How to sell a car in 5 steps


Selling a car can be a difficult, time consuming task with many risks. You will generate a larger income if you sell your car by a private transaction than to a dealer. Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes and emphasize the best features your car has. If you have no idea how to sell a car, here are 5 easy steps that will guide you:

Step 1 – Market research
Probably you don’t know how to sell a car if you’ve never done it before. The first step is to determine the realistic value of your used car and how fast it will sell. Do some research and find out how much other sellers are asking for the same model. Notice how many other cars like yours are in the area and compare their mileage, condition, modifications. You can also use on-line tools to help you value your car. Leave some room for negotiations in your asking price, but don’t go to high.

Step 2 – Fancy up your car
A dirty car that looks used or smells bad makes a first bad impression and can influence the decision making process of your buyers. Wash the car thoroughly on the inside and out. Remove all personal objects from the car so the potential buyers can think of the car as their own. Make sure you take it for a mechanical check and do the routine oil change. You can ask the mechanical to give you a car issue report to show evidence of proper functioning. Remove the scratches and make sure you have all necessary paperwork.

Step 3 – Advertise
Take some nice photos of your car and prepare a description. You can place your advert on free websites like Craigslist and eBay or even create your own website. Make good use of social media like Facebook or Twitter and even ask your friends to tell others. If you don’t know how to sell a car online, you can post an ad in the local newspapers and give ‘free ads’ papers. Don’t forget to mention the price, specifications, exact make, model and your contact details.

Step 4 – Show and tell
Use your intuition to evaluate potential buyers on the phone and if they don’t sound suspicious invite them to see your car. If you don’t want to give away your address, ask people to meet you in a neutral area like a park or a shopping center. Be careful not to leave them alone with the car and accompany them on the test drives.

Step 5- Negotiate

Once you find a trustworthy person negotiate for your desired price. The buyer could say something like “I like it but…” and leave the sentence unfinished. Ask them how much they are willing to offer. Some buyers are more direct and could make a “take it or leave it offer”. The only way to know if they’re bluffing is to let them leave and see if they return.