Tips on selling or trading in + buying a vehicle: Part 1

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This post was inspired from my experience with trading in my husband’s truck… 


Our Gas Guzzler

My husband recently owned a 2001 Dodge Ram. It was mostly reliable and when he bought it, used, in 2004 it very necessary for his job as an electrician. He would drive to a lot of build sites where the paved roads and concrete driveways were yet to be completed. Not only that but it was more efficient to have quick access to his tools stored in the truck bed.

After the housing market tanked in 2007, my husband was laid off and began looking for other work. Eventually, he started working in a manufacturing plant. Because he has now worked there for several years, he no longer needs access to untrodden territory. The sticking point was the fact that the truck only gets about 12 miles per gallon. Because of these reasons we decided we would trade it in for a smaller, more affordable vehicle.


1. Prepare Your Current Vehicle For Sale

You want to make your current vehicle looks as nice as possible regardless of whether you are selling it privately or as a trade in. Remove all personal items that you want to keep and only leave the necessities in the glove box. Removing personal items at home will save time at the dealership if you trade it in. Detail the inside by wiping, dusting and sweeping every nook and cranny you can access. Wash and wax the outside, removing any build up and grime.

2. Determine Your Asking Price

Input the vehicle’s specifications in the Kelly Blue Book vehicle estimator on their website. It considers mileage, mechanical defects, and added features to come up with a selling price for a private sale or trade in. Chose the highest possible price that the blue book estimator suggests when selling it because you want to leave room for negotiation. If you price your vehicle too low, you may compromise the earnings you could potential receive.

You can list your vehicle on Craig’s List or your local community’s Facebook page for free. If your not too technologically savvy you can create small posters that advertise your vehicle with tear offs at the bottom listing your contact information. You can post these on cork boards at local businesses.  For a small fee you can run an ad in your local newspaper or a website designed to advertise vehicles that are for sale.

**This is part 1 of a 6 part series

PART 2: Narrow down your choices and determine how much you can afford

PART 3: Pre-approval and test driving dealerships

PART 4: Neogiatating with the salesperson

PART 5: Using Non-Verbal Cues 

PART 6: When to buy



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