Selling guide

Negotiating the best price when selling your car

Before selling, here are some tips to prepare you for negotiation.

How to negotiate the best price?

During the process of selling your car, many buyers will make you go through some form of negotiation – everyone wants a good deal. How can you be prepared?

1. Know what your car is worth

It's a good idea to go into negotiations with your desired price in mind. But it’s also important to know what your car is worth today. Trade Me’s ‘Value My Car’ tool, will help you determine its worth based on recent sales of similar cars.

2. Understand the factors that might push the value above the average

When negotiating, mention all the positive aspects of your car, including any improvements or work you’ve had done on it. Ensure you have the documentation to prove any improvements. 

Some of the factors that might help increase the value of your car include:

  • Being in excellent condition.
  • A great service history.
  • Extra features, including work or improvements you’ve made.
  • Being a popular colour.

3. Optimise your Trade Me listing

Price negotiation can only be done through a classified or ‘asking price’ listing. If you’ve listed as a classified listing, buyers can try to negotiate the price and allow you to accept ‘near offers’. If a car is won in an auction, then they can’t negotiate a deal – the winner has to pay the price of the winning bid.

4. Presentation is everything

Ensure your car is clean and well presented to your prospective buyer. This will give the impression that it’s worth more and likely make your negotiations easier.

5. Be prepared for common scenarios

Know the common offer approaches and be ready with your response. Here are some examples:

“Would you take $XXX?” 

In this instance, it’s likely they are open to counter offers. Leverage this to make an offer above theirs. You might respond with “I’ll tell you what, I’ll offer you $XXX less than my original offer of $XXX”

"My final offer is $XXX" 

While this sounds definitive, there’s a chance that they have a small amount of wriggle room. If their offer is close to what you’re expecting, this could be an opportunity to counter offer a fraction higher.

“We are interested but…” 

Here’s where you need to be prepared with answers about any concerns, or reinforce your price by reminding them of the great things about your car. This could also be an opportunity to ask them how much they’re willing to pay.

6. Create urgency

If you’ve got other offers or people viewing the vehicle, be sure to let the customer know. They will likely feel the pressure to say yes on the spot, so they’re not at risk of losing their opportunity.

It pays to be organised to create a smooth sale process and minimise the risk of them changing their mind.

So, you’re all set for your negotiations.

Now it’s time to make sure you’ve got all of the necessary paperwork and the payment has been received.

Don’t worry, we can help you with these steps too: