Five crucial tips for selling your car
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Thursday Five: how best to ensure your next listing results in success
It was a tough, tough decision, but I listed my car online for sale just last night.
Through the tear-soaked love letters, I knew it was the right decision from a financial standpoint. She was getting a bit high in kilometers, and the thirst for something new was a very present mistress keeping me up for minutes upon minutes at night.
“If you love someone, set them free,” they say. A hard truth, sure, but one I’ve embraced all the same.
The independent selling process these days is as easy as ever, and ironically after all the anxiety over whether selling it was a good idea or not, it only took me 10 minutes to type up a listing and get it online to sell.
However while selling a car yourself by today’s standards is simple and easy on the surface, plenty of people still goof it up on a regular basis. Here are five tips to remember for when you decide to sell your loved one on the internet.
Nothing says “this vehicle meant nothing to me, and was treated like complete garbage” as succinctly as Maccas wrappers and empty cans of Red Bull littering interior photos of a classified car.
Not only does a clean car show that you’re not a terrible person; it also shows that you at least have a fleeting level of care in car maintenance.
Do not take the photos with a potato
Potatoes are a wonderful vegetable, perhaps my favourite. They can be fried, mashed, boiled — they can be very healthy, or dripping in cheese and aioli. I value versatility in a food.
But they’re not an ideal device to take photos with. Your car could be as pristine as any other — but if your photos suck, you shouldn’t expect success.
It’s easy enough for me to say this of course as a photographer myself, but ‘good photos’ don’t necessarily need to be taken on a huge DSLR. The average smart phone is more than capable.
Just make sure to not overdo it with filters, turn your car around and pose it and its interior so that it’s lit up with favourable natural light, make sure that your photo is in focus and doesn’t chop parts of the car off.
And please, for the love of everything on this beautiful earth, don’t take photos in portrait mode.
Don’t show the buyer with your knife/doll/shrunken head collection
OK so you’ve done the hard yards, and the buyer is now on your property and looking over your four-wheeled car. Awesome.
You offer them a coffee and an invitation into your home — a smooth move to try and complete a sale. They accept the invite, and you arrange some coffee and Tim Tams.
This is all fine up to this point, but don’t be one of those people who try to take a mile the instant you get a sniff of an inch.
The buyer doesn’t want to hear about your collection of cats, your aggressive passion for lint, or why you think 9/11 was a conspiracy.
Be as boring and inoffensive as possible, with little to no opinion on anything. Even casual comment about the weather is probably a deal breaker.
If they don’t own an iPhone, resist temptation to point out how wrong they are
It’s hard enough saving the money required to purchase a new car without having to consider that everyone who doesn’t own an iPhone is more or less a failure to society.
So as you’re shaking their hand, exchanging pleasantries over a deal well done, don’t dwell upon the fact that they think that the Motorola in their pocket is a sufficient device for cellular communication.
There’s nothing wrong with judging people on their violently incorrect choice of smart phone, but sometimes it’s better to simply be the bigger person.
Seal the deal with a game of mini golf
I feel like maybe I'm being a little too obvious here, but you'd be surprised at just how many rogues out there don't take their potential buyer out for a round of mini golf to close a sale.
It's simple science; giving buyers the opportunity to place wrinkled white balls into the mouths of large animated clowns and holes at the bases of faux lighthouses made from plywood makes them three times more likely to buy the 1998 Honda Accord you listed two months ago.