Selling your car can be a major pain if you don’t know how to go about it. There are several online avenues that make it slightly easier to sell old cars. However, you still need to understand the functioning of the online car selling world to get a decent value for your vehicle and sell it quickly. This guide will talk about a few tips that make it easy to successfully sell old cars online
Steps to Sell Cars Online
There is a way to go about selling cars online that will ensure maximum profits and minimum hassles. Follow these steps for complete peace of mind when you attempt at online car selling:
1. Get the Documents
There is a lot of paperwork involved in completing a transaction as big as selling a car. You need to prove that you are the legal owner of the car, which can be done through the original bill of sale or car’s title. You also need to get proof of VIN authentications and a copy of the registration document.
The next step is to get proof of service history, repairs, and any upgrades. You could get a copy of the record if you use the same local mechanic or dealership to carry out all maintenance and repair work on your vehicle. Don’t forget to get a copy of the car’s history from AutoCheck, Carfax, or any other reputable service.
These documents are imperative to boost buyer confidence and for them to offer you a good value for your wheels.
2. First Impressions Matter
As with everything else in life, first impressions matter when one is attempting to sell their cars. You need to spruce up your vehicle and bring it to its most presentable condition. Make sure you remove or replace anything that is damaged, loose, or malfunctioning. This includes loose headlights, cracked mirrors, scratched body, dented panels, or faded paint.
Keep an eye out for all things that could deter a potential buyer from offering the best value for your car. However, you need to be careful here. You should be able to recover the money that you invest in the vehicle. Don’t bother getting a fresh coat of paint if you are selling a junk car that is worth a few hundred dollars.
However, if you are selling something that still has a lot to offer make sure you get basic maintenance done and keep a record of it. This should include an oil change, tire rotation, and a few other extras. Also, have the car detailed by a professional.
3. Know What Your Car Is Worth
You obviously want the best value for your vehicle. But, you need to know what your car is worth to know that value. Do your research by looking up online resources. Check other online sites to see what people are offering for makes and models as yours. Also, look up NADA guides, Edmunds, and KBB to find the value of your car.
Don’t forget to ask friends and family what they would be willing to offer. You could take your car to local dealerships to get a fair assessment. It is very important you don’t jump on the first offer that comes your way regardless of how much urgency the buyer puts into it. Many dealers are known to force people into selling by claiming the offer is just for the day.
4. List It Online
This is one of the most important steps. You need to list the car online in sites and apps that will attract the maximum visibility. You will need to do some research to find a place that best fits your needs. These are a few popular sites to get you started:
- Cars.com – You need to post a brief description and VIN photos. You can get an in-person appraisal from a local dealer if you want.
- eBay Motors – This was all the rage in online car selling before Craigslist came about. It is still a great place to sell rare, classic, and vintage cars.
- Truecar – This app allows car sellers to demand an asking price from dealers. You should know that you would start getting incessant calls from dealers within minutes if you search any specific model on the app.
- Craigslist – This is among the most common places where you can post an online ad for your car.
- AutoTrader – You will need to upload at least 27 photos along with a detailed description to sell your car here. You can use their online pricing tool to determine what your car is worth.
There are dozens of other websites and apps where you can list your car. It can take anywhere from a few days to weeks to get calls from potentially interested buyers.
5. Test Drive
Meeting strangers in person is the biggest disadvantage of selling cars online. However, with common sense and care you can avoid all problems. You just need to remember that safety comes first. Arrange to meet the buyer in a public place, such as the parking lot of a police department or fire station. Never agree to meet at a buyer’s choice of place.
Don’t cancel the online listing even though you have agreed to a price and think that the sale is definitely about to go through. Many buyers change their mind or reduce price at the last minute. You never know if your buyer is one of the ‘backing out’ types. Cancel the listing only when you get the payment in full and hand over the car keys and title.
There have been several scams where a buyer offers cashiers’ check or wire transfer and absconds with the car without paying. You need to be careful about the mode of payment. Always go for cash payments wherever possible. Or, at least wait till the check cashes before handing over the car keys and title.
It is recommended that you allow a third party to witness the entire transaction even though you and the buyer agreed to a price point and have exchanged documents for payments. The transaction should be carried out in a public place instead of a dingy corner.
If selling the car to an individual prepare a bill of sale. You can choose among the numerous available templates. Typical bills of sale include the vehicle’s VIN and complete contact information of both parties. You should ensure that the buyer and you have a signed copy.
Tips to Get More from an Online Car Sale
These are a few tips that can help you get more money from selling your car online:
1. Proper Effort
Online car sales are not a problem as long as you are ready to put in the required effort. You need to stay committed to your listing and make sure you answer all buyer questions promptly. You will reap better benefits by putting in more effort. You cannot slack off at any of the above mentioned steps if you want to sell your car quickly and successfully.
2. Research Thoroughly
The right price refers to the maximum amount a buyer is willing to pay rather than the money you want from selling the vehicle. The only way you can bridge the gap between your expectations and reality is by thoroughly researching the value of your vehicle.
The only time you don’t need to worry about market value is if you own a classic or a collectible. You need to price your vehicle competitively to make a successful and quick sale. This is why you need to be as objective and honest as possible in valuing the vehicle. You will only manage to scare away potential buyers by setting a price level that is too high.
3. Pay Attention to Car Description
The car’s description should compel buyers to get in touch with you. You are not doing justice to your vehicle by spending anything less than 30 minutes on the description. A few words talking about the make and model is not going to cut it. You need to find creative ways of luring in buyers by using compelling words.
However, you should not resort to lying of any sort. Don’t even try exaggerating or making something look better than it is. You could just end up wasting yours and the buyers’ time that way. Talk about the features that you loved the most when you drove the vehicle, if they are still present. For instance, talk about the mileage or minimal repairs.
Look at other online ads to see how people are selling cars online. Almost all cars have sound air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, and state of the art entertainment system. Don’t lead with these features since they are present in most cars. Instead, delve on the unique things in your car. Things become easier if you have a great car, like a convertible or an SUV.
4. Use Relevant Keywords in Headline
If you are creating a description on a site that allows you to custom-write headlines or titles, you need to make sure you get noticed. You need to stand out from the crowd by writing powerful titles. The goal here is to stand out from the countless other ads.
Hi-fi stereo system, fuel efficiency and super-low mileage are all examples of things you should try integrating in the headline.
5. Photos Speak Volumes
Photos are worth a thousand words. However, this doesn’t mean that you skimp on the car description. First impressions are pivotal when trying to sell a car online. You want your car to look great in photos. Make sure you post pictures from varying flattering angles. Never click pictures at the crack of dawn, dusk, or on overcast days.
Try clicking when it is bright and sunny outside. Don’t let shadows fall on the car. Keep it parked away from trees, lampposts, and buildings. High-quality photos can be a great marketing tool. Try clicking with a nice background. That can help bring out the best in your vehicle.
Don’t shy away from clicking the damaged spots if any. It will tell the buyer that you are honest and serious about selling the car. Honesty can go a long way when selling cars online. However, don’t just focus on the damaged areas. Make sure you explain the damage in the description as well. Never use Photoshop to cover scratches or dings.
6. Respond Promptly
People don’t really give second chances when purchasing cars online. You need to understand that there may be hundreds of available options similar to your car’s make and model. You need to respond quickly whenever a buyer shows interest in your vehicle. This is why you need to pay attention to the way you want potential buyers to contact you.
Don’t leave your number if you don’t keep your phone with you through the day. Letting their query go to voicemail may be counter-productive. Instead, provide an email and respond quickly on potential buyer queries. Also, be as honest and polite as possible when answering queries. If possible, tweak the description if the query was about some car feature that you failed to mention, such as the year of purchase or odometer reading.
Consider Cash Cars Buyer
Cash Cars Buyer offers the best of both worlds – online and local. We have an online model that allows you to know what your car is worth and to schedule a free pickup. We also have a local presence in which we can come anywhere you want us to. It doesn’t take more than 24 hours for you to sell your car from the start till end.
In addition, Cash Cars Buyer is known for making the best offers in town for all kinds of cars. Our offers can go as high as $15,132. We purchase all makes and models regardless of the condition it is in. You don’t have to get the car detailed or arrange the paperwork when you do business with Cash Cars Buyer.
Get in touch with us right away by calling at (773) 791-4363 or using our online form.