Adventures in Car Selling

So with the new car in the garage, we had a short discussion on the fate of the old car.  We decided we still like being a one car family so we were going to sell it (To the shock of most people I know).  Of course, the Echo was only my second car I’ve ever owned so my experience on selling a car was basically non-existent since I haven’t done it in a decade.

Of course I was aware of some of the basics and I knew enough to consult with some of friends who are car geeks.  Given my situation (I’m a busy guy) and the car’s condition (fair, but it needs some work), it was suggested I get somewhat aggressive on the pricing to get a sale quickly.  You could get more, but that takes time.

So I cleanup the car…I’m embarrassed to say it hasn’t been this clean in years.  Do you have any idea how hard it is to clean out Cheerios bits from all the seams?  Anyways, then I took a picture of the car looking all shined up and sat down to write the ad.

In the end I kept it simple short and sweet: 2001 Toyota Echo, 160000km, green, fair condition $2500 OBO.

Then I dumped the ad onto a local used sales site and then to my shock watch a pile of email pour in of people looking for a car.  I had initially planned to keep it up for a week and then sell to the highest bidder.  But in light of the numbers of requests to see the car I decided to close my window.  I would show the car for just two days and the highest bidder would take it or if someone got close enough to the asking price I would sell it right then.

Then I started to understand all most at once a lot of people say they are interested in buying your car, but about 1/3 people never show up to view the car and take it for a test drive. Ugh, frustrating.

In the end I got a eager guy stopping in first thing on the second day that was looking for a newer car.  His current was a 1991 Toyota for like 260,000 km.  He was a nice guy and knew his stuff on the work needed on the car (which I was also honest about like it needed a new windshield).  He offered $1900 cash and payment in 30 minutes.  I rolled the idea around in my head for a while since my drop dead number was $2000.  Could I live with $100 less than that for not having to show the car to a bunch of other people?

In the end, I decided my time was worth that $100 and sold it right then and there.  Could I got more?  Perhaps, but it came down to the classic time vs money.  I wanted the rest of my day free of this groundhog day experience of taking test drives and answering similar questions over and over again.  Now looking back at it I still don’t regret my choice.  After all when you are planning an early retirement it is fairly obvious that I usually choose time over money.

So do you have any adventures in car selling or buying?  Any tips for everyone on what to do?

4 thoughts on “Adventures in Car Selling”

  1. From my experience, both personal and professional, always to remember price your item a little higher than you actually want (to allow for haggle room), never jump at the first offer (accept it if it’s fair, but at least look like you’re thinking it over), and lastly, remember than every one places different values on different items. One persons trash is another persons treasure.

  2. Nice work!
    I think that was a decent offer. . .
    I have a slightly newer echo. When I started to think about selling it, I cleaned it thoroughly. Nothing in the pockets. No junk in the trunk. I’m keeping it for a while longer but it is SO nice to be driving a car that is the cleanest it’s ever been.

  3. I would have done the same. The extra bonus that you no doubt also took into account is that you don’t
    have the liability of the second car expenses(insurance and maintenance)

  4. My only tip would be, its not sold till the cash is in your hand

    There’s nothing worse than a buyer promising to come back with the money the next day, resulting in you turning down other potential buyers only to have them not come back.

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