Sales Negotiation Strategies

The negotiation process isn't restricted to car buyers it may also pertain to car sellers, especially if those sellers are negotiable about the car's asking price. In this section, we'll talk about certain bargaining tactics you can utilize when selling your used car to a private party.

Step 1: Get the Value
Before you get excited about the prospect of selling your pre-owned car, you have to be realistic about its value. There are several ways you can determine what your used car is worth. First, you can research the NADA retail value by inputting the make, model, year, trim level, mileage and optional equipment information. Once you enter this information, you're provided with a detailed valuation report.

As you will see on the report, assigns several different values depending on the year of the car. If the car is an older pre-owned vehicle, you're given a range of low to high retail values. If the car is a late model pre-owned vehicle, you're given an average trade-in and an average retail price. The retail value of a vehicle is defined as its value in the marketplace should you decide to sell it to a private party or the value assigned to a pre-owned car by a dealer at a used car lot.

When selling a pre-owned vehicle to a private party, you want to assign an appropriate retail value to the car depending on its condition (as defined by You also want to research its desirability in the marketplace. A great place to find out what similar vehicles are selling for in your local area at any given time is, your local newspaper classifieds, local circulars or flyers.

By researching the NADA retail value of your car, coupled with timely information from resources such as and your local newspaper classifieds, you should have a great idea about what your car is worth and, as such, you can assign a realistic asking price accordingly. Be sure to add a little extra to the asking price for breathing room if you expect some negotiation on the part of the buyer and if you're willing to bargain.

Once you've determined a fair market value for your used car and once you've gone through the necessary steps of advertising the car and entertaining prospective buyers as outlined in our Preparing Your Car For Sale section, it's nitty-gritty time to talk price with a potential buyer.

Step 2: Negotiate the Deal
Just as we've directed you earlier, the buyer will probably want to negotiate price and if so, will most assuredly offer you a low starting point to begin the bargaining process. Its important for you to set a rock-bottom price ahead of time. Your rock-bottom price should be the lowest sales price you're willing to accept for the car.

Depending on the buyers initial offer, you may want to counteroffer to get the sales price closer to your initial asking price. Such is the bargaining process. Through it all, be patient it takes time to arrive at an agreeable selling price. Most importantly, be prepared to sell the car to someone else if you cant reach a price thats right for you. There are plenty of buyers out there and you might just be able to find someone else who recognizes the value of your car someone willing to pay more money for it.

Step 3: Complete the Paperwork
And finally, each state has different regulations when it comes to the documentation required to sell a used vehicle and transfer ownership.

To help you avoid confusion, offers a complete DMV Center designed to provide you with a checklist and downloadable forms which you will need to sell a car and transfer ownership, as well as detailed instructions about how to accurately complete the paperwork.