Used car salesmen were once regarded as the lowest of the low. Their tactics were down and dirty, designed to offload old cars that no one else wanted onto the customer that could be convinced they were getting a good deal. The salesmen may have been lowlifes, but used cars are often a great deal.
Once the customer gets past the notion of “new,” they have access to a wide variety of cars. Craigslist has hundreds of examples of perfectly good cars that are in pretty decent shape. A good used car can take you for a long way, but only if its the right car.
For the seller of a used car, the question is how to fetch a higher price than the asking price for cars of its make, model and year. The answer is to add value to your car that is not added to other cars. Adding value can be as simple as cleaning it up. Putting some money into it like reupholstering a damaged seat can work wonders for buyers.
An excellent idea is to have the maintenance records of the car ready and available for inspection by potential buyers. Having a complete report based on the car’s Vehicle Identification Number may also be a good idea. The customer can see the entire history of the car, any accidents and what it took to repair them. This report can seal the deal. The used car market is unfortunately notorious for having plenty of cars that either do not work or on the verge of breaking down passing for decent vehicles. These fakes are called lemons.
Assuring your potential buyers that the car you are selling is not a lemon by giving them the complete vehicle history report is a great tactic. It establishes credibility and creates positive word of mouth. Going the extra mile for a customer will always boost your reputation in the used car market for your area.
Another idea is to make minor repairs. The problem with selling a used car is that prices are generally inflexible and the return on investment for repairs is not that high. Only so many repairs can be made before your put more money into the car than it is worth. Repairing a used car is not like renovating and flipping a house.
Some minor repairs that could be made are an engine tune-up or having the oil changed. Replacing a cracked windshield can be expensive but it may be unavoidable in some cases. If cosmetic touch-ups are the only practical repairs that can be done, stick with the cosmetic repairs and do not worry about the rest of the car. The marketplace dictates the terms of the transaction. Individual sellers and buyers have to do their best to meet them in order to get a deal done.