I think it’s like a rite of passage when you get married to sell your car and get a new one. It’s one of those experiences you should have as a couple, and it can either be stressful or not.
Mathew’s car had been sitting at the mechanic’s shop for like 5-6 months now, in hopes that the mechanic could help us find someone to buy it. We had a couple lookers, but nothing promising. We’d been stressed about money (another marriage rite of passage) because of Mathew’s medical bills from his ski accident that I told Mathew we NEEDED to sell his car, and I had just the idea how.
I’d never sold ANYTHING on Craigslist, let alone a car. But I figured, what could it hurt? It was time to get this sitting duck of a car out of the way.
Now, this isn’t something I’d normally think about posting on my blog except…I’m The Vintage Modern Wife…and as a wife, sometimes you’ve gotta help your hubby and SELL A CAR!
The first thing you can do to help ANY sale (car, clothes, house, whatever) is to make sure it’s well presentable. Clean the car inside and out!
Our next step was to take pictures of the car. Take pictures of the front, back, and both sides of the car. Also take pictures of any large dings/major scratches so your customer won’t be surprised. Take pictures of the interior as best as you can, front and back seat.
Visit Craigslist and locate your state and city. If Craigslist doesn’t have your city, find the nearest metroplex.
Click “Post to Classifieds”. It will ask you “What type of posting is this?” and you need to click on “For Sale”. Then you will need to click “cars & trucks- by owner”.
BEFORE YOU MOVE ON, read the information about avoiding craigslist scams just so you are completely aware of what you could stumble upon.
Then, you’ll be sent to the “Create Posting” page, as shown below.
Again, you’re selling a product (your vehicle) and you want to make sure it sells fast. Post a snazzy, catchy title to get people to want to know more. Make sure the make/model of your car in the title as well so people know what exactly you’re selling.
Next, price your vehicle. Know what your car is WORTH and then go from there. We chose to price our car $500 more than what we wanted in case a potential buyer would want to negotiate. Keep that in mind when you figure out your price.
For location, Mathew and I chose to put “Waco/Woodway/Robinson/Lorena”. We live in Waco, but the other towns are within 5-15 minute drives, and we wanted potential buyers to know that we were close by. Make sure you put your town and the ones really close by if that’s possible.
I put my email in the “reply to” section, but made sure I said that I stayed anonymous when people emailed me. I didn’t want any weirdos knowing my real information. Make SURE you put that you want to “anonymize” your email!
When it came down to “Posting Description” time, we put EVERYTHING we could think of. Make, model, color, mileage, and any important details about the car. If your car has something great, showcase it. We have killer wheels on the mustang, so I made sure to talk them up. I also talked up features like leather seats, convertible top, power steering/windows, etc. TALK UP YOUR CAR, BUT DON’T BE MISLEADING. Although you want to showcase the best about your car, if it has any problems or dents/scratches make sure you say that in your description. No one likes a liar, and you won’t sell your car fast if you’re not honest. The more honest you car, the more quickly it’ll sell because people know what they’re getting into.
This next step is the last and most difficult (to me): SCREEN YOUR EMAILS. You’ll most likely get emails as quick as 5 minutes or so after you post your ad. If they’re legit, the person will 1) Write with proper grammar, 2) Not mention that they will have cash in hand, 3) Ask more specifics about your car or when you are available.
DO NOT give your phone number to anyone that seems suspicious. Sure, you’ll be excited that someone is interested, but there are a LOT of people that try to do sleazy deals, and you don’t want to meet up with them. We literally had a guy email us at 10 at night asking if he could come see the car and would have the cash in hand. If you get someone like that, either don’t respond or make up an excuse. BE SAFE and make sure you listen to any “bad feelings” you may have about a potential customer.
If you use these tips, you’ll hopefully sell your car as fast or faster than us. We managed to sell ours in less than 18 hours on Craigslist!
If you have any more tips/tricks on selling a vehicle on Craigslist, feel free to tell me! Everyone can benefit!