The growing prevalence of internet fraud is unsettling, which is why it’s prudent to take a savvy approach to online buying and selling. Selling your car online, for instance, is a tricky process that demands attention to detail and acute awareness. If you’re looking to sell your vehicle via the web, here are some tips you should heed to ensure both safety and hassle-free handlings.
Know Your Car’s worth
Money-grubbing individuals are notorious for taking to the internet in search of naive sellers. Determining the worth of your vehicle will help avoid situations in which potential buyers walk all over you. Once you’ve set a price, stay firm. Some tools that’ll help determine the value of your car include Autotrader.com and Kelley Blue Book.
Nothing screams ignorance quite like being sorely unprepared. Much like buying a vehicle, selling your car is a demanding undertaking. Scrambling to find all the documents last minute makes for a messy process, so it’s best to gather them beforehand. Some items you’ll need include the title, bill of sale, release of liability, as-is records, warranty documents, and maintenance records.
*Pro tip: Each state has its own requirements. This guide will tell you what additional documents you'll need to provide, if any.
Choose a Reliable Advertising Source
Craigslist has earned a bad rap for being riddled with con artists. Unfortunately, all classified advertising platforms are crawling with these deceptive individuals. Here are some reputable sites that aren’t as infamous for fraudulent activity: Kelley Blue Book, eBay Motors, Cars.com, Autotraders.com.
Prep Your Vehicle
When attempting to sell your car to prospective buyers, the appeal is paramount. What’s more, you’ll want your vehicle to be alluring in pictures. With that said, most sellers opt for a car wash, interior cleaning, and waxing before advertising their precious cargo. If you’d like to go the extra mile, you can replace weathered floor mats, purchase new tires, and wash the windows.
When corresponding with a potential buyer, questions go a long way. Ask for their full name, determine if they live in your area, clarify how you’d like the payment, and get their contact information. To ensure that you’re not being scammed by a computer “robot,” give them a quick call before moving forward. In essence, knowledge is power.
There’s Strength In Numbers
If you’ve found the perfect buyer and you’re ready to meet in person, there are some unknowns you should be wary of. After all, you’ve only just met this person on the internet. Most choose to bring along a friend for added safety. While there’s no reason to be unduly paranoid, the buddy system has never failed.
Shipping Your Car
If your buyer is requesting that you ship your vehicle to their location, it’s best to establish a contact at their auto transport service that can provide you with professional updates. This will guarantee and smooth and informed process.
Frequently Asked Questions
Honest Answers to Your Car Shipping Questions
Yes, we always ask for your specific pickup and delivery addresses, if the carrier can get right to the addresses you provide, they will. If the addresses that you give us are not safely accessible for a Multi-car carrier, however, you will need to make arrangements with the driver to meet at a nearby location where the carrier can safely get in and out.
People do it all the time (rarely for free) but the official answer is no.
Not what you wanted to hear, we know, but that is the honest answer.
We are not licensed to broker the shipment of household goods and, likewise, no car carrier that operates in the USA is licensed to transport them from state to state either. Despite what you might be being told by other car shipping companies you may speak with.
Remember, at the end of the day we're all salespeople, and the true answer to this question is not a great selling point.
You will hear a lot of companies tell you that you can put up to 100 pounds of items in the trunk, but that is not entirely true. That fact is that items of that amount are fairly common and the department of transportation is probably not going to split hairs and fine the trucker over items of that amount, provided they are not over their weight limit. They could fine them, however, if they see a vehicle stuffed full of personal items so the car carrier will most likely try to negotiate something with you to cover themselves against any costs they could incur. It's not something we can build into your contract though.
We have a short and helpful video on this topic in our user videos.
Only in rare cases and car carriers will usually charge a premium to make it happen.
All dates given by car carriers are typically estimates and projections.
For this reason (and to keep your cost down) we ask that you build in some flexibility and give us the earliest possible date you would be WILLING to release the vehicle, even though it may not be your preferred date.
We'll put you in direct contact with your car carrier and the driver will also typically call you the afternoon or evening before your pick up and delivery (they won't just show up unannounced, and if they do we want to hear about it). However, car carriers are out on the road battling traffic, weather and any number of other factors that can and do throw them off of their pickup and delivery projections from time to time.
If the projected dates we give you come and you are unable to make contact with your carrier, please call our office immediately so that we may help resolve the situation.
The average transit time from pick up to delivery on any vehicle going coast to coast will average 7 to 10 days. From there you can figure your transit time based on how far your vehicle is traveling, i.e. from either coast to the Midwest might average 3-7 days.
Even better, we do not even ask for payment until we have you confirmed for pickup by a safe, reliable, fully insured, direct car carrier. If for any reason you do not ship your car with the carrier that we arrange for you, there is no fee.
The fees paid directly to the carrier however, (in most cases, their fees are not paid until your vehicle is delivered) are not directly controlled by us, so any requests for a refund of the carrier's portion would need to be addressed with the carrier directly.
Of course! And you are always backed by our Damage Free Guarantee policy.
Part of what you pay us for is to verify that the car carrier that we put you on is covered by the proper amount of insurance and that everything is up to date.
There is never any additional cost to you for this coverage, and their insurance is always primary.