Here are simple steps that will help you turn your used car into cash. Everything from pricing to advertising and negotiatingis covered in this short, easy-to-follow process.
Know the Market
Is your car going to be easy to sell? Is it a hot commodity? Or will you have to drop your price and search out additional avenues to sell it?
Here are a few general rules to answer these questions:
· Family sedans, while unexciting to many, are in constant demand by people needing basic, inexpensive transportation.
· The sale of convertibles and sports cars is seasonal. Sunny weather brings out the buyers. Fall and winter months will be slow.
· Trucks and vans, used for work, are steady sellers and command competitive prices. Don't underestimate their value.
· Collector cars will take longer to sell and are often difficult to price. However, these cars can have unexpected value if you find the right buyer.
Your first step is to check on-line classified ads to see how much other sellers are asking for your type of car. Keep in mind that dealers will have different prices than private party listings. The eBay.com classifieds and other Internet sites allow you to search with specific criteria. For example, select the year and trim level of your car and see how many similar cars are currently on the market. Take note of their condition, mileage, geographic location and selling price so you can list your car at a price that will sell it quickly.
Give Your Car "Curb Appeal"
When people come to look at your car, they will probably make up their minds to buy it or not within the first few seconds. This is based on their first look at the car. So you want this first look to be positive. You want your car to have "curb appeal."
· Wash and vacuum the car and consider having it detailed.
· Make sure your car is both mechanically sound and free from dents, dings and scrapes.
· Consider making low-cost repairs yourself rather than selling it "as is."
· Shovel out all the junk from the inside of the car. That way, when a prospective buyer goes for a test-drive, they can visualize the car as theirs.
· Wipe the brake dust off the wheel covers and treat the tires with a tire gloss product.
· Thoroughly clean the windows (inside and out) and all the mirrored surfaces.
· Wipe down the dashboard and empty the ashtrays.
· Have all your maintenance records ready to show prospective buyers.
· If the car needs servicing or even a routine oil change, take care of that before putting it up for sale.
· Have your mechanic check out the car and issue a report about its condition. You can use this to motivate a buyer who is on the fence.
· Order a vehicle history report and show it to the buyer to prove the car's title is clean and the odometer reading is accurate.
Create Ads That Sell
Think about what you are telling people when you write your ad. Little words convey a lot. Besides the price, your ad should also include the year, make, model and trim level of the car you are selling along with the mileage, color, condition and popular options.
When creating "For Sale" signs or putting an ad online, you have an opportunity to show how eager you are to sell the car. Do this with the following abbreviations and phrases:
This often means the seller is leaving town and needs to dump the car at a fire sale price.
This stands for "or best offer" and it indicates that you are willing to entertain offers below the stated price. This usually means you are eager to sell the car.
This also communicates the feeling that you will negotiate, but it is one notch below OBO on the eagerness scale.
This word is used to rebuff attempts to negotiate. It indicates that you aren't in a hurry to sell the car — you are most interested in getting your price.