Cars

The Pros and Cons of Selling Your Car on Craigslist

If you’ve ever decided to privately sell a car, you know it can be a big hassle. Luckily, a number of online sites can help you sell your car, and one option many people utilize is Craigslist. Is it a good idea, though? Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of selling a car on Craigslist.

Pros

You’ll probably make more money

Selling your car on Craigslist is the best way to get the most money from the sale. You may make several thousand dollars more than you would have if you traded it in to a dealer. Depending on your preferences, the sale will likely be in cash (or a cashier’s check, if you and the buyer both go to a bank).

It’s inexpensive to list

Although it’s no longer free, at $5 for 30 days, the cost for listing your car on Craigslist is an inexpensive way to reach many potential buyers. Putting a sale sign on it is free, but it won’t reach people the same way. A classified ad in the newspaper likely has a small fee, and eBay has several pricing options. The lowest eBay listing fee is $25 as of October 1, 2019.

It’s the easiest platform for private sales

Craigslist is the best platform to sell your car locally and privately. With a local sale, you won’t need to worry about delivering or shipping the car, since the buyer can drive it away. Craigslist is one of the top 20 websites in the U.S., and it serves 700 cities in 70 countries. This means a lot of people could see your listing. National private sales can go through eBay, while other options involving dealers include AutoTrader, Cars.com, CarGurus, CarsDirect, and TrueCar.

Cons

You’ll need to research the price

There’s work to be done before you can list your car on Craigslist. First, you’ll need to set a price for the listing. Start by looking at the car’s estimated value on Kelley Blue Book, Edmunds, and NADA, but also factor in the condition of your car. Check Craigslist and eBay to find prices for cars similar to yours. Later, once you find a prospective buyer, you’ll likely need to negotiate the actual selling price.

You’ll have to write the advertisement

In order to list the car and make it look appealing to buyers, you’ll need to take the time to write detailed, informative ad copy. This means writing a full description of the car, including the year, make, model, trim, mileage, any added features, and your price, plus any problems.

Be sure to include the number of photos allowed. Any additional photos can be posted to a photo-sharing website like Flickr. To protect your privacy, make sure to blur out your license plate in the photos.

It will take a lot more time and effort

Selling a car on Craigslist isn’t always quick. If you place a lot of value on your time, you might prefer trading in your car to a dealer when buying a new one. CarMax is another way to sell your car quickly. Selling on Craigslist will likely take several days or even several months.

You’ll need to meet with buyers and let them test drive the car, which means you must be available. In addition, make sure you have all the paperwork required by your state to finalize the sale. This may include having the title notarized. If you do decide to sell your car on Craigslist, check out the Craigslist info section about avoiding scams, and be sure to stay safe.