Home Finance How to Get the Most Money Selling a Car to a Dealership

How to Get the Most Money Selling a Car to a Dealership

15 min read
How to Get the Most Money Selling a Car to a Dealership

The average used car price has surpassed the $20,000 mark. This number is inflated by car dealerships, but the average private seller can also witness an increase. Know that there is a higher demand for used cars and use this to your advantage.

In order to fetch the highest prices on the market, you’ll need to do a little prep work. Who says that your car is worth the max value on the market? Well, If you follow the right steps, you can get the max, and possibly more.

This guide will help cover the basics of presenting your car to the highest bidders. If you have all of these areas taken care of, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t get the best offers from selling to a dealership or private buyers or junkyards close to you.

Professional Detailing

Your car should be spotless before putting it out for sale. There are no excuses and there’s no easier way to improve its value. Making a good first impression is imperative.

This goes for both the outside of the car and the inside. You should clean the inside as best as you can to see if there are any areas that need work. If you take your car to an auto detailer with loads of trash, crumbs, and dirt, you’ll pay the price.

As for the outside of the car, there’s no harm in trying to save a few bucks by doing the wash and wax yourself. If you’ve never waxed a car before, save yourself the stress by paying for professional wax and small touch-ups.

When it’s all said and done, your car will look “like new” instead of like every other used car that comes into the dealership.

List to Grab the Most Attention

Before you put up your ad, take as many photos of your car as possible. Get at least eight photos of the exterior, four from each side and four diagonally. Interior should include, at a minimum:

  1. Picture of each seat
  2. Steering wheel
  3. Gauge cluster proving mileage/mpg
  4. Center console
  5. Radio/infotainment display on
  6. Close-ups of front and back doors
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This type of photography is what will help advertise the condition while enticing buyers interested in your car’s model. Think of it from the buyer’s position: wouldn’t you want to buy the car that made you fall in love with its features?

Write Personable Sales Copy

Don’t just throw up a listing with all the company stats and specifications of your car. Nobody except car gurus will want to read through a block of text describing torque, wheelbase, or drivetrain sizes. You need to capture the audience’s attention and pour some heart into it.

Write a little (not a lot!) of your own history with the car. Describe real-life experiences in how it handles, how reliable it is, and etc. Emphasize your diligence taking care of maintenance and safe operation.

If you have problems putting your thoughts onto paper, you can hire a copywriter for cheap or ask a family member for help. This stuff matters when it comes to selling your car for its max value.

Never Try to Hide “Small Details”

We know there’s pressure to list your car as the best used car in pristine condition. If it’s not, and you know it, then don’t lie. Honesty will get you very far when it comes to selling a car fast and for the most value.

For small fixes, either get them fixed or list them as such in your ad. Worn brake pads, small dents in the side passenger door panel, or a faulty A/C fan aren’t make-or-break. An educated car buyer will know these aren’t big fixes.

Now, if they note these things weren’t listed in the original ad, then you’ll probably fall into bartering territory. They can easily, and rightfully, bring up the fact that they don’t know what else could be wrong with the vehicle. Lying never pays off in the end.

Is The Price Right?

Did you look up your car’s Kelley Blue Book Value? If not, that’s where you should start. Remember to sort prices by both year and trim level.

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After you get the KBB value price range, extend your search to Chicago’s local listings on sites like Edmunds, CarGuru, and Facebook Marketplace. This should give you a good price range to target.

Local used car prices matter more than nationwide trends, especially to dealerships. Pay close attention to recent car sales to find out whether you should list at the higher end or lower end of your car’s value.

Have Papers in Order

Getting together maintenance records and acquiring a vehicle history report will improve your trust and value. It’s going to demonstrate that you’re not concealing anything and makes the purchaser feel assured that they’re not getting a lemon. Your vehicle records are confirmation that you’ve kept up your vehicle and tended to any issues.

If you have the records – for everything from oil changes to body damage – emphasize quick response times. You’ll need to pay to get a vehicle history report, yet it’s a big help to show that you’re making an effort not to trick anyone. You may likewise need to get an inspection before listing to avoid hearsay.

Hold Firm When Selling a Car to a Dealership

When you’re selling a vehicle on the Internet, you will undoubtedly get low-balling from individuals who are searching for a quick profit. Keep in mind, you don’t need to take these offers.

While it might sound good to get cash now with a quick sale, you should practice patience. If you get a call about your vehicle, return the call as quickly as you can. If somebody messages requesting more pics/details, don’t hesitate.

If you address each dealership as a genuine, potential prospect, you will eventually land the best deal. Treat impatient customers the same as any other customer. Those who are serious buyers will eventually show themselves and give you what your car’s worth.

Check out our blog for more tips like these and become more confident as a businessman.

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