CarMax quesiton to leasehakrs

Greetings leashakrs,

Thanks to your valuable input and advise, I decided to keep my 2021 GLC300 until better times, or until my lease expires in 2025.

While calling around and getting quotes from more than a dozen of dealers for the past 3 weeks, I noticed something odd: CarMax value of my car kept dropping, and the more I checked on it the faster it went down. I tried to check the value of a similar car (similar year , make and model), but it required me to put a license plate or vin number first. When I went to and pulled few vin numbers of the cars with the same make/model and similar mileage as my own to check their value, CarMax all of sudden started to tell me that ‘there are not enough cars’ like these in the market, therefore I would have to make an appointment to get an appraisal in person. Obviously, with a ton of 2021 GLCs trading out there I don’t believe that CarMax all of a sudden lost a clue about their value, especially when it keeps updating me via email how badly my car depreciates the longer I refuse to rush to sell it to them.

So, I wonder if they have the rigged algorithm that:

A. Estimates how ‘eager’ you are to trade (if a lot of dealers run your vin, Carmax assumes you are desperate to get rid of your car, so it reduces offer to get you sell it for less)
B. Makes car owners assume that their car value is dropping quickly, in hopes that duped $uckers will rush to sell their car before it drops in value any further.

In my case the effect is opposite, I just decided to hold to my car even faster, since it would be really foolish to pay high premium with high MF and low incentives for a newer MB while also loosing a chunk of money on top of it because of the negative equity. But I can imagine how it could work the other way around with most of the people in the market (what people do when stocks fall? They all sell it, even if the true value of stock is high. What they do when stock prices soar? They rush to buy until bubble bursts. One should be careful not to blindly rush to make an impulsive decision, or risk high losses).

I wanted to ask experienced leasehakrs, have you experienced similar trends with your car valuation when giving your vin number around to a lot of places and renewing your carmax offer once a week?
Is this something CarMax does to dupe you?
Or, is there all of a sudden a flood of 2021 GLC’s exchanged for newer gen GLC’s, thus causing this enormous drop in car value in a matter of two weeks?
It’s just so odd that while the cost of getting new MB is such that sometimes I think rupees and yens have replaced dollar here, the used MB’s value so drastically declines in a matter of two weeks.
What are your thoughts on it?

To Moderators: if this is inappropriate topic to ask hackrs, please move it to a different sub-forum. I just thought it might be an interesting topic to discuss for those in the market to trade in their cars to get a new one, and checking a CarMax value as a way to appraise their current cars.

Interesting find, did you check on Edmunds as well , while you were checking multiple times on Carmax?

Here’s the thing, if you receive multiple offers from CarMax for the same model but with different VINs, it will stop giving you an offer after a while, especially if you are using the same zip code. The online algorithm would assume that there is more supply than demand for that particular model. Essentially, what you are doing is competing against yourself. As for your concern about the drop in the offer for your car, it has nothing to do with you being desperate, it’s just the current state of the market

No, I didn’t. Even when I was doing Carmax appraisals on Edmunds (I did there as well as directly through CarMax website), I wasn’t checking on Edmund’s own appraisal. When you go to Edmunds and ask to appraise your car, once you enter your vin number the CarMax offer pops up. There is a tab right there to check Edmund’s appraisal. Today I clicked on it for the first time and it was lower than CarMax’s. Carvana and Vroom were also lowballing. They make certain assumptions about your car , no matter how you describe your car (they assume you are a pig that eats sausages in its car, wears pants made of sandpaper and parks every day in the streets of New York, with scratches all over the bumpers that will have to be fixed during reconditioning). CarMax, generally, is better in that regard. It gives you your real trade-in value, it’s usually 3 to 4K below the lowest listing on, for a car with similar miles and in similar condition, which is a fair trade-in value for a car. But it appears to me now that it keeps track of you and others checking on the vehicle’s value (you must enter vin or plates, and it actually verifies those and gives value based on information it gets from MVA), so once it sees you are ‘interested’ to sell it starts low-balling you, rapidly dropping down your car value, from one week to another. It even sends you emails (if you don’t check), showing how your car lost $1000 from a week prior (cars depreciate, but not that fast and not that much, at such a rate 2021 GLC would be worth $0.00 in trade in value by the time your 48 mo. lease was up, which we all know isn’t happening). I guess they are counting on the natural instinct of most unsuspecting people , who would go like “Oh my God, my car is going to be cheaper than dirt tomorrow, I must get rid of it right now!”. Just something to be aware of.

You can’t ‘compete against yourself’ on CarMax, it won’t allow you. Have you used it before? You must enter your license plate number or vin for it to make an offer. And if you put the same vin for your car into CarMax 20 times in a row, how are you competing against yourself? There is only one car. It should continue giving you the same estimate even if you enter it 1000 times in one day, and only adjust for market depreciation, based on accumulated sales data. It also won’t let you enter other car’s vin numbers, it knows inquiry comes from the same PC by identifying your IP, and simply stops giving you any estimate, so you can’t catch it duping you. They think they are smart :slight_smile:

You mentioned using multiple VINs from which is creating more competition regardless if it’s from the same computer or not

I kinda work there so……

Oh, that figures :grinning:
But, just to address the ‘competition’ part, it will NOT allow you use multiple vins from It knows it’s the same person or someone from the same location entering those vin numbers (it can check MVA records by a plate, so it knows where car is registered if you put random plate numbers, and if you put vin it knows the car you check on stands somewhere in dealers lot for a sale), and it stops giving you any kind of online offer for a car similar to yours. It gives a major BS instead, to the effect of “we haven’t seen cars like yours in the market lately, so please make appointment for in person appraisal”. Really, CarMax lost track of 2021 GLC’s sold around lately? All the while it updates me weekly how my car loses $1000 in value every week? LOL

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P.S. Actually I will ‘fool’ CarMax, I will enter other car’s vin numbers to it from my work computer, or from a different PC at friend’s/relative’s house, from Starbucks coffee shop and etc., and I will see if it’s on purpose over-underestimating my car, or if 2021 GLC values truly went down the drain in the past two weeks.

Try that and let us know!

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And my guess is that Carmax sees that the VINs are not linked to any registeted vehicles, hence they are not for your cars. But the quotes are 100% depend on their inventory near entered zip code.

Yes if it’s not registered

Not registered as a personal vehicle.

it doesnt say its not registered. it says carmax lacks information due to not having enough data on transactions for that type of a car and to set up an appointment in person.

Dealer’s inventory <> personal registration. Carmax will not quote you on a random VIN from a dealer’s stock. They also did it for my new cars a few times when the car was in the beginning of a MY. This is my experience.

I will try it from a different location, not my PC, not from my home. I can also run with it plates of the random cars on the street , same model/make as mine. Enter my mileage. I am just curious now. May be I am wrong and the used GLC values dropped over night for an equivalent of two-three months depreciation, who knows. We live in odd times and have seen crazy market fluctuations in the past 2 years. But I highly doubt that the numbers it generates now for my car are straightforward, it’s more likely that the numbers are adjusted by algorithm that wants to manipulate me into bringing my car to carmax at what it knows is below the trade-in value it was willing to pay me before. I ‘fooled’ carmax once, i must say. About two weeks ago, when it sent me first email about $1200 depreciation (I was surprised then), and after my first certificate expired, i went to edmunds and requested carmax appraisal through their (’s) website. At the time carmax didn’t recognize me, or so I guess, because it generated a higher offer (the same offer it did a week before minus $300. I kept all screenshots, which i shared with various dealers). But, when I entered my email address, it would no longer send me that certificate by email, instead edmunds forwarded it to me, with carmaxes logo (appraisal still was generated by carmax). But when I clicked on it and landed on carmax, it would revert back to ‘lowball’ number. It was funny, it quoted one price when i ran request via edmunds, and vastly different one when i was running it directly on their website. Now it clearly recognizes my car, as soon as i enter a vin# it prepopulates all the options, exterior and interior color, even knows i have two sets of keys , and won’t be ‘fooled’ again by a request submitted via edmunds. But what i have observed it doing so far is sufficient to raise my doubts and i won’t be surprised if the algorithm is designed for the purpose i suspect it was.

P.S. btw, i am like most people out there, too busy to do anything other than vent here and know in future that carmax is rigged. But if some smarty pants attorney finds out about it, and if it’s provably true (which , as i mentioned above, easy to verify, despite whatever restrictions they have for average Joe), then this finding can expose the company to big class action suit and liability. if you guys work for carmax, you should tell them not to take chances, unless they think it’s cheaper to settle class action lawsuit than profit from their unscrupulous tactics.

Do you believe Carmax is legally bound to offer you the highest value possible for your car? And if they don’t, they will get sued by a “smart pants attorney”? I’m truly curious what you believe the class action claim would be.

Do you believe that Carmax should not be allowed to act like every other dealer/retailer in the automotive business and try to acquire cars for the lowest price possible?

Do you believe that Carmax does not have the right to make different pricing offers for similar cars? Or to change their offers based on their interpretation of market data?

Did you consider that maybe Carmax’s system realizes you are submitting multiple inquiries from the same IP address, has flagged you as being potentially fraudulent or someone that is scraping data, and then systematically drops the values to discourage you?

The values truly have dropped over a two week period. This data showing a $5k-8k drop over 12 days might put a damper in your conspiracy theory.
8/23 sold for $49,700 with 17k
8/25 sold for $46k with 29k
9/5 sold for $41,250 with 29k


No, I am not drunk nor trolling, I am serious (you deleted the part of your post to which I am now responding). I am also no smarty pants and I don’t have a time to litigate with carmax. But someone eventually will, if what i observed is true.

To answer some of your questions, if and when carmax is called on it the suing attorneys won’t make arguments like “I believe Carmax is legally bound to kiss my feet” or “I want judge to put them in jail, if they refuse to kiss my feet”. It doesn’t work like that. Usually, like with iphone batteries that were discharging faster when you downloaded newer updates to older phones, the argument will be about ‘deceptive practices’, key word being ‘deceptive’, and ‘praying on consumer’s trust’ and ‘the need to protect public trust and integrity of markets’. I have every right to sell you a pigeon for million dollars, buy it if you are a fool, it’s a free market. But I can’t sell you a Brooklyn bridge, or come to your house as appraiser and say you have rotten pipes and foundation, knowing that you don’t, so I can buy your house for half the value I know it has. I can’t deceive you. But if you were a fool willing to pay a million dollars for a pigeon, then surely i could legally take advantage of your silliness, nothing is wrong with that.

So you’re saying that in the offers Carmax provided to you, they made false claims about the condition of the cars for which you were requesting quotes? How do you know the condition of the cars since you were just pulling VINs from other websites? Can you provide an example of the condition claims that Carmax made that they used as the basis to make a lower offer?

Interesting that the Manheim data didn’t change your opinion. Even though it clearly shows values have dropped over a two week period, you still think Carmax’s declining offers were “deceptive”…and not just a reflection of the actual market?

First of all, I am not saying CarMax did this. I am saying I suspect this is what happened, based on my observations of how inconsistent CarMax appraisals of my car were in the past two weeks. Second, I never said anything about CarMax alleging anything about my car’s condition. Where did you read or see me saying such a thing about CarMax?

As to Manheim, I didn’t visit it in the past 15 years. but when I did I saw all kinds of things, I saw tens of cars bought by dealers for what I thought was far above the wholesale worth of the cars, I saw two cars of the same make and model, with same miles sold for vastly different prices, I also saw them drastically different conditions depending on where they were coming from (great , pristine cars from PA, horrible , beaten, all scratched and dented from NY), I saw car prices in general fluctuate hugely, from day to day and/or line to line, the same kind of car would sell for 8000 today, 12000 next day and 7000 another. It’s auction and you don’t judge of the retail car market prices by one or two days or two weeks of sales at Manheim. Go back there next week or next day, chances are the same car will be go off hammer for hugely higher/lower price, it varies, and that’s why a lot of cars have reserves there, sellers will not release them if you don’t hit the floor. Manheim has data for large number of transactions, I just don’t have it under my fingertips. You can use that data to learn of statistical averages (and it could be held liable if it willfully and knowingly skewed THAT data)… More importantly, Manheim is wholesalers auction, not retail shop. CarMax is dealing with public (not licensed dealers who know the business, potential risks and rewards). the public that buys retail and sells private or to dealers. Believe me, when these things go to trial and before jury, calling every argument against your stand a ‘conspiracy theory’ doesn’t work as effectively as it does on CNN and MSNBC, when you just want to smear your political opponent.