Never Try Selling a Car on Craigslist: Here's Why.

selling a car on craigslist

Every person who sells their car wants the best offer, right? That’s why sites like Craigslist attract a multitude of sellers. While selling a car on Craigslist can seem more lucrative than selling your car to a car dealer or through other means, it comes with risks and compromises. While certainly not every car buyer has malicious intentions, there are quite a few personal and legal reasons not to sell your car on Craigslist.

Selling a Car on Craigslist

SPAM: If you do decide to sell your car on Craigslist, be sure to create a new email specifically for prospective buyers, and don’t use your personal phone number. Not only does this help secure your personal information, but it protects you from scammers and spammers. Spambots crawl sites like Craigslist for personal information, diluting your serious offers from the spam offers.


SAFETY: With items such as furniture and technology, it’s relatively safe to sell those items on Craigslist. You have the option of meeting in a public place, the buyer can evaluate the item on the spot, and you can exchange cash for the item immediately. However, when you’re selling your vehicle, it gets a little more complicated. If your car doesn’t run, you may have to invite a stranger to your personal address. If it does run the buyer will want to take it for a test drive. While most potential buyers have good intentions, it’s always better to err on the side of caution. If you decide to sell your vehicle online, be sure to not take the photo in front of your home. Also, remember to remove geotagging from all photos as well. This prevents Craigslist users from knowing your location when you post your listing.


TIME: It’s no secret that selling your car privately takes time, dedication, and effort. However, many sellers don’t know that it can take weeks or even months to sell your car. For at least a month, you’ll be taking time out of your nights and weekends to set up test drives with potential buyers. If you want your car to sell faster, you can relist and edit your car listing every few days. However, this also requires time and effort.


LEGALITY: Every car sale requires a title transfer and a bill of sale, which means meeting your prospective buyer at the DMV to sign it over–or trusting that they complete the necessary paperwork themselves. However, a buyer may also request (or law may require) a damage disclosure statement, odometer disclosure, and a maintenance record. Each state differs in the paperwork required, so be sure to check with your local laws regarding paperwork to sell a car.


CURBSIDE NEGOTIATION: While you may have asked for a reasonable price, it’s not likely that you will receive the full asking price. Plus, it’s hard to turn down an offer when you have an interested buyer in front of you–even if they’re offering significantly less than the asking price.


Always be careful when it comes to selling your vehicle on Craigslist. With Cash for Cars, selling your vehicle is easy. No meetups with strangers, no waiting weeks for a sale, and no hassling with legal paperwork!


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