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Selling a Car on Craigslist
Old 09-21-2015, 03:07 PM   #1
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Selling a Car on Craigslist

Wasn't there a thread with this title a while back? I am not finding it.

Need all the help/advice I can get. The last time I sold a car, there was no Craigslist, people didn't request VINs, etc. It was so simple! I just priced the car a little below blue book, people came and looked at it, either liked it or didn't. I gather it is more complicated these days.

Thanks,

Amethyst
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:27 PM   #2
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I've sold 2 cars on Craigslist. Things to look for:
- Have them bring cash.
- Depending on your state - make sure the title is transferred. We are AAA members so we went with them to AAA to do the DMV title transfer. This was after a nephew sold a car and the buyer never transferred the title - nephew got stuck with a LOT of parking tickets. Some states allow the seller to mail in a form showing it's been transferred from them, in case the buyer doesn't do this.
- You might want to meet in a neutral place for the test drive/sale.
- Expect people to call and try to do extreme low ball offers. I was shocked at how many people argued for 50% off wholesale bluebook prices. (Note - I sold it for my asking, which was close to blue book.)
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:37 PM   #3
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Rodi,

Do you mean "have them bring cash when they come to look at the car"? Should I put that in the ad?
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:42 PM   #4
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I've bought/sold vehicles on CL - I just paid/took a cashier's check

If you want, post a draft of your add and we will critique it.

You will want a photo or two in the add.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:54 PM   #5
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When I sold my boat and motorcycle the buyers said from the outset they'd pay cash, and they did. Met at my house - I was comfortable doing that because the boat buyer was coming from two hours away (too much work for a thief), and the motorcycle buyer used a verifiable work E-mail address.

I'd be wary of taking a cashier's check. They are too easy to counterfeit and I worked several fraud cases of people doing just that. The only way I'd take a check of any kind is meeting at the drawing bank to verify immediately that the check was good.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:55 PM   #6
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I insisted on cash before keys were handed over. I also insisted on a few hundred "deposit" if they wanted to buy - but needed to go to the bank.

I've heard that cashiers checks can be problematic - so I stuck with cash.
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Old 09-21-2015, 03:56 PM   #7
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I just sold a car on Craig's List. When the guy came to take it for a test drive and to a mechanic, he left me with a copy of his driver's license and insurance. I thought that was a great idea. He also left the keys to the car he came to my house in.


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Old 09-21-2015, 04:01 PM   #8
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I've sold a car and a motorcycle on CLs. A little due diligence goes along ways. Had them come to my house, test drive while I had their keys and cash on the barrel head or follow them to the bank. I have done dozen of deals on CLs and have never had a problem, buy or selling. A little common sense goes a long ways.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:11 PM   #9
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I've only sold smaller items, but my experience with Craig's is that things move very quickly. If someone replies and you dither even a few hours to get back to them, you'll never hear from them again; they've already moved on.

When I have sold things, I found the transaction to be very quick as well. They look at it, decide within a few seconds, hand you the cash and are gone. Sold an outboard motor in a parking lot and they were driving away; literally in less than 1 minute after I took it out of the trunk. Boom!

Also be careful of "I will buy this car but I'm on a ship at sea right now..." they ask you to cash a check for them as a deposit and....well, you know the rest.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:39 PM   #10
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I've sold a car and a boat on craigslist over the last couple years. Both transactions went fine and the buyers ended up being local people in each case.

With the van, they came to my house and I went with them for a short test drive, they made me an offer and I accepted and they picked it up a couple days later and paid cash.

With the boat, they also came to my house, I went with them for a short test drive and they later made me an offer, I accepted and they mailed me a personal check for a deposit. There was a stiff steering issue that I agreed to fix as part of the price so I met them at the boat dealer when the repairs were completed. He paid me with a bank check from the same credit union that the deposit check was issued on. Also, I had his state employee email address so I wasn't too worried about him being bogus.
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Old 09-21-2015, 04:48 PM   #11
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I appreciate that...if I don't, it's because I've long since figured out that co-workers are on the forum, and one of them might recognize my car...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
I've bought/sold vehicles on CL - I just paid/took a cashier's check

If you want, post a draft of your add and we will critique it.

You will want a photo or two in the add.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:25 PM   #12
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I sold my 20 year Saab 900 a few years ago on CL. Had a lot of interest in the car and could have sold it for more than the $1,000 I got for it. Transaction was easy. First one who looked at it, paid me cash, I signed the title over to him and we were done.

My bf also sold his car in March on CL. Similar story, except the buyer drove 3 hours from Knoxville to Atlanta to buy it.

CL is a great way to sell cars. You'd be surprised at how many people are looking for exactly what you have and are willing to pay cash.
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Old 09-21-2015, 05:52 PM   #13
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Have sold on craigslist a lot. Lot's of scammers and flakes, but still the cheapest way. Sold several low value vehicles for cash , and one at about $8k, The 8K one, I would only take a cashiers check from a local bank , and verified in person at that bank before handing over keys.

Also sold one on E-bay" local pick up only ", but the e-bay fees are excessive.

Got a photocopy of drivers lic. for all buyers. Some people never register a car in their own name as long as time is still left on the tags , maybe this is just a problem in California.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:13 PM   #14
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Amethyst, we have also sold quite a few items on CL, with no problems, but please take safety precautions to what may seem like an extreme level.
There was a young man who was killed in our hometown after meeting two guys in a parking lot who said they wanted to buy his truck. Awful story. One suggestion to come from that was that you should consider meeting the potential buyers at your local police station.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:26 PM   #15
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As a buyer, I was frustrated to the point of giving up on CL; too many cars were posted by people who were not serious about selling. Free to post. Wait for a sucker that is willing to pay more than it's worth.

My ad would say something to indicate that I expect to sell the car right away.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:28 PM   #16
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Second the suggestion to be sure you get title transferred. AND KEEP Evidence you did it!
Even though I had transferred car title on the WA State Dept Motor Vehicles website, the state dropped the ball and I had a collection agency dunning me for parking tickets a year later. Never actually sent a notice to me at my home address. Eventually got noted on my credit report--that is how I found it. Fortunately I had a copy of the confirmation page from the website which the credit bureau accepted but the collection agency would not unless the city did. Unfortunately the city issuing the ticket refused until the state recognized. The State never could get around to it even with a copy of the web confirmation.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:30 PM   #17
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Last time I sold my car I agreed to meet the buyer at his local bank. Watched him get the bank check from the teller, then hand it to me. Then I did the transfer, all inside the bank. We both liked that routine.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:33 PM   #18
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I sold an old car on CL for my parents. I had 3 pictures and a fairly detailed description. I got no response for a whole week, except from 2 junkyards offering me $250 for it. I was asking $1,000. Blue book was $1,500 I think. I lowered the price to $900. Just wanted to get rid of it. Finally, person actually came out to look at it, test drove it with me in the car, and gave me $700 cash for it on the spot. I signed over the title and gave it to him after filling in the correct mileage (125,000). The odometer only showed 25,000 since it had rolled over once. The whole transaction was smooth except for the title. Due to ambiguous wording on the title, when he took the car to register it at the dmv they told him the car had 100,000 more miles on it. The title had a box you were supposed to check if the odometer was over 100,000 so of course I checked it off. For some reason the folks at the dmv told him that that meant the car really had 225,000 miles on it. ( even though I had entered the actual mileage of 125,000 in the appropriate blank). Makes no sense to me. Buyer called me back to complain that I had ripped him off. I told him politely that the dmv folks were wrong. I kept the $700, he kept the car.
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #19
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I have not sold on CL.... but I did sell to a person when I bought a new car... the dealer did not want to pay me a good price for the car, but the salesman knew someone who wanted one just like I had... he agreed to a price...

So, when I was buying my new car I was selling my old one at the dealership... got cash... I signed a bill of sale and made the buyer sign that he bought it as is... put in VIN, miles and date of sale...

Now, a year or two later I find out it is still in my name... filled out a form and paid a small fee to tell the state I no longer owned it and who had bought it... it was easy to get his name since it was on my receipt... if I did not have that I think I could have said I had sold it, but not sure what else I would need to do...
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Old 09-21-2015, 06:49 PM   #20
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From a buyers perspective, since the ad is free, I would want the seller to be as transparent as possible.

It frustrates me to no end to have to contact the seller to get basic info such as

Mileage
Does it actually run and drive?
What major faults does it have?
What has been done to it recently/ what does it need?
Is the paint passable or will I need to spend $1K to repaint it to look decent?

And pictures, pictures, pictures...

On the other hand , if you want to be pestered to no end list it like : " Car for sale...cheep"
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