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Sell your crappy car on Ebay

Updated on May 18, 2013

Stand out from the crowd

The secret to selling your car quickly is to make it irresistible. A car purchase is a visceral experience. Truth be told, if we didn't have some emotion attached to the car we buy, then there would only be a few types on the road: Small, medium and large, depending upon your passenger load. There would be no such thing as a sports car or a luxury car.

You need to capitalize on this. If your car is unique, then it's easy. Here, though, let's talk about the standard 1999 Toyota Corolla. Let's make it worse and say it's a tan Corolla with cloth seats and a ding in the fender. How about the fact that it has 110,000 miles on it?

Remember, you're selling the EXPERIENCE

If all you do is advertise "1999 Toyota Corolla for sale" you're never going to sell that piece of crap for more than $500, and that's only if you include $400 in gold in the trunk! No, don't sell the car, sell what the car REPRESENTS!

Think about what you did in the car. How many family trips did you take? How often did it get you through a bad rain storm? Was it your first car (keep the back seat thrill rides to yourself)? Simply make a list, no matter how trivial the events. This is all going into the ad.

What is INTERESTING about your car?

What is different from your piece if dung Corolla than the next guy's? For instance, yours is tan. Whoops! No it's not! It's "Under the Cop's radar neutral color".

How about MPG rating? I would love to have my F150 back, but at 13 MPG it was far too costly to drive the 100 miles a day that I do. With gas topping $4 a gallon in my area, a great MPG rating goes a long way.

Show your buyer that you LOVED your car

What have you had done recently? Oil change? (Spend $20, get that done, then advertise it) New tires? Fluids topped off? New battery? Tires rotated? That tells the potential buyer that you cared for the car. That's called piece of mind.

If you haven't done these things recently, go get them done and advertise that you have the latest service receipts.

Put it all together

Now's the time to put it all together. Right now I see two 1999 Toyota Corollas on Ebay for about $3300. I bet I could get $4000 with the right ad. Here's how it would go:

FOR SALE: Lulu, (By the way, naming it is a great idea) my very first car! This baby saw me through long trips to the beach with my buddies. The big trunk was more than enough space for a cooler of sandwiches and sodas (And don't worry, I made those pigs wash their feet before they tracked sand onto her carpets). She saw me to and from college and late night drives with my girlfriend.

To some people, she was just a Plain Jane tan car, but I'll tell you from experience that the cops pay far less attention to a neutral colored car than they do a bright red two-seater or loud-ass pick-up truck! I always liked to think of Lulu as flying under the proverbial radar!

One of my favorite things on long trips was the great gas mileage. She still gets near 30 MPG on the highway, and that's on regular fuel.

I've taken great car of her over the years, which is why those 110,000 miles are simply the late summer of her years rather than the cold hand of mechanical death creeping up! I have records for the latest oil change and tire rotation.

Now, after all these years together, Lulu is beginning to show some of the age lines of a mature woman. There's a bit of a dent in the back bumper and some door dings here and there, but she's not a new car. A handy guy or girl with some Bondo could fill in the bumper ding and get some matching paint from Wal-Mart. A buddy of mine did the same to his Durango and it was near flawless!

Listen, she's not perfect and she has some miles on her, but she comes with a world of memories and has a lot more to give.

Thanks for looking and good luck bidding!

The final KICKER

It's always a great tactic to put in a "Must Sell This Week" line. It makes the buyer think that he can get a great deal. Here's how it works:

List a Buy It Now for 30% more than your bottom line (You want $3000 then list for $3900). Start the bidding low - say $750. Put the Reserve at your minimum ($3000 in this case). Put IN BOLD TYPE "MUST SELL THIS WEEK. FINANCIAL OBLIGATIONS HAVE ME OVER A BARREL"

All Set!

Feel free to BOLD important sections or add highlighter color to others. The more colorful and eye catching, the better.

Good luck! I sold two vehicles in 5 days with these tactics.


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    • Dogwater13 profile image

      Ed Schwalb 4 years ago from Chicagoland

      Thanks! And thanks for taking the time to comment!

    • bydojo profile image

      Ramona Jar 4 years ago from Romania

      Cars are indeed a personal thing and you would surely get better results with these strategies than just some impersonal presentation. Loved the ad for the car, you would convince me to get it ;)