Selling Cars on eBay: A Step by Step Guide

April 10, 2012

Selling cars on eBay isn't hard in itself, but learning how to sell cars on eBay for a good price in a competitive marketplace is takes preparation.

If you are interested in selling cars on eBay, you've made a good choice. The great thing about the eBay auction website is that you have the chance to have millions of people potentially see your listing, for a very low price. The eBay Motors fee structure is different than the regular eBay auction structure. The way the sales work are pretty much the same, but the costs are different.

Listing Fees

Anyone with an eBay account can list on eBay Motors. The listing fees are relatively cheap, meaning that there is little risk testing the waters when trying to sell your car. There are two outlets you can use, the national listings, or the local listings. The national listings, as the name implies, will be seen by anyone searching for that type of car on eBay Motors. The local listings are displayed to buyers who input a zip code within 100 miles of your zip code. As you may expect, a national listing costs more since there are more potential buyers looking at your car.

If you are listing a regular car, eBay Motors allows you to list four cars (or four tries) to sell before they charge you an insertion fee. This four car amount is for every twelve months. After that, the insertion fee is $50 per car. For the local "classified ads" as they are called, the first listings are free. Listings 7 through 12 will be $10 each, and any subsequent listings after 12 are $15 each. There is one last option for listing if you are a dealer. You can pay a subscription fee of $1000 per month. This fee covers insertion and successful listing fees as they are free. So if you sell over 10 to 15 cars per month online, it would be in your best interest to use this option as it will be the most cost effective. This is called the Local Market subscription.

Final Value Fees

Final value fees are paid if your item sells. Another term may be a "successful listing fee." Only if you sell your car will you get charged with fees. With the local listings, there are no actual successful listing fees. This is because since it is a local sale, and a "classified ad" per se, the deal is actually completed in person most of the time. The deal never actually gets completed on eBay, and so they do not charge you for that. The national listings do have fees if your car sells. If you list your car for free (one to four attempts), then you will have to pay a fee of $60 if your car sells for less than $2000, and a fee of $125 if your car sells for more than $2000 dollars.

These fees can be paid via PayPal, credit card, or by money order.

Get an eBay account

First thing is first, you need to register for an eBay account. The eBay website for cars is eBay Motors, but you can register on the regular eBay site and still sell cars on the Motors site.

Set up Your Item Page

On the eBay motors page, go to the top and hit the button that says "Sell." You will be taken to the sell your item page, which consists of multiple pages that help you go step by step when creating your listing.

  • Choose your category, which should be Cars & Trucks. From there, you can select the make of your car, and then the model.
  • Choose to sell nationally or locally. Locally offers you the benefit of doing in person deals to people within 100 miles of you. These are in the form of local classifieds and the deal takes place off of eBay. A national listing allows anyone to bid, and the deal happens on eBay. The buyer normally takes care of the shipping arrangements if you need to send the car out of your area. The process to list nationally or locally is pretty much the same.
  • Fill in your VIN number, and then the listing will automatically have the standard features of the car for that make, model, and year. If you put in the VIN, your listing will include a free history report for your potential buyers.
  • You can now start the actual listing your item. Create a title, with a limit of 55 characters.
  • Complete the drop down boxes for items such as make, model, year, exterior and interior color, etc.
  • Fill in the mileage in the text box provided.
  • In addition to the drop downs, there are features listed with check boxes next to them. If you pre-filled the VIN number in, the standard buttons will already be clicked. You can still edit them, or add other features that your car may have.
  • Add any information you wish that was not already described into the description box. You can use regular text, or HTML.
  • Next will be the pictures. The more pictures the better, as the buyers will have a better sense of what they are getting.
  • You then must set your payment options, and you can also ask for a PayPal deposit beforehand. Typically, a deposit is paid within 48 hours, and then the rest of the payment is sent by certified or bank check.
  • The last part is shipping, but most of the time the buyer takes care of that, so you can skip that part.

After that, your listing is all set to go once you hit submit.

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