How Do I Sell My Car? 3 Simple Things You Should Do To Sell A Used Car

by Curtis

charities, selling things

As every true salesman will tell you, “You can sell anything, it’s just a matter of setting the price.”


That’s true in the current housing market. And it’s just as true in used car sales.

Of course there’s a lot you can do to keep that final sales price as high as possible.

Here are some tips…


Selling a used car with hopes of obtaining the best possible price will take some serious effort on your part.

There are 3 things you have to do:


#1 – Clean, Detail, And Fix The Vehicle First

In order to get the most money for a used car, the vehicle has to look its very best.

That’s why most car dealerships give all of their used vehicles some serious auto detailing first.

Here’s a video showing the basics of detailing your car:

Car dealers typically run a used car through their shop and perform a multi-point inspection to ensure that it’s in good safe mechanical condition.

For example, if the tires are approaching the end of their lifespan, it’s to their benefit to install new ones before the car even goes on the lot.

First impressions make all the difference.

When a potential buyer sees a freshly washed car with a spotless interior sitting on brand new tires, their interest will be much higher. If you don’t want to clean and detail it yourself, then take it to an auto detailer in your area or a mobile detailer who will come to your house to do the work.


A clean engine compartment will also give the impression that the car has been properly cared for. Here are some tips for sprucing up the engine.

Have the vehicle serviced as well. Clean oil on the dipstick and fresh filters indicate that the vehicle is good to go for quite a few miles.

Here’s how to give your car curb appeal.

The trick is determining how far you should go in cleaning, detailing, and fixing things before you’ve elevated your bottom line to the point that the car has priced itself out of the market.

On a late model vehicle with modest mileage, making a used car look as close to new is probably a wise investment.


#2 – Determine Your Pricing

Currently, the market for good quality used vehicles is pretty good. Still, the pricing is a big issue.

You want to set a price that:

  • Attracts attention (…the more people who seem interested in your vehicle, the better)
  • Entices people to come see your vehicle in person (…you can’t sell a car to someone who doesn’t know what they’re buying)
  • Gives you some bargaining room to lower your price on the spot (…because everyone wants to feel like they’re getting a good deal)
  • Isn’t too high (…being competitive is how you survive, so don’t price yourself out of the market)

Use the industry standard, Kelley Blue Book, to come up with a fair price — based on your vehicle’s features, condition, age, and mileage.


#3 – Get The Word Out About Your Used Car For Sale

The next issue is your marketing strategy. You need to bring in potential buyers in order to make a sale.

Your marketing strategy can include anything from a sign in the window and the vehicle parked out by the curb where it can be seen… to running ads in your local paper.

Website listings such as Craigslist or Ebay may also work for you. Selling your car online extends your reach by dramatically increasing the number of people who will see your ad.

AutoTrader,, Craigslist and eBay classifieds are the most popular. Craigslist and eBay classifieds are free. The others are not. Source

Word of mouth, handwritten ads with tear-off phone numbers posted on public bulletin boards, and classified ads are all good ideas. The more places you list your used car for sale, the better.

Just remember, a picture is worth a thousand words — so include multiple photos whenever possible.

Here’s what you should include in your car ad.



What If Your Car Isn’t In Great Shape And Has A Poor Value?

When it comes to disposing of a lower value vehicle, there are a few options that frequently get overlooked.

  1. It’s a legitimate tax deduction to donate your used car to a charitable organization. You’re limited to what they, in turn, receive when it’s sold as your deduction. But that can still be a worthwhile figure, and you’ll know that your donation went to a worthy cause.
  2. Auto recycling is another option — one that I just recently made use of. After coming to grips with the fact that I wasn’t going to sell my car (because it would have required some expensive repairs in order to make the car safe for a new owner), I dropped it off at a local auto recycler and received a $100 check in the mail the next day! Even in good driving condition, it would have been worth only a few hundred dollars. This way, it was off the road permanently and I still got some money for it.

Here’s a good read: Should You Sell Or Donate Your Used Car?

Being able to sell your used car is all about making it attractive for those who are shopping for a car — or for those at least willing to take it off your hands. Sometimes that means it goes to the crusher, other times you’ll have people lined up to buy it.

This video shows where your car goes to die:


More Tips For Selling A Used Car