How To Successfully Sell Your Car Yourself

Whether you are looking to unload your daughter’s car or sell your current car to upgrade to a new one, the idea of doing it on your own, rather than trying to sell it to a dealer can be appealing. Trade-in offers are typically low, and most people bite because it is the easier to just sell it to a dealer, and dealerships know this. Selling it on your own may help net you a higher price closer to the established value of your vehicle. But, simply putting up an ad, putting no effort into prepping the vehicle, and waiting for the offers to roll in is an unlikely scenario. Here are some tips for selling your car on your own.

Prep the Car

No one expects a used car to be perfect, but this does not mean that you should not spruce it up as best you can and make easy changes that will go a long way such as adding a clear bra to the car. This may seem obvious, but I will mention it anyway—make sure you give the car a good cleaning inside and out. Remove all personal touches, including the cutesy keychain. Like selling a home, it is important to present the car in a depersonalized state where the potential buyer can see himself in the car. Make sure all the fluids are in-check, and the wheels are aligned. Get an inspection to see if anything needs fixing—if you do not want to do it yourself, at least get some estimates and let the person know what work may be required. Do not keep the person in the dark about potential problems—again, no one expects used cars to be perfect.

Writing Effective Online Ads

The internet is the biggest marketplace there is, and a good online ad can help get that car sold more quickly. Unlike a traditional classified, you can get much more detailed; you can even make a video and post a link to it. Take pictures, pictures and more pictures—get the car from every angle. If there are any issues with the car, whether mechanical or cosmetic, be upfront about it in the ad. Use descriptions that are most likely to appeal to the demographic most likely to be interested in your vehicle. Avoid complicated jargon. Be specific about the good features of the car—if you do not allow smoking in the vehicle or transported your pets in it, this is a better than simply saying it is ‘’clean.’’

Suggestions for Interacting with Potential Buyers

How you interact with the buyers can make or break the chances of a sale. First and foremost, dress nice. You do not need to be in a three-piece Armani suit, but look well put-together. You may think it has nothing to do with the car, but appearances mean a lot and can set the stage for the whole interaction. We typically think of cars as the man’s domain and if you are working with couples, do not ignore the woman—surveys have found that 85 percent of the time, she was the one who pulled the trigger on a purchase.

Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things auto; she recommends visiting for more information on Canadian vehicle insurance and quote comparisons.

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