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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Immediately discount most of what the above sites say. Everyone else will, at least while they’re standing in front of you.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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?
- 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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