Trading in a used car to a dealership is essentially giving it away. Typically, used cars by owners were listed in newspapers or thrift ads, but today the internet is the way to get the most money for your car.
However, if you are not familiar with the process, it can be a tedious mess. Here is the way to do it right and get that used car sold.
Gather all the documents you will need to see the car. Any service records, repairs, new tires, warranties, etc.. should be copied and arranged neatly. Don’t forget to get the car title, if you don’t have one.
Wash and wax the car. Clean out clutter from the trunk, floorboards, and seats. Wipe any dust off the interior. The tires and rims should be cleaned, too. Once the car is cleaned, take multiple pictures of the exterior and interior.
Consider Investing A Little Money:
A small investment can make a big difference. When a person is shopping for a car, anything that they will have to fix is always a deterrent.
A vehicle history report can add credibility to the car. If you don’t want to invest the money in a Carfax report, be sure to encourage the buyer to. All they need is the cars VIN.
Find comparable prices. A Kelly Blue Book can give you an initial price guide. But, you should also check out the “used cars by owners” on the internet. Used car dealership ads are another great resource. Find out what your state regulations are for selling a used car.
Write An Ad:
Think about the positives. For example: low mileage, new tires, MPG of the car, clean interior, scratch free, new paint, leather seats, sunroof, power features, engine features, trunk space, seating, maintenance, car alarm, keyless entry, etc.. Clearly state what payment method(s) you are willing to take.
List The Car:
Some online used car listing sites are free. The average price of paid sites is around $20.00-$30.00. Don’t just list the car on one site. Instead, list the car on all the free sites and pay for a few ads. Vehix, Autotrader, Craiglist, eBay, Cars.com, and Carsdirect are great places to start.
Now, you will be getting buyers!
A buyer might want to see the car. It is really not recommended to give out your work or home address. Instead, arrange a meeting in a very public place, during daylight hours. Most people are harmless, but you never know. There are some crazy folks in the world.
Sometimes, the person will ask if they can carry the car to their private mechanic. Unless, you know the person, this can be a bad situation. There are a lot of car thieves that prey on the used cars by owners system. So, instead of agreeing to let them take the car, you should offer to drop the car off at any reputable mechanic shop that they choose. Be sure not to be rude. Just blame it on insurance purposes.
Once you get an offer, it is up to you if you want to negotiate, or firmly stick a bottom line price. Then, all that is left is saying goodbye to your car.