Author Topic: Selling My Car  (Read 3226 times)

workathomedad

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Selling My Car
« on: May 20, 2013, 09:40:08 PM »
I have a 2008 Accord I'm trying to part with. Unfortunately it was the fully-upgraded model that year, V-6, leather-seats, etc. and both KBB and Edmunds are quoting 15-16k in value. This is a hard sell when you can buy a brand new, non-upgraded Accord for 21k. I'm not used to selling vehicles, but I've placed it on both Craigslist and Autotrader and haven't gotten even one single phone call or e-mail. Any advice on what I should do?

smedleyb

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Re: Selling My Car
« Reply #1 on: May 20, 2013, 09:47:53 PM »
I'm seeing fully loaded 2008 V6 Accords (54K miles) selling for a hair under 13K in my neck of the woods.  If it's been a while since you posted and no nibble you might be overvaluing.  Look for comparables on Cars.com or Autotrader.com to better understand your market.

jamccain

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Re: Selling My Car
« Reply #2 on: May 20, 2013, 11:16:55 PM »
To piggyback on what smedleyb is saying you have to do some market research on your own, not just consult KBB and Edmunds.  KBB is little more than a benchmark.  I have sold five cars on CL and have had a lot of success on there with this four step approach:

1.  Search CL and Autotrader...figure out what private sellers are charging and what dealers are charging.  You are a private seller, but want to be aware of the dealers as well.  Choose a price...how fast do you want to sell it.  Obviously, cheaper sells faster.  The more expensive the used car the longer it takes to sell...even if it is priced in line with value.  Most people looking to spend $15-20K on a car will go to a dealer.  It's going to take some time for $15K car to sell on CL.

2.  Clean your car up and stage it well.  Take nice photos like MMM suggest.  Use this link for instructions so you get nice big photos in your ads http://smallnotebook.org/2010/04/14/craigslist-photo-tip-how-to-show-big-clear-photos-so-your-stuff-sells/

3. I like to use a three part approach to the narrative.  First, list the specifics to your car in a couple of short sentences (mileage, VIN, whatever you want, but I put enough in there people aren't going to call or email me).  Second, go to a car web-site and copy and paste a professional description of your car into the body of the ad.  Choose one that sounds a little sexy, not just the first one you find.   Third, close with your contact info and let them know to have financing arranged BEFORE they call you.  I like to include how the deal will be done in that part as well.  For example, "we'll meet at any Chase Bank branch to complete the sell and sign paperwork" (BTW, don't let them come to your house...you don't want them knowing where you live).  I do whatever I can to make the people feel safe and secure with the purchase...I think closing in a bank helps and I have done this on the cars over $10K. 

4.  Post and re-evaluate.  If you haven't had any movement in a week repost the ad.  I like to repost every other day.  After a month drop the price.  After two months, make a new ad from scratch and consider another price drop. 

At the end of the day, most of it comes down to price, but a nice ad goes a long long way.  Don't underestimate it's value.

workathomedad

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Re: Selling My Car
« Reply #3 on: May 21, 2013, 07:06:49 PM »
Thank you smedlelyb and jamccain!

jamccain's comprehensive advice is great. I reposted the ad and hope to see some better results this time around!

workathomedad

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Re: Selling My Car
« Reply #4 on: May 25, 2013, 01:29:01 PM »
So I sold the vehicle for 5% less than my current asking price to the local dealer.

I know this is considered unusual/unwise to go to the dealer, but with a value of around $15,000 this seems to be a hard vehicle to sell privately.

Additionally

  • I don't like trying to be a salesman
  • I've only had one private party contact with genuine interest in the vehicle
  • I expected to have to drop price at least 2-3% to sell to the private party (assuming they would actually make an offer)
  • Each month the vehicle sits I'm paying out about $80 in insurance

The dealer with be able to fully detail the interior/exterior of the vehicle (which could cost me $300-$500 extra), plus warranty and certify the car (something I can't do) which will add value and fetch a higher asking price than I would be able to get.

Overall I think it was the right decision and think it's better to own vehicles with sub-$10,000 values in the future.
« Last Edit: May 25, 2013, 01:31:28 PM by workathomedad »

N

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Re: Selling My Car
« Reply #5 on: May 25, 2013, 02:18:47 PM »
sounds like you found a good solution for your situation! nice work!