Selling cars online has been a thing since the 90s when the World Wide Web and the Internet were slowly becoming household names thanks to computerization that penetrated different businesses, including car dealerships. Initially, buyers moved online to ease their buying experience, and sellers and dealerships did the same to get more exposure. Over the years, the internet has changed how car sales are done online. However, it took a while for classic car sellers before they adopted listing their cars online. Selling classic cars online wasn't popular until the late 2000s when the first two major online classic car selling platforms, Autotrader Classics and Bring a Trailer, were formed. These websites and others that existed years before have revolutionized selling cars online. From offering unique listing methods for classic cars to having massive audiences that relate to classic cars, there's no reason why you shouldn't sell a classic car online. In this article, you'll learn how to sell classic cars online and its pros and cons. First, let's explore the top tips for selling a classic car online.
When selling a classic car online, you don't just jump in by selecting a platform and listing the car. Sure, you'll have to do that eventually, but prepping the car before listing it for sale is crucial and guarantees the success of selling a classic car. Before selling a classic car, put the following tips into action:
Photos are the most critical part of any car listing. If the classic car you plan on selling has been covered up on the driveway or left to sit in a barn or a chicken house, you should clean it before taking photos. There might be the usual faded paint and rust spots, but most classic car buyers expect this and will consider the car's overall condition. However, it might seem like a lot of work but try to fix some noticeable issues that might turn away potential buyers. Grind down the rust spots, buff the paint detail of the interior, and get rid of the mold forming on the frame. When taking the photos, capture every angle on the car: front, engine bay, rear, side profiles, underneath, and interior. Also, grab stunning photos showcasing the car's unique features, such as plaques that indicate how special the car is and work done on the car, for example, an aftermarket suspension or refurbished OEM wheels.
If you know the car has issues, inspect and note them down. It's better not to sell a car with issues or ignore the issues and the buyer finding them when doing a pre-purchase inspection. Considering its problems, you might value the car and set the price lower than its market value, but you get a sense of satisfaction from selling a clean car. So why not get the problems fixed? If you notice some issues with the car are unfixable, don't resist disclosing them in the listing description to lure unsuspecting buyers. Hiding them would be worse and might result in a court case.
A Classic car's documentation is a determining factor for many classic car buyers, especially collectors and enthusiastic buyers. However, the ordinary proof of ownership and title will not attract more buyers. If you have documentation that establishes the car's pedigree, assesses its value, and has the car's history since the day it rolled out of the manufacturing plant, buyers will knock at your door as soon as your listing goes live. Work done on the car must also be documented and included in the listing details. This instills buyers' confidence that they're not buying a lemon, for example, with a rusted frame covered up with paint or an interior put together with glue. If possible, attach before and after photos on documentation containing information on work done on the car.
Knowing a classic car's value before listing it for sale is crucial if you aim to get the most out of it, especially if it's a highly sought-after model. To determine the car's value, start by doing market research and checking closing prices of cars similar to yours that have sold in the past few months or years. To come up with a more accurate value, try to find several cars with specifications and features similar to yours. Experts recommend seeking an expert's appraisal if it's a high-end classic car before making a listing, and that is what you should do. There's no better way to determine a car's value than getting an appraisal, especially if you list it at an auction or a website that allows you to accept buyer offers, setting them loose on a bidding war.
The car is clean, documents are in order, and you have a price in mind; the next step when selling a classic car online is finding the right platform to list it on. We'll recommend a few platforms, but before you choose one, consider your listing budget, the audience the website caters to, and the exposure the car gets. What is the best website to sell a car online? Hemmings and Bring a Trailer offer the best exposure at reasonable listing prices for auction and listing options. If you'd like to see buyers battle it out to get your car, you can list it on Hemmings through their Make an Offer listing option, but it will require you to monitor the listing constantly. Autotrader and ClassicCars.com are also excellent options, especially if you want a website that fully caters to classic car listings. If you're on a tight budget, Facebook Marketplace and Craigslist are excellent platforms for selling a classic car. However, there's the disadvantage of not having seller protection measures implemented in these platforms, and you won't get the best offers.
Once your listing is live, it's time to answer those calls and reply to inquiry emails. Expect tons of lowball offers, but treat all offers equally; decline politely if a bid is too low. If you get an offer near or surpassing the asking price, try to make the offeror as interested in the car as possible. Buyers will ask to view the car, so plan a viewing schedule that aligns with your day in day out duties and activities. Also, try to meet potential buyers in public spaces to guarantee the car's safety and, most importantly, your safety.
Selling a classic car online has its advantages, which you should know outweigh the disadvantages, most of which are minor and can be managed. The following are some of the major benefits of selling a classic car online.
Unlike selling a classic car through other means, such as a dealership or middleman, selling it online has better exposure, mostly originating from most platforms' large following. If the listing is done right and the car has a reading market, it's guaranteed to sell faster, and you'll get a good offer. Which websites have the best exposure? When determining a website to list classic cars on, pick one that allows classic car listings only or one that is classic car biased. For example, the two best classic car-specific websites are Hemmings and Autotrader Classics, but Bring a Trailer, even though accepts all sorts of car listings, is mostly biased toward classic cars.
One of the main advantages of selling a classic car online is its convenience. Clean the car, take excellent photos, and list it. How difficult can that be? It's easier than driving your car to meets to gain exposure or calling dealerships and salespeople to ask if they sell your classic car on your behalf.
Selling a classic car through a dealership or salesperson might be quicker to get some cash in hand, especially if they offer cash or a trade-in option, but you don't really get what the car is worth. Middle parties will value the classic car at below market value or wholesale prices to make a profit when they sell or auction the car. Would you be happy seeing your car on Bring a Trailer if you sold it for less than you valued it for?
Another significant benefit of selling a car online is that the process involves fewer expenses than selling through other means. However, it depends on the listing method used. Bring a Trailer and Autotrader Classics have the most reasonable listing fees, but Craigslist only charges $5 to list a classic car if you want a cheaper option. If you still can't get that, Facebook Marketplace is free!
Like selling through other means, selling a classic car online comes with its own challenges. These are manageable, but consider how much a website mitigates each drawback before listing. Here are the main disadvantages of selling a classic car online:
Selling a classic car online ultimately involves meeting with potential sellers, and since you don't know them personally, the risk of getting scammed is high, and it could either be a fake check or fake cash. When exchanging funds, choose the best method that covers you and the buyer and can't be faked. We recommend using a banker's check or a wire transfer.
When buying anything online, not just classic cars, buyers need to trust the seller for the sale to go through. Buying a car sight unseen is risky, so try as much as possible to instill confidence in buyers in your listing. You can offer to provide the VIN to serious offers and include as much information about the car as possible.
With Exotic Car Trader, selling a classic car has never been easier. We provide listing solutions for all types, makes, and models of classic cars, ensuring maximum reach to potential buyers. Your classic car will be listed on Exotic Car Trader's website, which has verified buyers ensuring a fraud-free selling experience. What other services do we offer? Besides listing your car on Exotic Car Trader, we'll also list the vehicle on partner sites such as eBay Motors, CarGurus, Autotrader, Cars.com, CarsforSale.com, and even Facebook and Instagram for the most exposure. If you can't do a vehicle photoshoot, we'll do that for you and much more, including transacting the sale on your behalf and handling shipping, trade-in, and financing needs just in case the buyer requires any of those services. So, why not sell your classic car with Exotic Car Trader? List your classic through Exotic Car Trader car here
Selling classic cars online is the fastest and most convenient way of getting the car in front of a large audience, thus increasing the possibility of making a sale. Sure, there are hurdles when learning how to do it, but through this article, we hope you've picked up some tips for selling a car online. If you are still facing troubles, let Exotic Car Trader handle the sale of classic cars for you. Whether it's one or a fleet of them, we guarantee listings on the best classic car listing platform and handle the sale on your behalf.
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