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How to sell a car in one day

Updated on November 18, 2015
Selling a car is not rocket science - it needs some work, patience and readiness to impress the buyer.
Selling a car is not rocket science - it needs some work, patience and readiness to impress the buyer. | Source

Your new shiny ride is ready to go. It’s nice and new and still got this factory smell on it. The leather is glowing and there is not a single scratch on it yet. Just a perfect car – a car of your dreams!

Now there is just one thing left to do – sell your old car. Find it a new home where it will be taken care of by someone like yourself - an admirer and true four wheel lover.

So where to start? How to sell it?

Vibrant urban setting - ideal for city cars
Vibrant urban setting - ideal for city cars | Source

It’s all about being seen

Putting a car up for sale involves much more than just creating an ad on craigslist. Before you rush into typing in all the details about your shiny ride, some good pictures need to be made. We are not talking about smartphone shots in your backyard. To get the most of the pictures you need to find a perfect spot, perfect time and make your car look spotless.

Washing your car regularly is a key to long and rust-free life. However, preparing it for sale is somewhat different. Make sure to wipe and vacuum the interior, get rid of all the garbage that might have been collected over years. Also, get rid of air fresheners – they do stink! Don’t forget to clean the rims – they make a good impression if taken care of.

Finding the right angle is the key to success
Finding the right angle is the key to success | Source
Lifestyle shots - best for expensive sport cars
Lifestyle shots - best for expensive sport cars | Source
Close-up shot for classic cars
Close-up shot for classic cars | Source

The right spot

Picking the right spot to make some quality pictures is almost as important as having your car clean. Depending on the car, you have there are several options:

  • For small city cars urban areas are the best. Find a fancy spot where many people go – a popular café, busy metro station or parking in the old town. The more vibrant the place is, the better!
  • For SUVs and large family vehicles natural background is preferred – pick a spot where families could go for a picnic – country side, mountains, bank of a river. Ideally, have some camping equipment around and maybe a bonfire – it would really give your picture a more natural look.
  • Sport and good looking cars, as well as retro cars need some creative thinking. Make yourself familiar to Photoshop. Try to find an interesting spot like construction site or abandoned building. Some very impressive shots can be made if the perspective is right. These kind of pictures may require some sort of editing and playing around with colours, so make sure to learn a few tips on image design. Also, think about perspective – what is the most attractive part of your car? Do you have cool looking headlights? Have a close shot of them!

Panoramic pictures are great if sold to nature lovers and families
Panoramic pictures are great if sold to nature lovers and families | Source
Sunset - best time to take pictures
Sunset - best time to take pictures

The right time

That being said, picking the right time for a shot is crucial. The best times of the day to make any picture would be either the sunrise or sunset. This is the time when the shadows are long and the colours are at their brightest. There is also plenty of contrast and when shot right – almost no editing is needed. Wait for the moment when the sun is just about to set. Make sure to make as many images as possible – you can sort them later at home.

Old cars have a special vibe in them
Old cars have a special vibe in them | Source

Selling it right

Finally, a potential buyer calls and you agree to show him the car. While on the phone, try not to speak about the price. If a buyer is starting to negotiate, tell him that you can speak about the price later, when you two are standing next to the car. Let him be impressed with it first. There is a better chance he will go for the price you are asking.

Super sport cars require creative approach
Super sport cars require creative approach | Source
Some cars just melt into the surroundings
Some cars just melt into the surroundings | Source

Best impression

To make the best impression, make sure to be on time, be nicely dressed and polite. Tell him everything he wants to know, but try not to oversell your car. People who tend to speak too well of their car may actually be hiding something. Let the car speak for itself. Let him go for a test drive and confirm it has been spotless throughout the years you had it. Remember – if impressed, the buyer will buy it no matter what. You may go down in price a little bit if money is an issue, but it’s actually better not to. The reason is simple – there are other buyers out there. Letting him know there are others interested may even drive the price up!

First impression is always the most important. Having the right pictures and creating a dream is the right way to go when selling a car, house or anything else.

The more creative you are - the better!
The more creative you are - the better! | Source

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