01 September 2013

In Which I Fuss About

used truck prices.

I took Older Daughter shopping for a used pickup again, yesterday. We visited most of the non-dealer lots in town (and there are quite a few), hoping for better prices.

After visiting many, and exiting the same, it has confirmed what I'd noticed before: 4x4 pickups cost more than SUVs of the same year, make & model. This is not logical.

On the other hand, whoever said that car prices are logical?

I suppose it's a response to market forces, insofar as gummint regulations allow any segment of the market to drive itself (no puns intended).

For example: at one place we saw a 2004 Ford Ranger XLT 4x4, with over 91,000 miles, for which they were asking $11K. Next to it was a 2010 Ford Ranger XLT 2wd, marked $10K.

This being Alaska, I can understand why 4WDs are in greater demand, but still ... the price differential is jaw-dropping.

We saw this repeated time and again, everywhere we went. But you remember the old phrase, "Cash is king?"

We found an older model with low mileage, marked $8275, then marked down to $7850. Daughter offered them $6000 cash & they took it without haggling.

Blue Book price for that model is less than $5K, but given the market here, she did good. And it's exactly what she wanted.

The whole pricing structure sticks in my craw a bit, but whatcha gonna do?


Well Seasoned Fool said...

After spending 30+ years in and out of retailing automobiles I came to two conclusions about pricing. What something is worth is what someone will pay (or finance - the lender is buying the vehicle and letting you buy it back one month at a time). Trite, I know. The second is that is far more challenging to buy something than it is to sell it.

You are correct, cash is king. I haven't financed a car since 1982 for my personal use. I've leased cars for business when the numbers, legal risks, etc., made that a logical choice.

Rev. Paul said...

WSF, I've never forgotten a college definition of "What is a good deal?" "It's when both the buyer & seller are satisfied with the transaction."

Makes sense.

PioneerPreppy said...

You see the same kinda spread down here although not as dramatic and here there is also a season differential on four wheel drives as well. The really old beater 4wd trucks will go for huge amounts over the 2wd of the same year. One reason for this is the market who buys em. 4WD pickups are usually sold to the guys who are buying them for hobby type work and usually by the time they are in the market for them they have money to burn.

I would never go truck shopping in the Late Summer, Fall or Winter only Spring. I picked up my farm truck for a song (3K) but I watched the dealerships for a trade in they didn't want to mess with and got it as is.

Then came the typical everything is gonna break down stage. The power windows motors went out this weekend heh.

threecollie said...

Remember that just a few years ago the geniuses in DC paid to have thousands of good, functional used vehicles destroyed in the name of fuel efficiency. We about cried when we saw the sodium silicate killing wonderful engines on classic vehicles so folks could get Priuses instead.

Rev. Paul said...

Understood, Preppy. The best time to buy a 4WD here is in the spring, once the snow has melted. But the need was now, and so ... we shopped.

threecollie, I know. The prices on used cars are nearly double what they were pre-clunker program.

Stephen said...

Nice truck. Bet if you waited a year the price would have been two thousand more...

Rev. Paul said...

Stephen, that wouldn't surprise me at all.

ProudHillbilly said...

Vehicle pricing is weird. And 'spensive.

Rev. Paul said...

That's very true, but it's what we've got ... and we're stuck with it.

Teresa said...

My daughter just bought a car. She negotiated the price she wanted. But it's really difficult to buy... there is always the feeling you're being taken.

If she likes it and it works, then all is good. :)

Rev. Paul said...

Teresa, there's always that feeling with a used car, because you never really know what you're getting until you start driving it. And of course we know that local prices are inflated above so-called "fair market" - but in that regard, at least everyone here is getting taken equally.