Selling your car safely can be challenging when you do not know the buyer.
Problems can arise when the time for making payments arises and you can be conned. You do not need to be an expert salesman to sell your car with many secure online sales platforms available. But, first, you need to prepare your car for sales.
Dents and dirt can cost you a few dollars. Before you start creating your advert ensure that the car you are selling is in good condition.
The buyer may need a test drive to verify this. This article explores some important tips for your consideration.
Things to consider before selling your car
Interior and exterior cleaning
The first thing that will attract a potential buyer to your car is a well-polished exterior. Begin by fixing any visible dents. You may need to do a paint shop. Wash the car on the sales day and apply some polish for a clean exterior. Do not forget to do an engine wash and the tires.
How your interior looks will depend on the number of years you have been driving your car. Grease and dirt will have formed on the dashboard making the car look very old. You can begin by giving your interior a good vacuum cleaner. Using a damp cloth and some soapy water, remove grim from the dashboard. Polish the dashboard and door interior for that clean look.
Your advert is your selling point for your car. Some vital factors should be prominently displayed on your ad. The first is the age, model, and mileage of your car. Next display the best photo you have of the car with the owner’s contact. When displaying the price quote extra so that people can bargain.
Background research on buyer
Before your actual meeting with the buyer, it is prudent that you carry some background check on who the buyer is. Ask them for some of the identification and communicate in texts. You can always abandon the transaction at any time, so do not feel pressurized. Choose a public area as a meeting point.
Taking the buyer for a test drive
Once you have placed your ad in the dailies or online platform you should start getting calls. The buyer will need to physically see the car, examine it and test drive it. since you are dealing with strangers it is prudent that you go for any car meeting with a relative or friend.
Avoid letting the buyer driving the car alone, instead of a seat at the passenger seat as the buyer takes the car for drives. Go through familiar routes.
If the buyer likes the vehicle the next step is to discuss payment. Avoid accepting personal checks – chances of bouncing are high. If the buyer wants to pay cash to ensure that you are not paid in fake notes. Also, ensure that you get paid the full amount. You can decide to do the transaction in the bank – safer and legit. You can also choose electronic money transfers.
Fill out paperwork
After you have received payment for the vehicle your next move is to legally transfer the car to the buyer. The necessary paperwork required will depend on the jurisdiction. Typically you will be required to enter the seller and buyer details, the amount paid for the car, registration number, engine serial number, make of car, colour etc. handover any documentation that you have of the car to the buyer, including any duplicate keys and service history.
Sign the documentation in a government office and ensure that you have received the full amount for the car.
How to detect car fraudsters
Offering to purchase a car without seeing it
A serious car buyer will request a meeting where they view the car and take it for a test drive. In fraudulent cases, the seller will be promised payment once delivery of the car is made. The catch is that the person issues a bad check or fraudulent payment receipts.
In cases where the seller is in a hurry to dispose of the car, the buyer may propose monthly payments. Once you deliver the car and receive the initial deposit the buyer disappears with the full. If you are too sell a car online always insist on full payment.
Asking for personal information
Fraudsters will insist on you sending personal information like bank details, credit card numbers, social security and email addresses. Once the fraudster has the information they disappear.
An escrow account is where a third party holds the money in question until the transaction is complete. Not all escrow services are legit and you need to do a thorough background check before settling on one. Alternatively, you can use the services of a reputable lawyer for the transaction.
In this case, a fraudster will inform you that they have overpaid for the car and whether you are willing to refund them for the excess amount. Most of these are done through fraudulent bank transfer, cheque, or bank transfer. The problem is that what they claim to be an overpayment is fake. You can wait for a cheque to clear before releasing your car to a potential buyer.
You can either sell your car through agents or do it yourself. The emergence of various online platforms has made the sale of cars easy. But, it has also opened the door to frauds. If you are going to sell your car online ensure that you insist on the buyer coming to see the car physically instead of sending an agent. Do not take the car for test drives alone. Ensure you have a friend or relative with you. When receiving cash ensure that you receive the full amount and you do the transaction in a secure place – bank or lawyers office work fine. Do not reveal your personal bank details to strangers. Avoid receiving personal cheques due to the high probability of them bouncing. There are various mobile payment platforms that you can use but only finalize the transfer when you are sure that the purchase amount reflects in your account.