trade-in or private sale question - Toyota FJ Cruiser Forum
Dealer Negotiations/Test Driving This area is for purchasing help, dealer negotations as well as test driving impressions.

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post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 02:03 PM Thread Starter
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trade-in or private sale question

Hi all,

I am going to either trade in my 04 Honda Element, or sell it private party. Either way, I have a question. What should I do to prepare my Element to get the most money out of it? It is in great condition, I have done all of the recommended maintenence. It has 3 dings, they are not dents, and there is not chipped paint, but they are noticable, should I get them fixed? Also, I just found a pin-prick size rust hole on the back today. Should I get that fixed, or do they expect this kind of stuff? Any help would be great, thanks all.
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post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 08:39 PM Thread Starter
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Re: trade-in or private sale question

no ideas?
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post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 09:09 PM
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Re: trade-in or private sale question

No matter what you do the potential buyer (dealer or private) will try to find a reason to get your price down. If you have a couple minor flaws, point them out to the prospective buyer and two things happen. One they appreciate your honesty, and two, many times the buyers stops trying to low ball the price. In the end you treat the buyer like you would like to be treated and generally both parties think they got a fair deal.

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post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 04-21-2006, 09:23 PM
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Re: trade-in or private sale question

I just sold my 9.5-year-old Subie for top dollar.

What I did:

* Paid for a mid-level detailing at the local shop. Wash inside and out, waxing, glass cleaned, tires dressed, shampooed the floor mats.

* Gathered all the service records, the pink slip, the registration, all the keys.

*I also printed off a bill of sale and Notice of Non-Responsibility forms from the DMV website.

* Cleared everything out of the car other than the paperwork above.

Took a picture, posted the pic and the ad on Craigslist. I had 6 emails in 6 hours, and the next day, the first looky-loo bought it for cash.

I was totally honest about it - there had been one fender replaced and painted after a fender-bender; I told him about it and had the repair records in the file. He was pleased because:

1) It was clean, the interior was perfect, and the outside had no dents, just door dings (which I disclosed in the ad, in advance, so he didn't "nitpick."

2) Having all the records reassured him that there was nothing to hide.

3) I brought along a CD, so he could see that the stereo worked well. I showed him how to use the CD changer.

After a test drive, he said "I want to buy it" and we went to the bank, where he withdrew the funds. He gave me the cash, I signed the bill of sale and pink slip, and we went back to the car where he drove it away. Just like that.

So my advice: CLEAN IT, post a photo, disclose the dings, gather the records, and price it fairly. You should be able to sell it quickly.


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Sold July 8, 2010

Factory: Convenience pkg, UP1, alarm, trailer hitch, passenger arm rest, side curtain airbags, carpeted mats

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