If you are planning on selling your vehicle, the private market will be the best way to recover some of your cash. You obviously are not going to get what you paid for your car; as you drove off the lot you lost some value, but don’t worry: you can still do quite well. Here are a few tips to really maximize how much you can get for used car, truck or van.
Know the Value of What you are Selling
Your vehicle has depreciated, but to get the most out of a sale, you have to know what people are really willing to pay. There are a lot of online sites that will give you an idea of the market value of your car. Check out sites like Kelley Blue Book, or Edmunds. They will give you a pretty good sense of what people are willing to pay. Next, you need to see if your area is above or below the national average. Do this by looking through the paper, checking through the local online classifieds, or the online site that you plan to advertise in. You also want to charge less than your local auto dealers because they tend to provide extras that you will not be interested in: financing, warranty, etc.
Ensure your Vehicle Looks Great and Works Properly
This may seem like common sense, but just take a look inside a car sometime that has a “For Sale” sign in the window; you will find empty coffee cups, banana peels and who knows what other kinds of garbage. The first step is to break down and really get your car looking as good as possible, inside and out. If you can afford it, take it to a detailing shop and the will get it ready for you. If not vacuum, scrub and scarp that car until it shines. Now take your pictures, have multiple angles, interior and exterior. Get a tune up or at least top up the fluids, change the oil if required; small issues can really turn off potential buyers. People also like to see the receipts for recent work and maintenance, so if you have those, keep them handy and provide them to people as they kick your tires. It is also a great idea to get an inspection done before people come to check your vehicle out. It may cost you a few bucks, but it will impress buyers, show them that you are prepared and confident in your product. If the car needs some minor work, you can negotiate that with your customer and hopefully come out ahead.
Advertise the Best Features of your Car
What makes your Ford, Mazda or VW unique and worth taking a look at? In the description of your car, and the pictures write/show what separates your vehicle from the rest. If you have a roof rack, winter tires, tinted windows, a hitch, whatever, make sure you make those extras are the highlight of your add. This will create interest with your target market. If someone likes to off-road, and you already have a 4×4 ready for bashing through the woods, it could be a match made in heaven. You get rid of your truck, and someone will actually enjoy all of the extra work that you have put in to it.
Handling the Final Sale
Interacting with people can be frustrating at times, so set limits before people arrive and you can avoid some of that. Have a base price figured out, if you can start a bit higher and come down in price as the buyer points out aspects that they don’t like, they will feel that they are getting a good deal and you won’t be losing money. Be flexible, and you will probably do alright, be rigid, and you might be driving that car for a while longer.
Angus MacSavoy is an automobile enthusiast who is constantly helping people answer the question “How can I sell my car?”. Look for more of his articles here and on other auto blogs across the web. Thanks for visiting!