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  #1  
Old 11-14-2011, 05:29 PM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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Default Seeking Highlander

I'm trying to replace (ahem) our '95 FZJ with an '04-'07 Highlander. After looking at 12 or so, they are universally $2000-6000 over Edmunds book price, usually dinged up with chips and hacks, and have soiled interiors. Most on dealership lots are from New England, and are auction or ex-fleet vehicles. Every single one has the bumpers repainted and most have significant panel repaint and accident damage.

My only hard-and-fast requirements are '04-'07 year, v6, 3rd seat option, and any color other than black. Does anyone have a lead on a nice Highlander, in the Springs/Castle Rock/Denver/Pueblo area? Prices should be $13-15K-ish.

Thanks!
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Old 11-16-2011, 08:36 PM
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Corbet Corbet is offline
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That is going to be a hard search at a dealership. I would look via private sale. The Highlander is generally a vehicle owned by people with young kids who spill things all over then discarded (traded) for something new.

I did a quick auction search of recent sales and found the average price on a 2007 base model was $12400 w/91K and for a 2007 limited $14700 w/83K nationwide. Higher if I limit it to our region. After recon&detailing dealerships will mark them up at least $2-3K depending on what the market will bear and banks will loan. That's just the business.
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Old 11-17-2011, 10:51 AM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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The very few private sale ones I have found were either very high miles or also pretty pricey. Your price check is pretty close (if dealers dealt in reality) - but it's easy to find a very average '06 for $18K, which is insane, IMO. Many of these high-priced ones have sat for months at dealerships, so turnover of inventory must not matter much to dealers. You would think that after 3 mo, the dealers would be ready to deal. Anyway - thanks!
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:02 PM
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The dealers do deal in reality. The books have not meant much for the last few years especially for used Toyota's. When I got out of the business most used Toyota's sold for retail book values at the wholesale auctions. That has not changed. Especially when production got dropped for a while due to the storm in Japan. While most Toyota's are built here in USA the power trains still are shipped for Japan.

The numbers I pulled were from actual wholesale transactions over the past 90 days. Only 23 base models went through Manheim nationwide. Think it was 7 LTD's Not not many. Often when I would pull those figures daily I would find double that is just our region on various vehicles.

I guess what I'm getting at is you will need to be patient to find that vehicle used in good condition for what you want to pay. IMO anyway from 6 years in the business.

Why not just get a new base model? If your planning to finance you'll see a better rate on new and warranty. If this is a cash transaction then I understand.
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Old 11-17-2011, 12:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveH View Post
You would think that after 3 mo, the dealers would be ready to deal. Anyway - thanks!
When we would looking for a Sequoia what we discovered is the dealers would sit on the trucks until they either got close to a full asking price offer OR they would just send the vehicle to auction. I "followed" several vehicles from the lots where they sat for 90+ days to the auction where they sold. IMO the process just seems to be to move them around the country till they find the right buyer. I found several one owner vehicles that had been sold at 3 or more auctions around the country since the owner traded the vehicle in.

When I inquired about these vehicles and tried to deal, I was rebuked and told that they were in high demand - Maybe but if that were the case they shouldn't be sitting on the lot for 90+ days or getting sent to auction...

As for Highlanders...Groove Toyota had 10+ of them on the used lot a couple months ago...I felt they were way overpriced for what you got.
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Old 11-17-2011, 02:22 PM
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I wonder if there is a write-off that the dealer can take if the car goes to auction vs. selling it for little/no profit?
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2011, 03:59 PM
xodeuce xodeuce is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Corbet View Post
The dealers do deal in reality. The books have not meant much for the last few years especially for used Toyota's. When I got out of the business most used Toyota's sold for retail book values at the wholesale auctions. That has not changed. Especially when production got dropped for a while due to the storm in Japan. While most Toyota's are built here in USA the power trains still are shipped for Japan.

The numbers I pulled were from actual wholesale transactions over the past 90 days. Only 23 base models went through Manheim nationwide. Think it was 7 LTD's Not not many. Often when I would pull those figures daily I would find double that is just our region on various vehicles.

I guess what I'm getting at is you will need to be patient to find that vehicle used in good condition for what you want to pay. IMO anyway from 6 years in the business.

Why not just get a new base model? If your planning to finance you'll see a better rate on new and warranty. If this is a cash transaction then I understand.
I ended up buying a new Tacoma a couple of years ago after going through the same thing. Interest rate was better on a new one, and dealing (with a friend who works at the dealership) at the end of the month I paid about $3500 more OTD for a brand new one over what similarly equipped used ones (3-4 years old, 30k-40k miles) were going for. After interest rate differences and figuring a warranty was worth a little, I thought it was worth it. Oh, and ATRAC lol.

Now... wishing I'd bought a gas sipper daily driver and beater dedicated off road rig, both used. That's a whole different discussion I've loved the Taco though.
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2011, 04:47 PM
SteveH SteveH is offline
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It's a cash deal with the proceeds from my recently sold (sniff) 1980 FJ40. My wife has also set a price cap (which is fine with me) - she knows I can fix what's wrong with a used car. Base ones are $29K or so (total stripper), and I'm in the 15K range.

Thanks for the perspectives. I agree that most of the 1-2 year old stuff is much to close to 'new' price - and you should just buy new. I'm astounded at $25K 3 year old used cars, when the same car can be had for 23K at a dealer new (in perhaps a lesser trim level).

Since the 1995 FZJ is still humming along, I'll just be patient for a cleaner/cheaper one to come along.
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