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Marketing Your Used Automobile on Craigslist

Selling your used car can be an intimidating process, especially if you have never done so before. You may be concerned that the new owner will not be happy with their purchase or perhaps you just don’t know how to go about selling your used car. Whatever the case may be, we have the information that you need when it comes to selling your car. There are several key points to remember when selling your car. First, remember that honesty is the best policy. Be sure to disclose any problems that the car may have. It is best to be up front and honest rather than have someone upset with you after the fact of purchasing.

Preparing Your Car to Sell

Okay, so you have decided to sell your old ride and get into something new. Start by getting your ride as clean as possible. A clean car will sell much faster then a dirty one. People do not want to buy someone’s old dirty car. They want it clean and ready to drive. Cleaning the vehicle yourself can be time consuming buy is the best way to ensure that it is done correctly. Here are a few things that you should know about getting your car lot ready.

Clean the Exterior

Nothing sells a car better than the first impression. The first thing that anyone sees when purchasing a car is its finish. In order to bring out that brilliant shine, you are going to need a little elbow grease. In order to get the best results, you will need to have the proper tools. One of the tools needed is a good buffing wheel. Theses are around $60 at Harbor Freight and are worth their weight in gold. You will also need a good polishing compound and a good wax. I would recommend Mcgwire’s or 3M products because they are the best in the industry. Start by washing your car to get all of the dirt off. Now that the car is clean and dry, apply a generous amount of rubbing compound to a panel and work it with the buffer. It may take several applications of compound in order to bring back a brilliant shine. You will be surprised just how good your car will look. Also, use the compound on all glass to remove water marks and buildup. Finish the job by applying a good wax. Spray vinyl areas with a vinyl protector.

Detail the Interior

Next on the list is a good cleaning of the interior. Remove all the seats if possible and prepare to get dirty. Start by giving your car a detailed vacuuming. Use a good carpet shampooer to get all of the filth out. The Hoover SteamVac with Power Surge makes this job much easier. Allow the carpets to dry for a couple of days in the warm sun. If working in the winter time, pull into the garage and use a heater to heat the flooring. You can also leave the car outside, start the engine and turn the heater on high. Install the seats and clean the vinyl in the car with a good cleaner. Finish the job by cleaning the glass with a good quality glass cleaner. Use crinkled up new paper for a streak free, lint free surface.

Steam Clean the Engine

Nothing says “buy me” like a freshly cleaned engine. Purchase a couple can of engine degreaser and cleaner and take your ride to a car wash that offers steam cleaning. Allow the engine to cool and cover all electronic components such as the alternator and distributor cap or coils. Put on a thick coat of engine degreaser and allow to sit for several minutes. Use pressurized steam to blow off all of that grime. Spray the engine once again with degreaser and allow set up. Once clean, drive your car around for a little in order to allow any remaining water to evaporate. Pop the hood and use a quality tire sine on all plastic parts to achieve a brilliant clean look.

Marketing Your Car

Now that you have a super clean ride, it is time to get it ready for sale. First determine an asking price that is slightly above the book value. Take a look around and see what similar automobiles are selling for. Take a moment to visit your car and write down all of the features such as PW, PL, AC, Etc. With this information, you are ready to write your ad on craigslist.

Writing an Advertisement on Craigslist

Grab your digital camera and take some good pictures of your ride. Remember to do this on a sunny day for best results. Choose a background such as a green field or similar neutral background. If you have not done so already, create an account for Craigslist. Once you have visited the website, click on post an advertisement and choose the car section. Use the following format to grab the reader’s attention.

What Your Ad Should Say

When writing an ad, be sure to focus on the positive aspects and don’t forget to disclose any major problems. An example of a major problem may be an engine knock, bad clutch, or bad transmission. You do not have to mention problems such as a slight oil leak, chip on the windshield, and scratches on the hood, etc. These problems should be disclosed only if asked about. If you list every little detail you will quickly run off a potential car buyer.

Include the following information:
• Year
• Make
• Model
• Mileage
• Engine type
• Features such as power locks
• A bit about the vehicle
• Contact information

When listing your contact information, avoid using your personal email because you will get hit with spam on a daily basis.

Post your photographs at the end of your at. Next, just sit back and wait for the phone calls to come in. Once you have found a buyer, take their money and sign over the title.

That’s all there is to selling a car. I have successfully sold dozens of cars on craigslist and had a great time doing so.

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