Tips, Tricks & Trends

When’s the Best Time To Sell a Convertible?

Regardless if you’re using Carvana, Carmax, or Craigslist to sell your convertible, you want to get the best price possible. And just like there’s an ideal time to enjoy your drop-top, there’s a recommended time to sell it. Though before you do, there are a few things you need to take care of.

Selling a convertible is all about following the weather

Selling any car, convertible or not, like buying, is about timing. Admittedly, the ongoing (as of this writing) COVID-19 pandemic has created some unique market pressure. But the overall guidelines for car sales still apply.

A silver, topless 2021 Lexus LC 500 on a coastal road.
2021 LC 500 Convertible | Lexus

Generally speaking, convertibles and/or sports cars sell better during the warmer months of the year, Autolist reports. People take long drives, and the sunshine and heat prompt them to put their roofs down if they can. But even if you don’t sell your drop-top yourself, there’s a strong incentive to do so early in the year. That’s if you plan on trading your convertible in at a dealer.

A blue 1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata parked on the snow
1999 Mazda MX-5 Miata winter | Matthew Skwarczek

Dealers tend to value trade-ins higher at the beginning of the year, Edmunds reports. There tends to be a large influx of buyers at that time, and dealers want to keep up with the demand. As a result, if you want to sell your convertible to a dealer, try to do it when winter ends and spring begins.

Is selling a drop-top any different than selling a conventional car?

Ultimately, a convertible is just another car, albeit one with a removable roof. As such, whether you’re planning on selling it yourself or to a dealer, the same kinds of tips and strategies apply.

First, try to fix any mechanical problems the convertible may have, CarGurus reports. Which, if you have a soft-top, may mean replacing the roof.

RELATED: How Does CarMax Work When Selling a Car?

Admittedly, repair costs higher than your car’s value may be why you’re selling the car in the first place. But it’s easier to sell someone, whether privately or at a dealership, your convertible if it has as few faults as possible. Plus, it raises your used convertible’s value, Autoblog explains.

After that, though, selling a convertible is little different than selling any other used car.

Preparing to sell your convertible

A black 1965 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet sit by a curb with its black convertible top up.
1965 Porsche 356 SC Cabriolet | Highline Motor Sports

RELATED: How Do You Clean a Convertible Top?

If you’re going to sell your convertible yourself, first consider where you’ll list it, Car and Driver reports. There are a number of sites and apps you can choose from, each with their own pros and cons. And if you have a classic or enthusiast convertible, you may want to consider listing it on a specialist site such as Bring a Trailer or Cars and Bids.

After that, thoroughly wash and clean your convertible, or think about having it professionally detailed. That will make it look better for the next step, taking plenty of pictures, Edmunds reports. The goal here is to document the convertible’s condition as accurately and clearly as possible, both inside and out, Autoblog explains. Washing your car is also a sound move if you’re planning on trading it in.

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Next, gather all of your convertible’s paperwork. That includes any service records, receipts, a bill of sale, and the title, Car and Driver reports. The more documentation you have, the better a price you can set for your car.

Speaking of price, that’s the last step you need to do before writing the ad or visiting the dealer. There are several websites specifically designed to provide used vehicle evaluations, such as Kelley Blue Book and NADAGuides. You can also browse local ads to get a sense of what your used convertible is worth.

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