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Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-16-2006, 02:43 PM   #1
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Need advice on selling a car

Hubby and I have listed our 'extra' vehicle for sale. It's a 2004 Toyota Corolla LE with 49,000 miles. According to the bluebook a private party sale should net $11,600. We listed it for $10,750 since I mistakenly thought it was a CE (cheaper) edition. I'm sticking with the price I listed so that's not the problem.

Our son bought the car used thru a local dealer. A few months into ownership we found out that it had been in an accident which we were never informed of. (engine noises brought it to our attention) The local Toyota dealership fixed the engine to the tune of $2200 and ate the bill since it was under 36,000 miles. (we didn't buy it thru them so this was a godsend for them to fix it and not charge us a dime) Once our son moved to Chicago he didn't want the car because of parking restrictions so we purchased it from him. I've been driving the Corolla for 7 months and have had absolutely NO problems whatsoever. I really like the car but we just don't need a 3rd vehicle so we put it up for sale. I've even put top-of-the-line tires on it 4,000 miles ago and had the windshield reset since it had an airleak.

When anyone calls about the car I am absolutely, totally honest about the car's history. I even suggest that they take it to their local mechanic and have it checked over if they choose. I keep hearing this same comment though...."I don't have the money to fix it if something goes wrong with it after I buy it". I then inform them that I can't promise them that nothing will go wrong since it DOES have 49,000 miles on it.

Are they just trying to get me to lower the price or do people really buy used vehicles privately and expect them to be in excellent condition with no possible problems in the future?? BTW I won't come down on the price since 1) I already listed in low by mistake and 2) I'm not in a hurry to sell the car with the gas prices right now.

Any suggestions on how to deal with this problem??
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-16-2006, 02:53 PM   #2
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by kz
Any suggestions on how to deal with this problem??
Patience & persistence.

You'll get an amazing number of people who'll sound quite excited on the phone yet somehow never manage to get around to actually looking at the car. Others are just starting their search and figure they have nothing to lose by asking you to drop the price. Some think it's an effective sales negotiation tactic. Still others are just plain idiots.

You could emphasize that the car had an accident but all damage was fixed under warranty by a dealer. Customers who say "We don't have enough money to fix it..." aren't the kind of customers you're looking for, so perhaps it's best that they never get past the first phone call.

We sell a lot of our old junk tenderly-cared-for collectibles on Craigslist. We see this behavior all the time and we're really pretty surprised when something sells in under two weeks. We'll get a couple dozen phone calls/e-mails and a half-dozen lookie-lookies before we see a serious customer.

One tactic that I appreciate is a seller who's run a CarFax report on their VIN. Sure, they could be faking it and I might want to re-run the VIN on my own, but it indicates that they're aware people will be doing their diligence. There's usually nothing to hide with those sellers.

Hold your price. Keep the car on Craigslist or whatever doesn't cost any money for publicity. Consider eBay Motors if it's popular in your area, but of course that cuts into your profit. Otherwise since you're in no hurry, all you're losing is a few minutes of your day to phone calls. And you'll certainly have many interesting conversations about humanity...
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-16-2006, 03:04 PM   #3
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by kz
Are they just trying to get me to lower the price or do people really buy used vehicles privately and expect them to be in excellent condition with no possible problems in the future??
Both. They are also the same people who believe in the tooth fairy and ufo's.

Nords advice is sound...even though no one heard him type it.

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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-16-2006, 04:12 PM   #4
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

I'd think most buyers would expect a 2004 Toyota with 49k miles to be relatively problem-free. If you've priced it fairly, it should sell. Have you looked at real comps in your area (cars.com has a ton of them in my zip code)? In my area, I didn't see anything less than $11,800 for the type car you are selling (but it is from a dealer, not private party). Based on that, it seems your price is good.


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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-16-2006, 06:30 PM   #5
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Well, we sold one of the POS fleet last week through a flyer I put up in an auto parts store (where we buy stuff). It went in just a few days, but it was a well-worn cheapster. Interestingly, the gold-toothed hip hopper who bought it paid us entirely in $5 bills. Made for quite a sight at the bank! Drug dealer? NAH!

You may want to put up a flyer at the local college or gym as well, I've seen good results from a nice flyer with a couple of good pictures.
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-16-2006, 08:15 PM   #6
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by mclesters
Well, we sold one of the POS fleet last week through a flyer I put up in an auto parts store (where we buy stuff). It went in just a few days, but it was a well-worn cheapster. Interestingly, the gold-toothed hip hopper who bought it paid us entirely in $5 bills. Made for quite a sight at the bank! Drug dealer? NAH!
Maybe he was saving up his lunch money or allowance?
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 08:22 AM   #7
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Thanks for the replies.

I've had more phone calls and one lady who is coming back with her boyfriend tomorrow. She's extremely interested but is one of the ones who "can't afford any problems" with the car after she buys it. I'm going to suggest to them that maybe it would be a better idea if she purchases a pre-owned certified car from the local dealer instead. She'll pay about $2000+ more upfront but it would be a better plan for her.

I'm also reconsidering if I really want to sell the "silver bullet". Since gas prices keep creeping up around here (we're at $2.55) it might make more sense to hang on to it for awhile. Decisions, decisions.

Thanks again.
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 08:24 AM   #8
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Even if gas prices go up, $10,000 buys a lot of gas.
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 09:09 AM   #9
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Stay firm in your negotiations...all these people are doing just that...negotiating.

IT's not your concern that they are overextendign themselves to the point of not having a cash reserve for repairs.

Your concern is sellign the car for a price you want.
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 09:47 AM   #10
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by kz
I've had more phone calls and one lady who is coming back with her boyfriend tomorrow. She's extremely interested but is one of the ones who "can't afford any problems" with the car after she buys it. I'm going to suggest to them that maybe it would be a better idea if she purchases a pre-owned certified car from the local dealer instead.
Quote:
Originally Posted by thefed
Stay firm in your negotiations...all these people are doing just that...negotiating.
IT's not your concern that they are overextendign themselves to the point of not having a cash reserve for repairs.
Your concern is sellign the car for a price you want.
Hey, listen to thefed and don't get sucked into problem-solving mode. This lady's not a poster on a discussion board. You're not helping these people, you're selling a car.

When potential buyers come to our house and start blathering through their alleged "thought" process, I find it's extremely hard to keep my mouth shut. But every time I open my mouth I'm giving away negotiating info-- so I just keep it shut, stay polite, answer direct questions, and nod & smile when I'm expected to laugh at their jokes.

I've begun to suspect that the less I say, the more pressured the buyer feels to "do" something. Usually it results in them reaching for their wallet.
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 10:36 AM   #11
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords


I've begun to suspect that the less I say, the more pressured the buyer feels to "do" something. Usually it results in them reaching for their wallet.
BINGO!!
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 10:39 AM   #12
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

Remember this,

The first one to speak looses.
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-17-2006, 12:15 PM   #13
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

The best line I ever came up with when negotiating a car price...I tend to set fair prices and stick with them, which gets me lots of buyers but it sticks when they want money off. At that point though, they already want the car and know its a good price.

"I already dropped my pants on the price...you want me to put them over my head too..."
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Re: Need advice on selling a car
Old 03-18-2006, 01:40 PM   #14
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Re: Need advice on selling a car

The car is sold. A gentleman called last night and I gave him the total, honest scoop on the car. I also recommended that he have a mechanic check it out before handing over the casheirs check. He set up the appt at the local Toyota dealership (his dime) and I'm taking it there for him since I have the time on Monday. (he works long hrs) As long as everything checks out fine it is sold.

And if something is wrong that I don't know about I'll take care of it and most likely keep the car until I feel secure that the problem is taken care of. There's also the chance that if it's something minor he'll still want the car and we'll work out a deal. He seems to want it pretty bad. He has a Toyota pickup with 200,000+ miles that he needs to replace.
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