Guide to selling a car on Craigslist


Having a junk car you do not use can always cause a headache, especially if you want to get rid of it fast but have no idea of how to do it.

But there is no need to worry! You are not the only one who might feel intimated by the whole process of trying to sell a car.

Many people opt for selling to a local junk yard as it is far quicker than advertising on a newspaper.

Others turn to the auto dealer without much success.

And many others take advantage of the tools that the modern day brings.

One of these tools you can use to sell your car is Craigslist.

What is no longer useful to you might be just what someone else needs.

For instance, there are people who have built a profitable business out of buying junk cars and rebuilding them to sell them again.

Other buyers will want to sell your car for its parts and materials; many parts of a car can be recycled or reused once it’s stopped working as a whole.

Junk car buyers are always in search of cars they can use in their business, offering higher quotes than you might expect in some cases.

Who knows? Your ideal buyer might be closer than you think!

All you need to do is learn how to use Craigslist to your advantage to find exactly the buyer your car needs.

Craigslist is not just another novelty website; it works as an online platform for ads.

It is similar to what you might find in a newspaper or any other printed source.

This website has grown rapidly and steadily, becoming the #1 source for locals who are in search of a particular item.

It is well worth a try if you want to sell a junk car.

All you need to do is use Craigslist in the most efficient way possible to reach your goal.

Creating an ideal Craigslist ad for your junk car

Many people try to sell their junk cars on Craigslist every day, so you will need to make your car and your ad stand out from the rest.

Using the platform correctly will help you get more views and higher quotes.

It will also increase the chances of selling your car faster by finding the perfect buyer and getting their attention.

Here is a quick guide to selling a car on Craigslist!

The basics of a Craigslist ad

To begin your Craigslist sale, you need to make sure you have the basics for an ad: a title, a damage disclosure agreement, and a bill of sale.

The damage disclosure agreement is a requirement in some states, so you might need to check with the DMV office before you start advertising the vehicle.

Make sure everything pertinent is well documented.

Know the value of your car

You need to know what your car is worth before selling it; by doing this, you will ensure a fair price and it will be easier to find the right buyer for your car.

Finding out the car’s actual value will also save you many disappointments and unnecessary bargaining.

The first step is assessing all the damage.

This includes parts that need repair or replacement, cosmetic damage, etc.

It will also help to get the car’s value from The Kelly Blue Book.

The website will ask you for any pertinent details about the car and give you an estimate of its worth; be as specific as possible to get an accurate number.

Any potential Craigslist buyer will inquire further on the car’s condition, and the more information you can give, the more trustworthy you will look.

Keep in mind that running cars are worth more than non-running ones and will also save you the cost of towing.

Functional engines are also great assets to any car you want to sell.

Take photos of the car you want to sell

Any ad for a car is more successful with photos, and Craigslist ads are not the exception.

Buyers will try to assess the condition described actually match the condition of the car, so photos are a great add-on to your post.

Take several photos of the car you want to sell, but don’t forget to clean it up first.

Try to make the car look as presentable as possible; clean and shiny cars are more attractive, even if they are junk cars.

Craigslist has a limit of four photos, but you can link to an external photo storage website to add additional snaps of the car.

The more photos, the better; buyers will want to get a good idea of the car you are selling and photos is a great way to offer them an overview.

Snap photos of the outside and inside of the car, always trying to give a general view of the car they could get.

Make sure you have all the information you need

The success of your post will depend greatly on how much information you can offer.

Ads with little information might look sketchy and make buyers suspicious.

But ads with all the relevant information, as well as sellers willing to answer questions, will look more trustworthy and attractive to buyers.

Make sure you include in your ad anything that buyers might want to know, including the year, make, and model of the vehicle.

You should also include information about the features of the car, such as upgrades or add-ons you made, automatic locks, airbags, etc.

Also include detailed information of the car’s damage; mention any dents, scratches, dings, and working and non-working parts.

Remember that the more information the post, the better your ad will look.

It will present you as a reliable seller and buyers will be more likely to trust you.

Create your Craigslist account and post your ad

Creating a Craigslist account

Craigslist offers two options when you first create an account: one-time use and continuous use.

Choose the one that is most convenient for you.

Once you have created an account, you will be able to post your ad and edit it as needed on the go.

To create an account you will need a valid email account.

Just enter your email address and click on “create account.”

A validation email will be sent to the provided address and you will need to follow the instructions on that email in order to verify that you own that address.

You will then be asked to set up a password and verify it.

Make sure your password is confidential and that you will be able to remember it later.

When you are done setting up your password, you can click on “return to your account” to accept the terms and conditions.

After following these steps, you will be ready to post your car ad!

Creating your post

With all the information you have gathered, you are now ready to make your first post.

Go to Craigslist, log into your account, and click on “new posting.”

You will then have to choose the location where you want the post to be shown.

Then, select “for sale by owner” and “cars & trucks by owner.”

In the location field, you can choose your city, surrounding areas, or even your specific neighborhood, depending on the extent you want your ad to reach.

Write an attractive post

The success your ad will depend on the post you create; the content can and will make a huge difference.

Do not just post the first thing that comes into your mind, think hard about the information you are presenting and how it will be best to present it.

Keep in mind you need to write an ad that will attract the right buyer, one who will actually be interested in your car.

Here are some tips to writing an effective Craigslist post:

  • Clear headline. the headline is the first look anyone will get of your ad, so you need to make it effective so that skimmers can decide if the ad is relevant for them or not. Make the headline specific and clear, using simple words to describe the car you are selling. Do not use all capital letters, as it may be deemed as aggressive by potential buyers. Also avoid using symbols or net-speech, as it may make you look unreliable.
  • Brief and short paragraphs. Avoid using big chunks of text; they might scare readers away. Try to use short and concise paragraphs, with only a few sentences each. This layout will make your post more attractive and readable. It will also facilitate skimming. Try to look at it from a buyer’s perspective, would you prefer to read five short paragraphs or one huge wall of text? If you are in a hurry, the second option might be enough for you to close the ad and move on to the next.
  • Content presentation. You need to be creative and informative when writing your post. People who want to buy a car or a junk car will want as much information as they can get in order to make sure their decision is the right one. Try to be concise without leaving out important details. Write about the condition, the color, the year, the make, the model, the repair history, and any other pertinent details. Buyers online often worry that they will get something different from what is advertised, so being exhaustive with the information you present will make you more trustworthy.
  • Because you need to gain your potential buyer’s trust, you must not make up information about the car. Do not try to make the car seem in better condition just to make it more attractive. Online selling is all about honesty and buyers appreciate an honest post, even if the item itself is not that good. Being honest will make you more trustworthy and will increase the chances of closing a sale once people see in real life that the post was accurate and did not contain false information.
  • Upload photos. You took plenty of photos; do not forget to upload them. Buyers are more likely to get in touch with you if they can get a first impression of your car online. Photos are a great way to give them an overview of what you are selling. Items for sale online that do not include photos are not as successful as those that have them. Photos will increase your trustworthiness in the buyer’s eyes and they will also show you actually have what you are advertising.

Set a price and sell your car

Before setting a price, keep in mind that potential buyers are likely to negotiate in order to get a better price.

Try to take a look at similar posts on Craigslist and other platforms to get an idea of what you can expect.

Do take into account the actual worth of your car as well.

A great tip is to post a fair price but still slightly higher than you need, keeping into account that there will be some negotiations before closing a sale.

You should also give yourself time to hear from anyone interested in your car instead of just selling to the first person that comes along.

Speaking to several potential buyers will ensure you get a fair price for your car and that you get to fulfill your price expectations.

Risks of online selling

Online selling should be approached with great care.

It is possible to get a great deal, but you need to be mindful of your safety, no matter how urgent your sale is.

Take the following tips into account to avoid jeopardizing your safety.

  • Be careful with your personal information. You might want to use the site’s proxy option instead of displaying your full email and contact information. Do not make your personal information accessible to scammers and spammers. Also, do not share your personal information with strangers.
  • Think about the payment options. You need to be careful with the payment options as well. Taking cash is usually a safer option. Do not take checks (and if you do, make sure you check they are not forged) and once you get the money, make sure you inspect it to avoid any unpleasant surprises. There are other options for online payment, such as PayPal, that make sure your information and the buyer’s information is safe at all times. Options like PayPal will also make it possible to pay by credit or debit card, if that is what you prefer.
  • Meet in safe places. Craigslist can lead you to serious buyers, but it can also lead you to people who don’t even want to buy your car. This is why you need to be careful with meetings. As you probably won’t want to drive the car from one place to another for meetings, buyers might meet you at home. Make sure there is someone else around when buyers visit you at home. Anyone can accompany you during these meetings, but if you are a woman try to have a male companion. The presence of someone else will reduce the possibilities of any risky situation taking place.

Wait for buyers to get in touch with you

After you post your ad, it will go through a verification process before going online.

Keep in mind that all times that your safety comes first; do not jeopardize yourself just to close a deal quickly.

It is always better to be safe than sorry, so trust your instinct if it tells you something is wrong or that you should not trust a specific buyer.

Even if you are trying to close a sale quickly, be aware at all times that you need to feel safe and that you have the right to be.

If you think that Craigslist is the best option for you, make sure to follow the recommendations to keep your safety.

If you don’t think Craigslist is for you, you can offer your car to a junk car buyer; they are always likely to be looking for vehicle parts of full vehicles.

Junk car buyers will take into account every aspect of your vehicle before offering you a fair quote.

If you live in the state of Illinois, you can call Aga Auto Inc. junk car buyers for a free quote.

Just dial 773-668-7071!

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