8 Techniques to Get the Most for Your Used Car

8 Techniques to Get the Most for Your Used Car
  • Opening Intro -

    Selling a used car can be a harrowing experience for some folks.

    Unless you’ve got a bit of the salesperson’s gene in you, you’re probably concerned that you’re not going to get as much as the car is worth.

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By Nick Simpson

In fact, many people simply take the first offer they get, even if it’s well below their asking price, simply so they can be done with it.

Even if you’re not a born haggler, you don’t have to settle for less than what your car is worth. Here are some things you can do to help get as much as possible for that used car:

1. Know what the car is worth. There are a number of online calculators you can use to determine the value of a used car (KBB and Edmunds to name a few). Chances are that many of the people considering your vehicle will use those same tools. Make sure you enter the correct make, model, mileage, condition, etc. This will give you a somewhat realistic picture of what the car is worth. What these calculators can’t do, of course, is tell you exactly how your local market will respond, so do remember that these values are only a general range.

2. Make small cosmetic improvements. Cleaning the car is mandatory, as is washing and probably giving it a coat of wax. You might consider having the car detailed, as well. Don’t skimp on this process; most of your potential buyers aren’t mechanics, so they’re not nearly as concerned with how great the engine sounds as they are with how clean the dashboard is.

3. Advertise widely. The trick to getting to the most for your used car is to find the person who’s willing to pay the most for it. To do so, you’ve got to advertise. Don’t limit yourself to just one or two venues; consider ads in your local auto trader magazine, but also pass the word around among friends, family, and even via social networking sites like Facebook. The wider your reach, the more you’re going to get for your vehicle.

4. Take amazing pictures. Great pictures will get more people out to look at your vehicle. Take as many pictures of the car as you can stand and then consider posting several to your Facebook profile, your newspaper’s website, Craigslist, or wherever else you’re advertising the car. Get exterior and interior shots, and be sure to get lots of detail. Don’t skip over any blemishes; honesty will help with the negotiation process.

5. Build a case for the car’s value. You need to prepare your reasons for asking as much as you are for the car. This will also help during negotiations. For example, if this particular vehicle has a relatively low insurance rate, be sure to point that out to someone who is on the fence. The same goes for any aftermarket add-ons you’ve installed, as well any recent repairs and maintenance for which you can provide records.

6. Have all of your paperwork handy. It might be that all you need is the car’s title and odometer reading. Make sure you know where the title is so that a deal doesn’t fall through while the potential buyer stands around waiting for you to dig through your files.

7. Learn to negotiate. Negotiation is as much a learned skill as it is an art form. Learn how to use active listening techniques to help address a potential buyer’s concerns and know how to present that case you’ve built for the car’s value. Most potential buyers expect you to haggle at least a little bit on the price of the vehicle, even if you advertise it as “firm.”

8. Be willing to say “no.” If you’re in a hurry to get rid of the vehicle, that’s one thing; if you’re not, you need to be willing to turn down an offer that doesn’t meet your requirements. After the vehicle has been listed for a while, you’ll get a feeling for the kinds of offers you’re going to get, and it may not be worth holding out that much longer, but certainly you can let it go for a couple of weeks. Believe it or not, there are some buyers who will just pay the asking price.

Concluding Thoughts

Getting the most for your used car takes some work. You need to do some legwork, and you need to spend some time dealing with potential buyers. That’s the price to pay if you want to see the greatest return.

Author Information

Nick Simpson is Social Media Coordinator at Fred Loya Insurance. Fred Loya provides general car insurance as well as unique services catered specifically to customers in multiple states. Car insurance in Colorado and auto insurance in California are two areas where they have excelled in recent years.

Money Management reference:

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Last update on 2019-06-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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