Read (pt 1) (pt 2) & (pt 3) of this 4-part article
Dealing with people
One of the hardest things about selling your car is dealing with buyers. That is one of the reasons great salesmen earn so much money. Every buyer wants a great car for a great deal. That is why you did your research and determined the lowest price you would take for your vehicle. If you stick to that number you will be much happier. Once your car is listed you will start getting calls/texts/emails. Make sure you are diligent to check and respond to messages. Don’t try to sell your vehicle too hard over messaging, set up a time to meet, let them experience the vehicle. Also, avoid scams, they are everywhere. Do your homework. If something seems too good to be true, it is. Run away from scams. If in doubt google the details of the deal and you will quickly see the legitimacy of it.
The Meet Up
When you set up your meet up time do so in a public place and take any safety precautions you deem necessary. There are some really great online articles that go really deep into keeping yourself safe when meeting strangers. As a large man I take less precautions than I would if I were not a large male, but I still maintain safety level that fits my comfort level. Make sure you check the license of the person driving the vehicle, if a non-licensed driver wrecks your car your insurance may not cover it. Finally, if you don’t feel safe or comfortable with the situation, LEAVE. There will be another potential buyer, don’t be afraid to leave any situation you don’t like.
You don’t have to be great at sales to sell your vehicle. These people want to buy a car, and in some situations, they need a vehicle quickly. Don’t be the reason your vehicle doesn’t sell. Here are a few don’ts to help you not ruin the sale. 1. Don’t talk too much, but be honest and respectful. It’s ok to give them tips on using the car or dealing with any flaws. (Like explaining how you deal with a turn signal that doesn’t go off automatically) 2. Don’t pay for stuff they want. If they want to take the vehicle to the mechanic make sure they pay for it and it fits within your schedule. 3, Don’t lose your patience. Be ready to show the vehicle multiple times. You may even show it multiple times to the same person. 4. Don’t go below your lowest acceptable amount. Eventually, you will find the right buyer for your car.
Once you settle on a price with a buyer it’s time to close the deal and get paid. I’ll start with a simple but necessary word of caution… don’t get scammed. Online scams are everywhere and they range from simplistic to super complicated. Watch out that you are not left holding worthless piece of paper and no car. Make sure you check anything that seems fishy online. And, like before, if you are suspicious just walk away. Personally, I only accept cash or checks in my car dealings. Many people are freaked out that I accept checks so let me clarify. I accept personal or cashiers checks at the buyer’s bank where I can verify the account has the funds and I cash the check at the bank. Some people need to use a check to track a car purchase with a paper trail. Also, other people don’t like walking around with thousands of dollars in cash in public places. To complete the deal you exchange your vehicle and your vehicle title for money (or other stuff). If you are dealing in cash, take the time to count it. You will feel like a huge fool if you get shorted because you didn’t count the money. There will also be forms to fill out to make this deal legal. Make sure to check your state laws about what you have to fill out. In NM you only need to complete the buyer/seller portion of the title. In other states you may have to complete a bill of sale. The state of NM has all of these forms online on the MVD website along with detailed instructions of what to do to complete the sale. In NM you have to complete the bottom portion of the title and the seller takes the license plate. After the sale enjoy your cash. Also, make sure you arrange a ride home no one wants to be stranded with loads of cash in their possession.
Best times to sell & other tips
There are better times to sell vehicles than others. The best time to sell a vehicle (especially if it is a vehicle in the $3,000-12,000 range) is late January – March. This is the time when people get tax returns and have a little extra cash. There are lots of people in the market for cars at this time and you can usually get the most money for your vehicle. The worst time to sell Christmas time. People aren’t looking at buying a car they want to buy presents. Second behind that is summer. If you have a convertible sell it as soon as the weather gets nice for maximum profit. That said, you can sell your vehicle at any time of the year. Someone is always looking for a car to buy. I sold many of my cars in the summer to folks who wrecked cars and had insurance money to buy new ones. Another unrealed tip is to fix fogged headlights. If you are handy you can do it yourself. It makes a huge difference to the look of the car. Brush the crud off the battery. That build-up makes the car look cheap and poorly maintained. Finally, if you want to buy a vehicle on Craigslist follow these steps in reverse (kinda) make sure it is clean, well maintained, has records, etc… and you put yourself in a better position to get a quality car. Good luck!