When you're in the market for a used car, you really have two main options: buying private party or buying from a dealership. Whether you choose Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, buying a used car from an individual offers its own set of challenges, which you should consider when you're deciding where to buy.
Swope vs Craigslist
Investing Your Time
We all know what buying from a dealership like the Swope Family of Dealerships is like. You drive up, start wandering the aisles, and begin chatting with a sales associate who tries to match you with the right car for your budget. If you're not sure what specific model you're interested in, but are looking at vehicles based on budget or how many people they can seat, you have someone there to help you find the inventory on the lot more quickly than if you had to comb through yourself. Not everyone loves the dealership process, but even critics admit that it's pretty straightforward. When you want to look at a vehicle more closely, you can--and you can take a test drive after just a few minutes on the lot.
When you're buying from Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you're doing all the leg work. You'll likely spend hours--if not days--looking for the right vehicle, unless you know exactly what you want (down to the model year and make/model). When you do find a vehicle that you are interested in, you'll probably only find a few pictures. You'll probably have very little information about the vehicle features, the condition, or the history. Of course, you can request more pictures and information, but then you're beginning a long process of back and forth messages or emails that may actually never answer your question. Or, once you have that information, you may decide that this is the wrong car for you. Then, you're back at square one--having wasted weeks, not minutes.
Protecting Yourself at Swope
When you walk into the Swope Family of Dealerships, you're walking into a safe place. Yes, maybe you feel like you need to be careful to negotiate for a good deal or watch your own enthusiasm for cars that are outside of your budget, but for the most part you know what you're getting into. You'll have options that include extended warranty protection, certified pre-owned vehicles, and one-owner cars that all give you peace of mind--and a clear title.
Every used car at Swope have also been through a rigorous inspection and have, at the very least, a 3 month/3,00 mile warranty. When you buy from Swope, though, you get an added layer of protection--the Total Satisfaction Guarantee. If you're not happy with the car that you buy from Swope, bring it back within 3 days. If you've driven less than 600 miles and return it in the same condition that it was when you left with it, we'll take it back, no questions asked.
What You Risk with Craigslist
When you meet someone that you've been negotiating with on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, law enforcement experts recommend that you meet in a public place and often offer a safe place in their parking lots for this purpose. Why? Because not everything you see on the internet is true, and not everyone is honest. It's sad but true--and that also means that you may not be getting all of the information you need. Unless you are able to get an inspection by a qualified mechanic before you buy the vehicle, you won't know for sure if you are buying something worth the money. Even if you can do that, you won't have any warranty should something go wrong.
Buying a gently used couch off of Craigslist, when done wisely, can be a smart move. Why pay more for something that you can get for cheaper? The same is NOT true for vehicles. While you may find a vehicle that has a lower asking price on Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you won't get the inspections, vehicle history, warranty, or peace of mind that you will get when you buy at Swope--and you'll spend much more time looking as well. Take a look at our used car inventory--and keep shopping until you find something that looks like it matches your budget and needs. Then let the Swope Family of Dealerships take care of you--you won't regret it.