How To Sell Your Car FAST!
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It is not often that anybody asks about how to sell a car. What most people want to know is how to buy a car and get the most out of the deal, all the while thinking that getting the car is the end of the line for them. However, unless you plan on owning a single car forever, that is not always the case. Sooner or later, you need to start thinking about selling your car. There are many reasons why you should. Maybe your car is old and suffering problems that a simple repair job canâ€™t fix anymore. Or maybe you just want a new car. Both of which are fairly logical reasons why you would want to sell your old car in order to get a newer, better one. So now the question is: How do you sell a car? In this article, we offer you a step-by-step guide to selling your car, as well as some tips on where and when you should start and what else you should do.
Step #1: How much should you ask for? Just as price is one of the first concerns when buying a car, it is likewise an important concern when selling a car. How much is your car worth? How much should you sell it for? These are only some of the questions you will find yourself asking. A common mistake is to turn to the obvious to find the answer. That is, base your price quote on how much you paid for your car. Remember that a car immediately loses value the moment you drive it out of the dealership. Add to that a few years and mileage and your car simply does not have the same value it had before you bought it from the dealer.
A good rule of thumb is to base your car’s value on the prices listed in the Kelly Blue Book and NADA Guidelines. Both guides offer you a better idea of how much your car is worth. However, note that the figures in these guides do not necessarily reflect your car’s real value. The value of your car is affected by several factors, including technical condition, time of the year, market condition, gas prices, and installed options. Thus, a car that consumes a lot of gas may not sell for very much as nobody wants to buy a set of wheels with high fuel consumption when the gas prices are all but skyrocketing. On the other hand, a very old car in good running condition could fetch a good price in the market. Checking out the classified ads for used cars is also quite helpful. You can get some ideas from other people selling used cars of the same model. If you think that your car has been well taken care of and you are its only owner, you can set a slightly higher price, too. Again, it all depends on certain factors. But it’s always a good strategy to set your asking price higher and then gradually lower it down when no real offer comes around.
Step #2: How do you want to sell your car? You have two options actually. You can either sell your car by yourself or you can opt to trade it in for a new one. A trade-in is the better option if your reason for selling is so you can buy a new one. With a trade-in, you can just go to the nearest dealership in your area, swap your old car for a new one, and pay the dealer the amount of difference in price.
However, note that dealers need to make their living, too. That means they will probably buy your car for a few thousand dollars less than what you would be getting if you opted to sell privately. Then again, you don’t have to let yourself get stuck with just one dealer. You can always drive around, offering to sell your car to several dealers and then just choose the one with the best price offer. The other option is to sell privately. This promises the best returns for you, especially if you make the proper preparations – that is, make a few improvements so your car would look more attractive. The downside to a private sale, however, is that you would have to take care of everything yourself. That includes advertising and negotiating with potential buyers, both of which can well turn out to be difficult tasks, especially if you are not experienced.
Step #3: What do you do before selling? As already mentioned, you can probably fetch a higher price if your car looks attractive enough. Or even if your car does not sell for a high price, it will still probably sell quicker if you took some steps to make it look presentable. Of course, the only way to make your five-year-old car look attractive again is if you take a few hours cleaning it. Now, don’t focus all your energy cleaning the exterior of your car. The interior needs just as much cleaning. Just think about your potential buyer’s reaction once he opens your car only to find several candy wrappers and coke cans littering the floors and seats. Either he’s going to think that the price you quoted is too high or he’d bolt out the garage door all together. MessageOfAMaster.com
Depending on how old your car is preparing a car for a sale requires little more than a good wash, a wax and a vacuum of the interior. If there are any damages to the paint, you might also want to fix that up. You can take your case to a reputable car detailer who will take care of everything for you, from washing and waxing the exterior to fixing your car’s interior trims. Alternatively, you can also take your car to a full-service car wash and take advantage of all their extra services, including vacuuming, dressing the trim, wiping the interior. Any other obvious damages should also be fixed. This includes broken lenses or headlights. Always remember that you do not want to give your potential buyer any reason not to buy your car. However, be careful that the costs of repairs do not exceed the amount of investment return you are expecting. This can be difficult if you are trying to fix a body damage since this can really run up bills. A good strategy is to ask for a quote on how much the entire repair job would cost and then use this as a negotiating tool with your buyer.
Step #4: How do you advertise your car? And where? Now that you have prepped your car for sale, the next step in the game is to let other people know that you are selling. Advertising can take on several forms. You can simply put up a “For Sale” sign at the back of your car and drive around town in it, or you can go pro and purchase an ad space at your local paper’s classified ads section.
Remember that the words you use to advertise the fact that you are selling your car are very telling of how eager you are to sell. For instance, if you add “OBO” (“Or Best Offer”) to your original price quote, it means that you are willing to sell your car for less than the stated price. If you say “Asking Price,” it indicates your willingness to negotiate. But if you say “Firm,” then you are essentially saying that you are in no particular hurry to sell your car and you are looking for someone who is equally willing to buy it for the stated price. In addition to posting a “For Sale” sign on your car window, you have several options when it comes to advertising your car. As a matter of fact, your imagination is the limit. Just let your creativity be your guide. And if that does not work, then you can always go by the traditional means – that is, by posting an ad in your local newspaper. The bigger the ad is, the more space it is going to take up. The more space, the more expensive it is. Therefore, you need to plan what you want to include in your ad carefully before you pay a visit to your local paper. As an alternative, you can also try car sale online ads. The way the world works now, almost everything revolves around the Internet. You can find several websites that allow you to post ads for your car. Sites like Cars.com, Edmunds.com, and even the popular auction website eBay.com are good examples.
Step #5: Closing the deal
You’ll know if the advertising works because one or two potential buyers will come to your place to take a look at your car. The mere fact that they came at all is a sign that they are interested either in your car or in the price you are offering. Let them take a look at your vehicle. Don’t interrupt. Don’t hover. Nothing is more annoying for a buyer than to have someone tail them around as they inspect a product. Nevertheless, be sure to stay nearby in case they have questions they want answered. Always keep a sharp eye for any tells or signs that the buyer is interested. If they want to take your car for a test drive, then by all means, let them. Afterwards, if they are still interested but start to gain ground in the negotiating process (that is, they start haggling for price), pull up your trump cards. Take this typical situation as an example: BUYER: I don’t know. I’ve seen a car just like this and the best offer by the owner is definitely lower than yours. YOU: Yes, it may seem too expensive but the car is really worth it…. (and here, you bring up all the bells and whistles that your car has, such as heated mirrors, new paint, folding seals, etc.) Use any feature or improvement you have made on your car that would add value to it. Perhaps, you have recently replaced the battery? Let the buyer see the receipt. Maintenance receipts and emission test results are also good inducements for the buyer to know that your car is indeed worth the price quote. The same is true with new tires.
Make no mistake. Even after all that the buyer may still continue to haggle for the price. Remember to be firm but at the same time not too firm that you would eliminate all possibility of a compromise between you and the buyer. Who knows? You two might strike a middle ground somewhere during the negotiating process. Just keep in mind the absolute lowest price you are willing to sell your car for and then stick with it. You may have to start off the bargaining process with a price that is higher than your actual offer. Naturally, the buyer would not take the bait all at once. He would try to lower it down bit by bit by bringing up all the innumerable faults that a used car may have. Your job is to counter this with your carâ€™s innumerable features that more than make up for the loss in value. And then, if the buyer is still adamant, you indicate to him in not so many words that you are willing to go down a bit. Be careful with subtlety. Some buyers are quick to hone in on you once you show signs that you are giving in and they will never let up until they get what they want from you. Instead, be very, very subtle. Once you hit your original offer, donâ€™t go down any further. Be firm. Stand your ground. After all, the buyer would not have gone that far in the negotiating process if he really was not genuinely interested in your car. Finally, he will understand that you are not willing to lower the price any further than that. If you are lucky, you make the sale right there. Close the deal with a firm handshake and a smile.
About the Author/Publisher Tenzin is a self taught web programmer, author and publisher for various online magazines and books. He runs a popular site at http://www.TarotReadingSecrets.com and http://www.MessageOfAMaster.com which offers various cool and free tools for his readers to discover their own destiny in life and in relationships. His hobbies include martial arts, music, meditation and writing. Check out his inspiring and enlightening blog at http://TheMessageOfAMaster.blogspot.com, where he shares with his readers various tips on life, relationships, work and play!
Published on Oct 4, 2009
Sooner or later, you need to start thinking about selling your car. There are many reasons why you should. Maybe your car is old and sufferi...