Tips for selling your car on eBay

eBay is one of the most popular venues for selling cars in the UK. It’s not the most popular nor will it necessarily get you the most money, but it’s relatively quick and will often lead to a greater return than selling to a dealer. If you live in a remote area you’re more likely to get a good price on eBay than local classifieds, but in big cities private sales will often get you a beter price. But there’s big variations of how much similar cars sell for on eBay much of which are simply down to lack of savviness of the part of the sellers.

So if you’ve decided you are selling on eBay then let’s get down to tips. In your description of the car it’s important to be honest, but in a way that doesn’t put people off purchasing. List all the faults, failing to do so can lead to winning bidders failing to complete the sale, and consider including photos of any significant ones, but also list what is working well about the car. If damage is mainly cosmetic or hardly affects the car then say so rather than just listing the fault. Potential buyers are often put off bidding if they have any uncertainties about the road worthiness of the car, so put their mind to rest by reassuring them that any faults and damage won’t affect their ability to drive (unless, of course, they do).

No matter how thorough you are in your listing it’s likely some potential buyers will have more questions. Some are happy with the eBay messaging system and will contact you with this (make sure you reply promptly, buyers might find an alternative car that matches their requirements if you don’t), but others will prefer to contact you using more traditional methods. Including a phone number can really increase the number of viewings your car gets and increases your trustworthiness to those who don’t feel they need to call.

Advertising that you’re open to arranging viewings and allowing test drives will get you a higher price, but you need to maintain your own privacy and safety when doing this. Meet the potential buyer in a public location with CCTV such as a supermarket car park and never let them drive without you in the vehicle. Don’t list your address publicly and the more cautious sellers should consider insisting on a good eBay feedback profile from potential buyers for a test drive to be part of the viewing.

Include plenty of good quality photos of the car. eBay keep changing their pricing and rules, but typically the best way is to upload the photos elsewhere so you don’t have to pay eBay extra for the privilege. Good lighting without having too much flash glare is key to allowing viewers to get a true picture of your car. Try to photograph it from multiple external angles and to cover all the interiors including the boot. If you forget to photograph somewhere you’ll find potential buyers ask for them during the auction, so you might as well photograph everywhere at the start.

Starting with a low bid is a great way of getting interest. While buyers can watch auctions, more motivating for them to buy the car is actually placing a bid. You can use a reserve to avoid your car selling under its value. We’d also recommend only allowing UK based bidders as there’s complications with exporting cars.