Whether you’re selling a Honda or a Pagani, consignment takes the stress out of selling your car. No more spending hours chasing the possibility of a sale – posting ads, dealing with tire kickers, and filtering through scams only to be left standing in a Wal-Mart parking lot by a buyer who bailed out.
Car consignment is a term that’s often used in reference to expensive collector cars sold at haute auctions from Palm Beach to Scottsdale. This leads to the notion that consigning your car is only a valid option for rare, exotic, or collectible vehicles, but the truth is far more inclusive. Car consignment can be a strong choice for anyone looking to sell their car – regardless of its value – without all the hassles and challenges that weigh the process down.
I’m going to assume you know a little about what car consignment is and how it works from a seller’s perspective, but to catch everyone up, the basic facts about car consignment companies are:
That sounds like a fair proposition to everyone, not just people who own collector cars and exotics. Let’s cast those notions aside and explore how selling your car on consignment can save you time, hassle, and headaches. Hey, that’s the title!
Car consignment fees are usually charged as a percentage of the car’s final sale price, though some companies use a flat-rate fee system. The final amount largely depends on the type of car being sold – expect to pay more to consign luxury cars and high-end exotics. Remember to shop around and find the best consignment rates for your situation.
Most companies charge a modest percentage-based consignment fee. To that end, a lower sale price means the seller will owe less in fees:
While the effective rate may vary, the math shows you should pay lower consignment fees when consigning a less expensive car. This is great news for the frugal among us, and while $500 is no small amount of money it becomes easier to digest when you consider what you’re getting in return.
If you were to add up all the hours spent selling a car – taking photos, writing listings, talking to tire-kickers, arranging meetings, and eventually making the sale – you would be shocked. This is especially true of everyday cars, favorited by scammers and time wasters from eBay to Craigslist. It only takes getting stood up in a Wal-Mart parking lot to realize how much time can be wasted trying to sell a car the usual way. Not to mention,
Times like these are when consignment companies shine.
Consignment fees cover the time, effort, and expenditures involved in selling your car. The best car consignment companies are not only experienced in advertising all around the country, but they can also coordinate shipping to anywhere the buyer desires. And you’ll never have to change your schedule to meet with a maybe, because your own personal salespeople will do it for you.
There are other perks, too. Professional photos and descriptions for your listings, detailing and delivery assistance for your car, and the overall peace of mind that scammers and tire-kickers will be wasting someone else’s time instead of yours. It all adds up to make those consignment fees look like a pretty good deal.
If I didn’t know whether your ‘69 Camaro had a V6 or a V8, would you trust me to sell it for you?
I often say that the most important aspect of car consignment is finding the right company to work with. It’s critical with collectible cars and exotics, but it’s just as important with regular cars, too.
Selling a high-mileage Honda next to a mint-condition Maserati reduces the chances of either car being sold effectively. That’s why most car consignment companies are picky about the cars they work with. Let their attention to detail be an indicator of trust and experience.
Car consigners typically specialize in a certain style of car, be that a broad category like “commuter cars” or a tiny subset like Porsches from the 1950s. Maybe they will only accept cars with clean titles and no signs of damage or neglect, or maybe they only sell projects. The point is, they have a brand and they stick to it.
The best car consigners build their knowledge and expertise with a certain group instead of just trying to sell anything with wheels. Pickiness is a great sign that you’re dealing with an experienced car consignment company and not some fly-by-night operation. Of course, there are other signs as well.
Take the time to find a consigner that knows about the kind of car you’re selling and you’ll be rewarded with a much smoother experience.
Whether you’re selling a flashy exotic or a trusty commuter, car consignment makes the process a whole lot easier. In many situations, consigning your car presents a financially stable alternative to spending hours of your time on a possibility. And if you find the right company to work with – one that specializes in selling what you have, with the track record to prove it – your car will be sold before you know it.
Hey, that sounds like us!
Exotic Car Trader offers a curated inventory of high-end, exotic, and significant vehicles on consignment. As a brick-and-mortar company with strong ties to our local South Florida car culture, we pride ourselves on superior customer service and some of the lowest consignment fees in the country. If your car would look right at home with our current inventory, consider learning more about our car consignment program.
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Cover image credit: Matthew Leland
Words by Justin Dake
We are not attorneys. This article does not contain legal advice.
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