7 Tips for Selling a Classic Car

January 27, 2012

When selling a classic car for a good price, you need to follow a few guidelines. Classic cars that have been well maintained generally sell at a higher price. As a used car seller, you have many options to choose from, when it comes to marketing your vehicle for sale. Using the following tips for making your selling experience more efficient and lucrative.

  • Before putting the vehicle up for sale, have it inspected by the mechanic. If there are minor repairs that need to be done to increase the overall appeal of the car, complete these repairs and quote a higher selling price
  • Do your research well and find out what other buyers are paying for the similar type of vehicle you possess. The classic car resale value is higher if much of the originality of the vehicle is maintained. Avoid replacing too many parts if you plan to sell your classic car
  • The key to selling the car quickly is to advertise appropriately. Contact car dealers in your area to find out if they're interested in purchasing your vehicle. Post an ad in your local newspaper or bulletin. Ask friends and family to spread the word for you. When you're posting an ad on the Internet, make sure you upload different pictures of the car (both interior and exterior), to draw the attention of potential customers
  • When potential buyers get in touch with you, respond to them promptly and offer to show them the vehicle at a convenient time and location
  • Quote a price that's suited to the type of classic car you're selling. To negotiate a good deal, start with a price that's slightly higher than the actual value of the vehicle
  • The easiest way to sell your antique car quickly is to use the Internet. Most car buyers look for good car deals online. While some websites ask you to pay a monthly fee to advertise your car for sale, you could use craigslist or connect with people through online classic car forums for free
  • You could also ask a dealer to sell your classic car on your behalf. Although the dealer will charge you a certain percentage of the sale price, your vehicle will be advertised on the dealer's lot. This is the easiest way to attract potential buyers

Marketing and Advertising Techniques to Sell Classic Cars

Selling classic or antique cars is very different from standard used car marketing. Make sure that your method of advertising reaches as wide a range of consumers as possible.

Advertising Online
Advertising online is a great way to sell your classic car. There are many sites on the web that specifically cater to classic and antique car sales. It probably won't hurt to place a few free ads on mainstream sites, but if you want to deal with the most knowledgeable buyers, who are most likely to offer you what your car is worth, stick with the specialized websites.

Print Advertising
Most classic car magazines offer classified advertising. Another source of print advertising is of course the traditional newspaper. Should you choose to go this route, make sure that you don't sacrifice what the car is worth to make a quick deal. Also make sure that your car is listed under a separate section from other vehicles. Most local newspapers have one section for mainstream used cars and another section for antique or classic cars. If there isn't such a section, make sure you start off your ad by describing your vehicle as a classic or antique car.

Auction Houses and Brokers
If you have a particularly valuable antique vehicle, the best route is often to go through a broker or auction house. This will get your classic or antique automobile to the best possible audience, someone who is specifically interested in your particular type of vehicle. This will help to weed out the people who will try to talk you down to an unfair price and a lot of the hassle of trying to sell a car yourself.

Auction houses and brokers are going to take their cut of the sale, so make sure you weigh your options before going this route. When it comes to rare, high sticker price vehicles, this is usually the best route to take. You can try online auctions for yourself that are typically cheaper, but this can be a wash and you run the risk of ending up with a deadbeat bidder. Brokers and auction houses are much more reliable and can get your car to someone who really wants it and is willing to pay a lot to get it.

2 Common Selling Mistakes

There are quite a few pitfalls those who attempt to sell these vehicles routinely fall into. Before you sell antique car parts or vehicles, learn about the appropriate "sell car laws" in your area so you can avoid making these mistakes.

Relying on Old Information
Because classic cars have, by definition, been around for much longer than most other types of cars, there is a wide range of information available about these vehicles. Make sure you stay up to date on the most recent developments with those cars. In some cases, for instance, the price of a classic car may fluctuate dramatically due to the actions of the manufacturer in very recent times. If the manufacturer re-released a car, for instance, it can lower the price of the originals. Take the time to determine the value of the car and the actions of the manufacturer in recent history before you begin.

The general car market fluctuates dramatically due to the time of year, the larger economy and many other factors. Because classic cars are a unique and niche market within the larger car market, these prices are subject to even more intense changes. Watch the prices of vehicles similar to the one you're selling for weeks and months before you attempt to sell it. Watch for trends in the prices of the cars and learn to time the advertisement of your car so it can be put on the market when the prices are at their highest. Waiting a few extra weeks to sell a car is worthwhile if you end up making several hundred or thousands of dollars more for it.

Crafting Your Advertisements in Haste
Do not assume that because you have a valuable or attractive car that it will sell quickly. The most important part of the sale process for any vehicle is having a good and comprehensive marketing strategy. This includes highlighting the positive attributes of the car and justifying the price you're charging. It also includes advertising the car across a wide range of media to have the most exposure possible. Consider advertising the car in local newspapers, online in a variety of ways, and through local classic car enthusiast groups and car shows.

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