6 Smart Ways To Maximize Your Gains When Selling a Car

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People usually think that buying a car is an arduous process. What they don’t realize is that selling a car is as daunting and exhausting. If you don’t plan the process carefully, you may end up in some serious financial pitfalls. 

But here is the thing – every financial endeavor has some risk involved, and selling a car is no different. You will have handsome cash rolling in only if you take a strategic approach and follow the basics.

Note that owners who decide to sell vehicles on their own often end up having more cash in their pockets than those who contact the dealerships. Although it requires more effort, the payback on these sales makes it all worth it. 

Your knowledge about industry standards and trends should be thorough before you leap into it. For example, owners willing to sell their vehicles must know that American auto sales might drop in the future.

According to MarkLines Data Center, statistics indicate that passenger car retail sales decreased by 14.8%. It has nothing to do with consumers earning less or inflation, but it is due to the vehicles lasting longer. 

Our team spoke with car-selling experts and auto industry hotshots to bring you some of the best tips that will help you maximize profits when selling a car:

  1. Fix mechanical issues

A buyer’s priority is to find a vehicle with a good maintenance history. No one wants a car with engines buzzing and horns honking without a push.

Often, people prefer leaving the flaws and informing buyers about it. However, it leads to a lower profit margin as the buyers tend to bargain more.

A wise move is to fix the mechanical issues. In case you choose not to do it, at least get estimates for the repair so you can inform the buyer of the cost it will take to do the repairs.

  1. Get professional inspection and tuning

Barging into the scenario without proper analysis of your vehicle will not fetch a reasonable price. Automotive experts unanimously agree on the fact that a thorough mechanical diagnosis to gauge the actual status of the car is mandatory.

It tells you whether reconditioning will amplify the overall value of your car or not. Consider taking your vehicle to state safety inspection where they ensure that all nuts and bolts are in a fit condition. 

While you are there, ask them to refill all the fluids, switch off all maintenance lights, and inflate all wheels at optimal capacity. All of this will cost you lower than $30 and increases your profit margin (as discussed above).

  1. Generate a vehicle history report

Ronald Montoya, the senior consumer advice editor at Edmunds, said: “You don’t want just to say ‘runs great’ and name your price.” Instead, a seller should mention the features of a car, the fixtures needed, and any recent repairs.

The vehicle history report covers all of it. Buyers usually get the CarFax report or other background reports. We recommend you get the report yourself to be on a safe side.

Find the best vehicle check services operating in your area. Go through their reports, call the companies to fix errors (if any), and get ready to answer any questions.

  1. Write a good description

The way you spice up the story of the car using your creative juices can make loads of difference. Writing a detailed description of the specifications in your car will increase your chances of securing a good deal. In the description, you should mention the following:

  • Year, model, and make
  • Color
  • Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
  • Covered Mileage
  • Optional features

You can also go through websites like kbb.com or edmunds.com if you have little or no idea about the features your car has, its factory name, or launch year. Next, pump up your story by mentioning how long this car has been with you and the places where you have taken it. 

Just a reminder – don’t miss the flaws. Be upfront with the issues you faced and how you resolved them. Faulty mechanics, accidents, and appearance issues will not always kill the deal. But dishonesty might do so.

  1. Spread the word

Letting people know about the deal you bring is essential. There are multiple platforms you can use to do so:

  • Start with Craigslist. It is free, and you will probably earn tons of views.
  • Next, advertise on eBay. It requires signing up at a small amount, but you enter a well-respected trading community. It protects all parties (buyer and seller).
  • Put up a post on Facebook. You can directly upload the photo and features of your car or mention a link to another site.
  • There are several free car listing sites for dealers that you can visit if you want to sell cars online. Dealers invest a lot of money on these forums, so you have a high chance of getting a good price for your car.

If there are some other local websites that people visit to buy cars, you must find them out. As you maximize exposure to your deal, you will eventually find a prospective buyer who is willing to pay your target price.

  1. Fix a competitive price

Going below the market price is not a smart move. Usually, individual sellers use this tactic to tempt buyers away from dealerships, but it brings in a low-profit margin. Instead, you should check out the Edmunds, and Kelly Blue Book figures to price your car accurately.

Also, go through the listings on autotrader.com, Craigslist, and Cars.com and price your car accordingly. Remember that as a private seller, buyers expect a 10-15% percent discount, which is not available at dealerships.

It is why Montoya recommends sellers to price their car roughly $1000 to $2000 above the amount they want. It gives you some room in the negotiation process. Therefore, you need to calculate a strategic price for the vehicle before you hop onto the selling bandwagon.

Final Thoughts

The entire procedure to sell a car may seem arduous and complicated. But, if you are looking to make several thousand dollars more than the typical dealer exchange, you must put in some extra labor. Your efforts will be worth it when you sell your car at a price more than the market value.

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