Photo: Megan the Librarian
If you haven’t yet had the pleasure of selling a car in NYC, there are a few things you might want to do aside from posting that beautiful black and orange ‘FOR SALE’ sign in the window.
Pretty much any attempt to sell your own car is a royal pain. One obvious approach is to post it on Craigslist, but it’s debatable whether it’s worth the time/hassle of dealing with potential scammers and time-wasters. There are some specific websites where you can post your car (sellmycar.com, nothingbutcars.com) but be prepared to get calls from dealers hoping to sell you a replacement vehicle. You can try the classic “flyers with rip-off contact info” approach and post it at coffee shops and neighborhood stores; you’ll get responses, but it’s the whole process of dealing with people that is annoying. People will say they are coming but never show up… Some will subject you to endless negotiations … Some will bounce checks … the list goes on.
Before you attempt any of the above, get your car detailed; that will insulate you against aggressive negotiators, who will have fewer complaints and problems to haggle over. You will get more clicks on Craigslist or autotrader.com. Even if it costs a few hundred dollars for a thorough detail, you can fold that in to your asking price.
If you put a FOR SALE sign in the window, make sure you park your car in high traffic areas at high traffic times so you get the most eyeballs – think Seventh Ave on a Saturday. One caveat – apparently there’s a rule against posting a ‘for sale’ sign in your window while the vehicle is parked on the street, and you may get fined $45. We haven’t confirmed any fines doled out, but if it can happen anywhere, it will happen in Park Slope.
Finally, do some comparative shopping to find out how much your car is worth. Search Craigslist for cars exactly like yours, and find out how much they are asking. Price yours competitively compared to theirs. Make it the best deal on the block.
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