a number of different schemes that can make it difficult for sellers to realize when they have been defrauded. For instance, it is often much easier for used car dealers to convince a car’s owner to trade a vehicle in for a lower price than it is worth if the owner is led to believe that he or she is receiving a great deal on the new car. The best way to defend against this practice is to separate the sale of a trade-in vehicle from the purchase of the new car. Owners also have the option of shopping a trade-in to multiple used car dealers, which can help give them a better idea of the car’s true value.
Raising Questions About a Vehicle’s Value
Another technique used by some unscrupulous dealers is to give buyers a low-ball offer for their trade-in vehicle. In some cases, unsuspecting buyers agree to the terms of the arrangement, not realizing that their car is worth much more. Even if a buyer doesn’t accept the low-ball offer right away, he or she could be taken aback and begin questioning the value of the vehicle. Later, as the dealer increases the price during negotiation, the buyer may feel like he or she has been victorious, although in reality, the trade-in is still far below wholesale value. One of the best ways to avoid this is to take trade-ins to multiple dealers and obtain quotes from each of them.
It is also not uncommon for dealers to attempt to get into a buyer’s head in order to diminish the value of a vehicle. For instance, a dealer may inspect a vehicle and point out every ding, dent, or scratch to make it seem as though the car has significant problems. They may even pretend to hear a strange noise when starting the car to convince the owner that something is wrong with it. These methods are all designed to prepare buyers who are attempting to trade in their vehicles to accept an unfair low ball offer.
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