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There are three pretty common price descriptions in the various pricing guides. From low to high they are:

Trade-in - what you might get from a dealer when trading the car in for a new(er) car
Private party - what you might get in a private sale
Retail - what you might expect a dealer to charge for a used car.

Notably, that retail price includes the assumption that the car will be in better condition that a typical private party or trade-in transaction AND that the dealer will provide some kind of warranty (however brief) on the car.

So one issue is that you are comparing a private party price to a retail price.

The pricing guides also get much sketchier when you go back more than about 10 years. At the 24 years you looked at, they're pretty much worthless. For cars that age, you're better off doing your own leg work and looking at similar vehicles for sale using something like autotrader and craigslist.

--Peter
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