THE TG GUIDE TO...
selling your car online
t’s time to sell your old jalopy. And, young-fangled thing that you are, you decide to employ The Web for this task. But don’t log on to the World Wide Internet before perusing
handy seller’s guide!
Choose a website
The correct listings site rather depends what car you’re ofoading. If you’re selling a run-of-the-mill Vectra, Vectra saloon or Vectra estate, a major site like Autotrader is likely your best bet. If you’re selling a classic 205 GTI, a hot-hatch owner’s forum could be the place. If you’re selling a Triumph Dolomite Sprint, you’re better of standing in your local town square, waving a bell and yelling a bit.
Write your advert
We live in a post-truth age. Facts that would once have been regarded as absolute – colour, mileage, number of wheels – are now open to debate. Is it truly possible, objectively, to defne colour? Or mileage? Or number of wheels? Priorities have shifted. Forget facts, concentrate on rhythm. Iambic tetrameter will give your ad the oomph it needs to jump of the page.
Photograph your car
Cleanliness, of course, is a given, but to secure that sale, you need to go a step beyond with your photography. You’re selling a lifestyle here. Accessorise your car. A copy of Flaubert’s Salammbô poking suggestively from the glovebox. A mix-tape of Sade’s greatest hits perched lewdly atop the steering wheel. A pair of lederhosen peeking licentiously from between the splitfold rear seats. Who doesn’t want to be part of that world?
Place your advert
Description written, photographs photographed, all that remains is to hit the “print” button on the internet, and wait for those buyers to come fooding in. In TG’s experience, a wellwritten, well-shot advert, correctly placed, could generate as many as three excited enquiries within the frst year. Hope you’ve saved up some holiday time at work!
Reject the first offer
No one likes a desperate seller. Even if that frst ofer is way over your asking price, even if the buyer’s prepared to hand over a blank cheque because your grotty Elantra was the very car in which their recently-departed Great Aunt Hortensia proposed to blah blah – you must, must stand frm. Say no. If they really want it, they’ll be back. Just you wait. Defnitely coming back. Any time now. They’re… not coming back, are they?
The test drive
Once you’ve fnally snared a suitable buyer, they’ll likely demand a “test drive”. Careful. This is a common scam, sure to see the buyer either making of with your car, or demanding a hefty discount for the “non-functional brakes” or “lingering smell of death”. Do everything you can to avoid ofering a test drive, as the faults your car does have are unquestionably worse than those any sane buyer could imagine. If they do insist on a test drive, make sure you accompany them to prevent irresponsible behaviour. No handbrake turns when you’re sat atop them in the driver’s seat!
Seal the deal
It’s common practice for the purchaser to demand a few quid of the asking price by revealing themselves as a “cash buyer”. Steal a march on them by, just before the handshake, revealing yourself as a “cash seller” and adding £100 to the asking price. Don’t know what a cash seller is? Exactly! Neither will they!