North America

Selling a Z

- Getting your Z Sold for Top-Dollar -

- Do the Work -

Cars that yield the best results (the most money) are CLEANED - interior, exterior and engine bay preparation is incredibly important.

How many times do you see posts with a single blurred photo, or at a car wash where the car was haphazardly cleaned...or where it's in a crowded garage, dusty and cluttered?

#1 - Clean the car.  Interior: vacuum/wipe down surfaces, glass, gauges/cluster.  Condition the leather/vinyl where applicable...steam clean fabrics to get stains and dirt out of the fabric.

#2 - De-clutter. You may like your interior accessories for your phone...water-bottle, or gym bag in your car, but when it comes to selling your car the buyer wants to "see the car" - not your stuff.  Remove ancillary stickers or other "stuff" that the car didn't come with, or is potentially hiding condition issues (i.e seat covers).

#3 - Polish & Primp - don't be afraid of condition issues, just try not to hide them.  If the car needs a buff to look better, spend $300-400 to have the car properly buffed out and cleaned.  If you can do this yourself, great (it'll save you money), but done wrongly can end up damaging trim, burning through old paint or causing other problems/headaches.  Clean the wheels / tires, and brake calipers (if visible), clean under-carriage items lower-edges of body elements/exhaust tips...

- Create a fact-based description -

Selling a vehicle can be MUCH easier and yield better results with simple honestly and a little bit of work.

#1 - Gather receipts for everything you can, scan the documents and put them in a folder to go to the next owner.  These items tell a story about the vehicle's history.  If the previous owner didn't have them but you know where the car was serviced, give them a call and see if you can get the history / copies of service performed.

#2 - Purchase a vehicle report - i.e. Carfax/AutoCheck...cost is ~$30-35 - a small amount to get familar with the car's history and helps you to be armed to answer questions from potential buyers.  Caveat - these services only capture "reported" events - title/mileage reports, reported accidents/incidents and services that are reported/attached to the vehicle's history.  It's not a catch-all, but it helps.

#3 - Create a description - detail the history of the car (summarized - don't need to recant every receipt/Carfax detail.  What's the model, make, trim-level, color, transmission type, engine type.  Detail wear-item conditions (i.e. tires, brakes...) - are the tires ~50% worn, brand new?  Have the brakes recently been completed?  Detailing condition accurately and being HONEST about any known issues helps save time and get more serious potential buyers to engage on your for-sale listing.

- Capture / Show Condition -

What captures your eye on a "for-sale" listing?  It's really not rocket-science, but does appear to be a common sense thing that...well...isn't all that common with sellers.  Your goal is to highlight the car's condition well...and do it in a way that excites potential buyers! If you don't take the time to capture the vehicle's condition well, you'll end up wasting your time trying to sell the car...or have a dozen requests for better photos anyway.  It's worth doing the work up-front!

#1 - Good pictures, more is better than fewer.  Take a look at any mainstream auction-house and how vehicles are documented in photos within the listing.  Usually ~20-50 exterior photos at various angles/vantage points...close-ups of nicks/dings, different settings/lighting...  Show the wheels, each body panel, glass-condition, tires, bumpers, etc.  For Interior, open the doors, get dash, door-panels, hatch interior, steering wheel, radio, console/glove box, seats (including bolster-wear areas), carpet, mats...  Engine-bay, yeah, this too! Many of us in the Z community mentally "judge" how a vehicle was cared-for by the cleanliness / condition of the engine-bay.  A clean bay will attract more than a bay that has 10 years of debris pilled up...dead bugs and leaves don't sell a car.  Dust is picked up in close-up photos, so cleaner the better!

#2 - Clean/Creative Settings help paint a picture of the car's assets.  Many sellers will take photos inside and outdoors...often with a park-like setting or indoor garage.  Natural lighting vs. Indoor lighting shows a car differently.  If you have the ability, show the car in different settings...and use a real camera (avoid low-quality cell-phone pictures).  If you have access to a ladder to take "top-down" photos this also helps.

#3 - Avoid using Filters and Photoshop to create an honest representation of the vehicle's condition.  The moment you start digitally altering a vehicle's photos, the more a potential buyer questions "what else" has been altered.  Natural photos sell a vehicle best.  Note - many auction sites won't accept digitally altered photos for this reason.