5 Detailing Tricks to Get More Money When Selling Your Used Car
Selling your car can be a challenge. And it can be even harder when years of wear and tear are readily visible at first glance. As a professional detailer, I’ve helped people get more money both for trade and at auction by focusing on just a few key areas. Here are my five tricks to get more money for your used car.
Remove scratches and sell your used car for more money
The biggest detriment to your used car’s value is its overall condition. Even surface-level scratches and swirls read as damage to prospective buyers, diminishing your car’s value. If you’re looking to sell your used car for more money, a paint correction is essential.
Most professional detailers offer a paint correction service, and it will help restore your car’s finish. This isn’t a show car, where a multi-step correction aims at a like-new shine. Instead, a single step should be enough to restore shine and remove the appearance of scratches to improve the value of your used car.
And if you’re interested, you can even try it yourself with a dual-action polisher and some basic pads from your local auto parts store. Just be sure you know what you’re doing – incorrect application can do more harm than good.
How do you get tough stains out of a car?
Just as scratches affect your car’s value, so do stains on the interior fabrics. Some stains are harder to remove than others, but with the right products, you can make your car’s interior look like new.
For oil, food, and other organic stains, use an enzyme cleaner. Such cleansers break down the proteins that cause long-lasting stains. In just a few minutes, you’ll get that food stain you’ve been staring at, out of your upholstery for good.
And for tannin-based stains such as coffee, tea, or fruit, most all-purpose cleaners will get the job done. For ultra-stubborn stains, a tannin stain remover may be required. But for just $20 in chemicals and one hour of your time, your car’s upholstery can look showroom new – and help you get more money for your used car when it’s time to sell.
Leather conditioner can restore seats before a sale
Worn leather is a sure sign of wear and tear in a used car. If your car’s leather is looking less than stellar, a quality leather conditioner can help. Products from Meguiar’s, AMMO NYC, or Mother’s come with special compounds that work below the surface. Not only will your leather shine, but these conditioners can help reduce the look of creases and cracks from years of use.
It takes just a few dollars and a few minutes to make your leather seats look five years newer, and that will improve your car’s curb appeal to prospective buyers and help you sell it for more.
Clean windows make a great impression on test drives
Windows are easy to forget, but dirty windows leave a bad impression when selling your used car. Be sure your car windows are clean inside and out, and you’ll be on your way to getting more money out of your used car.
How do I take good pictures of my car with my phone?
With online marketplaces, photos are everything. Even if you use all of the tips above, bad photos will make it hard to get more money for your used car. Even if you only have your smartphone, taking good photos of your car is possible.
Shooting in direct sunlight is often tricky, but too dark and it’ll be hard to see the vehicle’s condition. Late morning and early evening often provide the best light, though the middle of an overcast day is also excellent.
From there, find angles that show off both the car’s shape and the condition of that freshly-buffed paint. And inside, be sure to show the condition of the leather, all of the carpets, and the dash so it doesn’t look like you have anything to hide.
Sell your used car for more with our pro detailing tips
Using these five tips, you can enhance your car’s curb appeal and get more money for your used car when it’s time to sell. Call a detailer or head to your local auto parts store for all the help you’ll need in getting your car looking its best.