The used car market is booming. As a seller, you want to make sure you’re getting the best deal and that the sale can be completed in a timely manner. But here’s the big question, “How to sell my car online?”
You could go through the hassle of finding a dealership to buy your car from you — but obviously, the final check you receive may be less than you hoped for. So why not try selling your car to potential buyers online? Below, we will give you some basic tips on how to sell your car online in just a few simple steps. By following our tips, you’ll be able to sell your car online in no time!
Selling your car online step-by-stepIn the past, buyers needed to look through many classified ad listings to find their ideal vehicle. Now, online search tools help to filter out vehicles that don’t match the search criteria users set, which means you need to advertise your car in a way that makes it easily found by potential buyers.
Step 1: Research Your Car’s Value
Knowing what your vehicle is worth is a good place to start, and there are many ways to find your car’s value.
- Use an online book value tools. There are many book value sites around that can give you their opinion on what your vehicle may or may not be worth. All of these are different and very few are accurate, so checking a few of these and having a range in mind is not a bad idea.
- Use Motobyo’s instant cash offer tool to find out what your car is really worth right now. All Motobyo cash offers are based on real-time market conditions and are backed with a real offer to buy your vehicle immediately. In addition to a guaranteed cash offer, Motobyo also provides all sellers with a private party sale estimate to let you know where you stand with your vehicle’s value on today’s private party market.
Step 2: Decide Where to Sell Your Car Online
For all the things that Craigslist is great for (used furniture, flexible part-time work, etc) we wouldn’t recommend using it to sell your car.
Here, you’re also likely to encounter time-wasters and scammers. You will need to be prepared to weed out those who are serious about buying your car.
Vehicle Listing PlatformsMost vehicle listing platforms are not made to help you succeed as a private seller. Sites such as Autotrader, Cars.com and, Cargurus and others are sites dedicated to helping car dealers succeed. That’s their customer and how they get paid. Private sellers can list their cars there, but it’s usually a waste of time. Dealers from around the country pay these sites for premium placement, so your private party ad ends up hundreds of pages deep and no buyer can ever find it. These sites also do nothing to help you as a seller, which is why private party cars sit on these sites for months.
Step 3: Getting Your Car Ready for Sale
Clean it upYou never get a second chance at a first impression. So even if your car’s engine is still purring like a dream, if the exterior and interior don’t look the part, buyers might not bite. Before listing your used car online, give the vehicle a total clean: up and down, front to back, inside and out.
Fix mechanical issuesWould you want to buy a broken car? Probably not. So when selling a used car online, it’s important to make sure that all of the mechanical systems are in good working order. This includes the engine, transmission, brakes, suspension, and tires.
If there are any issues with these systems, it’s best to get them fixed before listing the vehicle for sale, especially if it’s going to go through a certified inspection like it would here at Motobyo.
The car’s working condition impacts both the price you can get for it and a potential buyer’s propensity to pay. Don’t give any would-be purchasers a reason to doubt the value. Making the necessary repairs and then noting the repairs and maintenance history in your listing is always a best practice.
List Your Car
Take good-quality photosNow that your car is clean and in good running condition, it’s time to take some photos. Think of what you’d want to see if you were buying a used car online — be sure to take pictures of the exterior, interior, trunk and engine bay.
Write a good description
The photos of your car will appeal on an emotional level, but it’s the detail you put into the written description that will help close the sale.
Don’t skimp on the information to provide at this stage. A used car’s description should include all of the important information about the vehicle, such as its make, model, year, mileage, and any features or upgrades that it’s had.
Include a vehicle history report with your listing
A vehicle history report is one of the most important pieces of information to include when selling cars online. This report includes details about the car’s history, such as reported accidents that it may have been in, previous title problems, limited service history info and more.
More on the types of questions buyers might ask in just one second…
Choose a selling price
Remember those valuations you got in the first step? Now’s the time to decide what value to place on your vehicle. Be sure to research the prices of similar private party vehicles before setting your price — you want to be sure to set a reasonable selling price so your vehicle doesn’t go unsold.
It’s important to be realistic when setting your price. If you price your car too high, it may not sell. However, if you price it too low, you might end up walking away with less than your car is worth.
Answering questions about your used car
Put yourself in the buyer’s shoes: any car is a large investment. That’s why you should always have patience for the questions a buyer will ask (while exercising caution if someone is asking too many questions and potentially wasting your time).
It’s important to be honest when answering a buyer’s questions — if you aren’t, there’s a good chance that they’ll find out anyway, further down the road. And if you’re not sure how to answer a question, you can always ask a friend or family member for help.
- Could I drive the car home if I bought it? (As in: is it safe and roadworthy?)
- Is there any unpaid finance on the car? Do you have the title in hand?
- Do you know who owned it before you? (If you bought it used as well)
- Has the car ever been involved in a collision?
- What sort of auto insurance premium do you pay?