In some ways selling a car online, is a lot like selling a car in your local newspaper. You create a listing, pay for publication, and answer questions until you find a buyer. The biggest difference between selling in the local classifieds and selling a car on the internet is that your advertisements on the internet can include a lot more information than a three-line text ad. You can add pictures and detailed descriptions. There are other advantages when selling online as well. Since websites are accessible all over the world, you are advertising to a potentially global audience instead of a local metropolitan audience.
- Before you list your car on a website, you need to get a few things ready. You need to get access or currently hold a title for the vehicle so you can sign it over to the new owner. You'll probably need a Bill of Sale as well. Your state or municipality may require other documents such as emissions certifications. Check with your local Department of Motor Vehicles to make sure you have everything in line to sign the car to its next owner.
- Clean your car like you've never cleaned it before. Remove everything you can from the car. Vacuum it, wash it and spruce it up as best you can. If the floor mats are beyond their useful life, it's better to get rid of them than to leave worn out mats in the car. Clean the glass and get the tires looking wet and shiny.
- Take lots of pictures. You'll need digital pictures, so if you use a film camera, you need to convert your pictures to a digital format. To do this, you can either ask the developer to provide you with a digital copy of all your pictures, or you'll need to scan your pictures with a scanner to make a digital copy. Of course, you can save yourself some effort here if you have a digital camera.
The pictures you take should give a buyer from anywhere in the country a good idea as to the condition of all parts of the car. Take pictures of any defects or flaws like big scratches and dents. Get a few good shots of each side of the car, and a few of the interior as well. Some online sites limit you to as few as eight pictures, so choose wisely. Other websites allow as many as 24 pictures. Find out how many pictures you can provide, and put as many pictures as you possibly can in the auction.
- Write a detailed description about your car. You don't have to oversell it, but buyers want to know where it's been and how it's been taken care of. If you have all of the service records for the past few years, mention it. If it's been in an accident, disclose it. Your description should tell a buyer what he or she is getting.
- If you're having trouble coming to a good price for your car, take a look at some of the free valuation services on the internet. Websites like Edmunds, Kelley Blue Book, and NADA Pricing Guides track recent sales data, and they can provide you with an excellent idea of just how much your car is worth.
- You don't have to look for very long to find a place to sell your car. There are plenty of places to list a car online. You can choose from free services like Craigslist, or you can choose to list a paid advertisement on eBay, Autotrader, Cars.com, Autoextra.com, and more. There are plenty of options, so shop around until you find the service that's best for you.
- Good descriptions answer most of the questions that a potential buyer might have, but even the best description won't answer all of the potential questions. You can expect that buyers will want to know other little things about the car. Make yourself available to answer phone calls and emails as soon as possible. Simple, straightforward answers are always best.
- When you come to an agreement on price with a buyer, all of the hard work is done. Don't forget to fill out all of the paperwork that your state requires, and retrieve your license plate before the new owner drives off with it.