Car Sales Tips and Tricks

Selling a car can be hard work. Personal vehicle sales take a lot of time and research. In order to get the best price for a car you are interested in putting up for sale, make sure to review current market prices and behaviors, to start. Review the below list to learn more tips and tricks associated with selling a vehicle successfully in Florida.

Understand the Market

When trying to sell your car, you need to understand the responsibilities that are ahead. Will your car sell easily or are you in for a wait? Is it more popular at this time of year to sell a car, or another? What are people talking about online when it comes to your model, and how can you use those conversations as part of your sales pitch? To answer these questions you'll need to check out the following avenues:

  • Car sales websites
  • Auction sites
  • Any online regional classifieds
  • Local offline options (such as bulletin boards and car garage noticeboards)

Settle on a Strategy

Decide which of the above avenues you want to take when it comes to where to sell. Which option will give you the best price? Collectible cars, for instance, might work best with national specialist classifieds or an online auction. If you'd prefer to sell local to a cash buyer, however, maybe an ad in the local paper or the regional classifieds will work best for you.

Get the Background

Getting to know the background means that of your vehicle and the model. When it comes to reading up on your own vehicle, you need to make sure you have the following on hand:

  • A vehicle service history
  • A vehicle history report
  • Receipts for any recent repairs or modifications

If you don't have existing copies of this information, a vehicle history report can be obtained online through various venues, including the local DMV. As far as service history goes, you could contact the person you purchased the car from or go have it serviced yourself. You're better off with one piece of recent documentation than nothing at all.

When it comes to understanding the history of the make and model, take a look at online forums to see what issues people have experienced, or any recalls the manufacturer has made. This will keep you in good standing when it comes to reassuring people about the state of your vehicle.

Price It Right

When doing online research, consider which cars match with the credentials of yours before settling on a price. For example, a car with half the mileage will be priced lower. And if your car has a dent in the fender, look at other cars with aesthetic issues and see how they have been priced down accordingly.

You could also seek the advice of a local mechanic, a dealer or a friend who knows about selling secondhand cars. But bear in mind, a mechanic or a dealer may suggest a lower price and attempt to affect your decision to privately sell. That way, they can get their hands on it and make a tidy profit themselves! Go to someone you trust.

Get a Makeover

Putting the time in to give the car a thorough clean inside and out will certainly pay off. You might prefer to pay someone else to do it, or if you don't mind getting your hands dirty, the following tools will be well worth the investment:

  • Microfiber cloths (for the windows, the dash and polishing the body)
  • Soap plus a bucket (for cleaning the exterior)
  • A handheld vacuum (for the seats and footwells)
  • Car wax
  • Tire shine spray
  • Car air freshener (to keep the car smelling fresh if you're still using it between viewings)

Write a Great Ad

Make your car sale ad description detailed, but accessible, by breaking up the information into bullet points. Be sure to cover the following as a minimum:

  • Asking price
  • Mileage
  • Year of manufacture
  • Make and model
  • VIN number
  • Number of owners
  • Details about the nature of your sale. (For example include OBO or 'or best offer' if you are open to this. If not, say that the price is firm. If you're in a hurry, write, 'quick sale' or 'must sell!')
  • Condition
  • Whether it has been in a collision or has visible damage
  • Any modifications, upgrades or repairs

And remember, a good ad isn't all about the text, especially these days. People need to be able to imagine themselves in the car, and this means including good, quality photos of at least the following:

  • Exterior (front on, side on and rear)
  • Engine
  • Interior (front seats, rear seats, the trunk and the dash)
  • Tires

Take Viewings Seriously

Potential buyers are not just evaluating your car, but you, as well. Inspire trust when speaking to potential buyers by:

  • Responding promptly to any questions before, after and during a viewing.
  • Being friendly, honest and open.
  • Having your documents on hand to help you with answering any questions.

If you're worried about protecting yourself against difficult or shady buyers, make sure that any initial questions are answered by email or phone. That way, you know if they are serious. Arrange viewings to take place in daylight and in public. Have a partner or a friend accompany if you have any concerns, or want help with answering tricky questions.

When it comes to payment, make it clear what forms of payment are acceptable to you, and ask for a deposit if someone can't come up with all the cash on the day. You need to consider the following possible payment options and decide what you're open to:

  • Monthly installments
  • PayPal
  • Bank transfer
  • Cash only

When you have your conversation about price, bear in mind how much you're willing to haggle with the potential buyer, as well. Decide the lowest price you can go, and be flexible - but firm.