When you’ve finally made the decision to sell your car, attracting a buyer as quickly as possible means the quicker you can help finance your next vehicle or boost your savings.
But what are the key factors to passing on your car keys in the shortest amount of time? How do you make your car stand out in Gumtree’s popular classifieds section?
We decided to find out by talking to a Gumtree user who managed to pique the interest of a buyer for his car in the space of a day.
How to Sell Your Car in 24 Hours
Gavin, a 37-year-old from Penrith, NSW, is a regular advertiser on Gumtree, and he spoke to Gumtree about how he sold his 2005 Ford Falcon XR8 ute.
The sale was prompted by the birth of a second child, with Gavin and his wife deciding to offload the least practical of their two vehicles (they also own a Mazda 3).
“I’ve sold heaps of stuff through Gumtree, not just cars, and the site is a piece of cake to use,” says Gavin. “It’s also free where some other sites are getting so expensive [to advertise].”
Gavin says the first step was to assess the worth of his Falcon ute by checking similar XR8 models featured on Gumtree to compare vehicle condition and kilometres travelled.
He filled in all the requisite Gumtree ad boxes without going overboard with extra embellishments, though ensuring he had included details such as key vehicle features, when the car was last serviced, and where it was kept when not being driven (garage, carport, etc).
Gavin says it’s also important to be as honest as you can, without necessarily listing a whole range of negatives.
“I wrote ‘Regretful sale’ on the ad as it lets people know you don’t really want to get rid of the car – which was absolutely true. I’d had the XR8 ute for about four years and loved it.
“And I mentioned there had been a slight oil leak from gearbox, which was the only issue I found.”
Gavin also believes using the word ‘Negotiable’ is important when advertising a price for your vehicle.
“I think you need to give people some room to move [on price]. If they’re nice people, I’ll usually look after them with a discount! And I’ve met some wonderful people over the years through Gumtree.”
While words and pricing are important, Gavin also stresses the need to get your vehicle appropriately prepared and photographed.
“I give the car a pressure-wash if it’s particularly dirty, then I give the car a polish, clean up the tyres, and vacuum the interior. I’m fastidious with all my cars and bikes and try to make them look like a million bucks. I’d walk away if looking at a car [for sale] and it wasn’t presented well.
“I take photos using my smartphone, which makes uploading straight to Gumtree simple.
“Just make sure it’s a beautiful day and make sure every angle of the car is photographed. I open up all the doors and take shots of the interior and dash. I took the tonneau cover off the back of the XR8 so I could photograph the tray. And don’t forget images of the engine and wheels.
“The photographs can help show potential buyers that you’ve looked after the car.”
It wasn’t long before several messages of interest were popping up on Gavin’s phone, though it was a more obscure one that led to the sale.
“I had a text asking if I could ring this number… I thought it might be a scam, but he was a genuine guy from Bathurst who had a pre-paid phone plan and had simply run out of credit to make a phone call.
“He was actually looking for a six-cylinder Falcon ute but my [V8-powered] XR8 had caught his eye and he decided he just had to have it!”
Although Gavin paid $7000 when he bought the XR8 ute second-hand himself, he advertised it at $10,000 Negotiable based on his Gumtree research.
It’s clear that Australian-built cars such as the Ford Falcon and Holden Commodore, especially the iconic ute variants, are capable of appreciating in value now that local manufacturing has ended.
And there was further proof when the buyer from Bathurst offered Gavin $9500 in cash after taking the XR8 for a spin.
“He loved it,” says Gavin.