Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

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4nursebee
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Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by 4nursebee » Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:34 am

We are a family of two adult drivers. We have a used beater 2005 F150, low miles, plan to keep forever to haul trash once a week. We also bought one of those cars that is very polarizing to mention and love it. We'd been planning on also keeping our 2016 Subaru Outback, but were shocked by a repair bill we are paying for this morning. Insurance on the Subaru is also $358 for 6 months just for it to sit in the garage, now likely to sell it. For the money we will get we could take perhaps 400 Uber rides and have no upkeep costs...and we don't need Uber

We have rarely sold used cars to other people, not in a rush for the money.
Kelly Blue book online offer is $17,600, the low end of trade in value, also subject to dealer inspection and approval 1.5 hours away. Offer godo for a few days.
Local dealer said they are "not at that price" and have not told us what they would pay.
We are going to try Carmax, seems like they do not give internet quotes.
There are a few other smaller outfits that seem to provide quotes if they get pictures.

Any advice on how to sell the car?
Have you done Carmax or KBB before and how did it go?
Any pointers for a private sale?
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:01 am

Wheel doesn't have to be reinvented.

Edmunds.com's Quick Guide to Selling Your Car - https://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/edmund ... r-car.html

KBB How To Sell Your Car - https://www.kbb.com/sell-your-car/
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by 4nursebee » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:55 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:01 am
Wheel doesn't have to be reinvented.

Edmunds.com's Quick Guide to Selling Your Car - https://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/edmund ... r-car.html

KBB How To Sell Your Car - https://www.kbb.com/sell-your-car/
Sure, but Carmax has built a large business doing just that.
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Oct 14, 2019 5:57 am

No dealer of any type is going to beat private sale.
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by sunny_socal » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:11 am

Why not just get over the 'shock' you experienced with the repair bill? :wink: I'm always shocked by the tax bill when I buy a new or used vehicle.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by carolinaman » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:25 am

I always get an estimate from Carmax whenever I plan to trade cars so I know what I can get for it. It is a wholesale price and it is well respected by car dealers. I have actually had dealers give me the Carmax price which was higher than what they offered. However, you can do much better in a private transaction. I have sold several cars in private transactions but quit doing that years ago because I encountered some unsavory characters and decided I did not want to deal with that. It was not worth the extra money I could gain from the transaction.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:48 am

I’ve only sold a car private party when selling a beater. I typically unload my car after passing it’s annual state inspection, when I don’t think it’ll pass next year. I take photos of the tire treads, all the rusty places, and the inspection sticker for Craigslist. I usually ask $1000 but I’m willing to take $750. Buyer gets a winter beater, I get more than scrap value for it. In the autumn it’ll be gone in less than a week.

We meet at a nearby box store for the exchange.

I will say selling on CL can feel a lot like this:
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=SEEYmpN112c
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by Swansea » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:57 am

Last time I tried to sell my car to a private party, it was an unsatisfactory experience. I prefer to take the hit of some $$ and sell to a dealer.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by Watty » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:10 am

4nursebee wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:34 am
Have you done Carmax or KBB before and how did it go?
If you sell it at Carmax you will be getting several thousand dollars less than you could get if your sell it yourself. They are not really ripping you off, that is just that is part of how it works when you sell a car at basically the wholesale price.

They will then sell it for a price that is higher than you could get by selling it on your own but that is also part of their business model since some people will pay a premium price for a Carmax car. If you look at their website a few days after you sell them a car you may see your car listed for sale you may be surprised at the additional markup but you would be unlikely to get the "Carmax price" if you sold it on your own so don't be alarmed at that. When I have looked at buying a Carmax car they have been way more expensive than I would pay.

The big question is if giving up 5 to 10 percent of the price you could get by selling the car yourself is worth the convenience to you.

Note: A 2016 Outback is a very desirable car that should sell fast so they can afford to pay you a bit more. If you had some undesirable slow moving model and they already have six of them on their lot then any offer to purchase it would be lower because it might take a long time to sell.

4nursebee wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:34 am
Any advice on how to sell the car?
.....
Any pointers for a private sale?
It sounds like you have a one owner, low milage, never wrecked very desirable model. There are not many of those out there that are for sale.

When you look up the book price if you adjust for the mileage and condition you will still just be getting an average price and half of the cars with that milage and condition will sell for more than the average price. There are people out there that are willing to pay an above average price for a great car, don't be afraid to price it high.

It had been a while since I have sold a car but when I did someone that knows cars suggested that I not list it on Craigslist since there are lots of people who will give lowball offers there just so they can resell the car. They suggested paying to list it on Auto Trader and to price it above average, since it was a really good car, then wait for it to sell. It took about a month to sell it that way but it sold to the first person who actually came out to see it.

Do not take any sort of check, cashiers check, or money order for the car. There are all sorts of scams and these can be faked. Cash can rarely be counterfeit and if they pay you in cash 15 minutes later their acompless may show up and rob you. Meet at the buyers bank and go up to teller with them to get the teller together to directly cut your a check and then sign over the title.

Your state may have a form that needs to be filled out to confirm the sale. Be sure to check to see what your state requires. If your state does not require any special paperwork still get something acknowledging that they bought the car. If they are in a car accident an hour later you want to be able to prove that you no longer owned the car.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by 02nz » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:13 am

I've sold several cars on Craigslist (including an Outback actually) - you get the most $ this way but it's a lot of work. A lot of people just "kicking tires" online, or making lowball offers.

I would get offers from Carvana and/or Vroom. I almost went this way for my last sale (until a serious buyer came through last minute with a slightly higher offer via CL). They gave basically the same offer, significantly better than Carmax. Carvana seemed like the better, more professional outfit in my dealings.

ETA: My experience with the Kelly Blue Book online offers was not good. Dealers will lowball you after you get there. Carvana seems different - they do verify the condition, but (they claim) 90%+ of cars are verified at the same condition claimed by owners so it seems like the vast majority of cars are sold at the price offered.
Last edited by 02nz on Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:36 am

What repairs were done and how much did it cost?

Often, people just "feel" that their car has let them down because they had to spend a lot of money unexpectedly. If you happen to use a "bad" dealer, whose service writers are very aggressive, you could easily end up with an un-necessary whopping bill. I know one Subaru dealer....actually the closest one to me....who would come up with $4,000 worth of "needed" work if you drove a car from their showroom directly into the service department. Others are more honest but still have stupid "needed" services that include changing the cabin filter, lubricating the hinges and checking the battery.

I don't remember if 16 Outbacks are included in either the CVT or FB engine short block oil consumption range. I had both done with our 13 Crosstrek and the car has been dead reliable since having these 2 free, big swaps done.
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by RickBoglehead » Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:43 am

I've sold 3 cars and a travel trailer via Craigslist in the past few years, and it's not a big effort.

I research the value of my vehicle on KBB and Edmunds, as well as perusing different car selling sites, to come up with a fair value. I didn't go to Carmax, but for several I had a trade-in value, well below these prices.

I place my ad, using Craigslist's anonymous email function for communicating, with an accurate description and fair valuation. My cars are beyond clean, they are immaculate. I sold a 9 year old Fusion where the inside was spotless, and mats were brand new (since I store the carpet mats and replace with rubber, then put the carpet mats back for the sale).

I tell any inquirer that we will meet at a Craigslist Safe Zone, in the lobby (with cameras). Or, they can choose to provide their work email address, i.e. Don_Smith@company.com, or their work phone number (with company name), so that I can verify identity before we meet at my house. For those that bow out, that's great - I've gotten rid of the waste-of-timers.

My Fusion sold for thousands more than trade-in. I gave a $400 discount to the buyer (young family, new baby) because he paid $500 non-refundable deposit to hold the car while he got his car loan approved.

My 1999 Mercury Marquis sold in 2 days.

My 2006 Dodge Caravan also sold quickly, I had people fighting over it. First with a $500 deposit won.
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by MikeG62 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:22 am

4nursebee wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 4:34 am
...Kelly Blue book online offer is $17,600, the low end of trade in value, also subject to dealer inspection and approval 1.5 hours away. Offer godo for a few days.
Local dealer said they are "not at that price" and have not told us what they would pay.
We are going to try Carmax, seems like they do not give internet quotes.
There are a few other smaller outfits that seem to provide quotes if they get pictures.

Any advice on how to sell the car?
Have you done Carmax or KBB before and how did it go?
Any pointers for a private sale?
I got one of these "online offers" when we were trying to sell my daughter's low mileage (great condition) Nissan Altima (~4 years ago). Offer was from a local Nissan dealer. Long story short, we went down to the dealer, sat around for over an hour before the dealer even bothered to look at the car and they eventually came back with a "real offer" that was thousands below the "online offer" price. I am mentioning this since you need to drive an hour and a half to have the folks who made the online offer inspect the car and your local dealer is apparently balking at that price. Long way of saying, I'm skeptical of the "online offer". In my limited experience, these are not "real offers".

FWIW, the last few cars I sold were all sold from Cars.com ad's (and had concurrent ad's running on Craigslist). I have had some success with Craigslist in past years though. Be prepared for lots of scammers, especially from the Craigslist ad. You need to weed those out.

This is one of the reasons we are now leasing cars. Selling a car can be a real PITA.
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by sk2101 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:24 am

carvana, vroom will give you online quotes. Worth 5 minutes of your time to get another data point vs Carmax. Sometimes they will come up higher.

Look up on how much similar cars sold for on ebay. If it is a big difference you may want to go through the hassle of selling yourself. When I do that, I price the car competitively so it goes quickly. I usually want to be the lowest priced of all similar cars listed but still get thousands more than what dealer/Carmax will pay me. If I can't do that then I won't bother selling private - reason is that I want people jumping to buy the car immediately and not trying to lowball me. Ebay, Craigslist, Offerup, Autotrader are good places to list for private party these days.
Last edited by sk2101 on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by midareff » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:31 am

I have done CarMax both for an outright sale and as a lever to get better trade-in prices. My last trade-in was very low balled at local dealers and I could not get much of a deal against new pricing (hot model). I negotiated a deal across the state which had a substantial discount and included a CarMax match for trade if their (dealers) quote was lower on trade.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by runner3081 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:38 am

RickBoglehead wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 7:43 am
I've sold 3 cars and a travel trailer via Craigslist in the past few years, and it's not a big effort.
Agree, I have sold somewhere around 10 cars on Craigslist. Never much of an effort and easy way to maximize your sales price.

Not once did I have a tire kicker come drive a vehicle that didn't eventually buy it. Yes, some people have extra time, but not many people will come look and drive a car they have no interest in.

I am brutally honest in all of the ads and this probably helps - If they like what they see in the ad, the car matches that exactly.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:39 am

Clean the Subaru inside and out. (Amazing how many people won't do this step).

Take 10-12 good photos. Inside and outside.

List on Craigslist for the $5 fee (cars are not free anymore). Describe the good and the bad in detail.

List for $1,000+ more than the price you can get on a "no haggle" wholesale sale.

Talk to interested people on the phone. You can usually tell right away if someone is legit. No Western Union or holding until Friday junk or shipping stuff.

If it bothers you to talk to people and let them test drive it, then take the $17,500. For some, the extra $1,000 isn't worth it. For some it is "easy money" to sell it yourself.
Last edited by bloom2708 on Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:46 am

bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:39 am

List on Craigslist for $5. Describe the good and the bad in detail.
A $5.00 listed car on CL would attract all sorts of attention I suppose.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by bloom2708 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:50 am

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:46 am
bloom2708 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:39 am

List on Craigslist for $5. Describe the good and the bad in detail.
A $5.00 listed car on CL would attract all sorts of attention I suppose.
It now costs $5 to list an auto. Not the price of the car. :oops:
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by 4nursebee » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:03 am

sk2101 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:24 am
carvana, vroom will give you online quotes. Worth 5 minutes of your time to get another data point vs Carmax. Sometimes they will come up higher.

Look up on how much similar cars sold for on ebay. If it is a big difference you may want to go through the hassle of selling yourself. When I do that, I price the car competitively so it goes quickly. I usually want to be the lowest priced of all similar cars listed but still get thousands more than what dealer/Carmax will pay me. If I can't do that then I won't bother selling private - reason is that I want people jumping to buy the car immediately and not trying to lowball me. Ebay, Craigslist, Offerup, Autotrader are good places to list for private party these days.
Thanks for the VROOM idea, there bid was 18.2K but they say they will Fedex the check in a day or two...
The KBB dealer 90 min away said they did not know how their price would compare to Carmax. They also had to put me on hold for a while to get a question answered. I am concerned to drive their and have them play games. Carvana was similar to KBB.

Thanks for input so far, we are hesitant to do VROOM with the "check is in the mail" deal
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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by sk2101 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:15 pm

4nursebee wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:03 am
sk2101 wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:24 am
carvana, vroom will give you online quotes. Worth 5 minutes of your time to get another data point vs Carmax. Sometimes they will come up higher.

Look up on how much similar cars sold for on ebay. If it is a big difference you may want to go through the hassle of selling yourself. When I do that, I price the car competitively so it goes quickly. I usually want to be the lowest priced of all similar cars listed but still get thousands more than what dealer/Carmax will pay me. If I can't do that then I won't bother selling private - reason is that I want people jumping to buy the car immediately and not trying to lowball me. Ebay, Craigslist, Offerup, Autotrader are good places to list for private party these days.
Thanks for the VROOM idea, there bid was 18.2K but they say they will Fedex the check in a day or two...
The KBB dealer 90 min away said they did not know how their price would compare to Carmax. They also had to put me on hold for a while to get a question answered. I am concerned to drive their and have them play games. Carvana was similar to KBB.

Thanks for input so far, we are hesitant to do VROOM with the "check is in the mail" deal
Vroom is legit. I haven't used them personally but a close friend sold s car to them in California recently and everything went smoothly. I suggest you do some research on them.

if you dont get the check as promised you dont deliver the car. seems that you have little to lose.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by david99 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 8:59 pm

I sold an old car to Carmax for $400. I could have gotten a few hundred more on Craigslist but it just wasn't worth it to me. They give you an offer that is valid for 7 days so you could take it in and see what they offer you for the car.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by Ztx » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:21 pm

I sold my last 2 cars on Craigslist - no issues and sold within a week. I read that the cars that sell the best are under $10K (both of my cars were). Just make sure to meet at the bank so you could deposit cashiers check or cash right aways to make sure it legitimate. Do not take personal checks.
Last edited by Ztx on Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by J295 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:22 pm

Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)
Unread post by 4nursebee » Mon Oct 14, 2019 3:34 am

We are a family of two adult drivers. We have a used beater 2005 F150, low miles, plan to keep forever to haul trash once a week. We also bought one of those cars that is very polarizing to mention and love it.....
Guess I'm the first to ask .... what type of car could actually be "polarizing" ?

As to your question ..... if you want the most $$$ go private sale .... if you want less hassle and $$$ is secondary use one of the services or put it on a local auction (around here the auctioneer puts the vehicle on an already existing estate or other auction, and they like to do so because it can be a nice draw).

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by GT99 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 9:38 pm

Carmax will generally give you a better price than other dealers, but you should still be able to sell for at least 10% more than Carmax offers. In this case, the difference isn't just a few hundred or even $1000. I'd say minimum $1500, probably $2000 or more. I get it that people like the convenience of selling to a dealer, but that's an awfully hefty convenience fee IMO.

I've sold 2 cars on Craigslist. Both went very smoothly (you just have to ignore the very obvious scam responses). The first one I sold for about 25% more than a non-Carmax dealer offer. The second one I didn't bother getting a dealer offer, but sold for quite a bit more than the KBB Trade In value.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by Sandi_k » Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:55 pm

I've sold two cars via CL in the past three years. My method:

1) List it using the CL anonymizer email system.

2) DO NOT include a phone number.

3) Post the listing with at least 10 clear pics: front of car, driver's side, rear bumper, passenger side, driver interior, back seat interior, trunk interior, engine bay, console, and odometer. (Of course, you've washed and waxed it first, so everything gleams, right?!)

4) Go to Edmunds, and copy their listing details of your car's trim level: include things such as wood shift knob, leather-wrapped dash, JBL speakers, sport suspension, whatever. Note any upgrades.

5) Get the private sale price ranges from Edmunds, Kelley, and NADA: list all three ranges in the ad.

6) Make sure the ad listing SUBJECT includes Year, Make, Model, and says: One Owner, All Records, Clean Title, Non-Smoker (assuming this is true). Also note CASH ONLY, sold to "first cash offer in hand." Post the ad on a Thursday or Friday, with a Saturday or Sunday "sale day."

7) Choose a day to show it, and schedule people in 30 minute increments.

8) For those who email you, desperately asking for a phone number, politely decline. When they lowball, politely decline. I ask if they have any questions specific to the car, and the numbskulls quickly move on to someone else.

9) 24 hours before the scheduled "show appointment", email the people you've scheduled with the address of where you'll meet them for the examination of the car. A local police station is a good choice.

10) Prepare by collecting your owner's manual, the key fobs, the pink slip, any extra items such as floor mats, and the Bill of Sale form from your state's DMV. Remove every personal item from the car.

11) Once you've sold it, take the cash, fill out the Bill of Sale (noting the sale is AS IS), and snap a pic of the buyer's driver's license. If your state has a legal Release of Liability form, fill that out, too.

Both cars sold to the first person who came to test drive it. I spent about 30 minutes answering emails total for each sale, and we weren't pestered by CL buffoons calling at 6 am, or berating me for the sale price (yes, this has happened to us twice before, when we had listed phone numbers). :annoyed

ETA: to give you an idea of the difference in selling it yourself: the car I sold last weekend was a 2010 Lexus RX350. It had been well-cared for, but had extremely high mileage (250k+ miles). I had all service records, and had maintained it impeccably. The dealer offered me $4500 as a trade in, and I sold it for $8k a week later via CL.

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Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by jsandra » Mon Oct 21, 2019 12:38 pm

Sandi_k wrote:
Sun Oct 20, 2019 10:55 pm
I've sold two cars via CL in the past three years. My method:

1) List it using the CL anonymizer email system.

2) DO NOT include a phone number.

3) Post the listing with at least 10 clear pics: front of car, driver's side, rear bumper, passenger side, driver interior, back seat interior, trunk interior, engine bay, console, and odometer. (Of course, you've washed and waxed it first, so everything gleams, right?!)

4) Go to Edmunds, and copy their listing details of your car's trim level: include things such as wood shift knob, leather-wrapped dash, JBL speakers, sport suspension, whatever. Note any upgrades.

5) Get the private sale price ranges from Edmunds, Kelley, and NADA: list all three ranges in the ad.

6) Make sure the ad listing SUBJECT includes Year, Make, Model, and says: One Owner, All Records, Clean Title, Non-Smoker (assuming this is true). Also note CASH ONLY, sold to "first cash offer in hand." Post the ad on a Thursday or Friday, with a Saturday or Sunday "sale day."

7) Choose a day to show it, and schedule people in 30 minute increments.

8) For those who email you, desperately asking for a phone number, politely decline. When they lowball, politely decline. I ask if they have any questions specific to the car, and the numbskulls quickly move on to someone else.

9) 24 hours before the scheduled "show appointment", email the people you've scheduled with the address of where you'll meet them for the examination of the car. A local police station is a good choice.

10) Prepare by collecting your owner's manual, the key fobs, the pink slip, any extra items such as floor mats, and the Bill of Sale form from your state's DMV. Remove every personal item from the car.

11) Once you've sold it, take the cash, fill out the Bill of Sale (noting the sale is AS IS), and snap a pic of the buyer's driver's license. If your state has a legal Release of Liability form, fill that out, too.

Both cars sold to the first person who came to test drive it. I spent about 30 minutes answering emails total for each sale, and we weren't pestered by CL buffoons calling at 6 am, or berating me for the sale price (yes, this has happened to us twice before, when we had listed phone numbers). :annoyed

ETA: to give you an idea of the difference in selling it yourself: the car I sold last weekend was a 2010 Lexus RX350. It had been well-cared for, but had extremely high mileage (250k+ miles). I had all service records, and had maintained it impeccably. The dealer offered me $4500 as a trade in, and I sold it for $8k a week later via CL.
This is all excellent advice, thanks for sharing. Once the price of the car gets around $10K, I generally ask for a $500 or $1000 cash deposit, with the final sale by cashier's check at the buyer's local bank.

Sandi_k
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Location: SF Bay Area

Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by Sandi_k » Sat Oct 26, 2019 8:39 pm

Cashier's checks can be forged. Cash or wire when at the bank, only...

anoop
Posts: 1051
Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2014 1:33 am

Re: Selling used car experience (dealer vs online vs in person)

Post by anoop » Sun Oct 27, 2019 2:59 am

Both a friend of mine and me have sold cars to carmax. Their bid was better than dealer trade in and in my case, better than any offer I was able to get on craigslist. The process was super smooth and they take care of all the paperwork. You have 7 days from the time you get your quote (actually it works even beyond 7 days, I think I took mine 9 days after the quote and they honored it), so you can aggressively market the car on other channels and you might get lucky.

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