People are often so happy to sell their car that they will trade it in at the dealership. There are many benefits to selling your car yourself, as we all know. Let’s take a look at some of the fundamental principles for finding work and how they apply to selling your car privately. This isn’t as difficult as you might think and it will make you top dollars!
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1. Post Your Ad Online
- Apply for a Job
It’s not to apply for a job, but to be interviewed. You want to get in the door. You don’t want to sell your car.
- Verbiage and presentation
My boss used to tell me that I was the only candidate who got interviewed out of hundreds of applicants because I had no grammar, punctuation or spelling errors in my cover letter and resume. Make sure you put together a quality job ad. Do not copy and paste boring, generic car facts just because everyone else does. Why? The reason? Because buyers don’t have the time to read hundreds of ads, there is no need for fluff. Highlight your strengths and distinguish yourself from others, just like your resume. Do you have service records? Or are you a non-smoker? Maybe you used the car only to commute to work. These are important points. You can put in the basic components later if you wish. You shouldn’t over-complicate the parts that will help you visualize your vehicle.
Pictures are a selling point. Never use stock photos. High quality photos should be taken of your car’s interior and exterior. It is not a good idea to assume that your car’s exterior is in great condition. Showcase the best parts of your car in photos. People will be impressed if you include a video of the car. This is a bonus point.
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2. Meet the buyer face to face
- Dress to Impress
Our caveman days taught us that our brains are programmed to make quick assumptions in order to survive. It is important to make a good first impression. If your potential boss is shocked to see a messy interviewee on their first day, they will likely assume that they are just a messy person. The interviewer will remember that the first impression of a person is the one that they see. It doesn’t really matter how many times they brush their teeth or style their hair afterwards. Spending $20 more to have your car cleaned and vacuumed could increase the price of your final purchase by thousands. Don’t forget to give the car a pleasant scent!
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- It’s the little things
Sometimes, a person isn’t hired for the job description on their resume. Sometimes it’s because someone made a comment about a favorite team. One person was even hired by a large law office because he wrote a thank-you note to the secretary who buzzed him in. Evidently, she had connections. Be friendly! It’s never a bad idea. Many private sellers treat potential buyers like they have just escaped from prison. Make them feel at home. Give them directions and water if they are coming to your home for a test drive. Choose a route that is clear and has less traffic. You can tell them you have taken it in for an oil change or inspection. You can let them know how well you took care of it with maintenance records, repairs documentation, and an Autocheck (or a Carfax, which is less expensive) if you have one. You can even fill up the tank so they have the fuel to go. This tells them something about you and adds value to your car.
- Find out how much you are worth
Many people are at the end of an interview and are asked the question, “How much do you want?” I have seen people receive a much higher salary than they are worth. Others get less. It all depends on how your approach it. It is not a good idea to offer a lower salary than they are willing to pay and then have them make a low-ball offer. They may reconsider their hiring decision, thinking that there is a reason the candidate believes they are so low-quality. It is important to stress that the job is not about the money. You also want to make sure that selling your car isn’t about the price.
First, it is likely that people viewing your ad have spent many hours searching for cars. You should, too. You can find out how much your car is worth as well as the range at which it is valued. You want to be on the upper end of the spectrum. Never refuse to answer the phone. Encourage them to look at your car if it is in good condition. Do not state your bottom dollar. Instead, know exactly how low you will go. Tell them that other people are interested and start high. Find a partner to help you if you are not skilled at negotiation.
Last but not least, be clear about the type of payment you accept and how you will handle them. This will help you appear more professional and protect you from being conned. Remember that you set the terms when buying a car. It is best to do it at your bank. You have two choices: go to the bank, or be there while they cash a cashier’s check. Don’t give any paperwork to anyone until you have the money in your account. Have fun earning top dollar for your vehicle!