Step 8: Selling your car
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Step 8: Selling your car


used cars
There are ways to sell a car and turn it into cash. It is either fast or slow way. The biggest temptation for dummies when prepare to sell a car is to rush things. Based on our experience, no dealers or buyers will offer a good price for an urgent sale vehicle. We understand that there are times when one needs money urgently but at least show poker face. Here we created five easy steps to sell a vehicle.

Step 1: Determine the market value

Go to some famous websites to find out the average market value for your vehicle. You can also make use of online car classified websites like eBay to see what the price others are selling. Make use of the sorting function in eBay and you can find out the cheapest and the highest price. Forums, local newspapers and car classified magazines are some other good sources. A vehicle usually has three prices which include:

  • Lowest price: This price is what the dealer will offer to the seller for the first time. It is the lowest price based on the model year. As a seller, you should treat it as the lowest offer and always ask for a higher price.
  • Standard price: This is the price between the highest and the lowest.
  • High price: High price usually comes from private sellers who hope to get more cash or create more room for bargain. If you think your car is in good condition compared to others, you may aim for this price.

Step 2: Know where to sell a car

In our opinion, there are four ways to sell a car.

Sell it to dealer

The fastest way to sell a car is to go to a reputable dealer. Trustworthy dealer often has adequate cash on hand and they are able to buy your car immediately. However, you will never get high price because a dealer needs profit. What you lose is usually what they earn. Dealer will offer the lowest price, bargain at least three times with them. Ask for more if your car is in good condition, for example, your mileage is lower than average, your car has full options, your car is the most wanted and popular color, your dashboard is still shining or you have just replaced all tires. Dealers will usually offer higher price if you are trading in the car and buying a new car from them. Dealer’s highest price means higher than the lowest but lower than the standard as mentioned in Step 1. Trade-in is often the fastest way to get rid of old one and get a new ride.

Sell it on eBay

The most attractive thing to sell an item on eBay is the auction system. You can set the starting price of your vehicle and let others bid it. REMEMBER to set the reserved price otherwise you may have to sell it at the price lower than your reserved price when the bidding ends. Beware of scams we mentioned in Step 6 Buying a used car. Avoid meeting up with buyer at secluded places or at night. The key to successfully sell a car on eBay is to present what is the best you have. State all the details of the car and give good description about the car. Wash the car and shoot a few nice pictures of it. It is recommended to remove the registration plate number by Photoshop before uploading it.

Sell it online

Other than eBay, there are many popular websites to sell a car privately including Autotrader and Motortrader.

Other ways to sell it yourself

In old days when the internet is not popular, people will print the word “FOR SALE” and stick it at the windows on each windscreen. You can still do it today. Sometimes it works well. Local newspapers, car classifieds or magazines are other good ways to sell a vehicle.

In the used car market, there are many brokers who try to arrange the deal between a buyer and a seller. You may receive calls from a broker after you have placed your advertisement. Ask if the caller is a broker once you receive a call. It is not recommended to give permission to sell or hand the car to a broker. We also recommend you to screen the caller, avoid arranging the viewing at your house or you should give up the sale if the caller sounds suspicious.

Step 3: Things to do before selling it

  • Imagine yourself a genuine buyer, will you choose a dirty car? The first sight is important and therefore, wash it before arranging for anyone to view it. Consider polishing or detailing the car inside out if it looks dull. Clean the wheels, clear the windshield, and clear the interior. Hygienic seats, shining tires, spotless dashboard, dust-free floor mats and sparkling engine are what buyers expect to see.
  • We have viewed over hundreds of used cars in a year and we found more than 80% of the cars are full with junks. Tissues paper, boxes, toll receipts, documents, tree leaves, children’s toys, books, among others. Make sure these things are no longer in the car.
  • Prepare all related documents you have, including service history, parts replacement receipts or log book.
  • If your car has involved in a minor collision, dented or scratches, you may consider fixing it up to get better selling price if the repair cost is not high.
  • Last but not least, make sure the fuel tank has enough fuel for genuine buyer to test drive. Fuel gauge with the pointers point to F (Finish) shows how stingy an owner you are.

Step 4: Promote the car

Buyer will not know how well you have maintained the car. You need to convince them by showing the service record as a proof. Let them know the engine oil, oil filter, air filter and all fluids are changed according to schedule. Tell them if you are using grade one or high quality product to make the car better.

Step 5: Be confident with your price

As a buyer, you know how to bargain for the best price when buying a used car as mentioned in Step 7.2 Questions to ask when buying a used car. Now you as a seller, should have confidence with your selling price. Set a price and do not let the buyer go below it no matter what excuse they give. Often you will hear something like:

“I like your car very much, but the price is a little bit high for me.”

“I like your car but it is beyond my budget.”

“This is the third car I have viewed but it is a bit expensive compared to the other two.”

“What is your best price?”

“I would offer $…, will you consider that?”

All these bargain techniques from a buyer are normal. You should stay firm at your expected price and if the buyer is a prospective, the deal will be sealed. Otherwise, wait for the next potential buyer.

Step 6: Close the deal

Collect a down payment from the buyer once they have confirmed to buy the car. It can be of any amount, 5 to 10% of the car price sounds reasonable. If the buyer requests to send the car to his mechanic for inspection, go ahead. It is important to have a vehicle bill of sale and state everything clearly with signatures from the buyer, the seller, and the witnesses. If the buyer is paying cash for the deal, you could transfer the ownership to him after the payment has been made. If he is going to buy it with loan, you may have to keep the car until his loan is approved and the payment is made to you. Keep the log book until payment is completed. Last but not least, pass the car together with the key to the new owner and wish him all the best with the new ride.