The process of buying and selling used cars has changed dramatically over the last decade or so. In the past, sellers would have to take out an ad in a newspaper or distribute flyers all over the city to be able to sell their cars. Nowadays, if you want to sell your car for cash, all you have to do is post about it online, and you’re bound to reach more potential buyers in less time.
When it comes to selling your car online, you have numerous options available, from direct car buyers like GivemetheVIN to online marketplaces like Craigslist and eBay. With so many options for selling your car for cash online, how can you make the best decision and get top dollar from the sale?
In this blog, we share several tips for selling your car online to help you get the most out of your transaction by delving into the following:
- Setting up your car for selling online
- Maximizing your car’s value
- Finding the right platform
How to Prepare Your Car For Selling
The key to a seamless online transaction is ensuring you have everything prepared before negotiations begin. Make the following preparations to ensure your car is ready for future transactions and to maximize the value of the sale.
Gather All The Important Documents
Before listing your car on online directories or marketplaces, you must prepare your paperwork beforehand to avoid any potential hiccups later. For instance, if you still have questions regarding your registration, you can contact your local DMV. Make sure the following paperwork is available and up-to-date:
- Car Title: This is an important document that must be kept safe and handy at all times. If it is destroyed or missing, head to your local DMV immediately to secure a replacement copy.
- Service Records: Detailed records of oil changes, tune-ups, and repairs signal good upkeep and show potential buyers that the vehicle is well-maintained and in good shape. Having these documents handy can help you negotiate a higher price with any potential buyer.
- Original Sales Paperwork: Having a complete list of details about your car can also help improve your car’s resale value during negotiations. You can find all details, such as the car’s make, year, model, trim level, and other features on the original sales document.
- Vehicle History Report: Questions about your car’s involvement in any accident will almost always come up during a sale. It helps to have a vehicle accident history report ready when that happens. You can retrieve this online using your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
Make Easy Repairs
While it might seem wise to just let the new owner spend the time and money to fix up damages to your car, it might send the wrong message and create the perception that you don’t take proper care of it. This might affect your ability to negotiate a higher price and may instead lead the prospective buyer to try and negotiate an even lower price.
Instead of letting the new owner handle repairs, fix them prior to trying to sell your car to improve its resale value. Things like replacing busted headlights or taillights or fixing minor issues with the engine will go a long way toward increasing its value beyond the initial cost of repair.
Clean Your Car Before Selling Your Car Online
Taking a shower before a date allows you to put your best foot forward and give an excellent first impression. In the same way, cleaning up your car before putting it up for sale can give it a wow factor and allow your prospective buyer to see its beautiful interior. It may also help you to negotiate a higher price.
Here are some cleaning tips for selling your car online:
- Make sure to remove personal items from the interior.
- Remove all removable floor mats and shampoo your carpets.
- Clean up your seats, mirrors, dashboard, and other surfaces.
- Remove all stickers and magnets on your windshield.
- Give your tires a good scrubbing.
- Fix chips and cracks on your windshield.
- Polish your car exterior with wax to bring out its vibrant colors.
Depersonalize Your Car
Although you’ve invested so much into the custom spoilers or those flame decals on your car door, not everyone will have the same taste as you. In most cases, personalized features and designs can lessen the car’s value. That’s why before listing your car online, remove all its custom features to give prospective buyers a peek at a blank slate.
Take Plenty of Photos
There can never be too many photos when it comes to selling your car online. Prospective buyers always want a good view of your car from every angle before they even start to weigh their options. As the seller, it is your responsibility to oblige and provide them with all the photos they need to get an accurate picture of your car’s interior and exterior, which helps them make a favorable buying decision.
Take Note of Your VIN When Selling Your Car Online
Your car’s VIN is more than just a string of letters and numbers. It is an essential identifier that contains key information about your car, such as its make, engine type, and original details. It can also provide a wealth of information about your car’s condition, from its history of oil changes to its involvement in accidents.
The VIN is often found on the driver’s side dashboard or door jamb. Depending on the entity, any information recorded on your VIN can be retrieved and used in the following ways:
- Mechanics use the VIN to identify your engine type or any other parts that need to be repaired or replaced.
- Insurance companies use the VIN to pull up information on involvement in accidents, which can also be used to determine premium rates.
- Manufacturers keep track of vehicles and their owners, allowing them to issue warnings and recall more easily.
- Police can use the VIN to check if a specific vehicle is involved in theft or other crimes.
- The DMV uses the VIN to process vehicle registrations.
Above all, your VIN can be one of the most helpful tools when buying or selling cars online. By noting your car’s VIN, you can make it easier for potential buyers to check your vehicle history, making each transaction more seamless.
Appraise Your Car Online to Determine Car Pricing
Determining fair car pricing is always crucial when you’re about to sell your car online. Although you might want to earn the highest amount possible from the transaction, you must understand that it’s all about finding the right balance. Setting your price too low will generate plenty of buyer interest but will also mean you’re leaving too much on the table. On the other hand, setting your price too high may not generate enough interest at all.
Another option is to allow potential buyers to make their best offers for your car. But without setting a baseline value, you won’t know whether you’re getting a good deal or not. So your best course of action is to find the right price for your car by researching it online.
There are several ways to estimate your car’s value. One is scouring the internet for listings that showcase similar models with similar conditions and mileage, then using their list price to estimate your car’s value. Another is by using online appraisal tools like this one from J.D. Power, where you only need to know your car’s make, manufacturer, and model to get started.
Find a Suitable Online Platform To List Your Car
Once you’ve determined your car’s value, you can weigh your options on where and how to sell your car for cash. Many suitable platforms for selling your car are available online, from direct buyers to online directories. Each of these platforms has its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.
Instant Cash Offer
Platforms like GivemetheVIN offer incredible value for your car while taking much of the hassle of selling a used car online. Through GivemetheVIN, you can get an instant cash offer (ICO) on your car just by providing your car’s VIN or license plate number and a description of your car’s current condition. Something to keep in mind is that the more comprehensive the description you provide, the better the offer will be.
GivemetheVIN offers a fast and seamless way to get the most value from your used car. After receiving all the requested information, GivemetheVIN extends an offer valid for 24 hours. During this period, you can negotiate for better pricing based on several factors. Once the offer is accepted, GivemetheVIN will then give you the check and pick up your vehicle free of charge.
Listing your car on popular online marketplaces and directories like Craigslist, eBay, or Facebook can give you the most visibility online and has the potential to produce the highest yield. You can attract more buyers and negotiate better prices for your car through these platforms.
However, selling on online directories and marketplaces can be painstakingly slow. It also requires significantly more work, with having to create ads, crossposting to generate more visibility, and constantly communicating with potential buyers.
Get the Best Deals at GivemetheVIN
GivemetheVIN offers a seamless way to earn more from selling your car online. If you want to get in touch with our experts for any concerns, reach out to us by filling out this form. Also, if you’re trying to sell your car, truck, motorcycle, or SUV, you can get an instant bid by clicking here.