8 Tips for Selling Your Car Online
Selling your car to the dealership is a terrible idea if you’re trying to make money. You’ll be negotiating with a shark who’s almost guaranteed to give you nothing but lowball offers. You can typically make a lot more money by taking care of the sale yourself.
You can reach a huge number of potential buyers online. Place the right ad and you’ll have people calling from across the country about your car.
Just remember to be smart. A lot of scammers prey on inexperienced sellers. They pay with fake cash or they make promises about the PayPal payment that’s “on the way”. Once your car keys are in their hands, they disappear.
You can protect yourself and make a great sale by following a few simple tips.
- Set the Right Price
What’s my car worth? It’s a common question among people trying to sell their vehicles. Car prices fluctuate and are highly dependent on the market. Luckily, there are a ton of free appraisal tools online.
Price your car too cheaply, and you’ll be cheating yourself. Set your price too high, and you’ll struggle to find a buyer. Choosing the happy medium is an art.
Once you determine how much you want, list your car for a slightly higher price. For instance, if you’d happily accept $10,000, ask for $11,500. People expect to negotiate the price. If you start out at your lowest offer, you won’t be happy with your counteroffers.
- Clean Your Car
Treat your car like it’s a model and you’re preparing it for a photoshoot. Make it look fantastic. Every inch needs to be thoroughly cleaned and detailed. You want to impress people who come to look at the car in person as well as the people who are only seeing pictures online.
- Take Pictures
It’s possible that your buyer won’t actually see the car until the purchase is complete. Taking accurate, attractive pictures is critical. Take more pictures than you think are necessary and don’t slack off. You don’t need to hire a photographer, but you should try to make your images look professional.
Don’t take pictures in your garage. Go somewhere with lots of natural lighting. If there are scratches and dings on the vehicle, highlight those as well. Dealing with disgruntled customers can be exhausting. People want to know the full extent of any damage before they purchase a car.
- Be Available
The world is fast-paced. A potential buyer who emails or calls about your car wants a quick response. If you take days to return their message, they’ll probably lose interest in the deal. Keep your phone close and respond as quickly as possible to inquiries.
- Choose a Safe Spot to Meet
There’s no reason to give strangers your address. Once you find a prospective buyer, ask them to meet you in a public, well-lit location. Take a picture of their driver’s license before you allow them to take a test drive.
- Show up Prepared
Do your research. Look up everything about your particular make and model so you can answer buyer questions. When it’s time to actually make the sale, have all of your paperwork prepared so you’re not left scrambling.
Some buyers will insist on taking the car for an inspection. You can head this off by seeing a mechanic yourself and getting your own inspection before the sale. Present the buyer with the report.
- Check the Money
A lot of online scams involve fraudulent payments. If the payer gives you a check, call the bank and verify that it’s valid before completing the deal. It might seem paranoid but you could potentially save yourself a lot of trouble. Realizing that you’ve been scammed after you’ve already signed away the title is a horrible feeling.
- Be Professional
Don’t badger the buyer during the sale. Answer any questions that arise but don’t talk their ear off. Allow them to do their own examination of the car without you hovering over them.
If they’re interested in the car but not ready to buy yet, don’t promise to hold onto the car. Let them know that you’ll be showing it to other potential buyers.
Selling your car online requires diligence. You need to bombard car boards and websites like Craigslist with at least one ad per day. If your car is priced correctly, you’ll receive a lot of responses. You can defeat scammers by making sure that the money is real before closing the deal.
Follow the above tips and you should have a trouble-free experience.