A Guide to Second-Hand Car Sales

Looking to sell your car for more second hand? Here are some tips to do so quicker and easier. 

1. Focus On Establishing Trust

Many people have reservations about investing their hard-earned cash in a previously-owned car. It is one of those things that if everything goes well, the buyer will end up getting a great deal but should something go wrong, it can have dire consequences. Staying relaxed will help to put to rest most of the concerns that potential buyers might have. You need to be more creative and refrain from using obvious marketing techniques such as ADs full of capital letters and boldface type or putting up a price of 149,999. The last thing you want is to be perceived as a used-car dealer who’s just trying to trick the buyer to make a quick sale. Tone it down a bit and be transparent with the buyer. After all, the buyer will be judging you as much as they will be judging the car.   

2. Pay Attention to Your Spelling and Grammar

Not everyone has the writing skills to communicate a message clearly and effectively. If this applies to you or if the ad isn’t in your native language, you should consider asking someone you trust to check for grammatical or spelling errors. While it might seem trivial, careless and foolish mistakes often give off the impression of unprofessionalism and trustworthiness. For instance, Match.com’s online dating site reports that 40% of people judge their partners based on their grammar, even more importantly than their dressing or appearance. A survey conducted by Global Lingo revealed that 60% of Brits avoid buying from e-shops that have spelling errors. 

3. Know the Actual Condition of the Car

Before putting up the car for sale, you first need to have it thoroughly inspected and serviced. This low-cost service allows you as well as your potential buyers to understand the exact condition the car is in. A comprehensive technical description is normally part of the contract and the seller of the car is usually held responsible for any hidden or concealed faults at the time of the sale. In your advert, you need to provide a description of the car’s condition in a simple and clear manner and don’t try to hide any important details. Cika advises that buyers will appreciate being informed of any defects in advance and are more likely to accept them then. The last thing you’d want to do is to try and hide important details from the buyer. Cika adds that, at their showroom, it is standard procedure under the SKODA Plus scheme to hand over a car to a buyer with the delivery sheet containing detailed information on its technical condition. For example, rather than trying to hide the fact your car’s air conditioner isn’t working, you should be honest with the buyers.  After all, you are likely to find a buyer who doesn’t mind operating a car with a faulty AC. 

4. Understand Your Price

It goes without saying that not everyone is comfortable with haggling. However, this is commonplace when it comes to selling previously-owned cars. Thus, it helps to prepare in advance. You need to do your homework and find out what similar cars to yours are selling online. This will allow you to set a more realistic price. It is advisable to set a slightly higher price to provide some room for haggling. However, you need to identify your final price so that you don’t go lower than you need to. It is also important that you do not lower the price in your first email as this might encourage the buyer to haggle even more once they see the car. Negotiations on the price should only begin after a personal inspection and they should be based on key aspects. 

5. A Car Wash Isn’t Enough

Most buyers will make an initial decision on whether to buy your car or not within seconds of seeing the car. In the same way, your advert will draw in most interest immediately after it is published. You simply can’t overlook the power of first impressions. You should, thus, ensure that your car is properly and thoroughly cleaned and waxed both on the interior and exterior. Invest in some car mats from Mr Car Mats to keep the interior looking at its best. Clean brake dust off the wheels and have the tire sidewalls thoroughly cleaned as these are some of the most commonly missed areas. But make sure that you do not over your engine cleaning as this might give the impression that you might be trying to cover up an oil leak. It will be enough to clean the upper components and polish the plastic surfaces. 

6. Invest in Professional Photography

It goes without saying that you want the pictures you put up on the internet to present your car in the best light. This means that you should not take pictures prior to having your car cleaned. You also shouldn’t take them during bad weather, in a busy area, against the sun, etc. Take pictures of the front, back, both sides, and all corners of the car and utilize simple compositions. For the best results, the camera should be held at headlight level. Take pictures of the whole dashboard from the back seats, the engine compartment, the instrument panel, the front and back seats, and the boot. Cika says that in their system, they have specific rules on what items need to be photographed as well as how. She advises that those who are unsure of how to properly take pictures of their car need to check out the pictures posted on the website of an authorized dealer. Take images of key details – both negative and positive. 

6. Deal with Minor Defects

Worn-out tires, faulty warning lights, burned-out bulbs, or noisy brakes are all signs of a poorly maintained car. According to Cika, a poorly maintained car is a potential hazard and is bound to put off potential buyers. So, before putting the car on the market, consider checking all the fluids and changing the oil, and addressing minor operational issues. In case there are any defects that you don’t want to handle, you should determine the cost of spare part and future repairs to ensure that you are prepared to answer these questions.

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