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How to Sell Your Car on Craigslist

If you’re like the millions of other people in this country who have older model vehicles you may be thinking about selling your car on Craigslist because it’s one of the easiest websites to use and something that you can do in a matter of minutes.

Although many people sell their cars on Craigslist every single day, the reality is that not everyone does it correctly and they encounter a wide variety of problems along the way.

Thankfully, most of the common problems that are associated with selling a car on Craigslist can be avoided if the seller knows the exact process that they should follow from the very beginning.

Even though you think you may know everything there is to know about Craigslist, or you’re just getting started with using this website for the first time, this article will provide you with the tips that you need to know to successfully sell your car on Craigslist without any hassle.

Step 1 – Gather Information

Before attempting to sell your car on Craigslist, the very first thing that you should do is to gather all the information that you need for your vehicle. This includes the title, bill of sale, and your vehicle’s damage disclosure agreement if it’s been recently damaged or was in an accident.

Gathering information is important because this will save you the time and hassle of collecting the information that you need at the last minute and possibly delaying the sale.

Step 2 – What Is Your Car Really Worth?

Once you have all the documentation that’s needed to sell your vehicle the next thing that you should do is to assess what your vehicle is really worth.  This is actually quite easy to do thanks to online tools and resources like the Kelly Bluebook because you have the ability to look up the value of your vehicle within minutes and know what you should list it for on Craigslist.

If your car has been damaged in a recent accident you will need to deduct the cost of those replacement parts from the value of your vehicle if you don’t intend on fixing it up your vehicle before selling it.

Step 3 – Take Some Pictures of Your Vehicle

The next thing that you want to do before selling your vehicle on Craigslist is to take some great pictures of your vehicle.

Thankfully, you can easily take pictures of your car by using your smart phone since most phones these days have a great camera but, before you decide to snap those shots, you should spend the time and money if necessary to clean up your vehicle to make it as presentable as possible because, if you try listing a filthy car on Craigslist that looks like it hasn’t been washed or maintained in years, this will ultimately affect the price that you can ask for your car.

Step 4 – Gather All Information For your Vehicle

After taking the time to determine what your vehicle is worth, cleaning it up, and taking pictures, you should next gather all relevant information that you may have about your vehicle. This should include the make/model of your car, any features inside of your car there still working (like automatic locks) and damage to the vehicle regardless if they are big, or small dents, scratches, and or dings.

As you’re getting prepared to list your vehicle on Craigslist it’s important for you to remember that the more information you can provide the buyer, the better, because providing a buyer with the most information about a vehicle up front will eliminate the possibility of them trying to return the car to you later and get their money back because of a problem they were not aware of.

Step 5 – List Your Car on Craigslist

Once you have completed steps 1 through 4, you are finally ready to list your car on Craigslist.

To get started you will first need to login to your Craigslist account but, if you currently do not have an account with you will need to create one. Thankfully, creating an account with Craigslist is very easy to do since all that’s required is for you to have an email address for Craigslist to send your account information to.

After creating your account and logging in you’ll need to write to write your Craigslist ad by following these steps

  1. Always include a clear headline. This is important because many Craigslist users tend to skip the details so for example if you are trying to sell a 2000 Dodge Caravan, you shouldn’t hesitate to list the make and model of your vehicle in your headline because this will get more people to see the ad and ultimately contact you.
  2. Break up paragraphs when writing your ad!  Following this step is vital because many Craigslist users tend to write massively long paragraphs that look like big blobs a text and are hard to read. To avoid this, consider writing shorter paragraphs with 3 lines per paragraph. You can also right sub headlines if you want to attract attention to specific features or parts that your vehicle may have.
  3. Don’t hype up your vehicle – Yes, this step is also super important because, many people tend to misrepresent or “hype up” their vehicles when selling them and sadly, a buyer who purchases a vehicle that’s been hyped up often ends up returning it to the seller and requesting their money back. To avoid misrepresenting your vehicle, you should never be dishonest, always tell the truth, and provide as much information about your car as possible because there are plenty of car buyers out there that are searching for honest sellers.
  4. Don’t forget those pictures! Last of all, the most important, don’t forget to add the pictures that you took of your vehicle!  Remember that those pictures are important, especially if you have a rare vehicle that you’re trying to sell so if your car has unique features or elements that could be worth money, you should take the time to go back to your car and snap even more pictures if you feel that those photos will be useful to buyers.

Step 6 – Be Ready for The Scammers

Sadly, in the world of Craigslist, there are a wide variety of scammers out there who only want to take advantage of honest people they are trying to use Craigslist for legitimate purposes.

Many scammers will try a variety of time-tested scams to get you to lose money including getting you to sell them your vehicle over the Internet, or promising to send you a check. When scammers pop up, you should always insist on CASH ONLY for your car and, you should also insist that the buyer is able to view the vehicle in person or that they have a friend, family member, or co-worker that’s able to buy the car for them on their behalf.

When meeting with buyers it’s best to never have them come to your house, you should always volunteer to meet them at a third-party destination like a strip mall, or shopping center, during the day because, following these steps will guarantee your safety, especially if you are a woman who is selling a car on Craigslist.

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