Make Your Car Look Its Best
Before you even think about posting pictures of your automobile on local online markets, you’re going to want to give your car a full-on makeover. Basically, that means getting it professionally detailed. This will typically cost you a couple hundred dollars, but it is well worth the expense to make your car the most attractive to prospective buyers.
Photograph Your Car in the Best Possible Light
There are a ton of tips and tricks to taking the perfect shots to make your car look your best. The first one is to take your pictures either in the early morning or late afternoon. These times of days are deemed by professional photographers as ͞the golden hour͟ and once you start snapping shots, you’ll know why. The light is rich and warm and will give your shots a professional feel.
Thanks to the camera technology in most smart phones, you don’t need to use a high-end camera such as a DSLR, but higher quality never hurts! Regardless of what camera you are using, make sure to clean and wipe your lens before taking your pictures. If you do end up using your phone, make sure to shoot in Landscape -or horizontally - and not in Portrait mode - or vertically.
Beyond that, you’ll want to choose a clean background and take pictures of the front and rear three-quarter view. You’ll also want to pop inside and take pictures of your freshly detailed interior and dashboard. You might as well lift up the bonnet and take a picture of the engine, and open up the boot and snap a picture of that as well. Some people will also want pictures of the logbook, spare keys, wheels, and tires, too.
Take as many shots as you can and find out how many pictures your ad will allow. When you upload your images to your ad, try to do so in a logical order. It helps to look at other ads to decide what kind of pictures you want to feature on you own.
Write Your Advertisement
There is an art to writing your ad and the better you are at it the faster you can expect to sell your car. It’s important to keep in mind that your description should be both detailed and precise. Make sure to not the make, model, variant, year of manufacture, engine, and transmission details of your car. You will also want to list its general condition, include the odometer reading, and highlight its age if it is a relatively new car.
Another wise rule of thumb is to avoid abbreviations and industry jargon that will make the ad harder to understand. Proof-read your work and make sure there are no typos.
The final thing to keep in mind is that it is best to be honest. If your car has any imperfections, note them. Better yet, include a photo of them. While leaving imperfections off your ad may attract more interested buyers, it will also detract them once they come for an in-person inspection and find that you have not been entirely honest about the car you are trying to sell.
List Your Car
There are a number of sites that you can choose from. Some of the best options include CarSales, Car City, Gumtree, Drive, Trading Post, CarsGuide, AutoLine, and more. After you post your ad and pictures, do one last check of the prices of your potential competitors. If your car is the least expensive of the bunch, you will probably get a lot of quick bites. You have to actually be prepared to sell at that cost, though. Remember, a detailed and honest description written in a friendly and conversational tone will help you attract the most potential buyers.
Make Sure You are Easy to Reach
Individuals who are serious about wanting to buy your car will most likely want to arrange an in-person inspections as quickly as possible. They’ll do this even before they start negotiating on the price. In order to set up an in-person inspection, you’re going to need to list any and all contact information you can provide. Leave your email, personal, and business number – if you have one – on your listing.
All that is the easy part. Once you actually set up an inspection, be prepared for late arrivals, no-shows, lowball offers, and a determination to communicate exclusively though text messages.
One way to at least make this somewhat less painful is to set up inspections when you will already be at home. That way, you aren’t waiting at home and wasting time when you could otherwise be working or running errands. Late arrivals and no-shows will always be frustrating, but at least this way you don’t feel like you’re wasting your time in more ways than one.
What to do When You’re Contacted
When a potential buyer contacts you, you should make sure to approach it with the same due diligence that you have for the rest of this process. Find out their contact details, and if possible their driver’s license number, this will help you verify their identity. After that, check with your insurer to make sure that your car insurance covers the person in the event that they want to test drive the vehicle.
When you agree to a test drive, always take a record of the potential buyer’s driver’s license. A photograph of their ID should do just fine. You would also be wise to keep something valuable of theirs as collateral when they go on their test drive – such as the keys to their current car. If that is not enough, you could always insist on accompanying the buyer on the test drive.
Expect Pushback on Your Asking Price
It is important not to be discouraged by people trying to negotiate and haggle with your regarding your original asking price, even if your price is lower than the competitors you saw online. Negotiation is part of the game, and if you’ve given yourself enough of a financial cushion in your asking price, you can make sure that you get a good amount for the car with your buyer feeling like they’ve gotten a good price.
This is why looking at your potential competitors is such a good idea. It will not only give you a good idea of what the average going price is for cars similar to yours, it will also give you added confidence while talking to potential buyers.
How to Avoid Payment Scams and Fraud
The first thing you’re going to want to do to make sure the balance of the purchase will be paid to you in the form of either a bank cheque, a direct deposit, or in cash. Never accept personal cheques, these could bounce.
It is also important to be cautious about what links you click and what you open. Only log onto your listing through the site you are listing with. Never log on to your ad via a link that you receive via an email, even if the email seems safe to click. This could be what is described as a phishing email.
Also keep a close eye on the details of your ad. If you notice any kind of change within your ad make sure to contact the site or company that you are advertising with.
In terms of potential buyers, be cautious of people who are insisting on communicating only through email or text messages. If they refuse to talk on the phone, it could indicate that they are up to no good.
Finally, as with most sales, the saying, ͞If it seems too good to be true, it is͟ rings clear. Don’t let yourself be fooled by a high offer because it could be an attempt to scam you. It can be tiring to keep your eyes out for scams and fraud all along the way, but it is an important aspect of any big-money deal such as a car sale.
Hopefully, you won’t run into any potential scams or tricks, but it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.
What to Do After the Sale
The job isn’t over when you sell your car. There are still some steps you will have to take. First off, give the buy a receipt for their deposit or sale price of the car. You will also want to ensure that both you and buyer complete your details and sign the transfer of registration certificate.
On top of that, provide copies of warranty documents, supply spare keys, accessories, owner’s manual, and logbook and service booklet.
Finally, you’ll want to call your insurance provider and let them know that you will either be transferring your insurance over to your new car, or cancelling your policy if you do not plan on having a car. Also, you’ll want to complete the notice of disposal as soon as you can to make sure that any traffic violation notices after the sale are sent to the new owner and not you.
After that, your job is done, and you can – at least for a little while – car yourself a car salesman!