Selling that 1998 Buick Skylark is an art form, and the real winners know stuff that the rest of the car-selling population doesn’t.
That’s a problem, especially when the market for used cars is hot and growing hotter. According to Edmunds.com, used car sales comprised 49.7% of all dealer sales in the U.S. in 2008 – that’s up from 47.3% for the same period in 2007.
Meanwhile, Edmunds reports that new car sales through November 2008 had fallen by 16% compared to 2007.
That’s no surprise. In a recession, car consumers usually set their sights lower, and value and affordability take on a greater prominence.
To add your car to the list of used cars sold in America, you’ve got to do your homework, expend some elbow grease, be creative and follow these key action steps:
Set a fair price. Car auction sites like Edmunds.com or Cars.com can be especially useful in setting a price for your car. Look for cars that have the same model, the same mileage (roughly) and the same age as your vehicle. Don’t count on car dealerships, they skew prices upward and add “extras” like warranties to the sticker price. That won’t give you a realistic price on your car.
Pass inspection. Many states require an inspection before granting a title transfer. That’s actually a good selling point – people are more likely to buy your car if they know it’s in good mechanical health. So even if your state doesn’t require an inspection, get a fresh one anyway. It could tip a browser into a buyer.