No matter where you live you have all heard something like this by some local car dealer, "We will pay over blue-book for your trade!" Astute car-buyers know that these claims are nothing more than a trick to get buyers into the dealership. The Michigan Better Business Bureau is looking to put an end to them.

According to MLive.com, a Grand Rapids publication, the Better Business Bureau has created some guidelines along with the Grand Rapids and Holland New Car Dealers associations that would prohibit dealers from naming a specific dollar amount or a range of money for trade-ins in their advertisements.

According to the agreement, advertisements that are prohibited include:

  • "Minimum Guaranteed ($1,000) for your trade-in" or "($1,000) Minimum Trade Value"
  • "At least ($1,000) for your trade-in"
  • "We'll give you ($1,000) for your trade, regardless of its condition"
  • "Push, pull or tow (drag) - we'll give you ($1,000)"
  • "Cash for Clunkers" or "Clunker Cash"

Usually when a dealership is offering "above" market value for your trade they are making up for that difference elsewhere. It could be the price of the vehicle you are buying or there could be extra fees rolled into that transaction. This is why it is crucial to negotiate your purchase and trade separately.

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While the Better Business Bureau doesn't have any "enforcement" power, creating a partnership with a large dealership organization to increase the amount of transparency in automotive advertisements will be beneficial to car buyers.

If you have a question, a tip, or something you would like to to share about car-buying, drop me a line at AutomatchConsulting@gmail.com and be sure to include your Kinja handle.

Photo: Getty