Tips for Selling Car on Craigslist

Posted on: August 25th, 2016 by Accurate Auto Body Shop No Comments

selling car on craigslist The following happens to a lot of us. You need to sell your car, but the dealer gives you a low bid. So, you decide to try and sell it yourself. And, today, one of the best ways to do that is via Craigslist. As your auto collision repair experts, we know a thing or two about selling cars and how to get most for your car on Craigslist. But, Craigslist can also be scary. We have had several reports of crime, including some here in the Denver area, where many Craigslist transactions have led to violent crime. So, here are the top tips for selling your car on Craigslist and keeping you safe while doing so.

Top Tips for Selling Your Car on

Clean your Car – Give your car a good cleaning. Buyers are predisposed to pay more when your car is clean. Vacuum down in the cracks and be sure to get between the seats. Clean out the clutter and the trunk. Use an undiluted ammonia on the dash and cup holders and go ahead and spring for some new-car scent.

Post Pictures From a Sunny Day – Take your pictures on a sunny day with a nice green background, like trees with leaves on them. This will help your car standout from the clutter of regular photos taken on a vacant lot. Take a lot of pictures so the buyer can see all sides of the car as well as the interior. That way, the buyer can see everything and not have to wonder about the true condition of your car, especially if you are trying to get book value. And, in your ad, be sure to mention all features about the car such as engine size, rear A/C, last full service date, mileage, and fact you are original owner.

Use a Safe Spot to Meet the Buyer – Do not meet at your home as you do not want to disclose where you live. Find a location, during the day, that has other people around. And, pinpoint that location so that with Google Maps, the buyer can easily find where to meet as well as have easy driving directions. Taking these precautions keeps you safe, as well as makes the buyer feel at ease that you are meeting at a safe and neutral location – like a the parking lot of a coffee shop. Get some java and test drive!

Price Your Car Low – To attract buyers, say in your Craigslist ad that it is at a 20 percent discount to the Kelley Blue Book price. After all, Kelley Blue Book prices are high, and you do want to attract interest. Screen people by phone to eliminate car flippers and others who will waste your time. Only set up test drives with those that are interested in paying full price. But, again, don’t skimp on the details of any added features your car has and its overall condition. And, when you do schedule a test drive, have copies of your paperwork (title, etc.) and printout for Kelley Blue Book so they can see the bargain they are getting. Plus, you can share with them all the service records to make them feel more at ease.

Test Drive – This can be the scariest part of the selling process. After all, it is tough to just hand your keys over to someone. But, if you meet at safe location, you should be fine. Just act natural and be at ease. Go ahead and let them take the car for a quick spin without you. Again, that is a safety thing. But, before you do, ask to see their driver’s license and take a photo of it with your smartphone. And, for added safety, you can email that photo to a trusted friend. Also, ensure you remove anything from the car that may have your personal information and address on it. They can go around the block safely enough without that. And, if after the test drive, they are interested in buying your car go ahead and ask for deposit (perhaps $100) and arrange a date and time for the closing at the DMV.

Closing – You drive to the DMV, but make sure a friend can take you home. Bring with you the actual title, keys, and a screwdriver. Ensure the buyer brings their driver’s license, a cashier’s check made out to you (with stub so you can verify their account), proof of insurance, and personal check to cover sales tax and registration fees. And, if their insurance company needs the vehicle identification number, it was on the copy of the title you gave them after the test drive (if they paid the deposit). When all is done, immediately remove the license plates with the screwdriver, which you can do while the buyer is getting the temporary license from the DMV clerk.

How to Use This Information

We do hope, that if you are selling your car on Craigslist, these tips will help you get the most value for your vehicle and help keep you safe. The truth is, very few transactions have gone bad but taking precautions is always a good idea. And, if you do have need of auto body repair, whether it is new paint or just getting some dents out before you try and sell, we can get your car looking just like new. Call us at 303-344-2212 or reach out to us online.

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