Jack Diamond, Car Flipper: One Reason to Beware when Selling Your Car

Absolutely hilarious.  But if you sell or buy on Craigslist, AutoTrader or the like, beware.  Here are a few tips for selling your car, from one who has sold multiple vehicles the “hard way”, face-to-face:

  1. Never assume you’re car is in “Excellent” or the best state of condition.  No one else will, at least while they’re standing in front of you.
  2. If you’re selling your car yourself, check comparable at Auto Trader, TrueCar, and Kelley Blue Book.  These will give you a “ballpark” of where your price could be.
  3. Immediately discount most of what the above sites say.  Everyone else will, at least while they’re standing in front of you.
  4. Get an appraisal from CarMax.  It’s a reality check.  This is what dealers are paying for a year/make/model vehicle like yours at local and regional auto auctions.
  5. An appraisal is subject to seasonality.  So selling your car varies.  Get a number for your sporty coupe/convertible in February, and your AWD SUV in August.  These are the times when the market is being made for the coming Spring and Winter.
  6. Set a price that’s based more on what the averages and market tells you, and give yourself some room to negotiate.  Emotions are yours, not the next person’s. Unless you are selling a car that is very rare, a buyer has more to choose from than yours.
  7. Unless you’re going to sell your car to a CarMax, be prepared for a 20-45 day cycle, and a couple of price drops.  Plus the one you may have to make when a prospective buyer is standing in front of you.
  8. There is a value to your time and effort when selling your car.  Is it worth the extra money to just get rid of it, or sell it to a CarMax?
  9. Check with your local police.  In many cases municipalities are allowing classified ad meetings and transactions in police parking lots.  Well-lit if you need to meet at night, lots of cameras.


Although Jack Diamond is a parody, there are more than a few people who share his traits.  The key to this whole process is to get through it pretty quickly and at a realistic (not optimal) price.



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Sebastian James


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