Selling your car can be a daunting task to say the least. Whether the attachment is emotional or financial, your car isn’t going to market itself and finding a way to make it stand out from the crowd can be difficult. We’ll cover some of the basics to help you get rid of the old so you can bring in the new.
- Take good, high quality pictures: Too often you see blurry pictures that look like they were taken by a 5 year old on the world’s first cell phone camera. This really puts sellers off and can downplay a car that is actually in great condition. Make sure you snap pictures of both the interior and exterior, ensuring that the car has been cleaned thoroughly (both inside and out) and that all of your belongings are removed.
- Provide proof of service history: If you haven’t been saving receipts for work done, you’re in a bit of a tough spot here. But proof that the car has been maintained well goes a long way to easing potential new owners’ minds. If you don’t have receipts, call shops or dealerships where you know it’s been serviced to see if they have any records they could send.
- Be descriptive: Describe the condition of the car (accurately of course) in more than 2 words. A short ad that says “runs great, new tires, no A/C” often turns off potential buyers. Talk a little about the car (but don’t write a dissertation on it) to let the buyer know you cared about maintaining the car and know it well.
- Include a Carfax report: A Carfax report for around $40 will give the buyer peace of mind that is has not been in an accident or experienced flood damage etc. – well worth your money.
- Do your research on value: A car that isn’t priced well will likely either not sell or leave you with less cash than you should have gotten. Check all of the usual valuation sites like www.kbb.com and www.nada.com to find out what your car is worth and list it accordingly. Always be prepared to negotiate if you are motivated to sell.
- Prepare documents: Make sure you have the title (or know exactly where/how to get it if you financed) and make up a Bill of Sale (easily found online) to make sure you cover all of your bases.
- Stay safe: If you are planning on meeting potential buyers to have them inspect the car, meet during the day in a public place (parking lot of a restaurant, gas station etc.) to avoid any potential danger. If you don’t feel safe, bring a friend with you.
- Minimize risk: Only allow test drives to potential buyers who have cash or have proof of financing, that way you can avoid tire kickers. A free joy ride is a quick way to damage the car and you could potentially be out even more money to repair it on your own dime.
- Where to list: Craigslist is very popular because it is free, but Autotrader is a good option as well. Ebaymotors will get your more visibility, but you encounter more out-of-area buyers and that can complicate things.
Don’t be afraid to attempt this on your own. You can always trade the car into a dealership if you are unsuccessful selling it, but if you are able to sell it yourself, you could potentially gain thousands of dollars more than what a dealership would have offered you.