Selling Cars on eBay—Tips for Selling a Used Car

Learn How eBay Is a Convenient Way to Sell Used Cars Online

Every day, hundreds of cars sell on eBay. You can find every kind imaginable on eBay, and if you are interested in selling one, it can be a great place to safely sell the old family car. 

Selling a car on eBay can be a very fast way to get one off your hands -- usually in about 7 days. In fact, you can set up a shorter auction if you want. The site is pretty intuitive, and you should be able to get the hang of it after playing with it for a few minutes. But, here are a few tips I've put together to help you with your first eBay car listing. You'll see that you can quickly learn how to sell a car on eBay and be ready to begin your listing and preparing it right away.

  1. Research. When selling a used car, it is important to learn what it's worth. Research past eBay listings for ones similar to yours to be sure your asking price is in the same ballpark with other used cars online.
  2. Take a lot of pictures. Pictures are critical when selling on eBay and people have grown to expect them, especially with a big ticket item like a car. So, once you think you have enough pictures, take a few more.
    • Be sure to show all parts including views from all sides.
    • Take plenty of pictures showing the interior, the dash and gauges, front seats, back seats, and the radio console.
    • Be sure to get a picture of the odometer that shows the actual mileage.
    • Take pictures with the doors both open and closed.
    • Open the hood and take a few pictures of the engine bay.
    • Get a shot or two of alloy wheels, if present.
    • If there are any defects such as dents or scratches, be sure to get a picture of this as well. Good pictures demonstrate a willingness by the seller to adequately disclose all issues with the vehicle.
  3. Documentation. You should start getting documentation like the title in order. Also, you should get a bill of sale form from your local Department of Motor Vehicles. Some localities require other paperwork such as a smog inspection form.
  4. Create an item description. This is theMan using laptop inside the car description to sell your car. It's like the voice of a salesman, only in written words. Be sure to include all of the following eBay tips:
    • Vehicle History: Write a few short paragraphs describing what you know about the history of the vehicle. Are you the original owner? Has it been in any accidents? If you have maintenance records, it's a good idea to mention this. If you've recently replaced any parts, like tires or the starter, it's a good idea to mention this.
    • Defects: Buyers also need to know about any defects that aren't evident in photos. You must disclose any known defects to the vehicle so that buyers can get a good idea as to what kind of vehicle they are bidding on.
    • Selling Terms: Include a few statements telling the buyer what forms of payment are acceptable. Also tell them about any required deposits and a deadline for payment. Selling cars on eBay requires much of the same details for the selling terms as when you are selling one in person.

    eBay is an Internet website, and the listings are presented in HTML -- the programming language of the Internet. You can learn a few basic commands, or pay a few dollars to use a template provided by eBay. If you aren't very tech savvy, I highly recommend using one of these.

  5. eBay auction formats. You have two options when listing your car on eBay auto sales.
    • Auction Format: eBay auto auctions allow you to set a bid start price as well as a reserve price. The starting price is the price that the first bid must reach to begin the auction. It's usually a good idea to set a low starting price in order to get more bids. Many auctions even start at just $1 and go up substantially from there. If you're concerned about selling your car for too low of a price, don't worry -- you can set a reserve price. Thisnis the lowest possible price you're willing to accept.
    • Fixed Price Format: eBay also offers you an alternative method for listing vehicles called the "fixed price format." This format allows you to set a "Buy it now" price. This is not an auction, but is more like a fixed store price.

Online sites, such as eBay, have become more and more popular to sell used cars. The process is normally fast, you can set your price and it can all be done while sitting at your home computer.


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We sold a car on eBay once, and it went very well. I was nervous about problems coming up, but it went off without a hitch. The problem for some people, however, is the scam buyers that exist. There are a lot of fake money orders out there, and buyers can lose their car and get nothing in return.

By L. Shepherd

I think the information is incomplete. On valuation, for example, both and offer good tools. KBB usually comes out higher. Somewhere between the two would be good for starters.

On the pictures advice, very good. On speciality cars, you might also mention in the listing that a slide show is available if the potential buyer wants to ask the seller for it. You can do a slide show for free on Flickr and other sites.

By Murry Shohat