Selling : Used car Value, Preparation Photos and Listing

There could be a bit of work that goes into selling your used car. Here is the overview of all the steps you are going to need to take from preparing your used car to listing/marketing it and the best practices for selling used cars.

1.) Find a reasonable used car value for your car :- It is always better to start a bit higher and then go lower on the car sale price.

  1.  Kelly Blue Book (KBB) is a good place to start to find the used car value. Make sure to look under , private party sale to get accurate values. Also enter options and mileage and condition accurately. I have noted that KBB is about 20 to 30% more than actual sale prices.
  2. Ebay - One sure way to find out recently sold prices is to check on under completed listings. So look under the completed listings, for similar model year car , to get an idea how much it goes for. Also factor in the location. A 4X4 might go for more money in cold places than say Texas. Another example is cars in big cities go a bit cheaper than small cities/towns.
  3. Craigslist & AutoTrader :- You can find the asking rates of cars here as well.  Don't go by the asking price of Dealers as they are obviously higher than that of Private party sales such as yours.


2.) Preparing your car for pictures : Great pictures will attract a lot of potential buyers.  So first thing to do is clean the interior by Vacuuming and then wiping the plastic areas/dash board with a wet cloth/soapy water. After that comes the exterior washing and preferably     a wax job to make the car shine a bit. I wash and wax on my own. Some times some car washing places will have specials on certain days of the week and you may take advantage of that to get your car washed waxed and optionally have an interior detail.

3.) Taking Pictures :  About the background,  I have had about same results with ordinary background as well was fancy backgrounds  (like the beach). So if you are a hobby photographer you can get creative and have some fun.  I have often taken pictures  around the back drop of Office buildings and green grass. Usually I would go into my place of work on  Saturday noon to get some great shots.

    Details and Views :-

    1.) Usually you want the 4 sides and 4 corners to cover a 360 view.

    2.) Interior view of the dash, (when you are seated on the back seat).

    3.) Close up shot of the Odo meter showing the miles

    4.) Close up shot of the VIN and Manufacturer tag on the Driver Door side (for your reference)

    5.) Inside of 4 x Door panels

    6.) View of the seat/upholstery , by standing at drivers side with door open and looking inside and similar of rear seat.

    Totally about 17 pictures. You may skip a few views if you so choose. But it is important to have atleast 3 shots of the outer body and 1 or 2 of the interior.  If you have NEW or like new tires , take their pictures too by turning the steering wheel towards one side. New Tires is a good selling point

    7.) I always include picture of the engine area with the hood open as well that of the trunk area that  shows the spare tire and jack. All these shots add value if you are selling a high value car.  But if you are selling a car that is budget car (1 to 2K$) such pictures can make your car stand out of the crowd of listings. Choice is yours.

    8.) If there is any cosmetic issue - (for example a scratch or small dent) that you want to highlight, don't forget to include pics of that as well.  

4.) Listing your car :-

1.) Free Online listings like craigslist

2.) Sign in the windows- You can buy the 'For Sale' sign from wally or just make your own on A4 size paper with big Font SIZES

3.) Flyers / Poster at the Local Department /Grocery Store or Bus stops etc.

4.) Word of Mouth -Some one at your place of work or school

5.) Paid :- AutoTrader Classifieds - Serious buyers shopping for luxury (> 5K) cars usually check here for listings from Private party , so you get a good chance to get a few interested parties

6.) Paid :- Ebay is also a venue , some times they have specials like FREE listings ,take advantage of that

It is very important that you put a phone number to maximize sales contacts. If you choose not to put your personal number online, you can get a Skype Local Phone number or similar for like $10 for 3 months. You are able to receive Skype calls on your smart phone. Or just follow up with messages left from your real phone number. Email also helps , but it just will take more time in my experience. I always make sure to put the follwing details :-

1.) Make,Model,Year,Miles (or ODOMETER), Automatic or Manual Transmission,Color, Any special options like Navigation , Sunroof  etc.  I also list any recent repairs done , Condition of AC,Tires,Battery  and also if it is clean Title , would mention that. I also provide the location by listing a major highway or intersection I am close to. It helps buyer to better prepare their trip , if they plan to visit your car.