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CarMax: Products & Services

Based in Richmond, Va. 23238, CarMax, an award-winning auto dealer and the nation’s largest retailer of used and in some states new cars, has since 1993 been offering vehicles structured around four customer benefits -- low, no-haggle prices, a broad selection, high-quality vehicles and a customer-friendly sales process.   Through its 112 superstores in 56 markets, this auto dealer has sold more than two million cars and carries 33,258 vehicles in stock nationwide.

True to its slogan, The way car buying should be, and its mission to provide customers great quality cars at great prices with exceptional customer service, CarMax offers on its website a vast amount of guides, tips and information useful to prospective car buyers and car owners alike, such questions as Find a Car, Sell Us Your Car, Financing at CarMax, CarMax Auto Finance, Make a Payment, Research, Vehicle Recommendation Tool, Why CarMax and FAQ.

Every car purchased from CarMax is covered by a 30-Day Limited Warranty (60-Day in Connecticut, 90-Day in Massachusetts) and a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee.   If a customer decides that a car is not right for him/her, he/she can simply return it within 5 days—hassle-free.   A Free Vehicle History Report is available with every CarMax car.   Every CarMax vehicle also comes with a Clean Title Guarantee.   Besides, CarMax provides a MaxCare Extended Service Plan with every purchase of a car.

CarMax: Company Background

CarMax was founded in 1993, based in Richmond, Va. 23238.   The founder is Thomas J. Folliard, President/CEO of the company.   Presently, CarMax is a family of several companies or "affiliates", i.e. CarMax, Inc., CarMax Auto Superstores, Inc., CarMax Auto Superstores West Coast, Inc., CarMax Auto Superstores Texas, LP, CarMax Auto Superstores California, LLC, CarMax Auto Mall, LLC, CarMax of Laurel, LLC, Kenosha Automotive, LLC, CarMax Business Services, LLC (includes CarMax Auto Finance) and CarMax Auto Superstores Services, Inc.

A Fortune 500 company and a BBB accredited member with BBB A+ (the highest) grade, CarMax is the nation’s largest retailer of used and in some states new cars, with 112 superstores in 56 markets, offering 33,258 vehicles in stock nationwide.   With its slogan The way car buying should be, this company has as its mission to provide customers great quality cars at great prices with exceptional customer service.   During its relatively short business life (19 years), CarMax has won innumerable awards.

CarMax: Customer Feedback & Reviews

People regard CarMax generally with a positive view.   Below are comments (customer as well as editorial) taken from the Web.

Posted on
I read many reviews about how CarMax likes to low-ball when you go in to sell your car.  But, I was leaving the state in a week and had to get it done.  So I figured, what the heck, I NEED to do this, and went in on a Saturday morning.

From the time we walked in, the salespeople were very friendly.  One of them asked how he could help, and walked us through the appraisal process.  After about a 45 minute wait, the car was appraised, and we had an offer.

I was so shocked at how much I was offered for my car (2007 Camry with 80K miles)!!  I was expecting no more than $7500, but got $9000!!!  Score!!  Of course, I took the offer.  The only other thing to do was complete paperwork, and that was it!!

All in all, a GREAT experience, and I would definitely recommend CarMax to anyone who has to sell their vehicle fast!!
- Ty F., Honolulu, Hawaii, March 30, 2012

Posted on
Service is a breeze
Browsing for a car was simple. Pictures were nice and informative. The people are easy to talk to and communicate with.
- bigcarl66, Dec. 21, 2011

Published on
Editorial: The Truth About CarMax
By Mike Solowiow, March 5, 2009

CarMax prides itself on creating a dealership experience unlike any other. Well, now that Saturn is going Tango Uniform. CarMax emphasizes no haggle pricing, easy financing, and a process that involves only one person. No more having your salesperson go back and forth between you and “Bubba” (or “Cowboy” if you are Dodge). You’re greeted warmly, shown any car you like, and guided through a completely transparent transaction, with nothing hidden. That’s the theory. How does it hold up in practice? In true TTAC tradition, I offer a personal critique of one of our biggest sponsors.

My first CarMax transaction occurred before my prose ever graced the pages of TTAC. After buying a Ford F-150 I didn’t need, I decided to celebrate two years cancer-free and 40 lbs. of weight loss by purchasing a sports car I could drive on the weekends.

After wandering through the four-square, fishbowl wilderness, I pulled into my local CarMax. A salesperson immediately guided me to a computer to search the dealer’s nationwide inventory. I’d already settled on a Porsche Boxster S. They located a bright red model in Houston. For a modest $250, they’d transfer the Porker to my 10-20.

Inexpensive relocation is CarMax’s trump card. However, there’s a string attached. When the car shows up, if it’s not to your liking, you can walk away. But your up-front transfer fee payment is toast. To forestall this possibility, CarMax provides an electronic “walk around.” Customers submit questions about the vehicle of their choice to a representative at the relevant dealership. Within a short time, the answers are transmitted back.

Like with any computerized solution, there’s a large element of garbage in, garbage out. The remote CarMax rep will answer all your questions, but you’re still talking to a car salesman. A question on how the wear of the driver’s seat returned “normal wear, some wrinkles, looks great! Ready for purchase!” The more specific your questions, the better information you receive.

Once you decide to purchase said vehicle, financing is a simple process. You plug in your vital information on a computer, wait fifteen minutes, and choose which bank loan fits your needs best. Easy. No dealing with an F & I guy breathing down your neck. No fancy calculations, hidden fees or emotional games.

Next: your trade-in appraisal. The sales rep plugs-in the salient facts about your gem/turd into the same computer. While you wait with your salesperson, going over warranty information and other plugs for add-ons (yes there is still that), CarMax’ trade-in expert gives it the once-over.

CarMax describes their trade-in prices as fair, and many times they are. However, top dollar is not yours for the taking.

My Ford F-150 was valued at $14,000 at the Ford dealership, and $15,500 at CarMax. Seems reasonable—until you realize Ford completely low-balled the offer with the full expectation of giving more on the trade to sweeten the deal.

Cars above 100K miles are given paltry values, as CarMax doesn’t sell high mileage vehicles; restricting their income to auction values (where 100K-mile cars are almost worthless).

To my mind, CarMax’s non-negotiation policy is the mega-dealer’s biggest flaw. While it’s great for people inexperienced, wary or anxious at the prospect of haggling, the lack of any sort of negotiation proves troublesome for experienced buyers, especially when they realize they’re going to pay more for a vehicle than they would at a “traditional” dealership.

CarMax justifies their higher prices with a simple guarantee: the vehicle they’re selling you has never been in a frame damaging accident, flooded, or experienced any other incident that would make it an “undesirable.” CarMax has so much faith in the quality of their vehicle selection that all of their vehicles are available with an extended warranty.

To be fair, I’ve found that nearly every car that I’ve inspected on a CarMax lot looks clean and tidy. More often than not, it’s in much better condition than an equivalent vehicle waiting for unsuspecting punters across the street at Super Bob’s Auto Liquidators. WYSIWYG.

For example, I’ve been trying to find a steed to take to Europe. I tried to buy a Dodge Challenger SRT-8. The Dodge Boys changed the numbers overnight. I then attempted to buy a brand new Audi A3 DSG from a franchised store. Audi’s finance company wouldn’t approve it for export. Whilst wrangling with Audi, I looked across at a CarMax lot and spotted a 2004 Pontiac GTO.

Clean as a whistle. Burbled like a dream. Did I pay more than I could have? Yes, I did. Did I get an exceptionally clean car and a decent offer on my trade? Yes, I did.

CarMax provides a welcome departure from the high pressure, cloak and dagger methods of a “normal” dealership. They charge a premium for the lack of aggro and peace of mind. For me and for hundreds of thousands of customers, it’s worth it.

CarMax: Business Credibility & Trustworthiness

CarMax is a BBB’s accredited member since Jan. 1, 2003, with an A+ (the highest) grade from BBB.   CarMax has won amazingly innumerable awards.   The company received BBB International Torch Award for Marketplace Excellence Corporate Equality Index, 2010, 2009, 2008.    CarMax was also winner of BBB Torch Award for Business Ethics in various regions in the United States for 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011, besides winner of Central Virginia BBB Torch Award for Marketplace Integrity for 2003.   CarMax is a FORTUNE 500 company and one of the FORTUNE 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005 “100 Best Companies to Work For”.   It would be tedious to list here the countless awards that CarMax has received so far.

CarMax: Website Popularity & Google Ranking

On Alexa, CarMax has a three-month global traffic rank of 4,911 and U.S. traffic rank of 933.   There are 1,370 sites linked in. is particularly highly ranked in the cities of Baltimore (#290) and Washington DC (#382).   This site has a three-month reach of 0.0222%.   Reach is an estimated percentage of global Internet users who visit a site.   According to, this site reaches roughly 3,089,130 users and delivers about 6,796,140 pageviews each month.   On Google, has a pagerank of 6/10 (the page rank value is 6 from 10 possible points).

CarMax: Social Media Presence

CarMax does not operate a blog, but it keeps a Pressroom page with up-to-date postings.   This auto dealer has pages on Facebook with 27,171 likes, which figure is continuously going up.   It has also pages on Twitter, but Twitter’s link was not working.   In 2003, CarMax established the CarMax Foundation with the mission to promote education, youth leadership and wellness in the communities where the auto superstore’s Associates live and work.   The CarMax Foundation experienced a record year in the fiscal year 2012, awarding grants totaling $2.4 million.   Associate participation in Volunteer Team-Builders and Matching Gifts was at an all-time high.   With CarMax’s deep involvement in community welfare throughout the country as well as innumerable awards won every year, this auto superstore has a very high social media presence, always being featured in countless online and printed media, on TV and radio.  

CarMax: Website Security & Safety

CarMax redirects visitors to a secure server using, for example, Transport Layer Security or Secure Sockets Layer security, when this auto superstore intends to transfer and receive certain types of sensitive information, such as financial information.   CarMax uses a secure (https://) connection when taking payment information.   Besides, a diagnostic test made on Google today Aug. 6, 2012 confirms that is not currently listed as suspicious.   Over the past 90 days, this site did not appear to function as an intermediary for the infection of any sites and has not hosted malicious software.     

CarMax: Pricing & Packages

It is apparent from the pricelist below that in general CarMax is competitive.

1) 2011 Honda Accord LX Sedan
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 13,000 miles)        $19,599
2) 2011 Ford Focus S Sedan
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 20,000 miles)        $14,998
3) 2010 Ford Escape XLT SUV
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 54,000 miles)        $16,998
1) 2011 Honda Accord LX Sedan
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 15,921 miles)        $21,995
2) 2011 Ford Focus SE Sedan
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 30,740 miles)        $13,700
3) 2010 Ford Escape XLT SUV
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 37,317 miles)        $17,998
1) 2011 Honda Accord LX Sedan
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 22,125 miles)        $19,990
2) 2011 Ford Focus SE Sedan                                                            Not available
3) 2010 Ford Escape XLT SUV
    (4 cylinders, automatic transmission, 4 doors, 32,955 miles)        $16,498

CarMax: Shipping Rates & Policies

Selling a car to or buying a car from an auto dealer does not involve shipping in the usual shopping cart context.   However, when after a thorough search, a prospective customer can only find the perfect car of his/her choice at another distant CarMax auto superstore, the CarMax dealer of his/her location will arrange to ship in this vehicle for the prospect to view.   Just the same, the prospect is under no obligation to buy the car that he/she has asked to be transferred.   CarMax has transferred nationwide more than a million cars for its customers since opening business, at some fees (if applicable), but often for free.   If there is a transfer fee, it is non-refundable.   Note that some cars are not available for transfer.   

CarMax: Payment Methods Accepted

CarMax accepts various payment methods:
1) Pay online -- By registering with MyCarMax, a customer can manage his/her CarMax Auto Finance payments with ease.   He/she can make a single payment or set up recurring payments.  
2) Pay by phone.
3) Pay by postal mail.
4) Pay through Western Union.
5) Pay through MoneyGram ExpressPayments® Service
Complete information is published on FAQ page/What are my payment options?

CarMax: Returns, Refunds & Exchange Policy

Every used car purchased from CarMax is covered by a 30-Day Limited Warranty (60-Day in Connecticut, 90-Day in Massachusetts) and a 5-Day Money-Back Guarantee.   If a customer decides that a car is not right for him/her, he/she can simply bring back the car within 5 days in the same condition in which it was purchased and he/she will get a full refund, with no hassles and no pressure to buy another car.   Full details are published on FAQ page.

CarMax: Product images & screenshots
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