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Have You Ever Tried To Sell a Car On Your Own?

Flickr user Robert Couse-Baker

If there’s one thing that can make you want to smash your head into a wall (repeatedly), it’s buying or selling a car. Most of us, when we’re ready to change cars, go to a dealership and trade-in, but have you ever tried to sell a car privately?

That’s what my mother is trying to do right now. Little did she know, when she bought her black Honda Civic Si Hatchback 17 years ago, that it would become a popular car for customizers.

But that’s where things have gotten tricky. Neither of us know anything about the street value of this particular car.

Just this past weekend, we were picking up furniture and a young man walked up to me and said, “oh wow, are you selling that??”. Of course the ensuing conversation went something like:

“I don’t know, what are you willing to pay?”

“Well, what are you willing to take for it?”

Etc, etc. The problem is, either he knew exactly what it’s worth and realized that we didn’t (although he didn’t even make a lowball offer), or neither of us did.

So I hit the internet and decided to do a little research. Here’s the problem – you go to a site like Kelley Blue Book, and they just ask for the basics and give you what the car is worth, period. It doesn’t take into account desire on the secondary market, etc.

On the other hand, my mother is understandably reluctant to use websites like Craigslist because she doesn’t necessarily want strangers coming to her home or office to look at it.

So what’s your advice? Have you ever sold a car by yourself? What about unique cars, any tricks to finding out what the value among enthusiasts would be? Feel free to leave a comment below and chime in!

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