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8 Great Tips to Sell Your Car Yourself

Apr 5, 2008
1. Get organized. Clean your car, get all your personal stuff out of it, and make it shine as much as possible. Organize all your service records in chronological order. If you have any spare parts or accessories for your car, put them in the vehicle. Have your car ready to go so that when you show it you can sell right it away, then the buyer can drive it home and you never have to deal with it again.

2. The best way to get your car sold is to list it on craigslist. It is free to list your car on "craigslist.org," and most everyone who wants to buy a used car looks on craigslist first. Your listing should include a detailed description and as pictures as you possibly can. Accurately describe any flaws your car has, and provide pictures of them. Doing this will improve your credibility, and you will stand apart from everyone else who claims that their car is "perfect." If craigslist just isn't working for you, you could try AutoTrader.

3. Change your craigslist ad often. The way that craigslist works, you move to the top every time you update your listing. By changing your listing once a day (or even once an hour) you'll get the most out of your ad.

4. The first phone call or email you get is usually the best one. In our experience with craigslist and similar sites, and even newspaper classifieds, the first person to contact you is usually the person that ends up buying, so treat that first caller like royalty. The first caller is usually motivated, so don't feel like you have to discount for that person (at least not very much).

5. Be safe. Don't put your address in your ad - all you're doing is advertising where someone can go to steal your car. You should also list your work phone instead of using your personal number. Finally, and most importantly, meet potential buyers in a public place. Shopping mall parking lots are ideal - they have security, they're lots of people, and they're easy to find.

6. It is important that we also talk about test-driving. Do not go with a potential buyer to test-drive your car if you do not feel comfortable. If you don't go along, ask them if you could hold the keys to their car. You should tell the buyer to take a hike if you get a bad vibe from them at any point in the process. You should never take any kind of risk.

7. Don't accept cashier's checks or bank drafts. Unless you're inside a bank talking to a bank employee, don't ever accept a cashier's check or bank draft as payment. These instruments are extremely easy to counterfeit, so you should only take them from people you know and trust. Insist on cash. If your buyer has to give you a bank draft, meet them at their bank so you can verify it.

8. The last tip is to tie up all loose ends. Be sure to take your license plates off before you allow the buyer to drive away in your car. In order to prove that your vehicle was sold, have the buyer sign a bill of sale. Always ask for identification, and if there are any problems with this, do not sell your car to that person.
About the Author
Author Jason Lancaster, a car business veteran, developed AccurateAutoAdvice.com. You'll find accurate advice on how to sell your car and selling my own car tips.
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