It doesn’t matter what car you have – eventually you’ll have to sell or trade it in. While trading in your vehicle may seem like a convenient option – many dealerships are happy to offer you a new car in return for just a few signatures. You might not make as much money as you would if you sold the car yourself, but you would still get something.
So, how do you go about the daunting task of actually selling a vehicle? After all, making extra money is always great, but wasting time and effort, in addition to the idea of getting ripped off is awfully frightening.
Here are a few steps to follow when you have decided that it’s time to let your old clunker go:
Research the Market
Ask yourself: what type of driver will purchase my car? Different cars suit the need of different drivers and it’s important to narrow your market to target specific prospects.
Family sedans are recognized to be reliable and versatile. There is a big demand for sedans because they match many lifestyles and are affordable.
Convertibles and sports cars on the other hand may have a lot of appeal, but are not as practical. Trying to sell your used convertible during winter would be a tough task, so it’s probably best to save it for summer.
Trucks and vans have always been popular resale vehicles. If you find the right buyer, you can easily assign a competitive price to your old ride.
Researching the market will give you more avenues to sell your vehicle and reassure you that you are not reaching the wrong buyers at the wrong time.
Assign the Right Price
Checking the classified pages online will give you a good idea for used vehicles’ average prices. Remember that used car dealerships will have different pricing from private listings such as those on eBay or Craigslist.
Be sure to note used vehicles’ condition, mileage, geographic location and selling price so that you could compare those numbers with your own.
Don’t hesitate to ask for more – and then anticipate negotiation. Negotiations are almost inevitable in this case, so being prepared for them wouldn’t hurt. Between $500-$1,000 is the mark potential buyers tend to negotiate in, so follow your instincts and give yourself some wiggle room. In other words, if you want $15,500 for your vehicle, ask for $17,000.
Also don’t forget the little sales psychology trick – and make your price $16,995, if you’re aiming to sell it for $17,000. The former isn’t all that much different from the latter, but it looks $1,000 cheaper at a glance, making the price seem more attractive.
Fix Up Your Car
Nobody wants an ugly used product, so be sure to clean and fix up your car. That doesn’t mean simply taking it to the car wash or gas station vacuum. Make sure your car has no visible or audible problems. Prospective buyers should not see scrapes or dents, and when they turn the ignition they should not hear clanking sounds or other unnerving mechanical noises.
The minor details stand out when selling a used car. Throwing down a bit of money to fix problems is smarter than selling your vehicle “as is.” After you have done all that, keep your maintenance records and show them to your potential buyers in case they inquire.
Figure Out Where to Advertise
Gone are the days of newspaper ads – now people mostly find used cars through the internet.
Popular online classified sites, such as Kijiji, Craigslist and eBay, make it easy for car sellers to type out descriptions and begin selling immediately. There are also dedicated auto buyers out in the market such as SellMyCar.ca and YourCar4Cash.ca. They will send you an offer after you’ve submitted the specs.
Message boards on car forums are also good places to network with drivers interested in purchasing a used vehicle. Thanks to technology, word-of-mouth has now extended to the internet. Use Facebook and Twitter to communicate with those in your communities, which is both cheap and easy.
Lastly, the old-school “For Sale” sign on the car window has been proven to be as efficient and effective as ever.
Create a Good Ad
Although the platforms have changed, creating an enticing advertisement has not. Short and sweet should be the rule of thumb when creating a good ad.
Show that you are eager to sell by using strong marketing keywords and abbreviations, including: “Must sell!,” “OBO” (or “best offer”), “Asking Price” and “Firm” (which indicates that you are not in a hurry and willing to keep your price unchanged).
Also don’t forget to include essential details like year, make, model, mileage, colour and condition. If possible, pictures of your vehicle are always good idea.
Know How to Negotiate Your Best Price
Not everyone is comfortable with negotiating. In fact, the experience can often be excruciating. After the prospective car buyer tests out your vehicle, there may be several awkward periods. Know what your response will be before the negotiation even starts.
Some common negotiation openers from buyers are: “I like the car, but…”, “Would you accept…?” or “Take it or leave it.”
If you have set your price properly, with a bit of room for negotiations, you know how far you are willing to bend. Therefore, you already know what to say if the buyer is being unreasonable. Don’t feel like you have to make a sale now. If your vehicle is of value, there will always be another buyer.
As digital car sales are becoming more and more popular, online negotiations are as well. But they still a bit tricky. Always invite the prospect over to check out your vehicle before agreeing to a price.