2013 Lexus GS 350 Long-Term Road Test

2013 Lexus GS 350: Carmax Appraisal

August 23, 2013

2013 Lexus GS 350

Carmax likes to place its luxury cars front and center in all its car lots. The first two rows are always filled with cars from Audi, BMW, Lexus and Mercedes. So, I figured our long-term 2013 Lexus GS 350 would bring in big bucks when I took it in for an appraisal the other day. Boy, was I wrong.

Before you hit the jump, take a guess as to how much we were offered. For reference, Edmunds.com's trade-in TMV was $44,907. Keep in mind the car has just over 20,000 miles.

"I'm guessing you're going to offer me $45,000," I said to the Carmax sales representative. She turned her monitor toward me and showed me a price of $40,000.

"The car's options were great, but the miles really hurt this car," said the appraiser who popped in to the cubicle we were in. He added that he couldn't improve on that price because it would get too close to the price of a new car.

This lowball offer caught me off guard. I've brought in cars with similar mileage and it usually wasn't an issue. Plus, I don't think the appraiser accounted for the F Sport package. There was no mention of adjustable suspension anywhere on the "features considered" section of the page. It seemed as though he treated it like a "regular" GS 350.

Here are some other numbers to put the $40K in perspective:

MSRP at purchase: $63,427
We paid: $58,377 (plus tax and title)
Private Party TMV: $47, 431
Carmax offer: $40,000

I'm going to try to improve on the Carmax offer by selling the Lexus myself. I'm considering listing it for somewhere around the private-party TMV price.

I'll let you know how it goes.

Ronald Montoya, Consumer Advice Editor @ 20,329 miles


  • did you ask them about the f-sport package?--- Checking their site they have one with 16,000 for 44k and one with 29,000 for 42k so it seems their price is within range of the offer. --- How much does the f-sport add to your TMV?

  • ouch, I know it probably isn't kosher to add the sales tax into the figure before subtracting their offer but a $23,000 depreciation, all I can say is ouch! That is $1.13 a mile. --- you could have almost bought the Kia Forte, driven it for the same miles and then pushed it into the ocean and been at the same place with the finances.

  • agentorange agentorange Posts:

    Is this just a California thing? Maybe the Lexus brand is not so hot there.

  • unionbuster unionbuster Posts:

    Apparently TMV isn't so much in this case.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    I would have double checked on if the F-Sport package was accounted for.

  • stovt001_ stovt001_ Posts:

    And as for Lexus not being so hot in California, common, its a more pretentious Toyota product. If that doesn't scream California, I don't know what does.

  • Edmunds TMV is a joke. I just bought a new Miata Club just by asking for a quote through this very site from a dealer and paid $3k less than Tmv with no haggling at all. A year and a half ago i bought my Rubicon for $5k less than the listed Tmv...

  • tlangness tlangness Posts:

    @desmolicious, you got some great deals then - i'd say based on availability of cars in your area. I used to work in the department at edmunds where we collected TMV data and it really is just the numbers cars are currently selling for. It's not a guess w

  • Travis, this was in LA and the Miata that I just picked up was just by using the contact dealer for offer on the Edmunds site. I didnt do anything apart from click one button! I originally was looking for a used Miata, and there too Tmv was way off. This time it was underpriced by several thousand ( I checked dozens of cars).

  • explorerx4 explorerx4 Posts:

    Are you going to take it to a Lexus dealer to get a quote? I don't see why you wouldn't.

  • greg128 greg128 Posts:

    I agree Edmunds used car appraisals are off. I sold my 2005 Chrysler Crossfire SRT-6 privately for $5000 more than their site quote, and I had numerous out of state inquiries and could have sold it for more. Of course it only had 8000 miles which didn't impress the Edmunds TMV amount that much

  • megatechpc_ megatechpc_ Posts:

    That's just an insult to be honest. That car is worth a LOT more than $40k even trading it in...

  • kirkhilles_ kirkhilles_ Posts:

    My guess is that there is no mistake. Look, this is CarMax - its the best place in the world to LOOK at a wide range of vehicles, but its the worst place in the world to buy or sell. Why? Its an instant offer. That's the way it works, CarMax lowballs you and sells it for $50k or more. That's the cost of getting an offer right away. Its no different from businesses that'll offer to buy your home or places that'll buy your old iPhone. Amazon will give you a whopping $300 for your iPhone 5 and has a Warehouse Deals listing for $712.

  • s197gt s197gt Posts:

    Closest '13 to me available at a Carmax is in GA and has 33k miles. Asking $45,998 (unsure if F-sport but looks like it). Seems they could go up a couple grand but not much more.

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$194 per month*
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