Author Topic: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?  (Read 2884 times)


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« on: August 19, 2014, 08:21:15 AM »
Hey y'all - as part of my Mustachioed course correction, I'm selling the car I've been using to beat around NYC for the last four years. It's an old (2001) cr-v with about 144k miles on it. I've done my research about how much it's worth and think I have a good price range identified. I'm just looking for any tips from seasoned craigslist or car sellers, especially in NYC. Among other things, I'm wondering about the best source of payment (cash $ bills, paypal?) and also how to handle the test drive. In tr city - do I go with the person on the drive and risk their killing or kidnapping me? Or send them off alone on good faith after copying their license. Because it's the city there isn't likely to be anything they leave for collateral while test driving.

How should I handle these and other things? (I'm not paranoid. Heh. Just cautious and don't wanna get took.)



  • Bristles
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Re: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« Reply #1 on: August 19, 2014, 08:31:29 AM »
CL requires a certain degree of caution. I've never sold a car on there, but I know it is done quite frequently. I've mostly sold odds and ends. When I make sales, I do it on neutral ground in a very public place, such as a parking lot at a busy grocery store or something. I only make sales in cash (and I even have a marker to check if the bills are legit). Never, ever use checks, money orders (unless they go with you to redeem them), wire transfers of any sort, etc.

In your case, it might be a good idea to bring a friend along to witness the sale and test drive. For the test drive, I don't see a problem with trading their ID for the car temporarily so they can drive it around a bit. If they try to steal it, they'll easily be caught. If you ride along, bring your friend. I highly doubt you'd be at risk of kidnapping in that situation.


  • Handlebar Stache
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Re: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« Reply #2 on: August 19, 2014, 08:37:56 AM »
Do the transaction at the buyer's bank.  That should make things safe. 

I would definitely be with them in the car for the test drive.


  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
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Re: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« Reply #3 on: August 19, 2014, 08:41:48 AM »
As mentioned, only deal in cash, meet in a public place, ride along for the test drive with a friend, or hold the money with an ID/License. I've sold two cars and two motorcycles off CLs in the LA area.

Cars - I rode along with a friend who was also there to give me a ride back to my place if the sale went through.
Motorcycles - Held the cash while they took it around the block.

Only dealt with cash. I like the money pen idea.


  • Stubble
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Re: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« Reply #4 on: August 19, 2014, 09:20:26 AM »
Definitely cash only, checked with a pen. Be ready for the lowball offers. I found that most people wanted to negotiate a price before ever seeing the car and then they'd try to offer even less when they came to see it. If they show up they are wanting to buy so don't budge from the pre- negotiated price. Be upfront with people about it going to the first person with cash in hand. I had two buyers coming the same day and even though I was very clear with both of them about what was going on the party that got there late was pissed about it.


  • Bristles
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Re: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« Reply #5 on: August 19, 2014, 09:28:21 AM »
Either meet them at the title agency or have them sign a document with the exact time they took the car - if they get in a wreck on the way home, it is proof the car is not owned by you. I have sold two cars on craigslist and did cash only. I negotiate with people - start it a little high if you want to - it makes people happy when you negotiate.


  • Pencil Stache
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Re: Selling Car on Craigslist - any tips?
« Reply #6 on: August 19, 2014, 10:00:09 AM »
Meet at your bank. They usually have a decent sized parking lot, they'll usually notorize any documents you have for free AND you can deposit the seller's money immediately before you hand over the keys. This totally eliminates the risk of counterfeit notes.

Also request to see the driver's license before letting them take a test drive. Take a picture of it with your smart phone. Hold the license when the individual is driving around. Yes they could give you a fake, but that's another hurdle for them.