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If you have ever sold a car privately using sites like Craigslist or Facebook Marketplace, you likely know what a struggle it can be. Several prospective “buyers” will contact you with insanely low offers; some even try to justify these insulting offers only to ghost you or waste your time. Others will schedule a time to meet up with you, possibly even drive the car, and when you think they’re going to seal the deal, they make an offer that’s lower than your posted price.

As we said, selling a car to a private party can be a struggle, especially when it comes to lowball offers – but it doesn’t have to be. Here’s how to avoid them.

What is a lowball offer?

A man sells a convertible car
A private party sale | Getty Images

For the unaware, a lowball offer is an offer that is far lower than the price that you posted your car for. For example, if you post a car for sale for $6,000 and a would-be buyer responds asking if you could sell it for $3,000, that’s a lowball offer. This happens a lot, even when you’re selling car parts or other goods.

Get offers for the car that you’re selling first

A Carmax sales person gives a customer an offer.
Carmax offer | Getty Images

Before posting your car online, it’s a good idea to get offers on it first so that you know the ballpark selling price. It’s one thing to look up the car’s value on sites like Kelley Blue Book; however, those values are mere guidelines. The point here is to get an actual offer that you can fall back on if the private party sales fall through.

As such, the folks at Jalopnik recommend checking out e-retailers like Carvana, Carmax, and Vroom to get an offer for your car. These sites offer free appraisals on their site within a matter of minutes. After receiving these offers, you can get a ballpark idea of what to sell your car for.

For example, if the highest offer that you get for your car is $6,800, you’ll know that any potential buyers need to beat that offer. Otherwise, you’re better off selling it for that amount without any hassle.

Post the car on the online classifieds with a disclaimer

A lady does car research online
Doing online car sales research | Getty Images

After finding out what you want to sell your car for, it’s time to post it on the classifieds. As always, Facebook Marketplace, Craiglist, and eBay are great sites to start with for selling locally. When you post the car for sale, you can add a screenshot of the highest offer you received from an e-retailer like Carmax. That way, any interested buyers will know what you’re looking to get for the car. You can even put a disclaimer that won’t go below that posted price.

Keep in mind that the offers you receive from the e-retailers are typically only good for seven days. So be sure to get those offers when you’re ready to offload the car on short notice.

Sell your car to the highest bidder

After receiving offers from serious buyers, you can sell your car to the highest bidder. By posting the offers you received from the retailers, you should be able to weed out a lot of lowball offers without any hassle. Selling a car privately can be a pain, but it doesn’t have to be with the proper research.