It’s no secret that most car dealers will offer sellers prices that are lower than what they could get in a private sale. But $3,000 lower?
For people selling their cars, that’s a lemon of a deal. A noted legal solutions provider contends that most consumers simply lack the know-how to handle a used car sale themselves.
“Before signing away to a dealer, consumers should first spend some time researching the automotive marketplace in their community, and how selling a used car actually works,” said Paul Barrett, Senior Vice President and General Manager of Socrates Media. “Once people understand the process behind selling a used car, they will be armed with the confidence and knowledge needed to handle the sale by themselves.”
Those consumers who choose to privately sell their car have many options, including such do-it-yourself (DIY) solutions as Socrates’ Sell-It Yourself Car Kit. Developed by Chicago-based Socrates Media, the kit provides users with state-specific forms, guidelines and information needed to manage the sale from start to finish.
Recognizing the stress that comes with selling a used car, Socrates suggests the following tips to make the process smoother:
• Start online. Many buyers turn to the Internet first when looking for cars. Websites/blogs allow buyers to easily access vehicle reviews, view pictures and compare models, features and prices. Smart sellers use online classified sites or create Websites/blogs where ads stay until the cars sell. Be sure to include the market value, not trade-in, for the car. Also, sellers should pay attention to wording, pricing and market trends in postings and use similar language when advertising their own used cars.
• Consider DIY vs. dealer. There are many DIY alternatives on the market that can make the car selling process less time consuming and more effective for sellers. The Sell-It-Yourself Car Kit provides detailed instructions on items including:
- How to prepare your vehicle for resale;
- Where to advertise for a suitable buyer;
- The legal framework for the transaction; and
- State laws affecting the sale of the used vehicle.
Remember, expect to get less than your asking price for the car, but more than any dealer will offer.
• Appearance is everything. After all the paper work is in place, sellers must not forget that looks matter. Put a good wax job on the car, vacuum the inside and gloss up the tires. Keep a maintenance journal in the glove compartment that documents last oil check, tire change, etc. Don't park your car on a road to sell it; it can get vandalized, ticketed or towed.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Socrates Sell-It Yourself Used Car Kit samples offered upon request.
Socrates is the leading brand of needed know-how solutions for individuals and small businesses. The Socrates brand offers thousands of relevant, compliant, comprehensive and lower cost do-it-yourself alternatives to high-cost legal and professional services. These forms, kits, software, guides, books, downloadables and completion services help consumers solve everyday legal, finance and business management matters themselves. Socrates offers its products through retailers, marketing partners and direct online.