April 14 Weekly Open Thread: Selling cars - tips, tricks, and any wisdom you have
Ever sold a car? Had good luck with it? I need your wisdom. I find myself in the unique position of needing to sell not one, but two cars. Neither are remarkable unfortunately. I have a 1996 Honda Civic (wife's) and a 2001 Dodge Caravan (mine) that we've replaced with a 2001 Subaru Outback (wife's) and a 1995 Ford Ranger (mine). We thought we'd sell them last Fall, but with an early winter, busy schedule, and my own general laziness, it didn't happen. I asked about this to a degree this past Fall here on the blog, but was hoping for some new and perhaps final wisdom before I take the plunge and get in the market.
I've never sold a car. Or any vehicle. I scrapped my last one - The Homer. We sold the body of Bob the Impala for a demolition derby car, but still have the motor. All of my other vehicles were work vehicles (I used to drive 45-55K a year for work) or vehicles that went to other family members, with the exception of my 1978 Corolla that was also scrapped.
Both of the vehicles are high mileage with some rust. Interiors are clean, and I'm willing to be honest about their warts (insert oil every XXXX miles...). We have a pretty good set of records on both, and both vehicles we were second owners on. Both run just fine - particularly the Honda. It might have another 200K in it mechanically if the body doesn't rust off the frame first.
Both vehicles have sat over the winter. One at the end of my driveway, one in front of the garage at church. I've kept both batteries charged, and have run the motors for extended periods as well as cycled the transmissions through gear changes (primarily just in the parking lot) each month to keep the fluids moving.
I'm not asking a ton - probably $1200 for the Honda and a cool $1000 for the Caravan. If I could squeeze a few hundred more out of each I'd be truly ecstatic. The difference between $2200 and $2600 is pretty signficiant for our family budget.
Craigslist isn't really a good options, though I'll try it (we're a small, rural town in Southern Minnesota). We don't have a consignment lot in town. Any "parking" place with traffic will require I move the vehicle(s) regularly so they don't get towed.
So what's the secret? They'll be as clean as I can get them. Carpets and seats have been scrubbed. Wording in advertisement? Locations where they'll sell better? Prayer? What's it take?!?
And this is also the place for any other automotive words of wisdom that you may have.