7 Easy Tips to Help Sell Your Used Car - Lodi Park and Sell

Lodi Park and Sell
Tips for selling your car

Important Tips for Sellers

7 Steps to Selling Your Used Car

1) Anytime Is a Good Time to Sell

At Lodi Park and Sell, our rates and exposure are so good that you really shouldn't need to think twice about displaying your vehicle in our lot. But, you might be tempted to think that because it's the holidays, or because it's hot, or rainy or there is an event in town, that you should wait for a different time to display your vehicle.

That said, in our experience, that will only prolong the sale of your vehicle. There really is no rhyme or reason to when buyers come in. They always show up. To be honest, we often see sales increase on rainy days or during the holidays, and that's because the buyers that come in during those times aren't just "browsing."

More than likely, they picked that time because they would normally be busy with other things. And if they are serious buyers, they will come out and see us—rain or shine. They come with a real purpose, and for them, it's much better than driving and calling around all day or waiting nervously at home for possible appointments to spring up.

The bottom line is this—there is "something" every day that could make you think it's not a good time to display your vehicle at our lot. Seriously, even if you have plans, you don't need to be present to show your car, so you can go have fun while we do the work for you! Test-drives are scheduled at your convenience, and around your plans. There is no such thing as a bad time to bring your car in—in fact, bringing it in will only create more time for you!

2) Vehicle Type Doesn't Matter

You might think that because your car isn't of a certain make or model, it won't attract a buyer. In reality, that couldn't be further from the truth. At Lodi Park and Sell, there is no one car that's more marketable than another. Our lot is its own kind of market with its own trends: quantity, visibility and convenience always sell!

We see all types of buyers making deals on all types of vehicles every day: cars, RVs, boats, motorcycles and ATVs. Just because you don't see your vehicle or others like it on the lot already, doesn't mean they won't sell. Some of our most popular requests are for vehicles we rarely see. It's our variety of vehicles and prices ($1,000 to $100,000 and up) that attract people to our lot. Plus, your vehicle will easily be seen by the 35,000 cars that pass by on a daily basis. No joke—just seeing your specific vehicle from the street could attract a buyer!

3) Quality vs. Quantity of Phone Calls

When selling your car online or in the newspaper, you'll typically receive a number of ineffective, unrelated phone calls. You might think that because you get a large quantity of calls, you are closer to a sale, but this isn't always the case. Missed appointments and unclear expectations tie up your time and energy and can lead to potentially dangerous situations. Some people even call just to ask questions or get information. The worst part of it all? There's often no intent to buy anything.

No worries—at Lodi Park and Sell, it's a whole different experience!

We make sure that the only calls you get are from people who have already seen and inspected your vehicle. A call is much more likely to mean a deal will be made, because those who have picked up the phone are ready to take a test drive and move along with the overall buying process. Because of this, you don't have to worry about how few or how many calls you are getting. We do the filtering for you, and most sellers receive that golden call in less than two weeks!

4) More Than Just a Space

Yes, you are paying for a parking space to sell your car at a safe, neutral location. But, what you get is so much more than that.

Our location is the only privately owned "park and sell" in the Lodi/Stockton area (and the entire Central Valley) and like we said, over 35,000 cars drive by our lot each and every day. In addition to such unrivaled exposure, our online promotions are extremely successful because buyers can browse without the pressure of a regular, run-of-the-mill sales lot. Instead, they can inspect and compare used cars, boats and RVs in person without having to drive all over town and make dozens of phone calls.

Additionally, sales rates are generally much better because it's easy and convenient, and a great deal of competition between buyers to get the car they want.

  • From 10 AM to 5 PM, 7 days a week, your vehicle will be displayed and advertised.
  • We allow potential buyers to open and start your vehicle during the posted service hours (no test drives without you present.)
  • Lot attendants, security guards and surveillance equipment ensure that your vehicle is safe and sound, regardless of the hour.
  • If requested, we can help you choose an accurate market value using a host of highly-authoritative pricing websites.
  • Provided signage includes a window sign with the vehicle's profile information and phone number and contact information. Also, we can provide all the sales forms and supplies needed to complete your transaction.
  • We can keep potential buyers' personal information on record when your vehicle is taken on a test drive, and also recommend the best driving routes.

5) Competition Is a Good Thing

You may worry that having competing vehicles at the lot will make it less likely that yours will sell. But, the opposite is actually true. Just as a newly-opened restaurant brings with it more hungry people, other cars on the lot are what will place future customers in front of your vehicle. Honestly, the more vehicles we display at Lodi Park and Sell, the better it is for you as a seller.

Since buyers must make a trip to inspect used cars in person, half the battle is already won. If your vehicle is not here, then it won't even be seen, and buyers will quickly look elsewhere for automotive excellence. Remember, they want to go used car shopping—we just make it easier, faster and safer!

6) Consider Your Price

Setting an accurate, appropriate price for your vehicle is extremely important. Vehicle values are no secret, so starting off with an outrageously high or low price will just invite problems. If your car is less than 23 years old, prices can be boiled down to two things:

1. Kelley Blue Book Value: suggested market price based on vehicle type and condition.

  • Kelley Blue Book is the most accurate pricing guide for vehicles in California.
  • Upon request, we can provide you with the Kelley Blue Book Private Party Value (not the "Retail" value). However, because you need to have information on hand for an accurate valuation, we recommend you find your car's value on kbb.com before coming in.
  • Make sure you enter an accurate category for your car's condition. Unless the car has less than 20,000 miles on it and is less than 2 years old, it is most likely not considered to be in "excellent" condition.
  • Flaws like mechanical defects or body damage typically deduct from the value in amounts exceeding the cost of repairs alone. Also, for what it's worth, new items or parts do not add value, but you can use them as an edge while negotiating.
  • There is no longer a "low" and a "high" KBB value. There is just one "for sale by owner" price.
  • The Kelley Blue Book Value is a good place to start. But price, selling power and availability time might be affected by issues like high mileage, uniqueness and market value in the Lodi and Stockton area.

2. Market Value: what an able and willing buyer will ultimately pay.

  • Can be affected by season (i.e., convertibles in the summer vs. winter)
  • Can be higher or lower than the KBB value based on trends or demand

If your vehicle (RV, car, boat, motorcycle, etc.) is over 25 years old, the market will vary so widely that there's no authoritative guide as to what kind of pricing should occur. Confused? Check out NADAGuides.com (the National Auto Dealers Association) for help.

** Important: the NADA guide does not provide Private Party Value, but rather Dealership asking prices—although these vehicles have sold before for prices between the NADA's Low and High. It can give you a ballpark, but a realistic Private Party price will likely have to take into consideration repairs and restorations.

It will also help you to be realistic in your expectations. If a vehicle has exceedingly high mileage, is out of season or highly priced, please understand that it may not move as quickly as a seller might like.

7. Presentation Sells

Buyers rely heavily on their initial reaction to the presentation of your vehicle when making the decision to buy. Oftentimes, if a car is not selling, it could be because there is something off-putting in what they see or read. Depending on the buyer, small problems can quickly become big red flags—you just never know. So, here are some tips to optimize your car's first impression:

  • Remove stickers, do-dads, junk, gadgets, personalization, accessories and anything that makes a car look used, or like it still belongs to someone.
  • Cluttered signs, displays and flashy "For Sale" stickers almost always end up backfiring on the seller. Simply put, it looks desperate. Besides, buyers usually know what they're looking for before they arrive at our lot. If they don't, they'll at least want easy access to a vehicle.
  • You can post the results of you Kelley Blue Book Private Party valuation to help buyers who may be incorrectly valuing your vehicle themselves, due to incorrect information.
  • In your vehicle profile, list positives about the vehicle like "low mileage" and "no accidents," but be careful about listing all the repairs you've done, especially expensive ones, as that can seem like a potential problem to some buyers.
  • Make sure your price and phone number are correct on your vehicle's profile and that they're prominently displayed to avoid confusion about whether it's a private party or a dealership that's selling the vehicle.
  • Typically, the less window postings you use, the better. Only put up information (like the original factory sticker) if it shows that your offer is unbelievably lower than what a buyer could negotiate at a dealership today.

* Bonus: More Helpful Tips

  • Make sure any and all fluids are filled up and clean.
  • There is great value (to you) in having your car professionally detailed. Dirty cars turn buyers away and can even drive down price.
  • If a buyer wants you to come immediately to the lot for a test drive, on the phone, make certain that he or she is thinking of the same price range as you before driving out. You can also save driving trips to the lot by making sure they have seen the vehicle before you come down here.
  • Check that all of the contact information you provide us with is accurate! We have seen sales lost due to wrong numbers, full voicemails, etc. You can even list your contact numbers in your vehicle profile so buyers can call you ASAP.

... and most importantly ...

  • Understand that Lodi Park and Sell is a non-traditional, but proven way to sell your vehicle. Seeing as how we place a great deal of emphasis on ensuring that your potential buyers are based only on quality, you're bound to get the best deal possible!

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