CarsDiva’s Blog

An Auto Industry Insider’s View…From A Woman’s Perspective

Archive for July, 2008

Where & How to Sell Your Ride

Posted by carsdiva on July 11, 2008

Looking to sell your car? Whether you arent satisfied with the trade-in value at the dealership, or you need the cash before you can shop for a new ride, it can be a long and frustrating process. To alleviate some of the stress, I thought Id give you some tips on how and where to get started!

Things to Consider, Research & Do First

One of the first things to consider is the time of year/season that could affect the sale of your vehicle. For example- you may have a sporty convertible in excellent condition, but the chances of it selling for a competitive price during the snowy winter months in the Midwest are pretty slim. (Naturally, use your common sense!)

Check out Edmund's True Market Value pricing.

The next step is to decide on a selling price for your vehicle. Survey online and newspaper classified ads for the same or similar vehicles, making sure to note the mileage, trim level and condition of the vehicle. You can also check other internet sites like, and to see what your car is selling for in your area, and how many are in the market. The more like-vehicles listed, the more competitive you’ll have to be with your pricing. I’d also recommend checking out Edmund’s True Market Value pricing system. The system adjusts depending on key factors such as color, mileage, and specs to give you fair value for the vehicle. And keep in mind that if you’re contemplating a fair number, you can always lower the price at a later date, so be sure that you’re comfortable with what you choose.

Remember the importance of "first impressions," so get to work and clean it out!

Remember the importance of "first impressions!"

Remember the importance of “first impressions.” If someone doesn’t like what they see right off the bat, well you can almost guarantee that they’re not going to take a second glance. That being said, take the time to wash the outside, clean out the inside, and if needed, detail your vehicle. If it needs a few low-cost repairs or maintenance like fixing a dent or two, getting an oil change, or buffing out a scratch, then consider doing it yourself. Spending a few extra dollars may save you the headache, and shorten the sales process. Another good idea would be to get a CarFax or Experian’s AutoCheck vehicle history report, to show potential buyers that odometer reading is correct and justify the condition of the vehicle.

How & Where to Advertise… from online & traditional newspaper classifieds to putting up a sign in your car

So now where do you advertise? Nowadays there are so many options out there- from the traditional newspaper classifieds, to online listings, to just sticking a “for sale” sign in your car window. If you don’t mind cruising around with a sign in the window, then start there. It’s cost-effective, takes virtually no time to do, and you could potentially sell the car locally, especially if you maintain a shorter radius on your daily commute.

Over 80% of the population uses the internet at some point during the car buying process, whether it’s research on a particular make/model, pricing information, or to search out a particular new or used vehicle. By utilizing online classifieds, you can reach a wider audience than you can by simply relying on your local newspaper listings or the sign-in-the-window method. Some of the top online vehicle classifieds include and, and most of your local newspapers use one of these two services within their vehicle classifieds section. is also becoming more frequently used, typically for local shoppers. You can also place a traditional ad in the local paper, but remember that most people refer to the internet, even when they’re checking out the local paper.

The key to online ads is creative writing (which I’ll go into more detail about in my next blog post.) Think of ways to make your ad stand out from the rest, but make sure to include key facts like the mileage, price, color, condition, year, make, model and trim level. It’s also good when noting the price, to describe it as the “asking price” or give a price, followed by “OBO” (or best offer.) This informs people that you’re willing to negotiate which tends to attract more potential buyers.

Be prepared to answer your phone if someone calls to inquire about your vehicle for sale.

Keep in mind that people are busy and most often would rather speak to someone right off the bat to determine if the vehicle is worth looking at. For those who don’t want to list your phone number, you can include your email, but chances are you’ll get a greater response from potential buyers if they can call you. And if you do list your number, be prepared to answer your phone!

And finally…don’t forget to spread the word! Let your friends, co-workers, and family know that you’re selling your vehicle. People always prefer to buy from someone they know, so a personal referral is a much more promising potential sale.

Something New: A Speedy & Effortless Alternative

Don’t have the time to go through all the steps, or want to avoid the phone calls and people coming to see the vehicle? Do you just want to sell the car fast and be done with it? From time to time here at CarsDiva, we check out new automotive industry services for consumers and we think we found an interesting alternative for private sellers. Check out Copart Direct. They take care of the whole process for you, from start to finish!

A speedy and effortless alternative

At Copart Direct, you call them up and work with their representative to determine a fair value and the number to expect for your vehicle. You then drop off your car for sale at one of their nationwide facilities where they inspect and photograph the car. Copart Direct uses an online technology process where your car is exposed to over 100,000 registered buyers worldwide (typically wholesalers and dealers.) After the online virtual auction, the representative will contact you to give you the low-down on the number of bids, where they came from, and the amount of the highest bid. You then decide if you want to accept the bid, and after you do, you pick up your check! That’s it- easy and hassle-free. They take care of all the paperwork, transport, etc… One thing to keep in mind is that it is an online auction, so you may take a bit of a hit on the price. However, if you want to avoid the sales process and save time, then it’s a great alternative to selling the vehicle on your own.

Got more questions? I’ve got answers! Feel free to drop me a line at and I’d be more than happy to help you out in any way I can!

Up Next

…Tips for creative online ads and finalizing the sales process!


Posted in Car Shopping & the Internet, Maintain your Ride, Selling Your Car, Uncategorized, Your Money and Your Car | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 4 Comments »