Consumer Myth FYI Tips

Is My Trade-In Really Worth That Much?

By on April 3, 2012

Over the recent past, we’ve covered topics related to purchasing either a new or used vehicle.  As part of our service to the public, we present the following information regarding the value of trade-ins. 

In order to draw people into a showroom, auto dealers may use various types of discount offers, some are genuine, while others may not be as much.  Here’s one type of advertisement that is pretty catchy.  The dealer is offering to take your trade-in, just drive it in, drag it in, pull or push it or tow it in, and you’ll be given $2000.00 for your trade-in. 

Here is what the BBB Code of Advertising says about such offers:

Any advertised trade-in allowance should be an amount deducted from the advertiser’s current selling price without a trade-in. That selling price must be clearly disclosed in the advertisement. It is misleading to offer a fixed and arbitrary allowance regardless of the size, type, age, condition, or value of the article traded in, for the purpose of disguising the true retail price or creating the false impression that a reduced price or a special price is obtainable only by such trade-in.

In other words, the offer may not be an actual offer for a trade-in, but merely, the dealer is selling the vehicle at a reduced price. 

The FTC has published a new booklet which discusses “negative equity ads and trade-ins.”  You may visit the FTC website regarding this publication.

For more information you can trust, visit

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