Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

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retiredtom
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Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by retiredtom » Tue Feb 26, 2013 5:56 pm

Since we are retired, we are always looking for ways to save a few bucks. I was wondering if any Bogleheads have used Craig's List to sell a car, and what were the results? I know my kids have sold TV's, furniture, children's toys, etc. Just thought I would check out the vast amount of experience and knowledge available from all our members. In advance, thanks for the help. !!

Retiredtom & Mrs. Tom

Typ997S
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by Typ997S » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:04 pm

Yes, I have sold several cars via Craigslist in the San Francisco Bay Area, with no issues, other than receiving a few spam e-mails*. Several times I have also bought ads on either AutoTrader, LeaseTrader or Cars.com. In all cases I received much more response from the Craiglist ad, and the buyers all ended up coming through Craigslist.

So my experience would say yes, go ahead and list on Craigslist, and skip paying to advertise it on another site.



* One offered to trade a nail salon for my car...I passed on that one...

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Watty
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by Watty » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:05 pm

It depends on the price of the car. If it is good car and worth maybe $5,000 or more then Craigslist is not very good.

My neighbor cleans up and resells cars and the last time I sold a used car he advised me to spend the $50 bucks to put it in AutoTrader at a high price then be willing to take a couple of weeks to sell it for a good price. He did not like Craigslist for selling a car since he would get lots of people(like himself) that were trying to get the car for a ridiculously low price and they would waste his time by coming over to see the car then giving a lowball offer.

I sold my car for a lot higher price than I thought after about three weeks to the first people who came to see the car.

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jeffyscott
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by jeffyscott » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:17 pm

I have sold a few, but our cars are not very valuable by the time we are selling them. The thing that annoys me the most is people trying to negotiate a lower price before they even come to see the car. Also people saying they were going show up and not showing up, but I don't think that is unique to craigslist.

Last summer we sold our old minivan on ebay's free local classified. It was listed on craigslist and some other free sites also. I was surprised that the ebay thing worked.
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bertie wooster
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by bertie wooster » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:27 pm

I live in SF, where lots of folks use craigslist - and sold an old beater of a car I've been driving since college. I posted a price and got tons of responses in just 10 minutes (indicative of the fact that I underpriced it). One college kid from the peninsula gave me a couple of hundred extra if he could see it first. He came up the next do to test drive it, I told him about the numerous problems, and then he gave me the cash.

Swift and painless.

KBB is not necessarily an accurate price, so check to see what others are pricing the same car at.

Also, make sure you submit the appropriate release of liability forms to the state so that you are not liable for parking tickets and/or wrecks the buyer gets in (if applicable for your state).

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mike143
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by mike143 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 6:54 pm

Expect shady people to waste your time. Other than that I sold two cars on there, one a $500 beater the other a $7,500 2005 Honda Element, both cash deals.
bertie wooster wrote:I live in SF, where lots of folks use craigslist - and sold an old beater of a car I've been driving since college. I posted a price and got tons of responses in just 10 minutes (indicative of the fact that I underpriced it). One college kid from the peninsula gave me a couple of hundred extra if he could see it first.
Had the same thing happen, priced a 96 Civic with 400k for $500, had many calls within 10 minutes. First guy called and said he wanted it and was on his way over, next guy said he would give me more than the first guy. I sold it to the first guy because I said I would not sell it out from under him. I just wanted it gone instead of moving it. It had water damage when the storm drain got clogged, no a/c components, motor mounts so shot they would pull the manual transmission out of gear, interior was in horrible shape, etc.
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nirvines88
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by nirvines88 » Tue Feb 26, 2013 8:37 pm

Sold one a couple weeks ago, went well.

Pros
-Lots of quick responses to ad. If initial responses don't work out, you can refresh ad at some point.
-Free posting!
-Got 4x as much selling it on Craigslist than I would have gotten from the dealer when I bought a new used car.

Cons
-As expected, lots of sketchy people contacting me.
-Several no shows and people who showed interest but did not follow up with my responses.
-Made a new e-mail address to avoid future spam after selling car (plus I wasn't completely sure about Craiglist's process of making e-mail address anonymous)
-The guy sold the car immediately after he bought it from me for $1,500 more!!! :oops: Didn't bother me since I just wanted to get it off my hands before property taxes and inspection were due, but maybe I coulda asked for more! This guy was a professional reseller though, so I'm sure he probably sold it to some high cost car lot that caters to people with bad credit.
Last edited by nirvines88 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 6:02 am, edited 1 time in total.
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kramer
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on Graig's List?

Post by kramer » Tue Feb 26, 2013 11:17 pm

My experience was good selling a $3000 vehicle in 2008. There was space to explain that the A/C needed fixing. I got full price from a Marine just returning to the USA who fixed vehicle A/C for the military so he could do all the work himself. It worked out great for both of us.

That was the first day I put the ad up. I left the ad up just to see if I got any other responses over the next week, and I never did. So that makes me think I priced it right.

DJB
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by DJB » Wed Feb 27, 2013 12:20 am

I recently sold my car in the SF Bay Area. I set the KBB value as my asking price, and within a day I had someone email me, saying it looks perfect and he has the cash. He came over the next day and we made the deal.

I would definitely sell a car again on CL vs. trading in. Some cars are demanding much more than their KBB values. Pretty interesting how that works.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by scotts » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:09 am

When I bought a new Toyota a few years ago the dealer offered $1600 as a trade-in for our 12 year old Camry. I put it on Craigslist for $3000 and sold it for cash in a little over an hour. I listed my phone number and the phone didn't stop ringing until I deleted the ad. I had a list of all the things the dealer said needed to be done from the last time it was serviced, which I showed to the buyer and also had all the service records. A lot of people wanted to come over right away to look at it, so obviously I sold it to cheaply but was happy to get almost twice what the dealer had offered and the price seemed about right from looking at KBB prices.

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Bustoff
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Bustoff » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:56 am

Just did it last November. Sold the car in one day. It was a very positive experience for both myself and the buyer. I always proceed cautiously on Craigslist but interestingly, all of the people we have met through Craigslist have been great.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by carolinaman » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:12 am

I have sold several of our used cars using newspaper advertisements but have not done so since Craigslist and like services became popular. I was always able to sell our cars quickly but will not take that route again because of a few encounters with shady characters. It is simply not worth a few hundred bucks to expose myself and my property to those types. Most people will be honest and trustworthy but you cannot easily determine that until they are at your house. I did meet a guy at a fast food restaurant one time because of concerns based upon phone conversation and that is not ideal either. There have been robberies of people through Craigslist in our metro area so you really need to be cautious if you sell your car this way.

If I need to or decide to sell a car myself, I will take it to Carmax. I will get low wholesale price but I will not have to worry about all the other issues that come with selling your own vehicles.

guitarguy
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by guitarguy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:34 am

Bought an '06 Civic and then sold a '99 Malibu in 2012 on Craigslist.

Although we got some of the same stuff as others such as some seemingly sketchy people and some others not showing up, both transactions went pretty well. Both were cash deals.

EHoops
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by EHoops » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:35 am

We just bought a vehicle from Craig's List and it went really well -- I would suggest trusting your gut once you meet the people and doing your homework about the value of the car. There's KBB, Edmunds, and NADA so you can check various prices. We now intend to sell our car on Craig's List once it's ready -- we have to clean it up first. By the way, the anonymous email that Craig's List email was just that in our recent purchase. We didn't know the seller's exact email since it's shows up with a funky Craig's List phrase in the email address.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by czeckers » Wed Feb 27, 2013 7:46 am

We also recently sold our old minivan on Craigslist. Because I live in a somewhat rural area, I also listed on Autotrader to get more interest. All the replies I got came from the Craigslist ad and not a single one from Autotrader. I had a few people ask to "hold" the car for them until they could come and see it. I took the attitude that the first person to make a cash offer gets the car, and that you should double check with me to make sure it wasn't sold yet before they come out. That worked out pretty well as most of the people asking to hold the car never actually came through.

Had one person make an offer $500 below my asking price but the cash they had on them was $1000 short so they offered to pay the balance by check, which I declined. I asked them to come back when they had the full amount in cash, and haven't heard from them since. I ended up selling the car a week later at my asking price. The entire process took 3 weeks. In retrospect, I'd hold off on the Autotrader listing unless I was unable to sell the car through Craigslist after a month.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by DesertOasis » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:04 am

I sold a 1993 Mazda Protégé with low mileage for $1000. I originally wanted to do a trade for a new car, but the dealership basically said my car was a POS and offered to take it off my hands as a charitable donation. I refused and told them I would try to sell the car myself.

I sold the car in three days. I asked for $1200 based upon internet research. First guy didn't like that it had an oil leak. The second guy didn't care and it was a quick sale. He asked if I could do better on the price so I went down to $1000.

I drove the car during the test drive. I would not let a stranger drive my car because he/she might not have a valid license or insurance.

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cheese_breath
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Feb 27, 2013 8:41 am

Have you ever sold anything by posting signs on bulletin boards at supermarkets or hardware stores? Craigslist is just an electronic bulletin board with a lot more readers.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by HardKnocker » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:12 am

I sold a car last year using Craiglist.

It's basically like using a classified in the newspaper. You will get a few scammer emails.

I always require a phone number from buyers in their replies or I won't respond. I call them back on the phone.

No personal checks. Always clear any check before handing over title and keys or take cash. Common sense.

I'm not worried about people coming to my home to look at the car.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by jfssail » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:17 am

You should keep in mind the liability aspect when selling your car on the spot and signing the title over. Make sure this happens at a County Title Office. You are responsible for any accident until the Title is legally transferred.
This was pointed out to me by a local used car dealer when I tried selling my daughters 97 Honda Civic on Craigslist. Ended taking the Honda dealers $500 on a trade -in.

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Mister Whale
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Mister Whale » Wed Feb 27, 2013 9:51 am

jfssail wrote:You should keep in mind the liability aspect when selling your car on the spot and signing the title over. Make sure this happens at a County Title Office. You are responsible for any accident until the Title is legally transferred.
This was pointed out to me by a local used car dealer when I tried selling my daughters 97 Honda Civic on Craigslist. Ended taking the Honda dealers $500 on a trade -in.
My insurance agent didn't mention that when I called to let him know that I had purchased a vehicle to take the place of the one that I was selling (which, incidentally, sold in half an hour on Craigslist). I believe that some states require some sort of a release of liability and some do not. (And it seems unlikely to me that the owner of a vehicle, rather than its operator, will be liable for "any accident" after it is sold.) Always draft a bill of sale when you are selling a vehicle.

This page appears to be fairly complete: http://www.dmv.org/buy-sell/selling-you ... -a-car.php
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by nordsteve » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:09 am

I've done this. A couple points to reinforce.

Holds -- just say no, they rarely come through. First buyer with the cash wins.
Closing the deal -- I have done the closing at the title office, with the seller bringing a cashier's check to the closing, and I sign over the title and immediately go to the counter with the buyer to modify the registration.

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DesertOasis
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by DesertOasis » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:35 am

jfssail wrote:You should keep in mind the liability aspect when selling your car on the spot and signing the title over. Make sure this happens at a County Title Office. You are responsible for any accident until the Title is legally transferred.
This was pointed out to me by a local used car dealer when I tried selling my daughters 97 Honda Civic on Craigslist. Ended taking the Honda dealers $500 on a trade -in.
My understanding was that by listing the exact mileage the title, when you sign it over, as well as on the bill of sale you protect yourself from this possibility. This applied to Massachusetts.

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SC Hoosier
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by SC Hoosier » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:54 am

How do you handle the test drive? Do you go with them? Do you hold their credit card as security?
I live in No Payment Land. It is wonderful, and I'd love for you to live here too.

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nirvines88
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by nirvines88 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 10:58 am

SC Hoosier wrote:How do you handle the test drive? Do you go with them? Do you hold their credit card as security?
I went with the buyer. He hit about 40 mph in a Walmart parking lot, so buckle up for the ride! :shock:
"Beware of little expenses, a small leak will sink a great ship" - Poor Richard

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Riverstwo » Wed Feb 27, 2013 11:36 am

I have sold many things on Craigs List including 3 boats, a Vespa scooter and purchased 2 cars and a boat. I have even got rid of old stuff like rusted refrigerators for free pickups. It has all been an excellent experience. The last car I bought was a Toyota Avalon and I'm very happy with it. I met the person in a lighted shopping center parking lot in the daytime and I test drove it and made the offer, within two weeks I owned it. It couldn't have gone better. Love Craigs List.

retiredtom
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by retiredtom » Wed Feb 27, 2013 1:35 pm

WOW, let me start by thanking everyone for the great responses. You have provided a wealth of information and experiences to draw from. I think that is one of the best reasons to belong to this forum. Everyone takes their responses seriously, provides complete and thorough answers, and are very willing to help each other out. We are going to go ahead and get the ball rolling on this project.
I plan to require the initial contact to be made through e-mail and hope to avoid a lot of the unnecessary phone calls everyone has mentioned. I am going to contact the Azrizona DMV to find out the liability issues , along with additional requirements from them. The last questionable area is the type of payment. I am currently leaning toward a Cashier's Check. The car is in the $5500-6000 dollar range and I am not real comfortable with that much cash being swapped from someone I don't know.
I monitor this several times a day, especially in view of the number of terrific respones I have gotten. I am always grateful to get more answers and hope to post a very successful response when we get the car sold. Once again, thanks to all who have responded and I look forward to hearing from more of you.

RetiredTom & Mrs. Tom

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Oddlot » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:43 pm

I agree w/others that you should set up a new email account (w/out your name in the address) for the transaction.

Several have mentioned the spam that you will receive. I live in a major metro and I recall the scammers/spammers outnumbered the legitimate inquirers by maybe 20 to 30 : 1. Not a deal breaker, as virtually all of the phony responses are readily identifiable. Just allow for a few hours to go through all the junk. I wouldn't put my phone number in the ad because it's easy to reverse lookup.

Make sure to clean and wax the car and take some nice pictures with a pleasant background (e.g., a wooded park). Also, have closeup photos of any major body flaws so prospects won't be surprised when they see the car.

Good luck. You should be able to sell the car in a day or so.

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DesertOasis
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by DesertOasis » Wed Feb 27, 2013 2:59 pm

Cashier's checks can be forged. For that amount of money I would insist on meeting them at their bank and cashing a check drawn against their account.

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BigFoot48
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by BigFoot48 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:10 pm

I will be selling my Honda Odyssey for around $12k in the coming months and plan to use AutoTrader, but find the recommendations for Craigs List interesting. Based on the recommendations of a cautious friend who just sold his Lexus, and my own experience selling a travel trailer, here are some selling tips people might want to consider:

1. Use a Google phone number.
2. Meet the interested party at some business location, not your home. Remove any documents with personal information fro the vehicle.
3. Take their car keys while they test drive it. (A person he and I knew and her husband were killed In Phoenix by test drivers turning out to be carjackers a few years ago.) Our insurance agent also recommend getting the person's drivers license number.
4. Only accept a cashier check issued in your presence in their bank. The bank will also notarize the title transfer.
5. Immediately register it as sold (via the web), here with the Arizona Dept of Motor Vehicles.
Last edited by BigFoot48 on Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by trudy » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:27 pm

nirvines88 wrote:
SC Hoosier wrote:How do you handle the test drive? Do you go with them? Do you hold their credit card as security?
I went with the buyer. He hit about 40 mph in a Walmart parking lot, so buckle up for the ride! :shock:
As a woman, I'm concerned about that aspect. I have an older Mustang which I'd like to sell, but haven't figured out how to do it in a way I feel safe. It's not a zillion dollar car, but I keep it in good shape except it's due for painting, which pretty much rules out selling it to a dealer.

Rupert
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Rupert » Wed Feb 27, 2013 3:42 pm

Another option is a car consignment lot. I know a guy who does this. He has a vacant lot on a busy highway. For a percentage of the sale price or a minimum charge, whichever is higher, he lets sellers park their cars on the lot. He also meets with potential buyers and handles the test drives.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by EternalOptimist » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:07 pm

Am thinking of using Craigslist myself for a used car sale...sounds good. I've sold numerous cars fairly quickly through reasonably priced local newspapers.
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archbish99
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by archbish99 » Wed Feb 27, 2013 4:24 pm

Our experience was similar. Our asking price was $7500, and I got a slew of e-mails and phone calls asking variously, "Will you take $5000?" and/or "What's your best price?" Most people seemed very taken-aback when I answered $7500 or invited them to explain why they thought it was worth less than we were asking. Only one person was able to quantify "This concerns me; my offer includes uncertainty about how serious that is. If you have that looked at and it's okay, I'll offer more." One person was really pushy, until I finally told him that I wasn't interested in selling the car to him at any price with that attitude.

I eventually worked out a pattern of being clear up front that we felt the price was fair for the condition the car was in, factored in servicing that would be needed soon, and that of course we would repair any issues found in an inspection or adjust the price accordingly if something came up. That made most initial calls very brief. I also had documentation about how we arrived at the price, which I went over with anyone who came in person or asked on the phone why we priced it that way.

The other thing I'd advise with any car selling is to check the CarFax for your own car before you list it. I've sold two cars and in both cases, the CarFax had incorrect negative information, and I kept getting people who would mysteriously lose interest after getting the VIN. After I found out what was wrong and contacted CarFax (with documentation) to get it removed, the car sold within a week.

Different states have different rules about reporting a sale. Here in Washington, the seller has five days to report the date and mileage of the sale, along with the buyer's name, address, and DL number; so long as it's filed within five days, you're not liable for anything done with the car after the sale. The buyer has fifteen days to transfer title into their name, after which penalties start to be tacked on to your title fee.
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johnkidding
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by johnkidding » Wed Feb 27, 2013 5:08 pm

I've sold several. The biggest tip I can give is this: Between now and April is a great time to sell a car at around $3000. The average tax-refund for low-income people seems to be around this number. It is more difficult to sell above $4000 as the demand curve for people with access to over $3000 steeply drops off around this time of year.

The only way to get a good offer is to not be in a hurry to sell, and be patient. If you want to sell fast, pick a reasonable number and drop the price $100 a day until it is sold. Don't forget to renew and get your posting to the top.

retiredtom
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by retiredtom » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:29 pm

Just thought I would give everyone an update. I put my post together and set it up without using my phone number. I instructed the prospective buyers to use the "reply" button which got me e-mails from them and asked that they and provide me with their name, phone#, and any questions that they had and that I would either respond by e-mail or call. This process allowed me to control my "phone" and I could take my time responding and eliminate those who had no real interest. The end result was that between late Thursday afternoon and the middle of the morning today, I got 26 responses, had two solid buyers and sold the car to the second person that looked at it for $5900 and I was asking $6000. Went to his bank which is across the street from mine, picked up a Cashier's Check, went over to my bank and made the deposit. All in all a really good experience and I wanted to give a huge Thank You for the help that all of you provided. Another successful endeavor inspired by the Bogleheads. :D :D

Once again, Thank You !!!!!
RetiredTom & Mrs. Tom

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by natureexplorer » Fri Mar 01, 2013 11:55 pm

Yes. I sold the car for $10.5k through craigslist, which was the KBB private party value. Carmax had offered me $7.5k.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Browser » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:24 am

Reading this thread I was reminded of a time I was selling my '86 Honda Accord - before Craigslist era. A couple called to see the car and showed up at my home in the early evening (first mistake) and then wanted to test drive it (second mistake). They looked tame enough, so they climbed into the front seats and I in the back. Then we took off down the dark highway. About then it dawned on me that I was getting taken on a ride in my own car that I might not get back from. Don't know how I could have been so dumb. As matter of fact, I don't know that it would have been a great idea even in broad daylight to let a stranger get into the driver's seat and ride along. Don't know the best way to handle this, except maybe have a couple of your burly relatives go along too. All in all, I'd have some real problems using Craigslist and getting myself into this kind of situation.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by natureexplorer » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:33 am

Browser wrote:Reading this thread I was reminded of a time I was selling my '86 Honda Accord - before Craigslist era. A couple called to see the car and showed up at my home in the early evening (first mistake) and then wanted to test drive it (second mistake). They looked tame enough, so they climbed into the front seats and I in the back. Then we took off down the dark highway. About then it dawned on me that I was getting taken on a ride in my own car that I might not get back from. Don't know how I could have been so dumb. As matter of fact, I don't know that it would have been a great idea even in broad daylight to let a stranger get into the driver's seat and ride along. Don't know the best way to handle this, except maybe have a couple of your burly relatives go along too. All in all, I'd have some real problems using Craigslist and getting myself into this kind of situation.
There are certain ways how to sell stuff on Craigslist, but they don't include yours.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Browser » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:38 am

Just how can this compromising situation be avoided using Craigslist? I've sold stuff there (not autos) and know the routine. If you're selling a car, you will have to meet with the prospective purchaser and provide a test drive just like selling it any other way, right? And the problem with Craigslist is the number of predatory individuals who habitate that space - not saying that they aren't around other venues as well.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by glennaudi » Sat Mar 02, 2013 6:43 am

My experience was surprisingly positive, I did not have high hopes selling a car for $16K+.
It was a 6 year old acura mdx but in excellent shape. In any event I had immediate responses and had several people very interested in queue as one local person had the car checked out at his mechanic and the deal was transacted the next day in cash.

Maybe i was just lucky, wish you luck !

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Mar 02, 2013 8:38 am

Browser wrote:Just how can this compromising situation be avoided using Craigslist? I've sold stuff there (not autos) and know the routine. If you're selling a car, you will have to meet with the prospective purchaser and provide a test drive just like selling it any other way, right? And the problem with Craigslist is the number of predatory individuals who habitate that space - not saying that they aren't around other venues as well.
I guess I never really thought there were a whole lot of people just waiting for me to post a craigslist ad so that they can...I don't know, what is it I am supposed to be worried about?

I've sold and given away quite a few things and besides some spam the only other problem is people claiming an interest and not showing up or following up in any way. The not showing up thing is not unique to craigslist, back in the newspaper classified ad days I think about 1 in 10 people who called to see my car actually came to see it.

I have never gone with on a test drive when selling a car, no matter where it was advertised. But I have never sold any that were worth much, the most was a minivan that sold for $1800. I just figured if they are so desperate that they responded to an ad for a 14 year old minivan with the intent to steal it, well so be it. I don't know what I'd do if I wanted to sell, say, a $10,000 used car and I will likely never find out, since we keep our cars "forever".
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Outer Marker » Sat Mar 02, 2013 11:18 am

In recent years I've sold several good condition used cars of mid value

$8000 Mazda Miata
$8000 Honda Civic
$6000 Passat Wagon

In each case, I listed in the paper (large metro area), cars.com, and craigslist.

And, in each case the car sold promptly off craigslist, even before any inquiries were received from any of the other channels.

Its the luck of the draw, but my cars went to nice, honest people who were glad to get fair deal on a car. Two gave me cashiers checks, and one paid in cash. I made a point of pricing the cars fairly, (in fact slightly below bluebook), which made them stand out amid the over-inflated offers by dealer and overly ambitious sellers. They all sold in a matter of a few days. Another good thing about craigslist is you can pull down the add right away, so you don't get annoying calls out of the newspaper days after the car is gone.

Good luck!

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by jeffyscott » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:47 pm

Outer Marker wrote:Another good thing about craigslist is you can pull down the add right away, so you don't get annoying calls out of the newspaper days after the car is gone.
But almost nobody does delete their old ads, annoying when you are on the buying side.

With craigslist there need be no annoying calls at all, I never list a phone number but I do delete my ads when the thing is sold and do (unlike some sellers) respond to every email.
press on, regardless - John C. Bogle

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by momar » Sat Mar 02, 2013 12:56 pm

So how do you guys price your cars to get the most back? Obviously I can look at what other people are listing on CL for similar cars, check out KBB, etc. Set it high and be willing to come down, set it fair, set it low to get offers?

I'm going to be getting a new car sometime in the summer/fall, and since my current is 11 years old I will be selling it myself. The range in prices for this particular car is pretty substantial; mine is a bare bones model, but very low mileage (85k) and has no mechanical problems. Some wear and tear and dings from parking lots.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by archbish99 » Sat Mar 02, 2013 1:04 pm

momar wrote:So how do you guys price your cars to get the most back? Obviously I can look at what other people are listing on CL for similar cars, check out KBB, etc. Set it high and be willing to come down, set it fair, set it low to get offers?
What we wound up doing:
  • Print off the KBB pricing for our car
  • Determine which category your car falls into: "Like New? No. No bodywork? No. Interior needs professional reconditioning? No. Very Good it is!"
  • Adjust price for known upcoming maintenance (e.g. 90k servicing with 84k miles)
  • Print off ~2 pages of other Craigslist ads for the same model car, and verify that all cars less expensive than your asking price are older or higher mileage or branded title, and that all cars more expensive are newer or lower mileage.
  • Keep both sheets with your paperwork and go over them with prospective buyers. If they want to offer less, insist that they give you a solid reason.
Took a while to wade past the no-reason lowballs, but we eventually got what we think was a fair price this way. You could try the high-and-come-down approach, but most people start a conversation with "What's the lowest you'll go?" so you essentially have to have a fair price anyway. It seems silly to me for that fair price to not be what you listed, if every conversation gets to it in ten seconds.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by EternalOptimist » Sat Mar 02, 2013 4:16 pm

momar wrote:So how do you guys price your cars to get the most back? Obviously I can look at what other people are listing on CL for similar cars, check out KBB, etc. Set it high and be willing to come down, set it fair, set it low to get offers?

I'm going to be getting a new car sometime in the summer/fall, and since my current is 11 years old I will be selling it myself. The range in prices for this particular car is pretty substantial; mine is a bare bones model, but very low mileage (85k) and has no mechanical problems. Some wear and tear and dings from parking lots.

A tip I read today is to place the ad on late afternoon Thursday so to get weekend buyers.
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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by Reubin » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:17 pm

I went to look at a car advertised on Craigslist and was greeted by 2 young men in hoodies who didn't live or work at the meeting point and claimed to be from another state visiting. The car had no plates or registration.I got very bad vibes and was glad that I didn't get mugged or buy a car that was stolen.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by tim1999 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:29 pm

I've sold a few low-end cars on craigslist, and have helped family/friends do the same. One buyer to beware of is the "amateur/part-timer" used car dealer. These guys act eager to see the car as soon as the ad goes up, make lowball offers (i. e. you're asking a fair $5,000 and they offer $2,500) and wave cash in your face in an effort to convince you to accept the lowball offer on the spot. Nothing wrong with being an entrepreneur (they fix up/clean up the cars and sell for a profit), but you can usually get more $$ by holding out for a "retail" buyer instead of selling to one of these guys.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by DrDoodle » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:46 pm

jeffyscott wrote:I guess I never really thought there were a whole lot of people just waiting for me to post a craigslist ad so that they can...I don't know, what is it I am supposed to be worried about?
Well, there really are a lot of shady doings in the CL world. Least worrisome being people who will try to pay you with a fraudulent money order. Worse being people who will meet you, with intent to rob you of your item .... probably more likely for something like a computer, rather than a car. (Though more often, it's buyers who show up with a wad of cash and get robbed.) These are very rare incidents but they do happen, so that'll give you an idea of why some folks are recommending cautious approaches.

For my part, I've sold and given away a fair amount of stuff (including two cars) on CL and the only problem I've run into is a very high proportion of Craigslist Flakes.

One of the cars that I unloaded was a 15 year old, very ugly, but reliable econobox. I asked $500 and thought it was going to be a great way for a person with little money to get a decent car for work or school. I had a LOT of callers and very interested "buyers." Met several of them. But I learned something: if you're someone who is interested in owning a $500 car, you probably don't have $500. It was eye-opening. In retrospect, I wish I had just found a way to give it to someone who could benefit from it.

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Re: Any Experience Selling a Car on [Craigslist]?

Post by dandan14 » Mon Mar 04, 2013 7:57 pm

I've sold several on CL. You will get some spam emails asking for you to ship the car or offering your half your price. But other than that, I've gotten really good leads. I just sold our Camry about 3 weeks ago on CL. I got 3 appointments lined up on a Saturday and sold it to the first person who came to look. I didn't have to negotiate much off my asking price because I told them I had 2 more people lined up that day.

They gave me a deposit that day, and we closed and notarized the title at the bank a few days later.

I would recommend filling out and having both parties sign a bill of sale as well. Then keep a copy of that for yourself.

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