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Getting the Best Price for Your Car

Are you considering buying a new car? While trading in your vehicle at the dealership may be convenient, you can usually count on losing money if you do so. On average, those who sell their cars themselves instead of trading in save anywhere from $1,000 to $2,000.

Don't be intimidated by the prospect of selling your car.

Because trading in is so convenient, many choose to save themselves the trouble of placing an advertisement or two. Don't be intimidated by the prospect of selling your car. Take a look at these four tips, and remember to give it some time. These things don't happen right away.

1. Price competitively. You will need to know how much your car is worth. Various websites, such as and can give you estimates. Once you know the value of your car, it's important to give yourself a $300-$500 cushion. When selling a car yourself, remember that you should be the one negotiating, and your listed price should be the starting point. Be sure to be honest with yourselves and price your car appropriately. Stay within your set price range, and stick to your guns. That's part of becoming an empowered consumer.

2. Wax on, wax off. A clean car is infinitely more appealing than a dirty one and shows prospective buyers that what you have to sell is of real worth. Have you ever seen a dirty car at the dealership? Of coarse not. Nobody wants to buy someone else's mess. A thorough cleaning, inside and out, could determine whether or not your car sells.

3. Show where your car has been. Go online and buy a vehicle history report. It's important to disclose to potential buyers any previous owners and information you may have on accidents in which the car has been involved. Spending an extra $20-$30 on a vehicle history report could make or break your sale.

4. Advertise! It's generally a good idea to use more than one form of advertisement when trying to sell your car. A “For Sale” sign in the window of your car and an online listing should do the trick. When listing your car online, be sure to take good pictures from a variety of angles of your now clean car. For about $27-$45, you can advertise your sell to people around the nation.

What now?

If you've given your listing some time, and nothing seems to be happening, it may be time to revise your advertisement. If you see other cars for sale priced lower than yours, you may need to lower your asking price. If there's damage on your car that can be fixed without an inordinate amount of trouble, taking the car in may be necessary to have it sell for a good price.

Just remember to keep trying. Don't think of selling a car (or, for that matter, buying a car) as an instant thing. By taking the time to sell your car yourself, you can give yourself more time to figure out what car out there best meets your needs for the best price, taking insurance, mileage, upkeep and selling price into account.

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