How To: Sell a car online

Sell a car online

Thinking of selling your car on the internet? Make sure you don't get taken for a ride.

You Will Need

* A camera
* A fair price
* An appealing ad
* A website on which to post it
* Safety precautions

Step 1. Take a picture

Get your car washed and then take a good picture of it with a pleasant background.

Step 2. Research your car's value

Look up your car's value on and price it accordingly. That's what many potential buyers will use to determine if your advertised price is fair.

Step 3. Write an ad

Write an ad that includes the make, model, year, engine type, mileage, and price. If the car is in excellent condition and/or gets great gas mileage, say so. But don't lie to potential buyers; it will just waste your time and theirs.

Step 4. Place the ad

Decide where to place the ad. Choose high-traffic car-selling sites like,, and eBay's car section.

Step 5. Take precautions

Take an extra precautionary step and weed out con artists whose addresses and phone numbers can't be verified. Check the phonebook and online directories.

Step 6. Go on test drives

Meet potential buyers at a public place for test drives. Always go with them, and never get out of the car unless you have the keys in your hand.

Step 7. Talk up the car

Seal the deal by pointing out any and all pluses.

Step 8. Get paid first

Wait until you're paid in full to transfer title of your car. If you receive a check, call the buyer's bank and ask whether there are enough funds to cover it. Then wait for it to clear. Remember, just because you've deposited a check into your account does not mean that the funds have been transferred.

Fact: Cars advertised with photos sell three times faster than those that aren't.

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