How to Sell a Car Online

A toy car on a keyboard.

Employee discount pricing by the Big Three automakers and deeper dealer discounts for new cars have led to a glut of used cars on the market, creating one of the best buyer's markets for used car shoppers in years.

To help consumers recoup top dollar for their used cars as they make way for new cars in their driveways,, the nation's leading local online classifieds site, today shared its top 10 tips for getting maximum value when selling a used car. also announced it has added new cars to its fast-growing inventory, which now numbers more than 150,000 new and used vehicles, up from fewer than 10,000 this time last year. This milestone makes the Internet's fastest-growing resource for both new and used vehicles.

"Dealers have a surplus of used cars on their lots this fall," said Devon Cohen, vice president of automotive services for "This surplus, combined with the reduced margins dealers are earning on family pricing, leaves less room to offer aggressive trade-in prices. Consumers can get a significantly better return by selling their used vehicles themselves this fall through free local online classifieds like, which make the selling process quick, effortless and affordable."

Here are a few simple tips that can help consumers get top-dollar for their investment as they list their vehicle for sale.

1. Identify the Hot Trends and Models

Do some research on the Internet to determine the hot trends and models since you may be able to get a higher price for these sought-after vehicles. With today's high gas prices, smaller, fuel-efficient and hybrid cars are all the rage. Live in a warm weather climate where convertibles are practical all year round? Selling a vintage Mustang? These and other cars can fetch top-dollar in the current market.

2. Be Ready to Answer the Tough Questions

Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer and consider: What makes this vehicle a must-look-at? What condition is it in? How do I know this is a good price?

3. Maximize Your Vehicle's Exposure

Eighty percent of Internet shoppers only look at the first page of a search. It is better to be listed on the first page of a more local site than the fifth page of a larger site. And look for sites that allow a buyer to sort between dealers and private sellers — some people prefer to buy from individuals rather than from a dealer, or vice versa.

4. Show Off Your Car's Best Features

Features such as power windows/doors, a sunroof, high-end stereo systems, convertible tops, and high mileage-per-gallon are very attractive to potential buyers.

5. Tout that Low or Highway-Only Mileage

Buyers love a car with low mileage, or one that's been spared the wear and tear of stop-and-start city driving.

6. Pictures on the Internet are a Must

The more pictures, the better. People love to browse photos of the car to see if they like the color and condition. This gives the buyer external validation that you are trustworthy.

7. Clean It Up

Detailing your car (inside and out) to give it that "new car" look prior to selling. It is about a $100 investment that will pay you back several times over.

8. Price It Right

It's easy to do your homework upfront and check the wholesale (what a dealer would pay you) and retail book values to know how to price your car. Selling through classifieds tends to be more at the retail value.

9. Have Your Paperwork Handy

Be sure you've got your vehicle's title, registration, and maintenance records on hand for buyers to inspect.