If you are in the market to sell your used car and either don't know where to start or have tried newspaper and Internet adds or posting pictures in the local grocery store with no success, this article is for you. You may also know the feeling when you go to a new car dealer and want to purchase a new car and use your used car as a trade-in, and you were offered only a small portion of what you feel the car is worth. Following the below steps will get you the most for your car without going through all the hassles of placing ads, bickering with new car dealers or having strangers come to your home to look at the car.
Check out used car lots in your area and make note of locations that are selling your type of car. Consider the make and the year and also note how they are priced. Avoid new car dealers, very large lots and franchise dealerships where corporate permission is needed to do anything out of the ordinary. You want to deal with a local small to mid-sized lot where you have a chance to talk directly to the owner.
Determine how much money you are willing to take for your car and be realistic. Just because a sticker price on a car at the used car lot states $5 thousand doesn't mean that is what it will sell for. Determine a fair market value for your particular car and then realize that you will get less than that, allowing for the dealer to get paid for their efforts. A clear car title in your name is pretty important. If you still owe money, it will be more difficult to sell this way, since the buyer, the dealer or you will first have to pay off the car to get a release of title, and this takes a little time. A dealer really wants to deal with a clean title so that when the sale is made, the title is transferred the same day.
Wash, wax and really detail your car so it will look its best!
Stop in some of the lots you have chosen that seem to be good candidates and best suited to "want" to put your car on the lot. This wouldn't be a dealer that specializes in Jeeps and SUV's if you are trying to sell a small Volkswagen, for instance.
Get right to the manager or owner of the lot and present your case, showing them your super clean car. Explain to them that you have a car that fits the profile of the type of cars they are selling, and that you were hoping that you can strike a deal with them to allow you to put your car on their lot for them to sell it for you. What's in it for them is what you need to talk about, such as if you were to take my car in you will be able to reserve your capital you might otherwise have to spend to buy a car at a wholesale auction, which is how they acquire most of their cars. Point out that your car will fit right into their profile of cars. Point out any good points about your car, such as new brakes or battery and so on. Mention that you live in the area and that you just don't want to go through the whole ordeal of selling it yourself. Mention that you are open to fair pricing and that you want to be sure that they get paid for helping you. Have the right attitude as you present your case. Don't try and tell them their business. You will be most successful when you talk meekly and honestly. They would much rather do business with someone they like than someone who is going to be a headache for them.
Once your case is presented, you will hear one of a few possible answers. If they are not open to your suggestions, ask them if they happen to know of another dealer in the area who may be interested to work with you. You may be surprised, as they may suggest another lot that is perfect for you.
Once you get a positive response, you will have to discuss how much they think they can sell your car for and what they will expect for a commission. There are a few typical ways to pay the dealer--a percentage of what ever the car sells for, which should range between 3 and 10 percent of the total sale price, depending on the value of the car; the dealer keeps anything over a set figure that is decided in advance that you will receive for yourself for the car; or a straight fee which will depend on how much the car sells for. Negotiate at will, but be careful not press too hard to the point where they are no longer interested.
Put your final agreement in writing. You may not necessarily need an extensive contract, but at least something to keep everybody honest. You may decide to sign an actual consignment agreement, signing your car over to the dealer until sold for a specific minimum price before a set expiration date, or you may just sign an agreement per the specific terms you have verbally agreed to.
After your car is put on sale at the lot, check in with the dealer without making yourself a pest. You may even offer to come in occasionally and keep the car clean if they like, and be available over the phone or in person to give a final okay on any possible offers that may be below your expectations but still possibly worth talking about.
(By an eHow Contributing Writer)