The Red book
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Thread: The Red book

  1. #1
    Fellow Frogger! Ralph's Avatar
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    The Red book

    Hi all,

    Has any one used The Red Book as a reference for used car prices? How accurate is it?

    <a href="http://www.redbook.com.au/" target="_blank">The Red Book</a>

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    I've noticed a few cars for sale on this Forum and elsewhere that have prices wildly either side of what The Red Book sets. Can the prices set by The Red Book be used in bargaining when buying a car?

    Cheers,

    Ralph.
    On the internet, no one knows that you are only wearing a fez.

  2. #2
    sjl
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    I had a 93 SSS pulsar and when I was selling it I had a look at red book. Absolute load of crap. moon There is no way anyone selling their car would let a potential buyer try to bring down the price due to a red book quote.

    It quoted me between 5k - 6.5k. Sure my car had fewer kilometres (165000) on the dial than the majority out there, and also had a big stereo and some aftermarket wheels. Still, anyone who has put these sorts things on a car will tell you that they're not gonna bring you many $$$ come selling time. It was in great nick and I sold it for $13 000. dance dance Looking through the trading post, most of these stock SSS pulsars were selling for a few grand less. So it's still way off the mark.

    This shows a major flaw in the red book theory: that it is not in touch with a car's actual street value. It may use a formula to determine a certain car's depreciated value but in some cases, a particular car will be in demand more than expected.

    My advice, don't use red book, or the one on the drive website, although it is a bit better I found. Best bet is to look through the trading post to get a feel for what they are really worth.
    "How do you like them apples?"
    306 Gti6

  3. #3
    1000+ Posts Rod Hagen's Avatar
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    Check out Glasses as well for an estimated value a little bit on high side rather than the low side. If you are selling you can quote it back to potential buyer instead. The cynical side of me makes me suspect that "red Book" values might have a more athn a little bit to do with helping dealers reduce trade in prices!

    Cheers

    Rod
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  4. #4
    Fellow Frogger!
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    The cynical side of me makes me suspect that "red Book" values might have a more athn a little bit to do with helping dealers reduce trade in prices!
    Agreed.

    How can anyone estimate "market forces"? Depreciated values can be determined, so can average sale values over a specified period .... but no one can account for an individual seller or buyer and what they decide on the day.
    ashleyt

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  5. #5
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    As a former tyre kicker (long since retired) the Red book & Glass's Yellow book were always used & abused in the trade. deal
    Prices are supposedly done based on Auction prices & usually are based on several aspects; rougth, average, immaculate, as well as private sale price. They are suggestions as to trade-in & selling price and in the trade are rarely if ever used as a private buyer or seller would. Their trade use is as a mental stimulator when assessing a potential trade or about to bid at an auction.
    It's too involved to go into here, but there is more to valueing a trade in than just looking at a book & quoting a figure, in fact often the trade price is totally ignored & the price worked back from the possible sale price as well as allowance for a write back off the vehicle it is being traded on. They claim to use it based on a combination of advertised prices & auction prices & when you think about it, how hard would that be (eg) Car advertised for $8000 sold for $5500 another advertised for $12600 sold for $9000 another advertised for $4500 sold for $2600 so the prices are extremely hard to fathom so when tyou allow for that they don't do a real bad job.
    It used to be the case often years ago that you traded on somewhere aroung Yellow book price & sold around Redbook for obvious reasons. I think that you'd find prices would be a lot more erratic without them. 2_cents

    Alan S
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  6. #6
    Moderator Alan S's Avatar
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    This story popped up on a UK forum.
    Almost an action replay of this thread.

    Alan S

    <a href="http://www.andyspares.com/discussionforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3520" target="_blank">http://www.andyspares.com/discussionforum/topic.asp?TOPIC_ID=3520</a>
    If it ain't broke, use a 12" shifter.....that usually does the trick!!

  7. #7
    1000+ Posts Warwick's Avatar
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    Glass' guide and Red Book are pretty approximate. Nonetheless they are a good guide to the volume sellers, Ford Nissan etc. There is a formula in the back of Glass' guide accounting for km's, which can increase accuracy for these cars. Inside knowledge helps though. You know if it's a Taurus or an AU it will be miles under guide figures, a Volvo will be too, or if its a black low km 318i with leather and sunroof it may reach or slightly surpass stated values.
    For Smaller volume cars like Pugs the values come from The guide ringing dealers and asking a bunch of retail prices for various models. The statistical sample is a small one. To complicate things, often dealers will increase the stated prices to suit their own ends, however this also bumps up MArket Values (as per insurance). Additionally the subsequently calculated trade prices for a Euro car are usually way too high, cos dealers want to make more money out of them than a Holden dealer would out of their product; and Euro cars will often cost heaps more to Roadworthy or re-condition. This is just the way it is.
    Saabs are the funniest. There is a different set of rules for them. SOmetimes you will find retail guide prices in the guide's $10000 or more out, because Saabs resale value is SO BAD. You just hope and prey that someone who drives up to a showroom in a Saab has already had another dealer value the car for them and give them a dose of reality. Otherwise one can spend a lot of time only to stumble at the last hurdle, because owners perceptions are so inaccurate.
    People will sometimes be offended by a trade-in price I give them because "It's insured for $X, 000 , or I rang the RACV and they said it's worth X". WIthout being a smart-arse the only thing one can do is suggest that they sell the car to the RACV.
    What outwardly seems silly is that a valuer in a dealership will value a 91 405 much the same as a 91 Camry, or a 95 306 a little higher than a 95 Corolla. This may seem strange, but this thinking derives from how the market sees things.

    <small>[ 17 July 2003, 05:57 PM: Message edited by: Warwick2 ]</small>
    "Now my dream lies shattered like the shards of a broken dream"

  8. #8
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    Having worked in the trade years ago I can say "Its all market driven" you know very well what a car will sell for in the next 30 days. The guides are just that and any dealer worth his salt will not need to look at a guide. If the car is an "orphan" (read french car) it will be basically worthless as you can't afford to have a car hang around for 6 months waiting for an enthusiast. Probably the best place to buy a french car is in a "general" car yard as the dealer will have paid nothing for it at tradein and will accept anything to get rid of it.

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