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Have you ever wondered where to sell a car?
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If you hadn't before, you have now (unless, of course, you found Cash Paid for Your Car by accident). And, lucky you, you’ve come to the right place.
Now, there’s ways and there’s ways to sell your car. Where can you sell your car? You can put it in the newspaper classifieds (which nobody reads anymore) or in Auto Trader (which exists only to line the bottom of shopping carts, so that the leaky bottle of milk you picked up gets your Cheerios nice and soggy too).
You can put it on Craigslist, among all the “by a car” and “how to sale a car” ads, or put it on eBay and pay out the nose for the dubious privilege of people emailing you at all hours offering you $200.00 for a car that’s worth twenty times that.
But let’s suppose that you’re bound and determined to go it alone. Okay, here’s just what you’d have to do at the bare minimum to get your car sold:
• First, you’ll need to figure out what you’re working with. Is your car something rare that only sold in small numbers, or that’s hardly ever seen on the road anymore? For some buyers, that can be a big draw – it’s nice, after all, being behind the wheel of something unique. For others, however, that rarity raises red flags.
A buyer might well ask why a car ended up being so scarce, and might also wonder whether replacement parts are going to be expensive and hard to come by.
And don’t think you’re Scot free just because your car is a common one; after all, the trick then is figuring out whether its commonality will drive its cost down, or make it more desirable because it’s got a proven track record and parts are easy to come by (which is also one reason the Toyota Camry frequently tops lists of the most-stolen cars).
• Second, you’ll want to figure out your asking price. In addition to the factors above, you’ll also have to consider the mileage of your car, its maintenance history, any extra work you've done (like customization or restoration), and the going rates for similar cars in your area.
Then you've got to stop and think – and we mean really think – about whatever number you come up with, because odds are better than even that it’s too high.
We get it – especially if you've done a lot of work on a car (and all the more so when that work’s been recent), you’d like to recoup your cost. The unfortunate fact is that sometimes, the best you can hope to do is stop the bleeding. It can be very helpful to have someone in your corner who can watch out for your best interests by giving you a realistic appraisal.
• Third, whether you like it or not, you’re going to have to decide what work you want to do on the car. Sometimes, this can be as simple as a quick cleaning and detailing. A wash and wax can make even an ugly car look much better, and sell much faster. Sometimes, however, your car’s issues are more than skin deep.
It could be that your car looks gorgeous but the water pump’s shot, or the radiator’s got a slow leak, or your transmission pan’s got more stuff in it than a bowl of Campbell’s Chunky Soup.
Sooner or later, you’re going to hit a point of diminishing returns, where the money you think you’re putting into your car to get it into sale able condition isn't going to be reflected in the price you’re going to get for it. Reconsider.
• With all that taken care of, you’re not done yet. Not even close. Fourth (and not even finally), you get to decide how and where to sell. A trade-in makes no sense if you’re not looking for a new car, and might not even be your best bet if you’re buying used. The dealer, remember, is going to make money on you coming and going.
So he’s going to give you far less money for the car than he’s going to sell it for, while also trying to rope you into more car than you need for your next set of wheels.
You wanted undercoating, right? So you decide to advertise the car yourself, only to realize that you've got more options than you even have time to research, and most of them cost more money than you’re willing to spend.
• Fifth, you now get to field calls and emails from all over, half of whom will low ball you to death on the price, and half of whom will point out the errors in your description of your car
(or will ask you questions because that’s what they do, not because they have or had any intention of buying).
Or, just as bad, you spend the time and money and then nobody calls, so you get to repeat step four just to get to the bit where you’re getting useless calls and emails. Are you having fun yet?
• Sixth, you now get to negotiate. That’s kinda like saying, “Sixth, you now get to slather your shorts in honey and roll around in fire ants.” I mean, really.
Do you want to have put in all that thought getting to the right price, and spent all that time and money, just for someone to slowly, methodically whittle you down?
• Seventh, you’ve sold your car. Now all you have to do is make sure every last scrap of paperwork is in order; otherwise, you’ll just have to hope the person to whom you sold doesn’t ditch the car by the roadside after an accident and leave you holding the bag. Congratulations!
Holy cow. Sounds like a lot of work, right?
That’s mostly because… well, it’s a lot of work. Maybe you’ve got the patience and the time for that. On the other hand, if all you’re looking to do is to get cash for your car quickly, you’ve probably gathered by now that this isn’t really the best way to go about it. After all, you might get lucky and sell the car for the amount you wanted, and in the time frame you wanted.
You might, but you probably won’t. What’s more likely is that you end up taking much longer than you’d like, or selling for much less than you’d like in order to sell quickly (or there’s always option three, the dreaded but always popular “take forever to sell for a lot less money.”)
To save your time and your sanity, right about now is where you’d probably start looking for an alternative.
The best news is that you don’t have to jump through hoops to get money for your car. You probably think that your best bet is to change that timing belt, have someone look at that leaky transmission, figure out whether that rustling sound from the A/C is a family of chipmunks living behind the cabin filter, and rotate the tires… or, failing that, at least take the car to the car wash.
I’m here to tell you, don’t bother. Selling a car as is can be the smartest move you make, saving you time, money and headaches. When I buy your car,
I’m not worried about the condition issues, the pings and knocks, or the fact that someone keyed your passenger-side door. And if I’m not worried, that means you don’t have to, either.
So to answer your questions: Where can you sell your car? Right here. How do you sell your car? It couldn’t be any easier. Fill in the form below (which shouldn’t take you more than a minute), or call us at the number listed above.
Once that’s done, we’ll be in touch, and instead of worrying about where to sell a car, we can talk about converting your old car to cash.
We’ll take the time to answer your questions, then evaluate what you’ve got, make sure that you get the fair value for your car, and pay for your car in cash.
It really is that simple (unless, for some reason, you’d prefer it complicated, in which case start at Step One above and work your way down, waiting ‘til about step five or six to call us; we get that a lot).
One last thing to consider: if you’ve got a car that’s less than desirable(maybe something that barely missed the deadline on the Cash for Clunkers program, or a car like a Pinto or Corvair) or, conversely, one that’s very desirable (a classic in great condition), it can be challenging getting the right price for what you’ve got.
A big part of getting what your car is worth is knowing where to sell. You can take the time to cultivate the right connections and do it yourself – knowing that your car is depreciating before your eyes – or you can skip the wait and get right down to getting your car sold.