Though seemingly a simple task, a private sale of your car can be challenging. There are many decisions to be made, procedures to follow and tasks to complete before trading your keys for cash.
Gone are the days when you taped a "For Sale" sign with your seven digit telephone number in the rear window. Today, you're likely to list your vehicle on a general or automotive classifieds website. You'll be competing with hundreds of other vehicles for the attention of a prospective buyer. You need to consider photographs, pricing, paying for added exposure and even consider arranging a safe meeting place to transact.
Our 5 Tips
#1 Be Creative
Most websites will allow you to list your vehicle for free, and suggest you pay a small fee to prioritize your listing in the results in an effort to draw attention to your advertisement. Although paying can help, our first tip is to spend more time building an engaging advertisement and you'll undoubtedly attract more views. Think of a creative headline, be sure to list as much detailed information about your vehicle as possible and choose a fantastic photo of your own as the thumbnail image for your ad. A bland title on an ad quickly thrown together won't attract the right buyers. Which of these headlines are you more likely to click on? "2008 Honda Civic for Sale" or "Pristine, Well-Loved 08' Civic with Only 55,000 Miles!".
#2 Take Many Varied Photographs
Do not use promotional photographs supplied by the manufacturer! Buyers find this practice disingenuous. Simply a sunny spot outside and use your mobile phone to take photos of your car from a number of different angles, both inside and out. We also recommend you take your car to get detailed prior to the photoshoot.
#3 Photograph the Odometer
Take a photo of the dashboard, with specific attention to the odometer. Make sure the mileage is legible so that potential buyers are assured the mileage figure listed in the advertisement is true. Mileage has a huge impact on price.
#4 Purchase a Vehicle History Report
Many educated buyers will ask for a vehicle history report. Pre-empt this request by spending a few dollars on a reputable vehicle history report. Ensure any vehicle history report you provide to a potential buyer has been purchased within the last two or three months.
#5 List All Damage, No Matter How Small
Has your vehicle ever been in an accident? Is there a tiny dent or scratch on the rear bumper? If you list all damage in your advertisement, the potential buyer will understand that your list price factors in this damage. Anyone who has sold a vehicle will tell you that buyers search out little dents, make a despondent noise, and suggest knocking $500 off the price to cover the cost of the repair. If you preempt them by declaring the damage in your advertisement, you can remind them they've come to visit the vehicle with full knowledge of its flaws and that the list price is befitting.