After years of serving its purpose, you have decided that it is time to say goodbye to your car. So, instead of trading your car, you have decided to get it listed on a reliable online marketplace. The next thing to focus on is getting your car ready for its new owner. Just like your Facebook account, you want your car’s picture to look good and its profile to be impressive. Surprisingly, when it comes to selling your car online, there are actually a few tips & tricks for you to earn a little more extra from it. What do you need to do?
First Impressions Make a Difference
Image by Bankrate.com
Before anything else, you need to make sure that your car fits its description, especially when you have to meet up with your potential buyers for a test drive. The word here that you are looking for is ‘Presentation’. With the handy tips provided, you can make a list to see what are the things to fix or not to fix. The little things that we tend to overlook may lower the value of your car. Here’s what you need to look into when it comes to prepping your car:
- Take some time to do a check on the car. Look into details such as oil, filter, alignment, brakes, suspension and lights. Try your best to service anything that you can while you are at it.
- If there is a scratch or a small chip, the best thing to do is to give a little touch up. However you don’t have to over do it, and definitely NOT repaint your vehicle. Just give a slight make over to it to make it presentable, because over doing it might seem as if you are trying to hide an accident.
- Make sure you also check your car seats if it is torn or burnt if you are a smoker. Remember to check your windows or the locks to see if it is working.
- Next, tidy up the car. Check the glove compartment, boot, under the seats or in between the seats for any rubbish or that extra shoe that got lost in there. Make sure you don’t leave anything “extra” lying around.
- Get the car cleaned up good. Bring it to your local neighborhood car wash and spend a little bit extra to polish up the car. A deep wash makes a difference and it will look as good as new. You can opt to go for the standard full wash plus polish that includes an engine wash and interior vacuuming (RM50 – RM80) or you can choose to patronize an auto spa (RM150 – RM250). It may seem a bit lavish but it goes a long way in securing your deal as a sparkly car will always grab the attention of its future owner.
Highlight Key Features
Image by Speedwayautoloan.com
So it isn’t an online dating profile, but having good shots of your car taken will surely guarantee a number of inquiries in your inbox. If you feel you are not a professional photographer, don’t worry about it! These days, all we need is a good phone camera with good lighting and background. Of course, if you insist that you can’t do it, then try to speak to a friend or a relative who happens to have a DSLR camera to take photos for you. In return, perhaps belanja makan at the mamak. To have your car look its best, try these tips:
- Take a drive and find a spot with a good background, perhaps a scenic view.
- Remember that the focus is your car, therefore avoid places with too much distraction in the background.
- Make sure you check the weather before you take photos, and avoid taking photos under a gloomy sky or late evening. Alternatively, if you want to show off your projector head lamps, you can use the gloomy weather to your advantage.
- Take in bright places but do avoid direct sunlight. Early morning or around or before sunset is best!
- Take various angles of your car such as the front and rear of the car, both sides of the car, inside of your car, including the boot, the engine and so on and so forth. Remember, it’s all in the details!
- If you do have scratches or chips that cannot be removed by the time of sale, take a photo of it and mention in your profile. If you are going to make a sale, honesty is the best policy.
Get it Listed
Image by imoney.my
Before listing it online, you might want to do some research for the current market price of your car. This would make it easier for you to determine your asking price. A good reference would be your insurance evaluation of car worth. From there, you can slightly mark up if you honestly feel your car is in immaculate condition and in demand. On the flip side, you can also slightly reduce if you realize there are many similar models for sale.
At the end of the day, you need to price your car right. The key is to try attract more than one buyer and hopefully start a bidding process, rather than having to negotiate your price down.
Image by Street-love.net
Well done! You have prepared the necessary and you are almost there! If you are going to pass the keys to the new owner, make sure you have the important paperwork ready to hand it over together as well. Here is a list that will help you get one step closer to closing a sale:
- Transfer of title. For more information, you can also refer to Malaysia’s official vehicle guideline of transfer ownership.
- Road tax and insurance. Even though it cannot be transferred over, but it is a good reference for the new owner to know how long it is valid for, and for renewal.
- Maintenance records of your car. Having proof of your car’s maintenance records doesn’t just convince your customer that you are a reliable seller, but to reassure the next owner that you have regularly maintained your car. This also provides him or her the convenience of knowing when is the next maintenance due.
Making sure that your car is in its tip top shape will certainly help increase your car’s resale value. For instance, if there is a dent at the side of the car door and fixing it costs approximately RM100+, it might be worth spending if you can include it into the price and mark it up slightly. Therefore, with the initiative put in such as servicing it, washing & polishing and even taking good photos, will show your potential buyers that you are a responsible car owner. Not only will people respond better to a presentable car & pictures, but they will also feel that you are a trustworthy seller. With all these useful tips in mind, I hope your car selling experience is a smooth sailing one.