25 Car-Selling Secrets Only Dealers Know

6. Detail the Car

Although it might not actually affect the car’s value, a clean car will definitely lead to a better presentation than a dirty car, according to Edmunds.com. Inflate your tires. Vacuum the interior. Wash the exterior. A good first impression can be vital to a car sale.

7. Post Several Photos of the Car

You might think that a few photos of the car as a whole are sufficient to give buyers a good idea of what the car looks like. But in reality, buyers always want to see more.

8. Post the Right Kind of Photos of the Car

Avoid taking photos at night or in harsh daylight, since neither will produce effective photos. Instead, Edmunds recommended you photograph your car in the earlier morning hours or before dusk, when the light is softer. Then, be sure to get eye-level shots from every side of the exterior, close-ups of the wheels plus tire tread and a shot of the engine. Also, be sure to show the interior, including close-ups to show any wear and tear — or lack of it, suggested Edmunds.

9. Know Your Car’s Value

No matter how clean it is, your 20-year-old car with 150,000 miles on it probably won’t be worth $10,000. This is why you have to be honest with yourself about what you think you can get for it. If you post an ad with too high of a price, people won’t call. Similarly, if you offer too little for your car, you’ll get the bad end of the deal. The Kelley Blue Book can give you a good idea of your car’s resale value based on its condition.

10. Know How Much Comparable Cars Sell for

Once you know what your Blue Book value is, you can further pinpoint your car’s price by comparing it to others you see for sale locally. A car of a similar make, model and mileage as yours should be about the same price as yours. Your car might also be in higher demand where you live, so you might adjust your selling price accordingly.

11. Look Professional

Before meeting with buyers, make sure you’re clean and well dressed, recommended CarSalesProfessional. This will give you the appearance of being respectable, which can put buyers at ease.

12. Don’t Be Desperate to Sell

If you come across as too eager to sell your car, it might raise a major red flag to the buyer — such as whether there’s something wrong with the car that you don’t want the buyer to discover. Even if the buyer decides to take the risk and buy the car, your desperation can give them the upper hand in negotiations, according to CarSalesProfessional.

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