The Pro’s and Con’s – Literally – To Look Out For When Selling Your Car Online

Selling your car online has never been better, especially with the use of images and pictures which, just like when selling anything else on the web, are essentials.

Being sure to have a variety of shots from different angles of the best quality photos isn’t the only thing to worry about, though.

Coming with its advantages and disadvantages, advertising and selling your vehicle online enables you to:

  • Detail your vehicle adequately and use picture descriptions.
  • Receive questions from potential buyers concerning the vehicle
  • Get access to a larger audience pool
  • Make secure payments without facing the risk of scamming (this is an option some sites offer)

The downsides, however, are that:

  • You may fail in getting your desired sales price, especially when using sites like eBay or WeBuyAnyCar for auctions.
  • You may need to revise your schedule so that you have time for appointments since potential buyers will request to see the vehicle prior to making a purchase.

Though companies like WeBuyAnyCar have gotten a bad reputation for offering a low-ball valuation, and then lowering that value even further when you take your vehicle to one of their offices, some of the newer companies like WeBuy4x4 are changing the game for the better.

Going one step further by collecting your vehicle from you when a fair price has been agreed, it makes the transaction even easier for you. Definitely worth considering when selling your car online.

Interested Buyers and Their Many Inquiries

Sometimes due to their large volumes and unpredicted nature, responding to inquiries in their entirety can get annoying. However, it is always a great chance for interaction with prospective buyers. To have an easier time it’s advisable to make your description detailed enough.

Making Sure You Choose a safe payment Method

A common ground having been reached, a payment method should be established upon agreement, and the following are some options that may come in handy for safe payment:

Total Amount in Cash

It may be underrated in this day of cashless transactions, but counting money received should always come first. It would even be a better idea to meet at a bank of choice so that after the payment is done, the cashier can give a confirmation that all is well.

Instant Bank Transfer (by CHAPS)

Due to the exposure that this method gives of your bank account details, it’s advisable to hold on to your car until the moment of the payment receipt confirmation.

Cheque or banker’s draft

Having a copy of the buyer’s utility bill or any other proof of ID like their name(s) and address(es) helps when following up payment hitches using this method.

In case of any doubts, it would only be right to hold on to your car until your bank confirms the full payment receipt.

You should keep in mind that what you need from your bank is a cleared cheque and not the ‘expected’ cheque money, as is what most banks show you in your account. The money is immediately visible in your bank account, but that doesn’t mean it’s cleared.

There are cases of fraud such as being presented an already paid in cheque, only for the cheque to bounce after the sale of goods due to a fraudulent claim or lack of funds in the buyer account. As a seller, you’ll be counting your losses at this point.

You should charge a standard £100 as a deposit when the buyer is unable to make full payment at the point of sale. This amount is non-refundable for the purposes of helping you pick up with re-advertisement in case the buyer opts out of buying.

Private sales are unfortunately prone to thievery and fraud. Here a few scams you need to ensure you don’t fall victim to:

  • Text messages which charge you a huge fee for even sending a response, posing as potential buyers
  • Buyers who choose to pay by cheque. The cheque fails to clear and being fraudulent, bounces by the time they have taken the car.
  • Fake phishing emails requesting your login information and bank or card details, again posing as prospective buyers.
  • Buyers who use e-payment methods (like PayPal) to make a purchase but fail to provide legit details in the account. Beware of anyone making weird requests when paying via this method. If it doesn’t sound like a standard transaction and you’re uncomfortable, cancel the transaction. Better to be safe than sorry.
  • Sham car exporters are requesting shipping fees for non-existent overseas buyers.

Hopefully, this guide has now equipped you better to safely sell your vehicle online. Whether you’re selling your old banger or you’re looking to shift something a bit more prestige and want to sell your Land Rover or similar, following this guide will keep your experience positive online.