Recently we expanded the vehicle count in our driveway from 2 to 3. Since that new car was a first for a teenager, Craigslist was the perfect spot to car shop. Where else does one shop for a used car these days?! What an adventure it was. Based upon my experience as a shopper, I’ve put together a tips list for selling your car on Craigslist. You want to sell your car, I want to buy a car, let’s not waste each other’s time!
1. Give Me The Details
Seriously. Don’t place an ad without telling me the year, make, model and PRICE. What is up with the “make an offer” mess? At least give me an amount you have in mind. Don’t tell me to make an offer and then get mad when I offer well below what you had in mind. Tell me the value of the car, use KBB. Give me something to start on.
2. Detail the Damage
Be honest. Was the car in an accident? Am I going to arrive and find the brakes don’t work. Tell me before I spend the time contacting you. Give me a head’s up BEFORE I arrive. Hail damage? Disclose it. Ripped seats? Tell me. It’s unfair to leave me believing that car is looking great for it’s age when in actuality you failed to mention the bumper is falling off. Spend a few dollars and get it attached. Do some basic maintenance. Invest a little money and you’ll get that car sold.
Take your time to get good photos, not fuzzy blobs. Don’t even post if you don’t have photos. Don’t ask your buyers to contact you for photos- again that’s a waste of your time and mine. I want to see a photo of each side of the car. I want a photo of the driver’s seat and the dashboard. A backseat shot is great too, but not as important as the others I’ve mentioned. If there’s damage anywhere, give me a photo of it as well. And on my goodness, do not take the pictures at night! I want to SEE, that’s the entire purpose of the photos.
4. Be Ready to Reply
You want to sell your car for crying out loud, waiting FOUR days to get back to me is not going get your car sold. If you are truly motivated to sell, post your phone number. Don’t want to take calls? Tell me text. If you’re going to do email only contact, keep on top of your email and answer right away.
5. Be Prepared
Have the title ready to go. Write up a Bill of Sale and have it ready to sign. If you’re asking for cash on hand, then you need to be ready to let go of that car when I show up. If you’re name isn’t on that title, you do not have the right to sell that car so get that little issue taken care of, either have the owner sign the title or get the car title in your name before selling.
I want to buy a car and I don’t want to waste hours looking at cars that don’t fit my needs and wants and budget. You want to sell a car and you don’t want to spend hours repeatedly answering emails full of questions or interrupting your favorite program or facebook game to show the car to someone who takes one look at it and is no longer interested. You do your part, I’ll do mine and your car will be sold in no time!
For what’s it worth, we did eventually find a car. But I can’t get over the time we spent calling, waiting on responses and looking at cars we very clearly did not want once we actually saw them. The car we ended up buying did have damage and a photo of the damage was posted to the ad. It worth it to be honest when you want it to sell.