A decade or two ago, selling your car could involve a few different outlets. If it was fairly new, you might take it to a dealer for a trade-in. However, then as now, dealers don’t tend to pay the best prices for used vehicles. Your other options might have included a newspaper classified ad, along with the good old fashioned “for sale” sign taped up into your car’s rear window.
Nowadays, though, most everyone goes to the same place when they need to buy or sell a car: Craigslist. And not just cars, of course, but practically anything. Everyone knows what Craigslist is, and most of us have used it. But when it comes to selling your car, what’s the best way to go about it so that you can get top dollar for it?
We’ve put together a quick and simple guide to selling your vehicle on Craigslist. Follow these tips, and you’ll be on your way to cashing in on your used vehicle.
Research your car’s value
Before you do anything else, you need to know what your car is worth. The Kelley Blue Book is a good place to start. Be sure that you’re honest with yourself about your vehicle’s condition so as not to inflate its price: use their condition guide if you’re uncertain. Aside from the Blue Book, it can also be helpful to see what other sellers are asking for your car. See if you can find other listings of the same make, model, and year. They’ll need to be in comparable condition with roughly the same number of miles to be helpful comparisons.
Take great photos
Once you know what to ask for your vehicle, you need to take photos. First, though, you’ve got to clean your car. We’re talking detailing here: get it the cleanest it’s ever been. Go over it with a fine tooth comb. Scrub the wheels and get them shiny. Use a razor to get your windshield perfectly clean. Vacuum the inside of it twice, even three times if need be. It’ll make the photos look better, but it’ll also make it feel newer when someone hops in for a test drive.
In terms of photos, make sure you’re taking them on a day with nice lighting: a bit sunny is ideal. Put your car in front of a nice background for the photos: a park or cluster of trees and shrubs are good choices. Take photos from all angles, including several interior shots, along with a closeup of the tires. This demonstrates to people that you’re not trying to hide anything.
Write a detailed description
Include everything you know about the mechanical history of the car, along with any current issues. Talk about both the good and the bad. Make it clear to potential buyers that you’re being fully forthcoming about the vehicle: this will attract the kind of honest buyers that you want to work with. Be sure to list all of your vehicle’s extra features. If you’re the original owner (or even the second owner), mention this, too: it’s a big plus.
Weed out scammers and close a deal
You’ll likely get some texts and emails from scammers. These are fairly easy to spot: anything that looks like it’s been copied and pasted, or that involves a request for payment in advance, is almost certainly a scam. When you do get a legit buyer, have all of your paperwork in order ahead of time: repair records, title, bill of sale, etc. When the buyer makes you an offer, you’ll be ready to close the deal immediately.
That’s it! Congrats in advance on selling your used car. Of course, if you have an old junk car that no one wants to make an offer on, that’s another matter entirely: consider working with Junk Car Traders by visiting JunkCarTraders.com. We’ll make top offers on vehicles that other buyers aren’t interested in. We can tow cars from anywhere in the country, even in Wisconsin.