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Buying & Selling

3 Reasons You Should Sell Your Car Instead of Trading In

I used to see it all the time when I worked as a car salesperson – an excited customer would walk through the door ready to buy a new car… but they had a trade-in they had to get rid of first – I instantly knew that I could use this as leverage to get them to pay more for their new car. Negotiating with car salespeople can be stressful and nerve-wracking, we’re specifically trained in sales techniques and tactics to get more money from customers when they buy a car. Salespeople do this every day, you don’t need to make it any harder on yourself than it already is, and one way you can really help yourself is to sell your car instead of trading it in. Here’s three reasons why:

1) When you sell your car instead of trading you increase your negotiating power.

Most dealers do not want to give you the highest cash trade-in value for your car. Many dealers pull an insider trick to show you “more” for the trade instead of a discounting the new car that you want to buy. It’s a classic sales technique, and for the dealers, it usually works. By removing your trade-in it clears the air and you can negotiate the best price on the car you are buying, free of any smoke and mirror tricks.

If the dealer you’re negotiating with is the kind that does not negotiate on the price at all, it’s even more important to sell your old car instead of trading. The reason? If the price is “set” then the dealer is going to try even harder to reduce the value or “shave” the price of your trade to increase the profit on the car they’re selling you. “Shaving” a trade is a sales technique that sales departments use to further reduce the trade-in value even further past their own appraisal. For example, if they “appraise” your cars value at $5,000 then later in negotiations they’ll return and try to reduce the amount from $5,000 even more.

2) When you have cash to put down without a trade-in you are taken more seriously.

Trade-in values are one of the major reasons many new car deals fall apart, because they really muddy the waters. For example, the salesperson has no idea how much you want for the car (reasonable in their eyes or not) or what mood the appraiser is in. Without a trade-in the salesperson can focus on the car you want to buy and you both can focus on the price of that car only. When you have a trade-in, not only do you have to negotiate the price of a car, you have to negotiate the price of two cars and include the appraisal department (whose job is to buy cars cheap as possible!). If you sell your car before sitting down,  it makes the process a lot smoother for both sides if there’s no trade.

3) Without a trade-in you can easily shop your new car to get the best price.

Different models and price ranges have different amount of mark up to work with. By removing the trade you will be able to compare prices easily because you’ve removed a huge variable that will not only change depending upon which dealer you’re at, but even which car you’re looking at.

Ready to Sell Your Car? Submit Your Vehicles Info Here To Get An Offer To Buy From Rocket Auto Buyers

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When Is the Right Time to Sell Your Car?

Selling a car can almost be as stressful as buying one – maybe it’s because it’s almost always timed with buying a new car, or because you’re parting with a vehicle you know and love. Regardless, it’s a difficult process and there’s always a big question as to when is the right time to sell your car?
So, when is the right time to sell your car?
To us, there’s only one answer to this question: when you can get the most money. Whatever your reason is, that’s fine, but let’s maximize the value of your car within the market first and foremost. When that time comes, here’s what you need to do to make sure you exit on a high-note. First impressions matter.

What You SHOULD Fix

Replace hubcaps, wheel covers, inexpensive interior and exterior plastics that are worn or missing (a/c vents, radio knobs, power buttons, etc), wiper blades, burnt out bulbs, and have the oil checked or changed. These are simple but really help the first impression.
Tires are big one – a fresh(er) pair of sneakers on a car can get you a long way. We say fresher because you can buy used tires, that’s a thing! There’s plenty of local tire shops that will gladly put on a set of used tires with 50% life left: you can spend less than $200 and get up to $1,000 more for your car when it’s all said and done in some cases. If you’re not going to replace them, for heaven’s sake at least make sure they have the right PSI.

How to Deal with Major Issues

It’s ok if something major doesn’t work on your car, however you at least find out what’s wrong before going to sell it. This goes against some people’s natural instincts: after all, isn’t telling people something is wrong going to weaken my bargaining power? Absolutely not. For example: if someone turns on the A/C and it blows hot, they’re automatically going to assume the worst and think it needs a complete overhaul, compressor and all. This will take a $1,000 bite out of your price. However, if you know for a fact that it’s just a belt, that’s a <$100 fix and can be visually confirmed with a quick crack of the hood. It’s merely a speed-bump in your conversation, with little profit lost. Be upfront an communicate clearly. You won’t fool anyone that has a trained eye.
If you have any A/C, power windows, transmission, or even engine issues it might be to expensive but you need to find out. You might be pleasantly surprised and the worst that can happen is your exit will be quicker and more profitable when you go to sell.
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Buying & Selling

3 Things to Look For When Buying a Used Car

At Rocket Auto Buyers, we buy cars – however if you’re selling a car you’re likely also about to buy one. How quickly the shoe ends up on the other foot!

Knowing what to look for will also help you figure out what a potential buyer might think is important when they view your soon-to-be former vehicle for the first time. Here’s 3 things to look for:

1. Small Indicators of Maintenance History

Droopy headliner, a knob missing from the radio, long-gone windshield wipers. These seem like tiny little things… after all, each could be easily fixed for less than $30, right? Exactly. If the previous owner couldn’t even bring themselves to replace a $6 volume knob, what other more serious maintenance did they ignore? These seem like petty things, but when you’re considering a vehicle to buy you can’t ignore these things.

2. Engine Lights

Engine lights aren’t actually as big a deal as most people think – most of the time. For example, 90% of “Check Engine” lights are actually triggered by a loose gas cap. Tightening or replacing the cap can usually fix this. Other lights may be something more serious, but don’t think of engine lights as an automatic death-sentence. If you want to be really thorough, get one of these $14 diagnostics tools and ask permission to do a quick scan when you’re viewing the vehicle to translate any codes or engine lights for you. If the owner of the vehicle gets defensive or declines, you should probably walk away anyways. If you see a scan is something minor like a gas-cap, you know you’re in the clear and you can now use this as ammo in your negotiations.

3. Dodgy or Dishonest Answers

There’s something about every car that the owner probably wishes didn’t exist, something broken or damaged that they think will hurt the value. Chances are, it probably will. nobody wants to buy a car with warm A/C or funny sound when it’s warming up. There’s nothing wrong with this, life happens, it’s ok if something is broken on a car, however if this is the case you should always be upfront about it (and expect it the other way around). If the owner of the car you’re looking at isn’t reciprocating, this is a red flag. There’s no such thing as a white lie when it comes to selling a car, only how much it will cost you to fix.