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Pricing my used vehicle for private sale

janar99janar99 Posts: 2
edited March 2014 in BMW
I am selling my car and I'm very hesitant selling it to private parties only because of security reasons. What safety procedures should I apply? What's the procedure if somebody calls wanting to see the car? How do I screen callers? I'm thinking of meeting at the mall maybe, instead of my house. Expectedly, the potential buyer might ask to drive the car - how can I make sure I'll be safe inside, or if I let him/her drive alone, that the car will be returned to me? What's the SOP's between private parties?
I've been unsuccessful in selling to "safe" people (acquaintances, office, etc); my options are now strangers and dealerships.
Thanks in advance for any reply.


  • dmitryzdmitryz Posts: 14
    Hi, all.
    I'm selling my 4-door 2001 BMW 325i. Car has automatic trans., premium package, 19,000 miles, power everything, and is clean in and out.

    How would you write up an ad to make the car appealling to the buyers?

    Thanks in advance.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I've private sold many cars by running an ad, having a phone conversation, and then giving my home address if the buyer is interested. The callers, without exception, were decent folks looking for a decent price on a decent car. Unless you're selling something flashy or appealing to rough guys (motorcycle?), I don't see where you'd have any trouble.

    If you're single and female, it might help to have a guy friend record your ans machine greeting, make the initial call backs, and maybe hang around when the buyer comes to look. If you've got the car priced right (low enough), you won't need more than a day or two to sell it.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... Your vehicle is worth in and around the $22/$23,0 range on trade .. Sooo, down Retail Rd:

            01 4dr BMW 325i, only 19k, adult driven
            auto, prem pack, All service is complete,
            Excellent condition, non smoker, must see - must sell -
            $26,900, balance of fac warranty - call xxx xxx xxxx

             If it aint true, then don't print it ..

                    Good luck ...

  • Hi janar99. I certainly can understand your concerns about having complete strangers come to your home to check out the vehicle that you are selling. One can never be too careful. You had a very good idea about meeting potential buyers at a public place, like a mall. Also, if you live alone, you may want to consider having a friend come along with you whenever you show your vehicle. The following article that is available here at provides a lot of good information on how to sell used vehicles privately: 10 Steps to Selling Your Car. You definitely should check it out. If you ultimately decide that you do not want to deal with the hassle of selling your used vehicle on your own, you can always contact a local CarMax location, if there is one, to see what it would be willing to give you for your used car or truck. The prices that they pay are often fairly reasonable. Good luck and please let us know if you have any other questions.

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  • janar99janar99 Posts: 2
    Thanks for your tips.
    Any other suggestions out there - especially on the details of having someone drive my car? I'm thinking I'll get a pic of the person (with his permission of course).
    I guess I watch too many Law&Order and late-night Discover channel which shows a lot of crimes! That's why I'm too paranoid/safe.
  • rivertownrivertown Posts: 928
    I just let 'em drive it, LOL. They come to look in their car, and it stays at my house while they take my car around the block.

    My guess is you'll do the public place thing. How about asking them to meet you at the library or a Kinko's - where you can make a copy of their DL and insurance card?
  • audia8qaudia8q Posts: 3,138
    about a year ago here in CT an off duty police office met a perspective buyer in a public parking lot to sell his car....he was carjacked and killed for his mustang.

    I can't stress careful who your meeting and where.
  • If your phone number is not unlisted, people can use reverse phone directories on the internet to find your address. I do this to find out where the vehicle is before I make a call. If the address turns up further than I want to drive, I don't make the call. The public place still isn't a bad idea, because the people who aren't interested in buying won't find out where you live.

    Don't forget to remove credit card receipts and other personal information from the glovebox. Also, don't forget to take out your garage door opener (speaking from experience).
  • jasmith52jasmith52 Posts: 460
    Boy that is shocking.

    I can't see anyone being so stupid as to risk killing someone for a Mustang. It's just not worth it.

    But a Camaro, Now were talking !

    But seriously, I have sold many cars myself. If I am home I go with the driver. If it's just my wife around I tell her to just let them take the car. We'd rather lose a car (which is insured) than mess with people that we don't know.

    No car is worth getting hurt over !
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    I have sold cars myself but considering the times might take the next one to a regional auto auction. True, you can get more at a private sale but it is sometimes hard to judge the person you are dealing with if you get my drift.
  • Terry is more knowledgable than I in this area but you might want to shorten his suggested ad a bit. As written it would be 7 lines in our local paper. That is OK if you don't mind pay extra for that large of an ad, (There may be some eye catching benefit).

    If you want to trim it down and keep the same info I'd suggest the following:

    01 325i 4dr,only 19k, Ex. Cond,adult driven,AT, prem pack,all serv comp,non smoker,fact. warr.,must see, $26.9K,XXX-XXX-XXXX

    Note that BMW is not included in the ad as I assume it will be listed under a BMW section.
  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    I think Terry advocates spending money on a bigger ad so that it stands out from the morass of other ads and catches someone's eye. Terry, feel free to correct me if I'm putting words in your mouth.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ..... Never trip over the dollars to get to the dimes .. *the hand buys, what the eye see's .. your dead on ~ besides, half of the folks that are looking for those types are using reading glasses anyway .l.o.l.

  • mirthmirth Posts: 1,212
    lol - another good point.
  • Terry - Yup, I understand your point. However I think using the $ to add bold type or some other extra might make the ad stand out more than just extra text. Thoughts?
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Your joke is in extremely poor taste.

    Do you really suppose that your insurance will cover theft of your car after you willingly hand over the keys? I doubt it will.
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    ... >> can't see anyone being so stupid as to risk killing someone for a Mustang. It's just not worth it.

    But a Camaro, Now were talking ! ..<< .l.o.l....

                         Terry ;-)
  • rroyce10rroyce10 Posts: 9,359
    .... Usually a couple of real nice stars ** at the beginning will help, but big ad's always get the nod .. folks that know these vehicles have an "idea" of the market price, so let them read through the painting, then they can stand back and think.

            What there looking at is the Sizzle .. FIRM, get's you No-place in a big fat hurry, *Must Sell* gives you a sense of urgency .. always price the vehicle waaay back of dealer prices, it's a lot easier to negotiate from $28,9 to $28,0 then to try to negotiate from $31,0 to $28,0, plus dealers are always waiting for the trade to hit the deal ..

  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    >>Do you really suppose that your insurance will cover theft of your car after you willingly hand over the keys? I doubt it will. <<

    Of course it would!! You handed over the keys for a test drive, you didn't give away the car. You don't think car dealers' insurance pays when someone steals a car during a test drive. Sheessh.

    And the joke was just a joke. Lighten up.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    Several years ago, we lent our Yamaha 1100 Special motorcycle to a friend for a couple days. When he didn't return it a week later, we called the police to report it stolen. Their reply was that it was not stolen since we'd given him the keys and there was nothing they could do. When I tried to elaborate that the agreement was for couple days, and now that it was MUCH later, we no longer considered it a loan. We were told we were out of luck.

    My guess is that dealerships have an endorsement on his business ins policy because this can and does happen. In regard to a private party, it may be a different story (based on our experience.)

    (PS: The bike was found abandoned at the local mall a week later. Evidently it had stalled. Never heard from the friend again.)
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    I have to admit that surprises me, that the police wouldn't recognize that loaning someone a vehicle for 2 days doesn't mean they get to keep it forever. Sounds like lazy cops who didn't want to bother looking for you cycle.

    I still say letting someone test drive a car for a purchase is different than giving away a car.
  • janzjanz Posts: 129
    was that you can't change the terms after the fact. We GAVE him the keys and our permission. Perhaps there is a slight difference here because we didn't have it well defined exactly how long he could have it. But even if we had, I doubt that it would have mattered, because WE GAVE HIM THE KEYS and permission, it was NOT stolen.

    My point is that unless you have asked you insurance if this is covered, you are making an assumption, which leads to future posts that say, "That jerk came to test drive my car, and took of with it and the Insurance co won't pay because I gave him the keys."

    Don't ASSUME.
  • timadamstimadams Posts: 294
    OK, where are the car insurance guys to chime in?
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Pristine Bimmer available to a good home. Qualified owners
  • grandtotalgrandtotal Posts: 1,207
    Well, I wouldn't call, it's pretentious and doesn't quote a price.
  • pluto5pluto5 Posts: 618
    Including a price is a good idea IMO if it's realistic.
  • explorerx4explorerx4 Central CTPosts: 13,615
    that guy who got killed for his mustang was just a regular kid trying to sell his car.
    the 'joke' was really in bad taste and i hope you never get on the wrong end of a real situation.
    not everyone plays by the 'nice' rules.
    don't know about the 'giving someone the keys' scenario, but if you invite someone into your house, they don't have to leave. :{
    2017 Ford Fusion SE 2017 Ford F-150 Limited
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    I've sold a couple of vehicles myself and had very pleasant experiences. The last one was my '99 Jeep Grand Cherokee LTD that I sold in 2001. I sold it to a 22 yr. old guy. I had never met the guy before but his Dad was a respected jeweler in town so I trusted him. I let him drive the Jeep to his mechanic for an "inspection" and then the guy drove it back to me after an hour or so.

    I parked the Jeep on a vacant lot as several other people had done and I received calls on it immediately. It's funny how people will seem SO interested on the phone then never show up or call back. I don't think I would make a very good car salesman because things like that would drive me crazy.

    I realize now how dangerous it could be selling a car yourself so I'm not sure how I would react if a "bad" person (my perception) came to look at my vehicle. I like to be nice and fair to everyone no matter what they look like. I guess I've been lucky in the past and have never run across such a person. I'm sure women would really need to be careful.

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • mark156mark156 Posts: 2,006
    The color of the BMW was not mentioned. Was that done on purpose to get a call?

    2010 Land Rover LR4, 2013 Honda CR-V, 2009 Bentley GTC, 1990 MB 500SL, 2001 MB S500, 2007 Lincoln TC, 1964 RR Silver Cloud III, 1995 MB E320 Cab., 2015 Prevost Liberty Coach
  • I bought my mother in law a four door 03 Focus,SE, with A/C,all power, stereo/CD in August, and the poor lady died earlier this month. The car is a pretty tundra green, with 800 miles on it. I paid $12K with rebates, and borrowed 8K. Any suggestions on the best way to sell it? I can't keep it, but I don't want to lose my shirt.
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