There’s a reason winter is the best time of year to think about buying a car, used or new:
Sellers are desperate to get the things off their hands and buyers are few and far between.
For everyday consumers, that makes life tougher if you’re trying to ditch your old ride to get some extra cash for the holidays.
Here are a few ways to better your chances of going from SALE to SOLD:
Image is everything. No way are you selling a car if you don’t have a photo first. Pretend that rusted hunk of junk bleeding oil out in your driveway is a runway model and make it look as attractive as possible. Go all out and get a full-service exterior scrub and don’t skimp on the wax. Use a nice camera and not your crummy cell phone so it’ll look its best.
Really pimp it out. We’re not talking about hiring a has-been hip-hop artist to throw fuzzy dice on your rear view mirror and install a juice-maker in the trunk. Advertising your used car is essential and simple if you know how to do it right. Start by telling your friends and family. Not only is word of mouth free, but they’ll tell a friend who will tell a friend, and so on. There are plenty of paid sites like Vehix and Autotrader, but Craig’s List is always a handy alternative.
Know your numbers. Don’t wait until someone’s interested to dig up your mileage and vehicle history information, Consumer Reports says. Have a car facts report handy for potential buyers and they’ll be impressed you came prepared.
Get an inspection. Any buyer with a brain is going to request an inspection of your car first, according to Edmunds.com‘s senior consumer finance advisor Philip Reed. You could tell them to pay for one themselves, which is common, but it’d be nice to have a reputable mechanic sign off on its safety beforehand.
Social media is your friend. Throwing a ‘FOR SALE’ sign in the windshield and parking your ride on the side of the road might work in warmer months, but chances are no one’s going to see your car piled under 10 feet of snow. Instead, turn to social media to get the word out. Tweet with hashtags like #usedcar or #forsale and update your status on Facebook. Facebook also has a handy marketplace for sellers as well.
Think outside the box. Advertising your car locally is a great way to sell. But you never know if someone across the country might be interested, especially if you’ve got a classic on your hands that would be worth the cost of shipping. Check out Autoshipping.com for a quote.
Don’t lie. You should know better.
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