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How to sell a car?

Posted by Nancy N on 7/28/02 at 19:55 (090848)

Yes, this is completely unrelated to feet. But since there is such a wonderful array of wisdom on this board, I thought it was worth asking:

Any suggestions for how I might sell my current car quickly?

I ask because I decided to buy a new car (2002 Honda Civic) yesterday, and was absolutely flabbergasted when the dealer only offered me $600 for me 93 Saturn SL1, which is worth $1100 as a trade according to the Kelley Blue Book. I got the impression that this guy was not open to negotiation on the price of the trade since I'd negotiated him down below wholesale for the new car.

I have put an ad on the local university's classified page, but there aren't too many students in town right now, so I don't know how effective that might be. I'm also going to take it around to some used car dealers tomorrow and see if I can find any success there. And I've asked my friends if they know anyone who might like to buy an inexpensive but good car.

Any other ideas from anyone? Ideally, I'd like to sell it within the next few days so I can go get my new car! If it takes longer than that, though, so be it (and if the dealer gets angry with me for taking a while to pick up the new car, I plan to tell him that he could accelerate this process by offering me more for the old one--and that if he chooses not to, he'll just have to wait until I manage to sell it). I don't know if I've covered most of the bases or not, so if anyone has additional ideas, I certainly appreciate them!! Thanks much!

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/28/02 at 22:54 (090870)

Sounds like you've got the bases covered, with your plans to approach used car dealers, ask your friends, and advertise. I guess you could try shopping for the new car and the trade in at another Honda dealer, and try to get a better deal there. However, it sounds like you've talked this salesman into quite a bargain already.

In a way, if you are trading in your old car, the price you get for it doesn't matter so much as the difference between that price and the price you are given for the new car. So, if this dealer has offered you the same low price on the new car *without* a trade-in, you have scored! I hope you can get a good deal on your old car.

I only got $200 for my '92 Plymouth when I traded it in on my Toyota Camry Solara a couple of years ago. But then, the transmission was in the process of cratering. LOL

By the way, congrats on your choice of new car! I've heard Hondas are terrific. :)

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/28/02 at 23:18 (090873)

Carole--

Thanks for your input. I did manage to get a good deal on the new car, and I'm quite proud of myself for it, since this is the first time I've had to negotiate a price for a new car--both of my previous cars were Saturns. (If anybody's curious, the secret to my success was cars.com's internet quote service--I got a really sweet quote from another dealer that's further away, and used it to get the local guys to drop their price. It still took some finagling, but it worked!) And we did not discuss the trade until I had their offer on the contract sheet so they couldn't change it on me or adjust their offer according to the value of the car. I just wish they'd offered me something that wasn't insulting for the old car. I guess they get a lot of people who don't know what their car is worth and just go with whatever they offer. Even if I sold it for parts, my car would be worth more than $600.

My car is in good shape--new brakes, new alternator last year, new dashboard lights a few months ago--and no transmission problems that I'm aware of. So it really should fetch something close to the Blue Book trade-in price. Edmunds' 'True Market Value' price is a little bit higher. The amount they offered me is almost 50% less than the Blue Book price, which is why I was so stunned. If it had problems, I could understand that. But it doesn't.

I'm hoping I can find a used car dealer tomorrow who will be interested in it--a friend of mine knows someone whose neighbor sells used cars, so he's emailed them to find out if that might be a lead for me. I sure hope so. It's hard, you know? I should be happy about getting the deal I got on the new car, but the trade-in situation has really put a damper on things. And once you know the car is yours, it's just SO hard to wait to get it! :) I did choose it in part because it's a Honda, and in part because it's Consumer Reports' pick for best small car at the moment. I want to be able to keep this one for at least 8 years, hopefully 10!

Re: How to sell a car?

john h on 7/29/02 at 08:28 (090887)

Nancy at one point in my life I was a VP for Avis so i have purchased and sold thousands of automobiles. Currently the used car market is in much distress due to the fact that they have been selling so many new cars with zero percent financing and have taken in a lot of used cars on trade. Also, all the car rental companies turn back tens of thousands of low mileage cars each year which the dealerships end up with on their used car lots. Forget the black book values. Your best bet is to sell it privately

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 08:52 (090888)

So does this mean I should just take the $600 they offered me on it? I've never sold a car privately before and I am rather nervous about it. A friend of mine sold hers to a woman who called her constantly wanting her to take the car back a few weeks after the sale. I really want to avoid that kind of situation. That's why I'd rather sell it to a used car dealer if I can.

Re: How to sell a car?

john h on 7/29/02 at 13:30 (090908)

Nancy: You are right to be concerned about selling it privately particularly in the paper. You just have to weigh that against what you think you can get privately vs what the dearler is offering. Another consideration is you normally pay sales tax on the trade difference (some states) which saves you a few dollars.

There are any number of web sites that will give you values on your car so look at them all. They even sell autos on ebay now and you can set your minimum price.

Give me the model of your car, mileage, how it is equipped and any visable damage. How are the tires? '(email removed)'

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 17:22 (090923)

I've emailed you the info, John. Thanks :)

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 20:39 (090940)

I found out this afternoon that a friend's husband occasionally buys a car to fix up and then sells it. He has very graciously offered to help me sell the car, so I am going to put an ad in the paper. We figure we should be able to get about $1500 for it, so that is our goal. Hopefully, the whole thing will be done in a few days and I'll have my shiny new car at last! :)

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/29/02 at 21:18 (090950)

Super! Maybe you can get him to let you use his address and/or phone number in the ad. He probably knows all about how to get rid of creeps and that way any creeps wouldn't know how to get in touch with you.

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 21:21 (090952)

We actually decided to put both numbers in the ad. Though, your suggestion is good, too. I'll check with him to see if that's OK with him. I hate to make him do all the work, though. I think once this is done, I will invite them over for dinner, or do something similar for them, because they're doing me such an enormous favor. Just saying 'Thank you' isn't going to cover it at all.

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/02 at 06:13 (090964)

Having them over for dinner is a great idea! It's also a good trade for the $900 or so extra that you will be making from the sale of your car. He probably doesn't find it to be too much of an imposition, since he does this all the time so it's not as big a deal to him as it would be to you or to me.

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/02 at 06:15 (090965)

By $900 (= $1500 - $600) I meant the difference between the amount you might get privately and the amount you were offered at the dealers. I'm sure you will get more than $900!

I was half asleep when I wrote that post. Now, I'm at work (and still half asleep, but with a cup of coffee in my hand).

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/30/02 at 06:51 (090966)

We are going to list it at $1500 to try to sell the car more quickly. I'm sure I could get more for it, but since the other car is waiting for me at the dealer, I don't want it sitting there forever (or them starting to get mad at me for leaving it there so long). If I tried to get $2000 for it, I'd probably get it, but it would take 2-3 weeks. So I probably won't get more than $1500 since that's what we decided to list it for. But we are going to try to keep that as a firm price since it is such a good deal for whoever buys the car.

Or is that what you're saying anyway? I just woke up and maybe I'm not awake yet, either! :)

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/28/02 at 22:54 (090870)

Sounds like you've got the bases covered, with your plans to approach used car dealers, ask your friends, and advertise. I guess you could try shopping for the new car and the trade in at another Honda dealer, and try to get a better deal there. However, it sounds like you've talked this salesman into quite a bargain already.

In a way, if you are trading in your old car, the price you get for it doesn't matter so much as the difference between that price and the price you are given for the new car. So, if this dealer has offered you the same low price on the new car *without* a trade-in, you have scored! I hope you can get a good deal on your old car.

I only got $200 for my '92 Plymouth when I traded it in on my Toyota Camry Solara a couple of years ago. But then, the transmission was in the process of cratering. LOL

By the way, congrats on your choice of new car! I've heard Hondas are terrific. :)

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/28/02 at 23:18 (090873)

Carole--

Thanks for your input. I did manage to get a good deal on the new car, and I'm quite proud of myself for it, since this is the first time I've had to negotiate a price for a new car--both of my previous cars were Saturns. (If anybody's curious, the secret to my success was cars.com's internet quote service--I got a really sweet quote from another dealer that's further away, and used it to get the local guys to drop their price. It still took some finagling, but it worked!) And we did not discuss the trade until I had their offer on the contract sheet so they couldn't change it on me or adjust their offer according to the value of the car. I just wish they'd offered me something that wasn't insulting for the old car. I guess they get a lot of people who don't know what their car is worth and just go with whatever they offer. Even if I sold it for parts, my car would be worth more than $600.

My car is in good shape--new brakes, new alternator last year, new dashboard lights a few months ago--and no transmission problems that I'm aware of. So it really should fetch something close to the Blue Book trade-in price. Edmunds' 'True Market Value' price is a little bit higher. The amount they offered me is almost 50% less than the Blue Book price, which is why I was so stunned. If it had problems, I could understand that. But it doesn't.

I'm hoping I can find a used car dealer tomorrow who will be interested in it--a friend of mine knows someone whose neighbor sells used cars, so he's emailed them to find out if that might be a lead for me. I sure hope so. It's hard, you know? I should be happy about getting the deal I got on the new car, but the trade-in situation has really put a damper on things. And once you know the car is yours, it's just SO hard to wait to get it! :) I did choose it in part because it's a Honda, and in part because it's Consumer Reports' pick for best small car at the moment. I want to be able to keep this one for at least 8 years, hopefully 10!

Re: How to sell a car?

john h on 7/29/02 at 08:28 (090887)

Nancy at one point in my life I was a VP for Avis so i have purchased and sold thousands of automobiles. Currently the used car market is in much distress due to the fact that they have been selling so many new cars with zero percent financing and have taken in a lot of used cars on trade. Also, all the car rental companies turn back tens of thousands of low mileage cars each year which the dealerships end up with on their used car lots. Forget the black book values. Your best bet is to sell it privately

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 08:52 (090888)

So does this mean I should just take the $600 they offered me on it? I've never sold a car privately before and I am rather nervous about it. A friend of mine sold hers to a woman who called her constantly wanting her to take the car back a few weeks after the sale. I really want to avoid that kind of situation. That's why I'd rather sell it to a used car dealer if I can.

Re: How to sell a car?

john h on 7/29/02 at 13:30 (090908)

Nancy: You are right to be concerned about selling it privately particularly in the paper. You just have to weigh that against what you think you can get privately vs what the dearler is offering. Another consideration is you normally pay sales tax on the trade difference (some states) which saves you a few dollars.

There are any number of web sites that will give you values on your car so look at them all. They even sell autos on ebay now and you can set your minimum price.

Give me the model of your car, mileage, how it is equipped and any visable damage. How are the tires? '(email removed)'

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 17:22 (090923)

I've emailed you the info, John. Thanks :)

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 20:39 (090940)

I found out this afternoon that a friend's husband occasionally buys a car to fix up and then sells it. He has very graciously offered to help me sell the car, so I am going to put an ad in the paper. We figure we should be able to get about $1500 for it, so that is our goal. Hopefully, the whole thing will be done in a few days and I'll have my shiny new car at last! :)

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/29/02 at 21:18 (090950)

Super! Maybe you can get him to let you use his address and/or phone number in the ad. He probably knows all about how to get rid of creeps and that way any creeps wouldn't know how to get in touch with you.

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/29/02 at 21:21 (090952)

We actually decided to put both numbers in the ad. Though, your suggestion is good, too. I'll check with him to see if that's OK with him. I hate to make him do all the work, though. I think once this is done, I will invite them over for dinner, or do something similar for them, because they're doing me such an enormous favor. Just saying 'Thank you' isn't going to cover it at all.

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/02 at 06:13 (090964)

Having them over for dinner is a great idea! It's also a good trade for the $900 or so extra that you will be making from the sale of your car. He probably doesn't find it to be too much of an imposition, since he does this all the time so it's not as big a deal to him as it would be to you or to me.

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Carole C in NOLA on 7/30/02 at 06:15 (090965)

By $900 (= $1500 - $600) I meant the difference between the amount you might get privately and the amount you were offered at the dealers. I'm sure you will get more than $900!

I was half asleep when I wrote that post. Now, I'm at work (and still half asleep, but with a cup of coffee in my hand).

Carole C

Re: How to sell a car?

Nancy N on 7/30/02 at 06:51 (090966)

We are going to list it at $1500 to try to sell the car more quickly. I'm sure I could get more for it, but since the other car is waiting for me at the dealer, I don't want it sitting there forever (or them starting to get mad at me for leaving it there so long). If I tried to get $2000 for it, I'd probably get it, but it would take 2-3 weeks. So I probably won't get more than $1500 since that's what we decided to list it for. But we are going to try to keep that as a firm price since it is such a good deal for whoever buys the car.

Or is that what you're saying anyway? I just woke up and maybe I'm not awake yet, either! :)