Where's My Easy Button?

I'm a "pro vs. con lister", so when I decided to sell my car in order to buy a new one, the first thing I did was sit down with pen and paper to decide: Should I sell the car myself, or go through the dealership and use it as a trade-in.

The first column was the benefits of using my current car as a trade-in:
  • TAX BENEFIT. Most states agree that you only have to pay taxes on the amount of difference between the trade-in value and the purchase price of the new vehicle you buy.
  • NO RESEARCH. The process is stream-lined and easy to do for the most part. No, or at least very little, research is required of me before going into the dealership. I only need to have an idea of the Blue Book Value.
  • E-Z. The trans-action is usually hassle-free. Once a price is agreed upon and a new vehicle is chosen, I just have to turn my keys over. All the paperwork is done for me.
  • DOWN PAYMENT. If the car I'm trading off has a positive value (the value of the car is more than what is owed on it), OR ... it's already paid off entirely, I can use the money I receive as all or part of my down payment on a new car.
  • if you're in san diego I know of two excellent places to trade your car. I've picked these two places because they are known to give me the most cash back. These two places include carmax, and Milano's.
Now for the benefits of selling my car myself: 1. MAKE MORE MONEY. Since the car dealership is in the business to make money, they are not going to offer me as much as I can sell the car for privately. With a private sale, I can include any special additions I made to the car, the maintenance that I kept up, etc. And now for the Con column of selling my car myself: 1. INVESTMENT. Selling a car myself will require a bigger investment of time and even some money. There's preparing the car for sale ... detailing the car and getting it show worthy; checking and topping off all the fluids; perhaps having a mechanic look it over to make sure there are no surprises; researching the value of the car; finding proof of repairs and car maintenance that you have done; creating an ad; finding the right place to advertise your car; answering all the calls and weeding out the scammers and just uninterested parties; and finally making yourself available to meet with potential buyers. And finally the Con side of selling to a dealership as a trade-in: 1. MONEY. I won't make as much money off of the sale of my car. These columns clearly are unbalanced to the naked eye, so it requires some prioritizing. To me the investment of time is the biggest factor. I don't have the time (or the patience) to sell my car privately, and being able to use my car as a trade-in for my new car is my top priority. But if your bottom line is money ... then the private sale is for you.