Why I started selling cars
Last summer I had my first sabbatical at Grace Church. That meant I had 12 weeks where I couldn’t/shouldn’t/didn’t go to work. I was a great time with family, a break from the rigors of full-time ministry and time for professional development. One of the joys of having that amount of time to spend with family is being able to go out of town and make memories. The reality of paying for all of those memory-making endeavors is another story. Along with paying for some unforgettable vacation time our family was 5 months away from having another driver in the house and we needed another car. So, as a side-hustle I sold cars on Craigslist during the spring/summer. I made some much needed extra cash, drove some fun little cars, and found my son’s car. Above all of that, I learned a lot about selling cars on Craigslist. Recently, I’ve had several people ask me how to sell a car and I wanted to put it all down in one resource. Here are a few lessons learned just for you. (FYI, this is not legal or financial advice, just stuff I learned from my experiences)
My situation was a little different from most. The majority of cars I sold I were bought from a wholesaler (who was getting them at auction). I didn’t know any history on them except what was included at the auction, which usually isn’t much. I did sell two of my personal cars as well which I knew lots about having them for 15 and 10 years. I also sold one other vehicle for a friend, so I had some knowledge of the vehicle. I’m going to approach this as if you are only going to consider selling your personal vehicle. Most people don’t know a car wholesaler that will work with them not to mention it is a lot of work to flip cars.
Counting the cost
If you are considering selling your car online first decide if it is worth it. It takes work and patience dealing with the public to sell a vehicle. If you are going to buy another car from a dealer it will always be easier to trade it in. I said easier, not more profitable. The dealer is a one-stop shop, you take your old car in and take home another one. You don’t have to do anything special, heck, you don’t even have to clean up your car. If simple is prime objective, the dealer is your best bet. If dealing with strangers, setting appointments, getting lowballed, no-shows, and keeping your vehicle clean sounds like a slow death then strongly consider trading that beater in at the dealer. If you want to maximize your profits and don’t mind dealing with folks, then keep reading. (The second part of this article)