Guest Post by Andy Moore
Decisions, decisions…A couple of years ago I found myself in the unenviable position of selling my car privately so I could buy a newer one. I had been there many years before as a teenager trying to sell my first car. Regardless of my experience, I had still some way to go before becoming a well-oiled sales machine…
One tip I can offer is to put yourself in the buyer’s shoes. Ask yourself: what would you want to know when buying a private vehicle?
Sell in order to buy…
Selling your current car first might be a necessary evil if you want to free up funds to buy your new charge. And, if you’re anything like me, chances are reviewing your finances to pay for a car might involve a little more than breaking the piggy bank. Setting an amount and finding a way to pay might be the first decision you make, whether it involves applying for a loan, developing a long-term savings plan or a combination of both.
Invest some time and effort into cleaning the car inside and out, making it shine and look like a smooth set of wheels. From a cursory clean to a vigorous valet, it’s up to you to decide how much time to invest in making your vehicle look the part
How to advertise
Unlike with an ice cream seller’s slogan – ‘Stop me and buy’ – you cannot expect potential buyers to be lured into an instant sale. The good news is there are many ways to advertise, including:
• Word of Mouth – I told my friends, family and work colleagues. Cast your net wide. You could also reach friends through social media channels.
• Free Ads – Free online classifieds are a great way to advertise your car for free regionally and nationally. .
I used both word of mouth and online methods to advertise my car, giving it a double whammy. This proved effective in exposing the vehicle to a broad audience who could view a variety of pics online.
Buyers are attracted by a long MOT, tax, and service history. Consider MOT’ing your vehicle to help give the potential buyer some comfort in knowing that the car is in tip top shape. Tax is arguably less important – but there’s no harm in putting six month’s on it if you can afford it. The process is all about giving the buyer a nicer proposition, making them less likely to haggle you down on the vehicle’s price. Servicing? Again, if your budget permits, consider having the car serviced – or least do the basics: check fluid levels, tyres and lights.
You might believe you can talk the hind legs off a donkey, but I had to perfect my sales patter when customers came to view my vehicle. What I found worked best was the following:
• Extol the virtues – I told them the car was bought from a dealer and about its MOT, tax, service history and new items repaired or added such as tyres and brakes
• Appeal to their needs – I asked them what they may use the car for – commuting, transporting family etc. – and how the car may be suitable to the relevant application
• Honesty is the best policy – Keep open and honest and tell the viewer how it is: number of owners, service history and MOT etc. Dishonesty is easy to detect, and it doesn’t serve anybody.
• Remain positive – Remaining open and honest may involve explaining to potential buys why you’re selling the car. Remember that it’s possible to be honest without being negative. For example, saying you want something more practical for long commutes is probably a better answer than saying the car is an unreliable gas-guzzler.
Disclosure: This guest post was written on behalf of Money Matters, the Sainsbury’s Bank blog. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury’s Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.