Four BBB Tips for Driving a Good Deal When You Sell Your Car

March 01, 2012
When looking to sell your vehicle, you don’t need to be a rocket scientist, but you do need to know how to get your car into the right hands. Better Business Bureau recommends following a few key pointers to ensure that your sale goes smoothly.

With the Internet becoming the go-to hub of information, any “buyer” can look reputable. Every year BBB hears horror stories of car sales gone bad and, many times, it all boils down to: “If the offer sounds too good to be true, it probably is.”

“If the buyer is asking you to wire money or is avoiding meeting you face-to-face, steer clear,” said Karen Nalven, President of BBB serving West Florida. “Never give too much personal information to the potential buyer. In some scamming situations, the buyer will send a check for an amount greater than the asking price, and ask you to wire him back the difference. If the buyer’s check bounces, you’re out the money you wired…and you’re still left with the car.”

When working with a potential buyer, BBB recommends considering the following:

Communicate with the potential buyer.  Don’t rely solely on email conversations. Meet face-to-face and be open and honest about your car’s conditions. Many times buyers are good at vetting a car’s conditions and will turn down your offer if it’s not all you say it is. Keep all records of service so that the buyer can see proof that you have cared for the vehicle.

First impressions matter. Consider getting the car cleaned and tuned up. You’ll be glad you did when the buyer’s eyes sparkle with delight as they accept your offer. Same goes for the buyer – trust your gut. By investing in the time to let them test ride your car, you’ll know that the buyer is serious about making an offer.

Don’t overshare. Make notes for yourself that you can refer to while on the phone with a potential buyer. Keep them handy for when it comes time to talk about car’s maintenance history. When meeting with the buyer, meet in a neutral, well lit location. Don’t give them your home address.

Seal the deal. Give the potential buyer ample time to ask questions. This will help avoid problems in the future. Once you feel confident that you have shared all of the nitty-gritty details about the car, it will be time to start talking money. Aim high and work your way down, but always be honest with the buyer on the car’s conditions.

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