Do NOT Trade in Your Used Car Until You Read This!
Have you ever tried selling a car yourself? Spoiler alert: it sucks.
Meticulously typing up Craigslist ads, entering your phone number in a mixed text and number format – hoping that the scammers might leave you alone, but still getting texts from the prince of Egypt at 3 AM claiming to pay 2 grand more than your asking price.
Sigh…Just thinking about it makes me want to punch a hole in the drywall with my forehead.
I’ve gone through this painstaking process a couple of times, because I am too damn stubborn to just take a loss and trade in my car for whatever spare change a car dealer happens to have in his pocket when I stop by.
But I just found out about something recently that I wish I had known a LONG time ago. There is actually a pretty viable alternative commonly referred to as vehicle consignment.
Consignment is kind of like the automotive industry’s best kept secret; it can be difficult to find a lot that does it, and even more difficult to find a lot that specializes in it.
In case you’re wondering – vehicle consignment is pretty much the same as regular consignment. I don’t want to bore you with details so I’ll just give you the gist of my experience in bullet notes:
- I saw an ad online for a dealership that specialized in consignment, I read into it, and I decided to try it.
- I took the car that I had been trying to sell independently for the past 3 months to the lot, talked to a sales rep and agreed on a price based on book values, make, model, etc.
- Went about business as usual – going to work, taking the kids to school – you know the drill.
- Get a call a couple of weeks later from aforementioned sales rep telling me they just sold my car.
- Collected my check and made about $2000 more than I would have selling the car myself.
Just to clarify, that’s $2000 AFTER the dealership took out fees and commission.
Needless to say I was pretty happy. I even turned around and used the money I made to buy a motorcycle from that same dealership.
I think one of the coolest things about consigning a car (aside from the money of course) is the fact that the dealer wants to sell the car just as badly as you, so they treat it just like any of the other cars on the lot that they own outright.
One piece of advice that I can give you is to go through ACTUAL consignment lots rather than used lots that do consignments. I can tell you firsthand because I asked a couple of other dealers out of curiosity, and I realized that dealers that don’t specialize in consignment seem to want to charge outrageous amounts compared to dealerships that do consignment regularly, or as their primary method of selling.
Anyway, I just wanted to share my experience because I think the process is pretty sweet. You might not understand unless you’ve sold a car independently before, but the convenience alone is worth paying for.
There really aren’t many downsides to consignment. Just makes sure to go through a reputable dealer that specializes in consignment and has their own insurance, and I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results.