Selling cars online can be an efficient and quick way to dispose of vehicles – it may even prove profitable!
Take clear, high-quality photos of your car to capture its features accurately. Be sure to include photos of the tires, dashboard, and any other significant parts.
Before meeting potential buyers in person, always conduct thorough vetting of each prospective buyer to identify any possible problems they might use as bargaining chips in an attempt to reduce your price.
1. Get a pre-approved loan
No matter whether you’re selling to an online car-buying service or to an individual on Facebook Marketplace, having a preapproval in hand can speed up the selling process and allow you to shop as a cash buyer – helping avoid salespeople who attempt to increase costs through tactics such as offering low monthly payments but ultimately high total costs.
When selling your car online, be sure to include an accurate description and numerous photos showing both its exterior and interior condition. It’s also essential that any loans or lease agreements be disclosed as some buyers won’t purchase from sellers who still owe money on it.
2. Start your search
Online car purchases offer reduced stress as negotiations take place over email and you review terms without the help of salespeople; however, this also means you may not get as great of a deal on the vehicle itself.
One way to protect against this risk is by researching companies offering car buying and selling services, then comparing reviews and ratings to find the ideal value proposition.
As another alternative, private sellers on sites such as Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace might offer more chances for finding what you want than dealerships can; just make sure that when taking pictures inside and of the odometer are taken. Consider having it professionally detailed prior to placing it for sale.
3. Schedule a test drive
At a dealership, it can be beneficial for the salesperson to be present during your test drive, as they can point out details that you might otherwise miss.
When purchasing an online car, you can often arrange a test drive yourself with the owner. Take plenty of pictures, close-ups of distinctive features included, in a well-lit environment with shots showing interior, trunk and rear seat areas.
Plan your route so as to experience various driving conditions. Include rough roads or highway stretches if possible so you can accurately evaluate acceleration, braking and handling performance more subjectively.
Communication online gives you more control of the process, helping to keep calm and stay focused on negotiating a fair price.
Do your research before starting negotiations. Doing this can depersonalize the process and allow you to easily recognize when a dealer is asking too much based on their personal opinion or emotion, as well as any unnecessary fees like doc and tag charges that are being requested from you. Make sure you receive a breakdown of fees so that there won’t be any unexpected expenses after agreeing on a deal is concluded.
5. Close the deal
It may be necessary for you to complete your vehicle paperwork at a dealership if you purchased it online; in this instance, make sure that you bring along any relevant paperwork such as vehicle history reports.
Negotiation is an integral part of the buying process, but don’t just state your bottom line and let the dealer do all the legwork for you. Instead, start low and gradually increase it until it satisfies both parties. Doing this shows your seriousness but allows for escape if the offer doesn’t satisfy.
Utilizing competitive price bids from local dealers or online buying services is essential when negotiating. Show them to the salesperson without disclosing details; just show that there’s competition they should try to beat!