Selling a car on your own requires not just having the ability to advertise your sale, but also the ability to properly price a car. Unfortunately, doing so isn’t’ a skill that’s inherent to the average car owner. You’ll need to learn a little bit about how cars are priced and the local auto market to start this process, but you must also be aware that there’s not always a right answer. Instead of concentrating on a specific number, you need to understand what goes into setting a price.


Knowing the Basic Values


The first place to start with any kind of used car pricing will always be with the Blue Book. Every car, truck, and SUV on the road has a Kelley Blue Book Value, usually determined by the make and model of the vehicle as well as the condition in which the vehicle is found.


Unfortunately, used car value is not cut and dried. There are many factors to deal with, ranging from cosmetic damage to mileage. This is a good starting point, and most private buyers won’t want to deviate too much from the Blue Book value when they’re negotiating a price.


What the Market Bears


It’s also a good idea to look at what’s currently on the market when you’re trying to fairly value a used car. While the book value of your car might point in one direction, what people are currently paying for similar cars might lead you somewhere entirely different.


If the average used car in your area is selling for ten thousand dollars, it’s going to be very difficult to find a customer if you’re asking twice that. You’ll need to figure out what the market will actually support. This can work in your favor or against it, but it’s something that you will absolutely have to keep in mind.


Timing and Availability


Figuring out what people will pay for a car also means figuring out your own motivations. Are you looking to sell your car for maximum value, or are you looking to sell it quickly? Pricing will require you to determine whether time or money is more important, and the answer to that question will lead you down two different paths.


When you want to sell quickly, what you’re really asking is what kind of price is simply too good to walk away from. You have to price lower in order to make a deal. If you’re looking for maximum profit, though, you’re really making an attempt to find the price that is going to be the most attractive to a motivated buyer. Finding a good middle ground between these two numbers is usually where the average seller wants to wind up.


What will people pay for a car? Sadly, you’re going to need quite a bit of information to answer that question. You’ll need to know how quickly you want the car to sell, what other cars are selling for, and what the inherent value of your car might be. Once you have all of that data, you can put together a rough estimate of what you can sell the car for – and once that’s done, you can begin deciding exactly how high you can price the vehicle without scaring off potential buyers.

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