10 Tips for Selling a Used Car Online

Even More Tips for Selling a Used Car Online

Being explicit about the payment forms you'll accept is key to a speedy and effective sale.
Being explicit about the payment forms you'll accept is key to a speedy and effective sale.

3: Know the Kinds of Payment You'll Accept

Selling a car can net you several thousand dollars. Most car buyers don't have that kind of cash on hand, so as a seller, you need to be comfortable with the kind of payment you'll accept for your car. You also need to protect yourself from fraudulent payments.

Some online sites handle the payment for you, which can offer you some protection, but the sites usually take a percentage of the money, which leaves less for you. Other online car sites don't handle payment, so you're on your own. Don't accept personal checks from buyers, and if one wants to pay you with a bank or cashier's check, do not hand over the keys until you've contacted the financial institution the check is from and determined that it's real. Beware of people who want to overpay you by check and then have you give them the difference in cash — that's a common scam.

2: Do it in Public

One of the more stressful parts of selling a car online is dealing with people you don't know. While most people aren't out to hurt or scam you, there are crooks out there. The last thing you want is to have those people at your house. Meet all potential buyers in a public place and bring a friend with you. If the buyer wants a test drive, make sure they leave something with you that ensures they'll return. It's also a good idea to make sure you have a good description of the buyer, as well as, any other identifying information, like their license tag or phone number, just in case something goes wrong.

1: Take Your Ad Down

Once your car is sold and your wallet is stuffed full of the buyer's money, you need to take your online ad down. Nothing is worse than having your phone blow up at 3 a.m. with inquiries about the car you sold last week. You'll also need to make sure that you cancel your car insurance on the car right away — there's no sense in paying for insurance on a car you don't own. Do all this, and you'll be able to sit back and relax on the massive pile of cash you earned by selling your car online.

Author's Note: 10 Tips for Selling a Used Car Online

I've written about cars for online sources for nearly a decade, and during that time I have learned one thing, both from editors and from user behavior: photos sell cars. Outside of that adult activity much Internet use is dedicated to, car buying is one of the most visual experiences you can have online. Car shoppers want to see what they're getting. If there's one tip you should take to heart when it comes to selling a used car online, it's that you should have as many photos as possible. Cars with photos just sell faster.

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  • Francis, Enjoli. "11 Tips on Privately Selling Your Used Car". ABC World News. October 4, 2012 (July 3, 2015). http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/lifestyle/2012/10/11-tips-on-privately-selling-your-used-car/
  • Heaps, Russ. "5 Keys to Selling Your Car Online." Bankrate.com (July 3, 2015). http://www.bankrate.com/finance/auto/5-keys-to-selling-your-car-online-1.aspx
  • Heaps, Russ. "7 Fool-Proof Tips for Successfully Selling Your Car Online." Autotrader.com. (July 3, 2015). http://www.autotrader.com/car-shopping/7-fool-proof-tips-for-successfully-selling-your-car-online-158349
  • Reed, Phillip. "Sell Your Car Safely." Edmunds.com. March 23, 2011. (July 3, 2015). http://www.edmunds.com/sell-car/sell-your-car-safely.html
  • Tavarish. "Ten Common Sense Tips for Successfully Selling Your Car Online." Jalopnik.com. July 14, 2014. (July 3, 2015). http://carbuying.jalopnik.com/ten-common-sense-tips-for-successfully-selling-your-car-1604175716


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