'm getting screwed.
That's the nerve-racking mantra running through most car owners' minds when shopping their used cars from buyer to buyer, praying they'll close the deal of a lifetime. Or at least a deal their friends and family won't mercilessly mock.
Have I priced it right? What even is a good deal?
Don't you fret, car owners! Popular Mechanics has got you covered. Here's their list of six fool-proof tips you can employ before selling your next car to max out profits. Trust us, your bank account will thank you later.
Crunch the Numbers
How much is your used car really worth? That’s the trickiest question you’ll have to answer during any used car selling process.
Cars, unlike say…shirts at the gap, have no set worth. Sure, there are Kelley Blue Book “prices” available for you to peruse online. But after a car leaves its dealership of origin, that set “price” essentially becomes obsolete.
That car begins accruing a unique history…transforming mile after mile, pot hole after pot hole, into a distinct negotiable entity.
Before putting your car on the market, calculate your car’s “true” value by compiling a list of factors such as make, model, accident history, milage, and so on. Paired with its Kelley Blue Book value, this intel will give you a more complete understanding of your car’s unique history. With this fuller picture in mind, you’ll be able to better determine how much cash money your car’s truly worth.
Aim For Transparency
News flash: used car buyers are nervous, too. Maybe even more nervous than you are. No one want’s a lemon!
Luckily, you have the power to ease everyone’s minds. How? Let your perspective buyers peruse a compilation of your vehicle’s service records and history reports.
This genius move will do two things. It will 1) better flesh out the full backstory behind why you’ve set your chosen price and 2) paint you in a very flattering light.
Someone so responsible that they can shamelessly show me how on top of maintaining their car they’ve been, fearing not that this intel will sway me away from purchasing their vehicle? I want to buy a car from that truth teller.
Clean Your Baby Up
This one’s fairly simple. A clean car is a sellable car.
Cleaning your car might take time and a bit of money, but the investment will most certainly reap high reward.
Take High-Quality Photos
If you want to make serious cash selling a used car on your own, it’s up to you to market the heck out of that baby.
This means driving your clean car to as scenic a location you can find (preferably on an overcast day for optimal lighting) and using a high-quality camera to shoot beautiful photos of your product.
Remember kids, a ‘gram-able car is a sellable car.
Write a Killer Ad
Aside from posting fantastic pictures, you’ll also need to write up some sort of advertisement broadcasting your used car’s availability.
Try to make your post as personal as possible by digging into all the wonderful things you’ve enjoyed most about driving your baby. Why should everyone want your car? What makes it great? Which of its features have you enjoyed using most?
These sorts of details are sure to hook another like-minded driver, interested in having a similar car-driver experience.
Negotiate Your Heart Out
Once you’ve gotten organized, cleaned your car, taken photos, posted your ad, and hooked a buyer? That’s when the real fun begins.
Like we said up top, cars are negotiable commodities. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to negotiate that target sale price you’ve been working so hard to earn.
Study your car’s history, keep an open mind, and let your persuasive charm out to play.
And when you do finally hook that sale? Make the exchange somewhere public, preferably during daylight hours. Remember to ask for cash and have your car’s title and bill of sale at the ready to avoid any unnecessary trouble.
Okay, kids. That’s all we got. The rest is up to you!