If you need some cash or are just thinking about getting rid of an automobile you have, you might be wondering what you should sell your car for. It’s fair to ask this because you want to make the most you can when you sell it but you also don’t want to have the price so high that you don’t attract any buyers at all or very few of them.
In this article, we’ll go through the best ways to price your vehicle so that you get enough buyers interested and yet still make as much money as you can selling your vehicle.
What is the Car Worth?
There are a number of ways to find out what your car is really worth. We’ll walk you through some online tools to help you determine the right price for selling your car and then ways to test your price.
How Quickly Do You Need to Sell it?
Before you go through this process, it’s good to take a minute and think about how quickly you need to sell your car. The more time you have, the better. If you need to sell it quickly, then you’ll have to, of course, have a lower asking price to attract more buyers.
Find Your Used Car Value
Here are some websites where you can enter the year, make, model and mileage of your car to find out how much it is worth:
- KBB.com (Kelly Blue Book)
Check the value for your car on all of these websites. Write down (or print out) the values that you get. You’ll be selling it privately (not trading in), so look at that price. Sometimes that’s the retail price.
Don’t forget to list all the features of your vehicle. If you have to go out the car and write them all down, then do it. I’ve done that as there were features I forgot about.
Average that out by adding up the values from all 3 websites and then divide by 3.
We’re not done yet. The next thing to do is see if this value is good or not. Next, go to websites like AutoTrader.com and eBay Motors and look at what people are asking and what cars like yours have sold for recently. This is a great way to tell if you need to go up or down on your price.
What’s great about checking your car on eBay Motors is the “See Completed Listings” link after you do a search:
Click that link for some really valuable information – the green listings are the ones that have sold:
Now, you might not find your exact year and model but this should help. Also look at the red listings and see which cars didn’t sell and which ones didn’t get very many bids – these cars were probably priced too high.
Check Your Local Area
At this point, you’ve done a bit of good research. One more thing to do is check your local area for similar cars being sold. Check local used car websites and classified ads in the local paper. This is going to tell you what your local competition will be like.
What Your Car is Really Worth
Ok, so everyone probably thinks their car is the best one out there or special – or maybe you really do have a piece of junk… but there’s one thing to remember – your car is worth what someone is willing to pay for it. Don’t forget this! It’s a basic rule of business.
Used car dealers are smart. The do a number of things well and you should take note:
- They put cars on their lot that they know they have a good chance of selling. You don’t have this option since you’re just selling one car.
- They make sure the cars look their best.
- They attractively price the car.
- They know how to sell a car.
The more you can hype up your car and point out its great features, the more you’ll get for the car. More about that in a minute.
To come up with the right price for selling a car, take the research you’ve done and arrive at what seems to be a fair price. Then, add $500 and then remove/subtract $5.
For example, if you think the car is worth $9000 after your research, your asking price should be $9495. This way, you have some wiggle room and taking the $5 off makes the price look more attractive (lower).
Steps to Selling a Car
First, prepare your car to be sold. This means wash it and detail clean it the best that you can. Even do things like remove the dealer sticker from it.
Second, know all the features of your car so that you can figure out the right price and create ads. You might even create a little website for your car.
Third, take photos of your car for use on your website and online ads.
Fourth, place your online ads and get the word out about your car.
Fifth, be available and wait for people to call or email you. Respond to those calls and email promptly so that these buyers don’t move on to the next car.
Sixth, when people show up, put on your salesman hat and sell it!
Be a Salesman
Yes, the image of used car salesmen (or women) isn’t the most pleasant. You think of high pressure and them being annoying and everything. This doesn’t have to be you but you do have to do some of the things that they do:
- Greet people with a smile and a handshake.
- Ask people where they’re from and what they do – try to make a connection of some sort. Maybe you both have young children or kids in high school and both like the same sports team.
- Give them a sheet about the vehicle – it should like the basic information (year, make, model, mileage) as well as all the features. I like to do a short write up about why I like the car and why I’m selling it. Be honest.
- Point out the great features of the vehicle.
- Mention what you just got fixed and what might need to get fixed soon.
- Try to think of a feature that suits the buyer. If they have kids, mention that there are 4 doors and how there’s space for kids or that the back seats have little wear on them, etc.
- Answer all their questions.
- When the time is right, ask for the sale… you don’t get it if you don’t ask.
You may have never sold a car before in your life, but coming up with the right price is important. It might be the most important thing. Don’t just pick a number out of thin air but do your research. What we’ve mentioned here will really help you come up with the best price for selling your car.
After you have the price nailed down, make sure the car looks its best and then advertise it properly. When people show up to look at it, be a hospitable and honest salesperson and then ask for the sale.
We have other great articles here on this website (CarTips.com), so look through them and get even more detailed help. Our aim is to help you get the best price for your car and sell it quickly.
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