Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Five tips for selling a car!

I was recently involved in a car accident and consequently my VW Passat was written off. I now get the joy of shopping for a new vehicle for myself at Christmas. First world problem. Like a lot of people, I do not have access to unlimited funds and I also am not unrealistic about what I get for the money I have. For $7000.00, you will not be buying a brand new car (unless Lada is still kicking about). I have a few quick tips for people selling used cars for under $10,000. I know there could be an equal rant for people buying cars, but this particular rant is for the sellers!:

1 - Don't say your car is fantastic shape, when it has dents, scratches, stains and foul odors! I'm not blind and I will figure it out. Please save me the hassle of driving an hour to spend 5 minutes looking at your POS. The more honest you are the more likely I will appreciate it. If you've driven your car into the ground, the lesson is simple. Take care of your car, it will make it easier to sell in the long run.

2 - If you are trying to sell a vehicle, try to make it easy for a buyer to see the car. Don't arrange a meeting and forget to show up. It is a pain in the ass! We are both doing each other a favor. You probably need the money and I need the car. Let's work together. 50 / 50 rule. I'll drive half way, you drive half way.

3 - Know the history of your vehicle. I recently met a person who was selling an "excellent" condition vehicle. I spent less than 5 minutes before walking away. This vehicle had rust bubbles, lots of rust under the hood, poorly painted bumpers and a headlight that was loose. Perhaps I'm confused as to what "excellent" means?? When I pointed out the obvious flaws, the seller seemed surprised? Honest mistake or sketchy car sales shenanigans? You be the judge.

4 - Service history is super valuable. This shows you have actually taken care of your vehicle. Perhaps there could be some confusion as to what "taken care of" means. In my opinion it means that you not only put oil and gas in the vehicle, it also means addressing noises and sounds before they cause a cataclysmic malfunction. If you hear a humming, it may be a wheel bearing. Replace it before you have to replace a spindle. If you haven't heard of the broken window effect here is some good reading -

5 - Don't hide things. At some point during the transition from childhood to adulthood it became acceptable to lie to people? I know that some people don't understand vehicles and I can appreciate that. But when you go up and above to hide something from a potential buyer, you really have to wonder what kind of example are you setting.

People always say dealerships are slimy and deceitful, which in some cases is true, but keep in mind. They aren't the ones driving those used cars for 10 years and then trading them in. It starts with us.

<end rant>