This is the second installment of a 4-part series about my recent experience in selling my used car. The other posts in the series are:
- Selling a Used Car, Part 1: Preparation
- Selling a Used Car, Part 3: Test Drive and Negotiation
- Selling a Used Car, Part 4: Closing the Deal
The car is ready for sale. I just need to let the world know I’m selling it. I need to post an ad. But where?
Forget about the newspaper. The ad format there is too short. You can’t post pictures. The cost is pretty high too.
Craigslist is free. Because it’s organized by metro areas, your ad is targeting the correct audience — people in your local area. Its effectiveness depends on whether Craigslist has a site for your metro area and how many people in your local area check it. It’s quite popular in my area. Your ad will stay on for 7 days and you can include 4 pictures. You can repost it again and again every 7 days. The formatting is pretty plain, but I found postlets, which formats your ad into nice HTML and hosts pictures for you. The standard postlets service is also free.
A basic ad costs $35, includes 1 picture and stays live for 21 days. An enhanced ad costs $49, includes up to 9 pictures and stays live until you sell your car. AutoTrader ads also run in its affiliate sites like edmunds.com and Yahoo! Autos.
An enhanced ad costs $40, includes 3 pictures and unlimited free renewals every 30 days. A premium ad costs $55, includes up to 12 pictures, a free CARFAX report, and unlimited free renewal every 60 days. Cars.com ads also run in its affiliate sites like Kelley Blue Book and MSN Autos.
I picked Craigslist (together with Postlets) because they are free — cheap huh? Craigslist is quite popular in my area. I figured if it can’t get me enough leads, I can spend some money and advertise on the other paid channels. If I have to pay though, I have no idea whether more people shop at AutoTrader or Cars.com.
How much should I sell it for? Kelley Blue Book provides used car prices. Most buyers use it as a guide. It would seem to be fair to me if I just go by the Blue Book Private Party Value. I picked Good condition because that’s how my car is. I added about $75 for some room for negotiation.