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Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: DRR
Date: December 23, 2007 08:36PM
I am hopefully going to trade in my car tomorrow for a slightly larger one. Unfortunately, I get the feeling the dealer is going to lowball me on my trade. KBB says 13000 for my trade and I'd take as low as 12000 I think - but I need to be prepared because I've heard too many horror stories about people getting lowballed for trades.

So aside from the usual fixing up things that are wrong, washing it, getting records together, etc, is there anything else I should do? I think I can get 13500 for it on CL.

Also, I've never sold a used car via private party before. If I find a buyer and agree on a price, exactly how do I get the money? I still owe my bank for this car and I expect to have some negative equity. Further complicating things is that my bank is not local (USAA.)

Do you guys have any suggestions for me on how exactly to secure financing?
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: vicrock
Date: December 23, 2007 08:50PM
When I go to trade in, I go without the car - especially if it is in average condition. Usually I come out ahead that way.

Get the price in writing - then they can't back out on the trade when you come in to pick it up.

Selling it yourself is always an option if you don't mind the hassle - something else to consider is sales tax - each state is a bit different, but many don't charge sales tax on the full amount if you trade in - and in states with high sales tax, this can be a real factorl
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: Jimmypoo
Date: December 23, 2007 10:02PM
You need a CarFax! for only $5 !!!


Until the 26th - then the special is gone!
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: GeneL
Date: December 23, 2007 10:10PM
This is a technique that I have used successfully to sell many things including cars.

First, is there anything unique about your car that would be attractive to a "discriminating" buyer?

In order to get the most responses from your ad, you should advertise a low ball figure along with what you feel is "special" about your car and when someone comes to look at it, you should say that you've already had an offer on the car that was higher than your starting price and that you are still looking for the best offer over the starting figure. Even if you don't get a higher offer, as a just in case if you feel that the person who came looking is interested, you can ask for the potential buyer's contact info, "in case the other buyer doesn't come up with the cash," but if there's anything special about your car this strategy will start the offers moving higher rather than inviting lower offers.

Like playing poker, it takes a bit of "ballsiness" to use this technique, so my disclaimer is that it's not for everyone. smiling smiley

Using this technique, I've sold a number of cars for a lot more than anyone would have thought. The key is whether there is anything special about your vehicle that would make a buyer susceptible to this strategy.

BTW, what kind of car is involved?

But, as I always say, "that's just my opinion, I could be wrong." smiling smiley

GeneL
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 23, 2007 10:42PM
Selling used cars for under $5K is relatively quick. When you are talking about 13 grand people need financing. The rates on used car loans are pretty steep considering than new cars are going for 0% APR. Your title situation complicates things for the buyer. Also, dealers never pay the book price. He'll probably offer you around $9K.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: btfc
Date: December 23, 2007 11:01PM
"but I need to be prepared because I've heard too many horror stories about people getting lowballed for trades"

I'd do what Vickrock said, it's a little trick I picked up from AAA: At first, don't talk about a trade. Negotiate the best price on the car that you can. Don't be afraid to walk away. Once you have your price, then see what they'll give you for your old car. If it is too low, sell it yourself.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: spearmint
Date: December 23, 2007 11:22PM
Do not advertise without a price. I would never call regards a particular year or model of car without price unless it was a collector. Same with sign on car. People buy used cars because of price.

KBB prices are hard to get unless the car is exceptional. My Buick was near KBB but was immaculate with only 50,000 miles and complete record of religious servicing. New tires, battery etc.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: DRR
Date: December 23, 2007 11:26PM
That's my fear is that they'll probably have to sell to a wholesaler, so they'll offer me under 10. I'm pretty sure that's what's going to happen.

So if I sell to a private party and we agree on a price, how do things like sales tax work? Also, I need to call my bank in the morning, but I can't legally sell it since I still owe on it; how exactly does that work? What kind of payment should i request when those details are worked out, to ensure that I get the money?
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: davester
Date: December 23, 2007 11:36PM
Well, my advice is a bit tarnished because I think it's crazy to buy a new car anyway (I've bought two and regretted the depreciation loss both times). Also, dealing with auto salesmen is a lose-lose proposition. They are trained and experienced in extracting $ from you and you are not. Anyway, here goes:

First off, auto salesmen make a huge amount of money on trade-ins because it's the opposite of buying a car from them (i.e. you are free to walk away from them when buying a car, but are tied to them for whatever they'll give you on the trade since you are locked in once you've decided to buy a car. There is no doubt that the best you can do is to get wholesale on your old car, and to get that much is highly unlikely (like I said, lose-lose). Therefore, I would strongly advise you to try to sell your car before getting the new one (you can always rent if you end up without a car for a short period). If you insist on a trade-in deal, make sure you nail down the trade-in price before you start talking $ re the new car (though most auto salesmen are trained to avoid this at all costs). Heck, IMHO avoid the whole ridiculous auto salesman/vampire song and dance by going to an auto broker or fleet manager or whatever.

If you do decide to sell the old car privately (that's how I buy and sell all my cars lately), check out the craigslist listings for major metropolitan areas near where you live. If you live within one, all the better, you'll be able to get a good feel for what your model is going for, and how it compares to the pittance the dealer will be willing to pay you. You can then try out a listing (free and easy) and see if you get any bites. In the event you get a strong bite, make sure the transaction is either cash (unlikely), or takes place in the buyer's bank, with you receiving a cashier's check from the teller (do not take cashier's checks or money orders directly from a buyer...they are easily forged).

Edit: Oops, just saw your new post. I'm not sure what to do if you still owe money on the car (can you really afford a new car if you are still paying off an auto loan??...I sure couldn't). I suppose you could go to his bank with him, get the cashier's checks (one for you and one for your bank for the payoff amount) and then go to your bank. However, it would be a heck of a lot easier to just pay off your loan and then get his cashier's check. If you're buying a new car, surely you have enough savings to at least temporarily pay off your old car loan.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/23/2007 11:43PM by davester.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: ADent
Date: December 24, 2007 01:40AM
1) Be careful with Cashier's checks. There are a lot of fake ones floating around - so call the bank.

2) If you don't have the Title you will have to take his check (likely a Bank Check) to your bank, where your bank will be happy with the check and release the title to the original party.

If you have decent credit USAA can probably convert the auto loan to a signature loan and release the title. They did the opposite for me (years ago) when I didn't get the title right away. Give them a call on what the standard procedure is.

3) Always get a signed Bill of Sale or at least a photo copy of the signed title with legible name and address (copy of Drivers License or at least info from it). On many cars it is common to not register the car right away and w/o some proof you are stuck with any parking tickets, red light tickets, etc.

Um some dude showed up with a lot of cash and I signed over the title to him like 12-13 months ago doesn't cut it when the citations roll in.

4) In most states - remove the plates.

5) A Carfax can give a buyer a warm fuzzy.

6) Always detail the car. Everybody likes a shiny car, even used.

7) When they would call, I would start the car and warm it up and put it in a good spot on the driveway or such. On cars w/o issues, not so important.

8) Decide whether you want to risk your life in the car with the test driver. Or whether you want the test driver to drive off with your car, duplicate the key, or just drive like Dukes of Hazzard if you stay home. Taking their license and/or keys is standard procedure on the later - though no guarantee.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: h'
Date: December 24, 2007 02:48AM
Quote
ADent
2) If you don't have the Title you will have to take his check (likely a Bank Check) to your bank, where your bank will be happy with the check and release the title to the original party.

If you have decent credit USAA can probably convert the auto loan to a signature loan and release the title. They did the opposite for me (years ago) when I didn't get the title right away. Give them a call on what the standard procedure is.

I don't understand either one of these.

Quote
ADent
7) When they would call, I would start the car and warm it up and put it in a good spot on the driveway or such. On cars w/o issues, not so important.
Back in my used car buying days I would usually assume there was a cold starting problem, or some other hidden problem when I'd encounter a car warm for no reason.
At the very least it downgraded my perception/trust of the seller. It also made a quick check of a few important things difficult. Usually I'd give the car a pass. Be careful with this one.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: MarkD
Date: December 24, 2007 05:47AM
On taxes, some states have a special tax rate for cars (Texas, for instance) that is different than a regular sales tax. The tax is collected when the title is changed.

You probably will find Bill of Sales in PDF forms at the state motor vehicle registration website.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: troywellbuilt
Date: December 24, 2007 08:11AM
A few years ago I learned that the KBB price and the price a dealer will offer you are miles apart. In my few examples I have also seen that the KBB price is far higher than you can get on your own as well. If you expect this you won't be as insulted by the offers you get. I sold privately once and it was a lousy experience. My ad clearly stated 5 speed manual transmission and 3 people came to look at it, saw the stick shift and said, "I can't drive one of these". I wasted so much time and finally sold the car privately for what the dealer offered, but I lost the sales tax break.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: John B.
Date: December 24, 2007 08:39AM
If you have a CarMax by you, they will write you an offer good for 3 days on the vehicle, regardless of whether you buy a vehicle from them. I know a couple of people who have disposed of used vehicles this way and seemed to be satisfied with the transaction.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: bazookaman
Date: December 24, 2007 09:08AM
When I sold some cars privately, I found that once I got over the "got to get the most possible out of this" and switched to the "man it would be nice to get rid of this thing", I was much happier with the outcome.




__________________________________
Never underestimate the predictability of stupidity
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: Dakota
Date: December 24, 2007 09:37AM
Now you know why people trade in their cars! You just drop the keys off and walk away. More often than not you won't do better on your own.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: davester
Date: December 24, 2007 10:31AM
Interesting that folks have stated bad experiences selling cars. All my craigslist car sales have been a breeze, and I probably got twice the money as the car dealers were offering. Like I said, check the craigslist prices to see what the going rate is. If you price at or slightly below that level you'll have a lot of people want to come see the car over a weekend and therefore it doesn't matter if a couple of them flake out and don't show. Things should go quickly if you do that. On the other hand, many people overprice their cars and thus waste lots of time doing this because only a few doofuses will show up.

Also, since craigslist is free, you can try this method out for a short while before deciding to give up and go get reamed by the dealer.

As far as taxes, license, etc, the instructions on how to sell or buy a car and the necessary forms are likely on your state's department of motor vehicles website. Also, since your bank holds title and you'll have to go there to pay the loan off, they will know what all the procedures are too.



"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion." (1987) -- Carl Sagan



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 12/24/2007 10:35AM by davester.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: Buzz
Date: December 24, 2007 01:40PM
since you mentioned acquiring a new car is part of the overall program, bear in mind that the global process is a series of discrete transactions, and that the more you separate them, the better off your overall outcome will be.

First, negotiate the best cash price for the new car. It is exclusive of any financing or trade in, which when you get to the next step, will make that more attractive.

Second, explore all financing options, if needed, after getting your best cash price in hand, including your own banks and credit unions, as well as what the dealer may have available. If buying, pay attention to fees and rate, and also make sure to get a normally amortizing loan, not a funky front end interest loaded job that is allowed in some states... the payments are the same, but if you pay off early, you get hosed, so steer clear. If leasing, pay attention to fees, money rate, milage allowance and residua, and don't be afraid to negotiate... w/ leases the residual and milage allowance are pretty much chiseled in stone, the money rate highly negotiable, as for every little bit the originator can get over a base rate, they get more money in their pocket. Also, after grinding the money rate as low as possible, then inquire if you can buy the rate down further w/ additional refundable deposits, as sometimes for an additional say $500 or $1,000 that you get back at the end of the lease, you can get a further reduction on the money rate, which is usually way better than any interest you could earn on the deposit money elsewhere.

Third, after the new car and financing are taken care of, deal w/ the trade in, if you haven't already sold it privately. Take it to a couple, or more if available, CarMax type places that buy cars, put it up on CL, before going to the dealer (so maybe this should be the first step) after the new car buy and financing are in place. If the dealer can meet or beat what you've got, in terms of a trade in; go for it, and if they'll lower the cash price of the new car along w/ the trade, that's OK, too. IOW, if your negotiated cash price is $25,000 on the new car, and your best sale on the old car is $10,000 at that stage; if the dealer will give you $8,000 for the trade, and lower the new car to $23,000, the magnitude of the difference remains the same, which is OK.

The important thing is to segregate the transactions for your benefit, and not to allow the dealers to aggregate them for their benefit. It's a game, but a game that you can win. You're also better off dealing w/ a sales manager or fleet manager directly, rather than a meet and greet salesperson that accosts you as soon as you walk up to the dealership.

and good luck!



Sometimes it is what it is...
and then there's times when it's really better.



==
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: space-time
Date: December 24, 2007 06:44PM
Quote
DRR
...I still owe my bank for this car and I expect to have some negative equity.
...

You do not need nor can afford a new car.
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Re: Selling a used car - tips?
Posted by: DRR
Date: December 25, 2007 01:27AM
Quote
space-time
Quote
DRR
...I still owe my bank for this car and I expect to have some negative equity.
...

You do not need nor can afford a new car.

Don't be so arrogant as to assume that you understand my situation. I do need, and can afford, a different vehicle.

I negotiated within $1.3k of the price I expected to get from a private party. Since I would have had to fix about $400 to $500 of cosmetic issues on the car, I was pretty happy. I got them down a little bit on one end, and negotiated my trade up a fair amount. All in all, I am very happy with the transaction. After all is said and done, my payment goes up about $30 a month. A very small price to pay for the additional utility it affords my growing family. I think I can manage to bill an extra half an hour a month to make up for the huge financial strain.

Despite what space-time seems to believe.
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