Eventually, you will need to get a new car. Maybe your current vehicle is just old, or maybe your family is growing and you need something bigger. Whatever the case, you now have an old car to get rid of. But how much is your car worth? Should you trade it in to the dealership? Should you put an ad in you local newspaper or “wheeler dealer?” Should you use eBay? While these days you have myriad options, if you really want to know how to sell your car, and make some money while you’re at it, you have to use your head. Here are a few steps you can take.
Things to Think About
Avoid the dealership when selling your car – If you actually want to make a little money when you sell your old car, the first thing you have to do is put the dealership out of your mind. The car dealership is all about the bottom line. They are only considering how much they can make by selling your car and will therefore try to buy it for the bare minimum – and there is often very little leeway in what they will pay.
- “Sell” your car – This sounds pretty broad, but we’re saying here is that you have to act like a salesman to prospective buyers. Show them any records you have that demonstrate that you have properly maintained your car. If you are the car’s first owner, make sure that you make that fact available because buyers like to see that the vehicle has not repeatedly changed hands and possibly been neglected.
- Make sure your car is presentable – Clean up the car and fix any small issues you can, such as broken mirror missing cup holders. You can do it yourself or pay a small price to get it professionally cleaned. Get your engine cleaned and your tires polished. Look at your vehicle with new eyes and take care of any glaring issues.
- Highball them – Wherever you try to sell your car, whether online and/or a newspaper, make sure that you ask for 5-10% higher than the price that you are going to accept. This may cause a few possible buyers to shy away from your car, but many will go ahead and make an offer. You can meet somewhere in the middle and still come out on top.
Keep Your Head Out of the Clouds
When you are selling your vehicle, you do want to profit, but you can’t let a great buyer slip through your fingers. While you may get lucky and find a buyer that simply must have your car, in general you will find that you have far more attachment than the buyer does. To most buyers, you car will just be a means to an end and they want the most bang for their buck, understandably. When it comes time to sign on the dotted line, you want no reservations and confidence that you are making the right decision and getting a good deal both ways.
About the Author
Ray T. Lewis lives just outside of Dallas, Texas with his wife and three children. He reads extensively, and he’s worked as an editor and writer for askdeb.com for a little over two years. His goal is to give you realistic advice when it comes to teaching you how to sell your car. Visitors to askdeb.com can expect to find extensive, detailed answers to reader-submitted questions.