Unless you subscribe to the theory that a car is meant to be driven until it falls apart, odds are at some point you will need to sell a used vehicle. There is never a shortage of buyers for used vehicles, especially in difficult economic times when fewer people are willing to commit to larger purchases such as the financial commitments of new cars. However, selling a vehicle takes a bit of planning and a marketing strategy as well as time.
Selling a used vehicle on your own can be a daunting process requiring research into the standard sale price of your vehicle, a plan for marketing the vehicle for sale, and meetings with people who are potential buyers. Some people find it easier to trade their car in to a dealer when they intend to purchase another vehicle but this is not always advantageous when it comes to receiving top dollar. Dealers must incorporate a profit margin into the price they offer so selling a vehicle outright will reap a bigger cash reward.
The primary advantage dealers have over individuals is marketing. They can make their used cars visible to hundreds of thousands of potential buyers through their website and have access to other local marketing tools as well. The way a car is presented to buyers has a huge impact on the interest generated. Consider the features that are most effective at generating interest and be sure to make them known to buyers.
The best features to accentuate when selling a used vehicle include low miles and optional features like cruise control, leather seats, four-wheel drive, and power accessories. In order to generate interest, take a look at what features your vehicle has and make sure to list the best first.
Keep in mind the differences and priorities in buyers, which means that not all features are created equal. For example, heated seats are a great feature in a car, especially in areas where the winters are cold. However, this may not be a selling point when compared to other features like low miles, four-wheel drive, automatic transmission, power seats, and navigation systems. In other words, the value of a particular feature will depend largely on the buyer.
The most important features that should be brought to the attention of potential buyers include safety features, cargo capacity, and overall condition. Buyers in the market for a used car want a reliable vehicle in good condition with safety and convenience features that are considered necessary, not lavish. Features like navigation systems, DVD players, and dual climate control may seem like valuable features in a new car but used car buyers are looking for a different kind of value.
When selling a used vehicle, be sure to be transparent about the sale. If there is a feature that doesn’t work properly, acknowledge it. Remember that your initial listing should include only the information necessary to attract buyers but you should be forthright with potential buyers about any problems the car may have. If the air conditioning isn’t performing optimally or you’ve had problems with oil pressure, inform the buyer upfront.
Having a documented history of routine maintenance and repairs is as good a feature as any. Consider that anyone in the market for a used car can visit a used car dealer and find a lot full of vehicles that have undergone thorough 10-point inspections and been serviced. Sources like CarFax and Kelly Blue Book are available to any buyer who wants to be informed so providing as much honest and documented information as possible will help you sell your car faster.
When listing your vehicle for sale, keep in mind the condition of the features you choose to highlight. For instance, if your car has leather seats (a nice feature indeed) that are cracked from prolonged storage in the sun, you may not want the feature to be a focus of the description. Stick with focusing on those features that are in good condition and solid working order.
If you have a vehicle that is in good working condition with a good body condition and added features that are still in good working order and condition, then you should have no difficulty in selling your car for a fair price. Should you find you don’t have the time or resources to make a sale, you can always check with a used car dealer in your area to obtain the maximum trade-in value of your vehicle. If you do decide to sell outright, be sure to focus on the features that make the car a good used value, rather than what made the car a good value when purchased new.
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