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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 2009 Rav4 Sport with 181k miles, 2 owners, 1 accident. A couple weeks ago I paid to put new brakes on front and rear and rotors on front, had the 180k service done, and put nice new (expensive Michelin Defender) tires on. Two days later the car stopped running due to "debris that got sucked into the engine air filter", I had it towed to the dealer and I paid to have the oxygen sensor and spark plugs replaced which made it run again, but I stopped short of the extra $900 they wanted to add on for the catalytic converter, which apparently melted, because at this point Toyota had told me my car wasn't worth any sort of real trade in.

We've decided it's time to trade in/sell the car. Toyota is offering me $500-1000 for it which I know is way too low, Kelly Blue Book and comparable sales gives me some idea and I'm thinking I'd like to get $3000 out of it - similar vehicles are selling for $6-8k locally, without the "sporty" appearance, I figure with it needing work $3000 would be fair, but I'm not sure how much more, or if I need to knock off the price for the catalytic converter being bad (it drives fine, it's just got lights on, I had the spark plugs and oxygen sensor replaced). Toyota also tells me I need a new transmission pan gasket, front and rear calipers, front and rear struts (because the strut boots are torn - the struts are fine and the car rides fine). We're in the Seattle area.

I grew up in a rural area where folks did their own work on cars, I know that someone who wants to put the work into this car will love it and make it go another 100k miles, but for someone like me I just can't keep paying $900 for a $200 part every time I need something done. Since it needs work I feel like Kelly Blue Book isn't very reliable for pricing, but I can't count on the dealer to be honest because they want to get the car as cheap as they can. How does one go about pricing in this situation? I freaking love my Rav4 and it's a great car, it's just time for someone who wants to tinker with it to have it because I can't do my own maintenance.
 

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KBB used to be reputable but they were sold years ago to a corporation that’s in do used car sales business. Maybe try putting your RAV4 on a site like eBay? Start it anywhere between 2 and $3000 and let the bidders determine what its final sales value will be. eBay has buyer and seller protections unlike Craigslist or FB marketplace.
 

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Thanks - I'm considering putting it on TRED, but they don't do bidding so I'm not sure. Ebay makes me nervous. I think I put this post in the wrong section so I will move it over there shortly.
 

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I live near Seattle, use FB marketplace. I have sold 2 toyotas now on it, a high mileage matrix with a head gasket leak for 3k and a rav4 similar to yours for 5k. Both sold within days, if you genuinely disclose all the issues and have a good price, somebody will snatch it up, doesn't really matter what is wrong with it. The only time consuming part is sorting out offers from wierdos.
 

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Thank you for that helpful information - I think we'll be selling it ourselves since the dealer's best offer right now is a $1000 trade-in, unless we can find a dealer in the greater Seattle area that will do better, we'll pay for an independent mechanic's "buyer's inspection" at a reputable place for full disclosure. I know it's a high-demand car even with the minor issues it has, and it's a model made in Japan which is preferred. Amusingly, TRED won't even let me list it for under $4k 😆

Right now we're dealing with 4 different dealers looking for the best price on the car we want, once we narrow that down we'll talk trade in and decide where we're at there.
 
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