Okay, you wouldn't believe that I am going to give you "ONE MILLION DOLLARS" for your trade-in no matter what. Funny thing is that there are a lot of people who believe those claims by some dealers that they will give the customer $5,000 for their trade-in no matter what.
What's the catch? It's simple, I CAN give you $1,000,000 for your trade in if I charge you $1,022,000 for my new Dodge Dart! Get it? There is always enough markup in the car that the dealer says qualifies for the offer to more than make up for the over-allowance on the trade!
To explain further, lets say the new car has $1,500 markup from wholesale price to MSRP and a $2,500 rebate from the factory and the dealer puts an addended window sticker on the vehicle (see my last posts) with $1,000 in electronic rustproofing and the like. This all adds up to $5,000. The dealer can show you $5,000 for your worthless 1975 Renault Fuego with 375,000 miles if he charges you list for his car! You are not actually getting $5,000 for your car....... the dealer is just giving up his markup but showing it as a trade allowance.
Beware of restricting words in the ad like "good on Dodge Darts on our lot" or "Dodge Darts in our showroom". If the dealer can not guarantee the offer on every car, why not?
Todays's advice is to always get a "difference" price from the dealer. Simply stated, ask what you would have to write a check for if you bought the car you wanted and traded in yours, then compare that number against another dealer. The value of the trade is dependent on the selling price of what you are buying. Don't be fooled!