Buying a new car? You have two main options to get rid of your old one. The first is to trade it into the dealer that is selling you’re your old car. The second is to sell it yourself. Which is best? For many people it’s just easier to let the dealer take it in trade but for others, selling it via private sale is preferred. Considering the later? Here’s a guide to get you going.
- Pick the best sales avenue
For most sellers it’s a two way decision; either sell your car on Craigslist or on eBay. Lets start with eBay. eBay is an international marketplace with millions of potential customers. If your car is in good shape, has low mileage or is an unusual model, eBay might be the place for you. The problem with eBay is that sometimes buyers fail to come through after winning the car. The other option is Craigslist. Craigslist is by definition a local marketplace so you will likely have less interest in your car but if you price it right, it will probably sell. The best part of Craigslist is that it is 100% free.
- Take lots of pictures
Take it from the internet sales staff at Kolosso Chrysler, if you take just a few pictures and poor ones, you won’t sell your car for good money. Whether it is eBay or Craigslist, you will attract maximum interest in your vehicle if you have 20-30 real good pictures taken. Use your cell phone or a dedicated camera and take pictures of everything. Take pics of all four sides, the interior, the engine, the odometer, even underneath if you can. By the way, for heaven’s sake, clean out the car before you take pictures.
- Write a great description
A few dozen words won’t cut it here. This is the time you go long. Write a thoroughly detailed essay about your cars condition, what you’ve done to it over the years, how long you’ve had it, whats good about it and what it needs. Be honest, not only will you buy trust from your buyer, you will avoid any buyers remorse after the receive the car.
- Price it right
If you are selling your car via eBay’s auction service, put on a low reserve. eBay’s own research shows that low reserves produce higher sale prices, because once the reserve is met, the bidding takes off. On a Craigslist, research what other people are asking for similar cars and price your accordingly.
- Sell it
If you’re selling on Craigslist, post the ad on Thursday so it’s not lost in the billion ads when the weekend arrives. If you’re selling through eBay, end the auction on Sunday evening. Post your phone number and be available to answer your phone while the ad is live. Note that not everybody is willing to carry thousands of dollars into a stranger’s house so be reasonable and ask for a certified or cashier’s check. Craft a bill of sale but it should be dated and signed by both parties. Include the sales price and VIN and keep this with a copy of the check. If you’re signing over a title, fill it out completely and make a copy.