Are you thinking it’s time to trade your old sloppy jaloppy in for a new car? When it’s time to get rid of your old car and buy a new one, you have the option of trading it in.. but we all know you’re going to lose a lot of money on it. Those car lots that buy old cars, no matter what condition they are in, do it for one reason: to make as much money as possible off of you. They aren’t a charity. They aren’t trying to help you out. They’re going to give you as little as possible for your old car and charge you as much as possible for your new car.
The best way to get the most money out of your old trusty dusty is to remove the middle man and sell it privately yourself. We know what you’re thinking, you have literally driven your old boy into the ground. Why would anyone want to give you money for it? Well, you came to the right place. We’re going to give you a few simple tips for making your car as sellable as possible, for the greatest dollar.
Three Tips for Selling Your Car for the Highest Dollar
- Bring your car down to the next price bracket.
You might notice that professional car salesmen price their cars just under a round number. They might be selling a car for $10,000, but they’ll list it for $9,950.50 instead. This is a psychological trick to get shoppers to sign the dotted line.
Many car shoppers view car prices in brackets. A car that costs $1,900 is in a far cheaper price bracket than a car that costs $2,000, even if the price difference is only $100. When selling your car, choose a price point that feels good for selling your car, and then deduct $50. Maybe you’ll get only a few interested buyers at the round number you have in your head, but once it gets bumped to the lower price bracket, you’ll have them beating down the door.
- Put yourself in the buyer’s eyes.
If you want to sell your car for the most money, you need to think like the buyer who is going to be willing to pay top dollar. What makes your car the most marketable? Is it the nice paint job? The low miles? The cold AC? The brand new car carpets? Whatever it is that makes your car the most marketable, make sure to lead with that. Instead of advertising your car as “1980 Honda Civic That Might or Might Not Start” make the title of your Craigslist ad, “Vintage Honda Civic With Brand New Flooring”. It paints a different picture.
Speaking of pictures, they say a picture is worth a thousand words and this is more than a little true of selling a used car. Be really creative with how you post your pictures, so that it shows your car in its best light. You’re able to post Instagram selfies that takes 10 lbs off you and hides all your flaws… apply the same logic to your car photos. Post pictures that really draws the potential car buyer in.
- Install fleece trunk mats (and other little details).
No we aren’t kidding with this. No, fleece trunk mats probably aren’t the singular reason that someone will buy your car. However, when you start looking at the nitty gritty, fleece trunk mats tell potential car buyers that you care about the little details. If a person is looking at your car, and a comparable car for the same price difference, the fact that your car has dumb little details like a fleece trunk mat will give it a one-up and make it a little more desirable.
The opposite is also true. As much as the small details help your cause, overlooking the holes in the upholstery, the worn-out cardboard trunk mat, and the scratch on the door because it doesn’t really impact the way your car drives could be the single reason that you are unable to sell your car.
What do you think? Have you ever sold an old car? Do you have any other great tips for selling a used car? Please share your input with us in the comment section below!