Selling a car alone is challenging for anyone, but a classic or other specialty cars just complicates matters. But don’t fret, we have solutions for you that will make the process a little less painful and tedious, all while driving qualified buyers to your inbox.
The first thing you need to ask yourself is how to determine the value of a classic car so you don’t over or underprice your car. This could be a deal killer from the start if you miss this.
Let’s get started.
What’s the Best Way to Sell a Classic Car Online?
There Are 4 Basic Steps to Successfully Sell Your Classic Car Online
1. Prep Your Car To Sell Online Properly.
2. Submit Your Car To Successful sites that have targeted traffic.
3. Social Media Tips and Places To sell your classic car fast.
4. Avoid attracting the wrong type of buyer, or tire kickers.
We’re going to lay out a clear path for you to follow to make life easier. We’ll give you a few additional bonus steps at the end to make sure you have that extra edge, making it happen faster, with much less stress and eliminating the tire kickers.
How to Prep Your Classic Car to Sell Online
Have the Car Detailed by Professionals
Sounds like common sense… right? Well, you would be surprised how many will skip this part of the process. It’s critical because of the next step. Don’t shortcut, have it detailed and make sure the undercarriage is also clean. Make sure the interior is clean enough to eat food off of it safely (figure of speech).
If a picture is worth a thousand words, you need as many thousands of words as you can get. Pictures give potential buyers a good idea of the shape the car is in. If the colors are bright and clear and the condition is easily checked from the pics, you’ll get more contacts from potential buyers.
E-commerce sites spend a lot of money on images for their products for a reason. The better the pics, the more sales you create. It’s really that simple. Find a professional photographer, schedule them for the day it’s detailed. Don’t give time for the car to get dirty before the photographer shows up.
Background for the Pics
Make sure the pics are taken in a location that is fitting of producing glorious pictures. You can usually find a local park or landmark to take the pics at. The background is just as important as the car. It’s a psychological fact that backgrounds help sell. Take the time to make sure you have it right the first time or you end up with tire kickers calling or contacting you.
If you don’t know of a good location, a professional photographer will likely have a solution for you.
Here is an example of a beautiful background compared to lessor backgrounds.
Make Sure It’s A Beautiful Day
The glimmer and brightness of a beautiful car and day will make the pics all the better. Natural light, a great background and your beautiful car with a fresh detail will give the potential buyer a happy mood while they are looking at your pics. You want great emotions boiling over while they gaze at your beautiful car.
Make sure you keep a folder on your computer with every photo taken by the photographer.
Most places online that you can list or advertise your car has a limit on images that you can upload, but the ones you choose initially may not be the pics the potential buyer will want to see. If you have other images you can send them, you increase the odds of a sale or at least a next step in the process.
An example would be a trunk space. Some will want more detailed pics of different parts of the car to assess the condition of different potential problems that are known to that car or any car for that matter.
Make Sure You Have Images of Documentation of Your Classic Car
Here’s what you’ll need:
- A Clear Title
- Maintenance Records
- Any Other Pertinent Documentation
These images do not need a professional photographer, but having them can close a deal much faster by giving potential buyers the confidence that your car is the one they’re looking for. It eliminates the fear of wasting time with cars that are not up to their standards.
You do not put these images on any site, but you do mention it in the ad. It will get you twice the contacts, unlike the ones who don’t follow this step.
What Major Sites Should You Submit Your Classic Car To?
Now that we have the preparation completed, let’s start getting some buyers interested. Make sure you classify the car correctly. It should be in one of the following categories: Classic, Antique or Vintage. You also need to make sure you’re prepared to answer the many different questions people ask before buying a classic car.
Here Are The Top 5 Sites To Submit Your Classic Car To Online For Quick Sales
1. Autotrader Classics
85% of its traffic comes from the US. That’s a major plus if you or your car resides in the US. Even though you’ll not get as many contacts from it, the quality of buyers helps level the field for you, increasing the odds of a quick sale at premium prices.
Although this site is fairly new, it has a very simple and clean interface that makes getting set up a snap, even for us older folks who are not as internet savvy as the younger generations.
They have a huge online market that encompasses the world, giving you more reach with your ad. Just so you understand the scope of reach they have, 50% of their traffic is from overseas, mostly the UK and EU states, the other half is U.S. and Canadian traffic.
It’s quick, easy and has thousands and thousands of buyers hit their site daily looking for classics, antique and vintage cars. Trucks and motorcycles are also good to sell on this site.
It’s a must if you are serious about selling your car.
This site is well known in the classic car industry and is a must if you want qualified buyers to contact you. The site sports an amazing 2 million unique visitors a month, with 75% of them coming from the US alone. It’s not a prime site if your car is an extremely high-value car. It’s best for mid and lower priced or less than perfect classic cars.
If your car is very expensive (top tier), then you can skip it if you like, but I’ve found that it’s a great site to bring in qualified buyers at all levels. You just have to work a bit harder to qualify these buyers.
It’s a quicker and easier sale if you are lower to mid-range in price, and the car is properly categorized and fitting of the price.
I had to wrestle with myself on the order of these sites and Hemmings has been the longstanding king of online sales of the classics and other older cars and trucks. The site sports over three and a half million visitors each month, and all of them interested in classic cars.
It’s a must submit if you’re a serious seller and need your car to sell. The reach is absolutely incredible. This site is best if you have a medium to high-value car to sell. If your car needs work and lacks value due to condition or other factors.
5. eBay Motors
Even though you do get a lot of crazy offers and bids at times, just laugh and move onto the next buyer. eBay has an incredible amount of people looking for classics on their platform and the process is fairly easy if you are familiar with eBay already.
I would not say it’s a must to list on eBay Motors, but rather a should. You will likely have a lot of contacts from this site, but again, you’ll get lowballed daily if you have the prep right and your car looks awesome.
This is where the fun starts and where you can sell your car fast.
Statistics show that Facebook is one of the most prominent sites in social media, and people check social media first, before moving on to the other sites listed above.
It’s free to use and makes it where people can easily contact you without signing up for any of the other sites listed above.
Ready to get started?
1. Your Personal Facebook Timeline Or Your Own Page
Post to your personal Facebook timeline or build a “Facebook Page” where you can add all of the pics you have except the images of your documentation. The benefit of a “Page” is that you can add a lot of other pics you may have such as your car in a parade, a car show or other venues you have images of.
2. Facebook Buy, Sell and Trade
The Buy, sell and trade groups in your local area and others are a great place to advertise, but there are tricks you can use to gain additional reach. It will take a little work to get cranked up, but the potential rewards are incredible, and there are no fees associated with it like the major sites listed above.
Join Your Local and area buy, sell and trade groups. You can find them by simply typing in “buy, sell and trade” in the Facebook Search Bar. Then you need to select the “Groups” category to narrow the results down to what you are looking for.
Facebook will automatically show you the closest ones to your location by mileage and keep expanding.
You will see listings by miles from your location, but in the sidebar, you can expand that mileage to whatever distance you want.
Join each group and wait for moderator approval.
Once you are approved, ask the moderators about the rules, and then get busy.
3. Classic Car Groups
Select Groups again and look for classic car groups, join them. Once approved, talk to the moderators before you post to make sure you are following the rules.
Once you are good with the moderators and understand the rules in that group, post your ad. Use as many images as possible in these ads. Sit back and wait for the onslaught of replies and messages. I have literally had hundreds of contacts in under 24 hours from this method since some of these groups have a lot of members of people who are heavily into classic cars and are in the market to buy.
Some are dreamers, but some are very serious buyers and they scout these groups regularly.
There are many other car groups on Facebook, but remember to keep your targeting as tight as possible in these groups. You should never try to advertise a rock guitar in a gardening magazine, it’s not going to work out well for you.
Keep the groups you join as relevant as possible or you are wasting both your time and moderators time.
Keep it clean and you’ll see success.
Take your best images and add them to your Instagram page. Make sure you link in your bio area on Instagram to the Facebook post on your personal Facebook timeline or a Facebook Page you create for the car, or you can link to a page on one of the sites above such as
Reddit is a major site that has millions and millions of daily visitors, but the site is broken down into what’s known as subreddits. These are basically subcategories within the site. They have people submitting images of classic, antique, and vintage cars and vehicles. Here is an example of a post in one of the subreddits.
There is no link to see more in the image or description. Just take a link from one of the sites such as classiccars.com and once you have comments, post the link in the comments, just like the user in the link to Reddit. They were wise because after some comments are made, they go back in and add a link in the comments to your listing on classiccars.com or other sites you submit your car.
The above link to Reddit is a perfect example of how to do this. Pay attention to the users wording when they comment and drop the link. Reddit ranks in Google pretty well. This can bring more qualified traffic.
You can use the same method on Pinterest.
Just take a link to your add from one of the sites you listed on and pin the image to Pinterest. Make sure your description has the make, model and year on it, plus a little additional info. Don’t make it too long since Pinterest pins tend to rank well in Google.
Now you are getting search traffic on your pin for people looking for your exact model. The second benefit is it will likely also rank in Google images. The traffic these tactics bring are people who searched directly for your make, model and year of the vehicle you have for sale.
You just can’t get more targeted traffic than that.
One Final Step.
Start looking at transport. Unless the buyer is close, you may want to take a look at shipping options for the vehicle. This is likely the most complicated step in the process of selling a classic car, and it’s something you may want to research so that you’re prepared to handle the final steps of the transaction.
International transportation of vehicles is more trying than domestic transport, but both are easily overcome with a great company with the knowledge and experience to make sure your car is transported to it’s final destination safely and with all of the necessities from a legal and ethical point of view.
Follow these steps and you will make life a lot easier, making buyers hunt you instead of you hunting them, and ultimately finding the right buyer for your classic car.
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