Car Buying Tips Blog: Find reliable car buying tips & information from the auto industry, and use them to your advantage. Also find car buying tools, reviews, insider advice articles, & research new car prices on BuyingAdvice.

Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Should I Trade My Car in or Sell it On My Own?

Websites like CarGurus and Cars.com provide easy ways to sell your car on your own, but there are downsides if you decide not to trade in. It comes down to money, right? Always think about which option will result in the most savings. Unless you just want convenience. In that case, maybe just go for a trade in.

Selling by Yourself

The primary advantage of selling on your own is that you don’t have to negotiate with a dealer. You negotiate with any number of potential buyers instead. You can simply wait for the offer you want. You can do business over the phone or by email, to an extent, as well.

Many sellers use websites such as CarGurus, Cars.com and Craigslist.com to sell their vehicles. Most of these services are free and useful. Some offer paid packages that increase the time period of your advertisement and the number of photos you can add to it. It’s difficult to determine if paid packages will be beneficial to you. They’re more likely to be helpful if you meet two conditions. First, you choose a reputable website with lots of daily visitors. Cars.com is an example. It’s well-known and well-visited, which means your ad will be viewed a lot and will be trusted more readily. Second, your car should be in decent condition. If it’s not, you might waste the money you spend on paid packages. Consider having the vehicle detailed.

Trade In

Doing a trade in is, of course, the most convenient way to get rid of a car. It may not be the most financially beneficial method, however. It really comes down to your dealer and how much he wants to make a deal. Visiting the dealership when it’s slow could help you get a better price. Choosing a replacement vehicle that hasn’t sold in a while could also help you out. Conversely, if you’re at the dealership when it’s packed and you choose a replacement that’s selling like hot cakes, you’re more likely to get lowballed for your trade in.

A Potential Roadblock

One factor that can affect the ease of your sale is the popularity and condition of your car. It’s unlikely that anyone will buy your car directly from you if it’s in poor condition or isn’t a popular model. You’ll have to give it some time and possibly reduce your price. On the other hand, it may be difficult to find a dealer who will pay a fair price for your trade in. The condition of your car and the likelihood of an easy resale will affect their decision. On a positive note, their decision will be made in a matter of minutes, whereas you could spend weeks finding a buyer for you car on your own.

The Bottom Line

The bottom line here is that there’s no simple answer to the question of whether to trade in or sell on your own. It depends on the car you want, the condition of the car you have, and other factors. You may want to attempt to sell the car on your own before getting a quote at the dealership for trading it in. That way, you won’t feel pressured to accept a deal before you’ve tried selling independently and you will have offers on hand for use during negotiations. You might decide to sell the car before you make it to the dealership, though. To get an idea of what your car is worth, try a market price estimator like the one at kbb.com.¬†

When it’s time to buy your new car, get quotes from each local dealer the easy way. It’s free and there is no obligation to get quotes¬†right here at Buying Advice.