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Tips on selling 11 year old car?

DJsDA 1,975 443 June 12, 2016 at 07:44 AM
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Last Edited by DJsDA June 15, 2016 at 07:20 AM
I have a ton of respect for the general intellect/financial savvy of the community here and just want to thank you all ahead of time for reading my post and offering great feedback/improving my quality of life as a member of this site over the years.

Anyway, I purchased a used Toyota Camry '06 that's fully loaded with ~110K miles on it a little over a year ago (mid 2015). The car was in great condition all around (single owner, all paperwork on all maintenance/service work, no body damage, no accidents, everything worked perfectly, etc.)

The car is still in perfect mechanical condition, although there's now some body damage and some misc. issues with the functionality of the car. Here are the issues/damage:

1. Pretty significant scratch/scrape from a side swipe that is now showing a little bit of rusting (window was scraped pretty significantly in the side swipe as well).
2. The motor on the front passenger side window no longer works either (have to keep the window up or the window falls into the door).
3. The car has several 'maintenance' items due: brakes, transmission flush, oil change, air/engine filters, etc.

All in all, I'm guessing there's anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 in "damage" and maintenance due.

After looking up KBB value, the car seems to be worth $5-$6K in 'fair' condition in the 'private seller' market--I still owe about $7.5K on it. I'd like to sell this car, recouping as much money as possible.

Here are my questions to the community here:

1. Do I repair the body/get the maintenance work done/etc. or sell the car as is? (if so what work should i prioritize?)
2. What are some general tips to get as many potential buyers as possible and
3. Any other tips for selling safely/avoiding scams?

EDIT/UPDATE 6-15-2016:
Right side mirror area:


Rear right window area:

40 Comments

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#2
I think you'd be lucky to get $5-6k for a car as you describe, but pictures would be helpful. I assume you're above 120,000 miles now, too? The rusty body damage is going to severely limit your number of buyers -- lots of people are going to click right past your listing.

One other thing - how are the tires? Does the car need a new set of tires too?

Depending on your personal finances you might be best just fixing what you can, keeping the car safe but driving it until you can afford something else. The cosmetic stuff sucks, and the window is something you can just ignore, but you're going to take a big loss trying to sell it like that.
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#3
Thanks for replying. This isn't about whether I can afford something else. My goal is to sell the car recouping as much money as possible. But if I can't get at least KBB value in fair condition for the car $~5,000.00+ I would strongly consider keeping it. Outside of the scrape/scratch and the electric window not working, the car is in pretty good condition with all paperwork and only 1 previous owner. It's also worth mentioning that the 2006 Camry is generally considered one of the better Toyota models/used cars to buy. It's one of the few models on CarComplaints.com "seal of awesome, best vehicles" list: http://www.carcomplaints.com/best_vehicles/

I'll definitely get some pics up shortly of the damage.

I had a few pics on my phone of the car (this doesn't show the damage, but gives an idea of the general condition the car is in minus the scrape/scratch):




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Last edited by DJsDA June 12, 2016 at 09:36 AM.
#4
With all used cars when privately selling...make sure you have buying party sign a document that states the car is sold as is. Will save you from any headaches down the road. You have no idea if the car is going to break down after 10 miles or 10,000 miles...protect yourself.
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#5
Quote from FHRITP View Post :
With all used cars when privately selling...make sure you have buying party sign a document that states the car is sold as is. Will save you from any headaches down the road. You have no idea if the car is going to break down after 10 miles or 10,000 miles...protect yourself.
This is fantastic advice..thanks.
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#6
Quote from FHRITP View Post :
With all used cars when privately selling...make sure you have buying party sign a document that states the car is sold as is. Will save you from any headaches down the road. You have no idea if the car is going to break down after 10 miles or 10,000 miles...protect yourself.

^^^Yes!!!

In addition:

1. The instant ownership transfers, contact your DMV and report the car as sold. You can usually do this online. (Make sure you remove the plates and any registration paperwork - subject to your states vehicle laws). This is critical to avoid any liability.

2. For a local transaction only accept dead presidents for payment

3. If it's a remote sale, then only accept a wire transfer and don't release anything until your bank confirms receipt of the funding.

4. Get a Carfax report that you can provide prospective buyers.


IMHO KBB is always too optimist in private part values. Try Edmunds and NADA also.

I would not sink any money into the car other then detailing. A lower price would be better IMHO. Priced right, I think it would sell pretty quickly.
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Last edited by henny June 12, 2016 at 09:43 AM.
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#7
Rusting scrape and window not working? Not exactly sure that is in "fair" shape. Unless someone is getting a great deal, they will rarely want to fix things right away in a used car. Considering that 95%+ of people buying a car have no mechanical/body/electrical experience, this would be a major turnoff.

Do you at least have maintenance records on it? That would give someone peace of mind.

As someone else mentioned, KBB is high. To be honest, I would only quickly check NADA and other guides. At the end of the day, it will come down to what is on your local Craigslist compared to your car. That is what you are being compared against in a private party sale.

You might have a great price, but if someone is lower for a similar car. Yours may not sell.
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#8
Thanks for all of the contributions. I'm going off of KBBs definition of fair:

Fair condition means that the vehicle has some mechanical or cosmetic defects and needs servicing but is still in reasonable running condition. This vehicle has a clean Title History, the paint, body and/or interior need work performed by a professional. The tires may need to be replaced. There may be some repairable rust damage.

The car has maintenance records, only 1 previous owner, in outstanding mechanical condition, etc. The power window needs to be fixed, and there's another window with a scratch (paint from other car) and there's a side swipe scrape that has began to rust (these are relatively unnoticeable unless close up/inspecting it). Will have some pics up shortly.

Some maintenance stuff is due at 120K miles which I just barely got to now (brakes, engine filter, transmission fluid replacement, etc.) but wanted to get the opinion of the board before investing in this maintenance work because I know I will be selling soon.

Also, more feedback regarding the actual selling process would be highly appreciated. I know my car isn't perfect--I'm not trying to say it is or anything. Looking for tips on selling a car with some bumps and bruises and any other private seller experience anybody has that they can share.

Thanks.
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Last edited by DJsDA June 12, 2016 at 01:10 PM.

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#9
Quote from DJsDA View Post :
Thanks for all of the contributions.

Also, more feedback regarding the actual selling process would be highly appreciated. I know my car isn't perfect--I'm not trying to say it is or anything. Looking for tips on selling a car with some bumps and bruises and any other private seller experience anybody has that they can share.

Thanks.
1. Detail it. Anything funky like pink dice hanging from rearview - box up and move to your next car. You can detail it yourself. Maybe use few qtips. Wash - Wax - Vacuum - Armor All. your pics look pretty clean and neutral

2. Put it on Craigslist. Start at a price that will make you happy. Assume that MANY of CL people will try to offer you half. I sometimes ask for $24.99 and I won't accept a penny less. NO I WON'T ACCEPT $24.98. Gets rid of some of the low ballers. If you want some negotiation room - Know your very bottom number going in. I would use a Google Number instead of your cell number. You can tell if someone is serious by questions they ask. Put one listing today. & one in two days a little bit different so you don't get flagged for reposting. Then CL make you wait few days before you can bump (renew) it to top. If it's not at the top, it probably won't get read/seen. If you get no activity (calls emails), you are priced too high. Lower the price. If you have 8 million calls your are priced too low.

3. Meet them somewhere public. Our local police station actually encourages people to meet there.

4. I personally disclose EVERYTHING. But don't say stuff like rusty bad scrape on side. Say scrape on side and put a good picture. They can decide if it's bad to them or not. Show everything in your CL ad. Then I will stand off and let them do their thing/inspection/smell test/evil spirit test - as long it doesn't hurt your car. Don't crowd them/rush them. & don't talk too much. Don't sell be quiet, but do answer their questions but not a whole lot of detail. I'm not sure what I would do with the maintenance. I probably would not do the maintenance, but would disclose it in the CL ad. (most people just look at pics anyway)

5. My experience is about 1/3 of the CL people will actually show up. Text them before you go hour or so. Sometimes I say I need to move the appointment back 10 minutes are they ok with that. If they don't respond, they aren't coming.

6. You aren't probably going to get the very TOP of what you want. So try to get in between your TOP price and what you are willing to accept.

7. Be ok with if it doesn't sell - oh well no rush.

Don't overthink it. Disclose and put it on Craigslist. & you can start with a high price - no activity - lower it. Pretty much what Realtors do with price. & you gotta answer your phone when you are trying to sell it. Don't let it go to voicemail.

One more thing - tax title license on next vehicle will cost you. Then you get another car payment. I have a 1998 chevy prizm (toyota engine) I bought new. Has 308,000 miles. AC doesn't work but would rather have an extra $300 or $400/month. & I don't carry comp or collision. Car has been like printing money. NO CAR payment. but gotta do what you think will make you happy. Guessing different car make you happy for 6months maybe? Then you still have a car payment for 66 more months?
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Last edited by tennis4789 June 12, 2016 at 03:51 PM.
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#10
Quote from tennis4789 View Post :
One more thing - tax title license on next vehicle will cost you. Then you get another car payment. I have a 1998 chevy prizm (toyota engine) I bought new. Has 308,000 miles. AC doesn't work but would rather have an extra $300 or $400/month. & I don't carry comp or collision. Car has been like printing money. NO CAR payment. but gotta do what you think will make you happy. Guessing different car make you happy for 6months maybe? Then you still have a car payment for 66 more months?
Yeah, we all sort of skipped over that part of the post.

Why get rid of the car? Should have just kept driving it. He is already throwing money away on this car (owes 7.5k??? Might end up with 4-5K or so for the car).

I used to cycle through cars frequently and spent way too much time worrying about where I park them, keeping them clean, etc. Now, I see how much of a waste of time and money that was. Have paid off cars with over 100K miles and one looks like crap, but it runs great and I don't mind parking in the smallest of spots, haha. Time and money saved!
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Quote from tennis8363 View Post :
Yeah, we all sort of skipped over that part of the post.

Why get rid of the car? Should have just kept driving it. He is already throwing money away on this car (owes 7.5k??? Might end up with 4-5K or so for the car).

I used to cycle through cars frequently and spent way too much time worrying about where I park them, keeping them clean, etc. Now, I see how much of a waste of time and money that was. Have paid off cars with over 100K miles and one looks like crap, but it runs great and I don't mind parking in the smallest of spots, haha. Time and money saved!
Great Screen Name!

Yeah just guessing he's a guy that might want to impress the ladies. Just think if you buy a really expensive car the lady will expect that. It's like 300,000 guys do a search looking for a frugal woman. While 3,000 women do a search looking for a frugal guy. Hmmm.

& next parking OP goes to with new car. Cart goes rolling. New Dent. & with maybe $500 deductible....

I've got two dogs so actually makes me happy I'm not leaving them in $10,000 cars. I NEVER LEAVE THEM WHEN IT IS HOT/SUNNY OUT. Don't need cooked poochies.
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#12
Quote from DJsDA View Post :
1. Pretty significant scratch/scrape from a side swipe that is now showing a little bit of rusting (window was scraped pretty significantly in the side swipe as well).
2. The motor on the front passenger side window no longer works either (have to keep the window up or the window falls into the door).
3. The car has several 'maintenance' items due: brakes, transmission flush, oil change, air/engine filters, etc.

All in all, I'm guessing there's anywhere from $1,000-$2,000 in "damage" and maintenance due.
Quote from DJsDA View Post :
Thanks for all of the contributions. I'm going off of KBBs definition of fair:

Fair condition means that the vehicle has some mechanical or cosmetic defects and needs servicing but is still in reasonable running condition. This vehicle has a clean Title History, the paint, body and/or interior need work performed by a professional. The tires may need to be replaced. There may be some repairable rust damage.

The car has maintenance records, only 1 previous owner, in outstanding mechanical condition, etc. The power window needs to be fixed, and there's another window with a scratch (paint from other car) and there's a side swipe scrape that has began to rust (these are relatively unnoticeable unless close up/inspecting it). Will have some pics up shortly.

Some maintenance stuff is due at 120K miles which I just barely got to now (brakes, engine filter, transmission fluid replacement, etc.) but wanted to get the opinion of the board before investing in this maintenance work because I know I will be selling soon.

Also, more feedback regarding the actual selling process would be highly appreciated. I know my car isn't perfect--I'm not trying to say it is or anything. Looking for tips on selling a car with some bumps and bruises and any other private seller experience anybody has that they can share.

Thanks.
The amount of damage and repairs that you have described don't fall within the scope of KBB's definition of "Fair." Based on the condition you have described, I would consider the vehicle to be in poor condition. Consider that we're talking about damage that is potentially equal to 1/3 the value of the car. Add in the cost of your maintenance items that could easily near $1,000 depending on where you get it done and whether you need pads/rotors all around, etc. and now you're potentially looking at repairs totaling roughly half the car's value. When deciding what to repair I would look at what other people in your area are getting for the same vehicles. Is a mint vehicle fetching full private party book or a little/lot less? As an aside, insurance companies, dealerships, etc. typically go by NADA so I would use that as your guide to pricing the vehicle.


Quote from tennis4789 View Post :
1. Detail it. Anything funky like pink dice hanging from rearview - box up and move to your next car. You can detail it yourself. Maybe use few qtips. Wash - Wax - Vacuum - Armor All. your pics look pretty clean and neutral
Yes, yes, 1000x yes. I detailed my SUV before selling it - and did it as a professional would. I couldn't even believe it was the same truck when I was done. I was initially going to list it for ~$1,800 (fair value) but after I saw how nice it looked in/out when detailed, I listed it for $3,100 (top private party value) in hopes of getting $2,600. Ultimately I got $2,700 for it. The point is that you would be amazed at how much value there is in doing a really thorough cleaning job.

Quote from tennis4789 View Post :
2. Put it on Craigslist. Start at a price that will make you happy. Assume that MANY of CL people will try to offer you half. I sometimes ask for $24.99 and I won't accept a penny less. NO I WON'T ACCEPT $24.98. Gets rid of some of the low ballers. If you want some negotiation room - Know your very bottom number going in. I would use a Google Number instead of your cell number. You can tell if someone is serious by questions they ask. Put one listing today. & one in two days a little bit different so you don't get flagged for reposting. Then CL make you wait few days before you can bump (renew) it to top. If it's not at the top, it probably won't get read/seen. If you get no activity (calls emails), you are priced too high. Lower the price. If you have 8 million calls your are priced too low.
I had TWO people ask me if they could make payments. One guy even told me he can't get a car loan because he has so much bad debt. Wait, you're telling me you never pay your bills and now you want me to loan you money?! laugh out loud

Anyway, always assume people on CL are going to haggle or lowball you. I price everything on CL 10-20% above what I want to get for it. That way the bargainers can feel good about getting me to bring the price down and I can still get what I wanted all along. I don't deal with low ballers. They aren't serious about buying unless they get some insane deal they can turn for a profit (e.g. the guy who offers you $2K for a $4K car). They're a waste of time so just blow them off and save yourself the headache.
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As the username says ...
#13
Quote from ManUpOrShutUp View Post :

Yes, yes, 1000x yes. I detailed my SUV before selling it - and did it as a professional would. I couldn't even believe it was the same truck when I was done. I was initially going to list it for ~$1,800 (fair value) but after I saw how nice it looked in/out when detailed, I listed it for $3,100 (top private party value) in hopes of getting $2,600. Ultimately I got $2,700 for it. The point is that you would be amazed at how much value there is in doing a really thorough cleaning job.
Some people after they prep their houses to sell are like, I don't want to sell. SOOO detail the heck out of your Camry and keep it. Problem solved!
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#14
Depending on what's wrong with the window, it could be an easy fix. I had a 1998 Grand Prix that would eat through window regulators. I replaced at least 3 on that car off ebay for like $60/ea and the work wasn't bad at all. What I am saying is that it could be a very easy DIY fix that could really improve the asking price for the car.

Also it looks in one of the photos as if the headlights are fogged (although not in the second photo). This is easily fixed with a $10 buffing kit you can get from WM/Amazon. Chalk that up with the detailing that everyone else mentions, but again something very simple that could pay off.
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#15
That car has very little value. You are stuck driving it until it is paid off or you can come up with $6k that you will still owe after you sell it. You will not get a lien release until you pay the deficiency. I suspect you could not get more than $1500 for it. Think of the market for an 11 year old vehicle with high miles that needs major repairs and has been in a major accident. This group does not have the money even if they were stupid enough to pay too much for it. And yes, as others have said, with the group that would be interested in that car, CASH and carry ONLY.
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