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Old 11-10-2013, 07:03 AM   #21
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I sold a 12 year old car via craigslist in 2008. I was able to explain in detail the significant problem with the air conditioning that I just didn't want to fix -- I had gotten a couple of estimates and the cost was going to be over a third of the blue book value of the car. I explained other problems -- it was pretty obvious I was an honest seller.

The very first day I posted on craigslist, a military guy who was very experienced fixing air conditioners came by and bought it. He was going to be able to fix it himself for significantly less, it was a win-win for both of us. All cash sale was easy due to lower price than OP is talking about (about $2900).

I found the right buyer because I left the ad up for a few more days and didn't get any other inquiries.

So craigslist really helped me due to the detailed description I was able to provide.

In California you sell the car with the plates -- the license plate stays the same after the sale. You, the seller, file a simple piece of paperwork with the Department of Motor Vehicles to notify them (in addition to your copy of the bill of sale and signed-over title which represents your release of liability). I had that DMV document in the mail the same day.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:21 AM   #22
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I have used Craigslist for a couple of autos and several boats. A couple of years ago, Carmax offered $11k for my Dad's Nissan van but it sold for $14.5k when I listed on Craigslist (for my step-mother after Dad passed away). I have never had any issues with buyers on Craigslist when selling autos or boats up to $20k. Most states where I have lived require removal of plates when you sell. To me, the additional $$ is well worth the slight hassle of showing/selling.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:24 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by aja8888 View Post
We sold our last three used cars on Craigslist(2) and one on our local community classifieds. Simple and safe procedure if you are careful:

Place a good ad, explain all faults and good points of the car.

Post pictures.

Accept only cash and put this in the ad.

Insist on phone communication only (no texts, e-mails).

Meet at a bank parking lot.

Bring a friend to have two of you on the test drive.

Request to see the potential buyer's driver's license.

Have the title transfer paperwork with you and if you make a deal, make sure the buyer signs all required forms/title. Make a copy for you. (or just meet at the DMV together to handle transfer).

I also have sold (and bought) a car on eBay with no problems.

I'm not afraid of meeting strangers....the world is chock full of them!
Good advice here. I'd also accept a cashiers check in lieu of cash.

We recently sold a 10 yr old used car on Craigslist with no problems, following most of this advice. I've also purchased two cars from CarMax and was pleased both times; the no haggling policy is a benefit. I expect that works well in reverse.

You noted that you drive your cars until they're ready to be compacted. I didn't know that CarMax purchased older used autos; more than 10-12 yrs. S o, that may be an obstacle.
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Old 11-10-2013, 07:49 AM   #24
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You noted that you drive your cars until they're ready to be compacted. I didn't know that CarMax purchased older used autos; more than 10-12 yrs. S o, that may be an obstacle.
I have used Carmax also and been happy with them. Unloaded a 15yr clunker with 220k+ miles. Their sites says they make an offer for any age, mileage, condition.
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:48 AM   #25
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So, here's my great story: as most of you know, we buy old cars and run them into the ground. The POS fleet varies, and none cost over $3k or so to begin with, so we sell to a bottom feeder market when we do sell. In fact, a few were sold by the pound instead.

This was our 1987 Cutlass Ciera. We'd put up a little flyer in the auto parts store in addition to Craigslist (which, if you know the local NAPA like we do, isn't a bad idea and they usually don't mind). This fellow named Pierre from the next island over called up DH to see the car. Don took it to him, and I was to meet them there. By the time I got there, Pierre's test driving had been to get in, turn up the stereo pretty loud, and sit in the driveway for a few minutes. I guess he reasoned it drove pretty well if it made it to his house.

When I pulled up, they'd settled on a price, $800, and Pierre started going through his pockets (a huge duster-type coat with a big fur collar, in Charleston, in May). He pulled out a wad of cash from each one, laying them on the hood as he went. Finally, he decided he'd exhausted Bank of Pierre, and told us he was heading into his Grandmamma's house to get some more. When he came back out, he and DH both counted the money, and gave it to me to count again as they finished the title signing business.

I hadn't finished counting by the time DH came and got in the car, it was that many bills. But he just said to drive the hell out of there and we'd not worry about any shortage at this point, just go!

It turns out, he'd given us about $80 more than we'd asked for, which was pretty funny. The next time we saw the car, it had super dark tint but still had our "My Border Collie is smarter than your honor student" bumper sticker. A perfect undercover drug transporter is what we sold him, as it turns out.

I was worried the cops would come investigate me when I deposited the money; as I was sure it was COATED in whatever he was selling. Yikes.

Here's some photos of the car and the cash. Still, we were in no danger at any time, and it was definitely an entertaining exchange. FWIW, I've sold cars to single moms before and none hassled me for a better deal, however I wound up giving them one anyway.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cash 2006-1.jpg (933.0 KB, 8 views)
File Type: jpg Cash 2006-5.jpg (524.5 KB, 7 views)
File Type: jpg Oldsmobile Cutlass-1.jpg (513.1 KB, 5 views)
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Old 11-10-2013, 08:53 AM   #26
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The last car (truck, actually) I sold privately involved meeting the buyer in the parking lot of the county jail. He said he worked there...
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:38 AM   #27
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Here's some photos of the car and the cash. Still, we were in no danger at any time, and it was definitely an entertaining exchange. FWIW, I've sold cars to single moms before and none hassled me for a better deal, however I wound up giving them one anyway.
Your pile of cash reminds me of an 84 Corvette I had for sale a few years ago. I had it parked out front at the lake with a for sale sign in the window. A big biker dude, about 50 years old or so pulled up on his Harley and gave the car a once over. He pulled a wad of hundreds out of his tee shirt pocket and told me he'd take the car. He was a few hundred short so he told me he'd be back the next day. I started to write a receipt but he couldn't wait, said " I trust you" and took off. The next day I waited but he did not return until very late. It seems the hold up was that he had trouble talking his mother into insuring the car for him!
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:41 AM   #28
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It seems the hold up was that he had trouble talking his mother into insuring the car for him!
Parents can be so darned obstinate...
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:47 AM   #29
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I was worried the cops would come investigate me when I deposited the money; as I was sure it was COATED in whatever he was selling. Yikes.

Here's some photos of the car and the cash. Still, we were in no danger at any time, and it was definitely an entertaining exchange. FWIW, I've sold cars to single moms before and none hassled me for a better deal, however I wound up giving them one anyway.
Great story! Be careful not to post those photos on FB, you never know who is watching you.

Bumper sticker is fantastic. I never had either but agree with the sentiment.
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Old 11-10-2013, 10:53 AM   #30
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I wouldn't mess with selling a used car unless you have a lot of spare time and need the extra money. Most used cars sell for about 5% more retail than wholesale, plus reconditioning costs to prepare the car for sale.

The dealer takes in trades, sets up financing and gives a limited warranty......can you do the same? I'd take your car to the new franchise dealer selling the same make, you have the carmax bid and i'd get a 3rd bid from a big used car dealer. Then I'd sell it for the best/highest bid......get a certified check or clear it with the bank if you don't know the dealer. You can do all of this in a 1/2 day and be done with it. Good luck.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:06 AM   #31
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Great story! Be careful not to post those photos on FB, you never know who is watching you. Bumper sticker is fantastic. I never had either but agree with the sentiment.
Haha, I think I did post them, but none of my friends stopped by to rob me, lol. I've got another one of the Cutlasses right now, though, but not for sale (yet).
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:12 AM   #32
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I'm not comfortable with Craigslist. Kudos to all you who are. I know it works out really well for a lot of people.

My neighbor is a Craigslist expert. For my next car sale, I plan on getting a CarMax estimate. Then letting my neighbor do the Craigslist work, with him getting 50% of what ever he can get over the Carmax price.

Without my neighbor, we did sell an elderly relative's car to CarMax last year. It was so painless, plus they could deal with all the extra hassle of trusts, POAs, and death certificates (joint ownership). I wouldn't touch that kind of sale in a private party for fear of goofing up the transaction. We probably lost $1000 due to this, but gained enormous peace of mind, time and lack of worry.

But that's me.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:26 AM   #33
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I wouldn't mess with selling a used car unless you have a lot of spare time and need the extra money. Most used cars sell for about 5% more retail than wholesale, plus reconditioning costs to prepare the car for sale.

The dealer takes in trades, sets up financing and gives a limited warranty......can you do the same? I'd take your car to the new franchise dealer selling the same make, you have the carmax bid and i'd get a 3rd bid from a big used car dealer. Then I'd sell it for the best/highest bid......get a certified check or clear it with the bank if you don't know the dealer. You can do all of this in a 1/2 day and be done with it. Good luck.
This is what we did and it took a few hours total. I called around all the dealers in the same make first to see who would be interested. Some weren't. There was a big difference in bids among those who were. The dealers in the most expensive and least expensive areas either weren't interested or made low ball bids. We don't have a CarMax close by, but after reading this thread maybe we should have taken the time to drive out to one.

My sense was we had to find the dealer that had a market for the price point car we were selling. At the dealer we ended up selling to, they had a buyer interested while we were still cleaning out the glove box.
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Old 11-10-2013, 11:40 AM   #34
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A big biker dude, about 50 years old or so
...
had trouble talking his mother into insuring the car for him!
So, insurance premium for a 80-yr old driving a Vette is lower than that for a 50-yr old?
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:23 PM   #35
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NEVER leave your plates on your car when you sell it, no matter who you sell it too. I can't imagine even considering leaving your plates on the car as a remote possibility.
I posted earlier that in Texas, the plates go with the car in a sale. If the buyer wants new ones, he has to request them when transferring the title. Its a law.
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Old 11-10-2013, 02:49 PM   #36
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Take a few precautions & you can sell it yourself on craigslist or one of the online sites.

- Get a car fax.
-Ask to see a valid driver's license, verify its the same person & and take a picture of it with your cell phone.
- Meet away from your home, in a public place & go with a friend.
- Don't let them drive away with your license tags after sale (I guess its different in some states)
- I guess you can check to see if they have insurance & registration for the car before they drive off with it - but I didnt' do this in the past.
- If the person makes you uncomfortable for whatever reason - walk away. That hasn't happened to me, though I did sell my last car to some real dim-wits. I could hear the gears in their heads moving - r e a l l y s l o w.

Living is risky.
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Old 11-10-2013, 03:17 PM   #37
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I posted earlier that in Texas, the plates go with the car in a sale. If the buyer wants new ones, he has to request them when transferring the title. Its a law.
When I traded in a car in Tx for a new car in 2011 I got the plates back. It seems the rules may have changed, (this was with a dealer)
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Old 11-10-2013, 04:11 PM   #38
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I guess I'm the only one who donates their old cars. I've donated my last three vehicles to Kidney Kars. Nowadays the IRS says that you can only deduct the actual sale price that the charity receives when they auction the vehicle. The charity is supposed to return a receipt when the vehicle is sold.

Around here the county tax collector handles vehicle transfers. When you dispose of a vehicle you return the tag to the tax collector if the tag has not expired. The tax collector will give a credit that can be used (only) on your next tag. Around here when most people buy a new or used car, they immediately take the title transfer papers to the county tax collector where you pay and walk out with a new tag and a temporary title. Procrastinators are allowed 15 days to do this. The state DMV returns the permanent title via USPS in a couple of weeks.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:43 PM   #39
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We donated our cars when we were working more and in a higher tax bracket.
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Old 11-10-2013, 05:56 PM   #40
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When I traded in a car in Tx for a new car in 2011 I got the plates back. It seems the rules may have changed, (this was with a dealer)
I recently found out that new car dealers have been authorized to handle the vehicle titling paperwork in Texas. This was done to relieve the load at the DPS offices since they handle all private and used car dealer transactions. Dealers have a supply of new plates and just change them out as a matter of course.

Last used car I bought (March 2013) had the owner's plates and when I went to DPS to title it I had the option of getting new plates but kept the ones on the car. In Texas, they offer you new plates after 5 years since many get damaged, etc.
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