Today’s used car market is hot. More and more people take advantage of price surges, by selling the car themselves and avoiding paying unnecessary fees. Selling a used vehicle requires patience, but also a bit of know-how, to get the best price.
Anyone can learn to sell a used vehicle by following five simple steps designed to increase profits and expedite the process.
1. Research Your Car’s Worth
Those looking to get the best possible price for a used car will want to know as much as possible about the vehicle’s make, model, and condition value. Selling a used car privately typically ensures that the seller receives a “clean retail price.”
Unsure how much to ask? Kelly Blue Book is a great place to start.
Negotiating Tip: Once sellers set a price range for the car, it is better to start high. The chances are that buyers will want to haggle over prices, so it makes sense to list the car at the upper limit of the price range.
Knowing the car’s value will help sellers decide whether they want to negotiate or if it is better to stick to the car’s listed price. If a vehicle is rare or valuable, this can give the seller the confidence to hold out for top dollars instead of accepting lowball offers.
2. Take Great Photos
There’s a reason why they say that a picture is worth a thousand words. Even a great car won’t shine to the best advantage if buyers see a messy car, a sketchy or cluttered background, or a few poor-quality photos.
Individuals that want to sell their car don’t need a professional camera to take great photos. It’s easy to snap great pictures using a regular smartphone. However, make sure that the car is clean when taking the photos and also try to position it in a place that is relatively tidy. The background should be clean. Take photos that show the interior, the car dashboard and instrument panel, the doors, hood, rear, etc.
3. Write a Killer Description
Great photos can help increase the selling price of a car, but they are usually not enough to close a deal. Sellers should also write a comprehensive description of the vehicle.
Keep in mind that buyers may also be interested in knowing about small details, like whether or not the cup holder still works, or if the dashboard has been modified in any way. Grab the reader’s attention with a catchy story that demands a closer look.
This is another area where researching eBay motor vehicle descriptions can help. Discover what professional care salespeople typically include in their write-ups.
Be sure to include the basics that people look for, such as:
- The vehicle identification number (VIN)
From a marketing perspective, the best way to maximize the car’s profit is to tell a story that will help potential buyers understand how the car has been maintained over the years.
This can include when you bought it, why it is being sold (need a bigger or smaller car, a different type, or one that better suits your lifestyle, so buyers don’t suspect it’s a scam).
Talk about how many miles it had when you got it and how many it has now, the car’s reliability record, and what services such as oil changes, tires, or part replacements you’ve done.
Be upfront about any flaws. Honesty is extremely important when it comes to selling a car and can, in some situations, actually help with the price negotiation.
Don’t be afraid that this will reduce the sale price. If the car has a dent or another issue, take photos and include them in the description.
It’s better to disclose any problems right away instead of waiting until potential buyers discover issues for themselves. This helps to establish a trustworthy reputation for the seller.
4. Demonstrate Car Care
Most used-car buyers look for clean, reliable, and well-maintained cars. Showing off the car’s condition is one of the best ways to the best price possible.
Make a note of the steps that you’ve taken to preserve the car. Is the vehicle in mint condition? Has it mostly sat in the garage? If it’s a family car or one that’s seen a lot of wear and tear, demonstrate how caring for the vehicle has boosted its condition and reliability.
Here are some ways to demonstrate car care:
- Clean and smoke-free interior
- Up-to-date inspection
- Broken parts fixed
- Tire pressure and inflation maintenance
- Road-worthy tires that aren’t bald or patched
- Regular oil changes
- Working windshield wipers
- Rust and dent maintenance
- Twice-yearly waxing
5. Use Free Advertising Sites
Free online ads allow individuals to get the most money with the least expense.
There’s no reason to take out print ads. In an increasingly digital world, free online ads not only offer maximum exposure but are the easiest and most cost-efficient option.
Posting a sale ad for the vehicle on multiple sites ensures the most views. Make sure that the platform or website can be trusted to ensure that only trustworthy buyers will see the ad. Selling a car means meeting with potential buyers in a public place or taking someone for a ride in the car.
Here are some of the best places to list the car for free:
Best place to list a car with fees:
- eBay Motors
While eBay charges for listing a vehicle sale ad, the platform has a great reputation and also offers great tools that sellers can use. This includes space to add extra photos and details to speed up the car’s sale.
When it comes to rare, classic, or unique, cars, it is better to post ads on forums or sites that are specifically dedicated to them. This will get the listing directly into collectors’ view which will, in turn, maximize the selling price.
The Bottom Line
Selling a car privately offers more options than a trade-in. Those who plan to sell their vehicle without exchanging it for another will get the best results by listing it personally.
Selling your car can net the highest profits. Furthermore, you won’t have to pay to advertise with a dealer and also have complete control over how, when, and where you sell your vehicle.
Knowing the car’s value, showcasing a well-maintained vehicle, taking good photos and details, disclosing issues, and listing it for free are five of the best ways to ensure that you receive peak profits from your car sale.