Selling a Used Car? Know How to Market the Vehicle
by Daniel Brown
If you're one of the millions of Americans who are buying new car models, or thinking about buying in the next 6 to 9 months, then join the crowd. Record numbers of U.S. drivers are trading up as the economy shows a slight uptick.
U.S. car makers increased sales almost 20 percent in August- the best new car sales month in four years, according to the New York Times. New car sales dropped a bit in September to 13 percent, but still showed growth over the previous year.
Analysts suggested the sales increase was due to buyers' pent-up demand for new models, after sitting on the car-buying sidelines during the recession. Consumers were also interested in new, gas-efficient models being churned out by Detroit's automakers.
If you bought a new car recently, you'll need to know what to do with your current car. There aren't too many choices when it comes to moving your old car out to make way for the new. Some car owners prefer to keep the cars in the family for teenage drivers, others look to sell privately with online trading sites. Still, others go to their local 'buy here pay here' used car dealer to see what deal they might be able to get on the vehicle.
If you're looking to sell your auto online, here are some insider's tips for making good use of your time and energy.
Is Your Car Desirable?
Is the car you're trying to sell a well-known, desirable brand? Since most used car buyers will turn to the Internet to start their car search, you should do a search in your community if others are selling. If you're trying to unload your 1987 Dodge Colt or an early 1990s Cadillac, you might be S.O.L, as these kids say. In other words, if you don't see other listings for your make and model, then there may be little demand for that model, and you might face an uphill battle in selling it.
Spread Your Online Listings
Don't limit yourself with only one used car listing on your town or city's local Craigslist site. Make sure to put your car in many online sites. It only takes a bit more effort to cut and paste your listing onto other sites like CarsDirect.com, Cars.com and others. You're likely to get more money there than by trading it into a dealer. However, you may have to field more emails, text messages and phone calls from interested buyers and somewhat flaky ones. If you have the extra energy to manage the communications from a greater poll of buyers, you may end up being able to score several thousand more dollars than from a dealer.
Have a Vehicle History Report
Vehicle Identification Numbers (VIN) are a long sequence of numbers assigned to every car on the road. The VIN is unique to every car; no two are alike. It identifies the car and is used to record information about the car, especially when it comes to road accidents. VIN numbers are found on a car's dashboard near the windshield, on the driver's side door and on several areas of the engine.
If you're selling your used car, and it's in great shape, don't be afraid to have a VIN report handy for interested buyers. Not only does it take away the burden of them having to run a report, but it shows that your confidence in the car is high. That may give you added dollars on the sale price.
About the Author:
Daniel Brown comes from a family of educators: Mom was an English teacher, and Dad sits on the school board in his hometown. While he finishes up his master's in education, Danny writes for several education blogs.