Selling Used Car Online – Pros & Cons
India has seen a boom in e-commerce in the last few years thanks to growing penetration of mobile phones and internet. Buying and selling used items online has also seen a surge with many websites acting as enablers of the transaction. It sounds so simple and easy and it is really a boon for people who would like to effortlessly get rid of their old unused items. There are quite a number of websites that invite you to list your used car to online purchasers. How does it work, what are the benefits of this and what are the pitfalls – let us discuss…
How does it work?
Listing your used car for sale online is quite simple. You register on the website that you want to list your used car on, using your mobile number and/or email id. There is a simple verification process after which you can post details of your vehicle. Typically this would involve the details on the make, model, mileage and some pictures. It would take 10 minutes to probably post these details. Â You would also be required to post the asking price for your used car. You can use your own methodology for calculating the fair price for your car or depend on some online tools available to do so. Once the listing is complete, you can wait for interested buyers to contact you on your mobile number. It is that simple, or is it?
It is quick – yes, it is to upload an advertisement. Takes you 10 minutes of your time.
It is cheap – well, the listing costs you nothing at all. And if you are able to close a deal, you also save on dealership commission which could work out to 3-5% of the value, at the least.
You get wide reach – Many of the trade facilitating websites have very good traffic and that is bound to get you a large number of buyers to see your car. Plus, you are free to list your car in more than one such website.
You are in control of the negotiation – As the seller, you get to fix the price you want to sell your car at. If you are sure that your car is worth a certain value, you can negotiate with the interested buyers and get the maximum value for your used car.
Although e-commerce has boomed in India, the market is still nascent and laws regulating the industry are patchy. This exposes the users to several dangers online and it is a case of Caveat Emptor for the buyer and Caveat Venditor for the seller. Listing your used car online is fraught with certain risks and it is important that you are aware of these before you sign up to do so.
Data Safety – When you sign up to list anything through an online portal, you are required to submit your mobile number and email id. OtherÂ personal information like the city you live in and locality also needs to be mentioned. Data security is still a very murky area in India and there is no guarantee that this information will not be used. At the least, expect to receive annoying marketing sms texts and phone calls.
Buyer Authentication – The online portal will not tell you this but there is hardly any background verification done on those that wish to contact you as a buyer. Fraudsters find it easy to pose as buyers and then find ingenious ways to dupe you. It will be a whole blog post on all those ways they find to hoodwink you and we will get to that at a later date. But it is upon you to be careful while you deal with strangers. A few cases have been reported where the buyers have used the vehicle for nefarious activities landing the original owner in troubleÂ with the law.
Price Guarantee – While it is up to you to demand a price, many a times you don’t find takers at that price. Buyers will almost always bargain and it is a laborious and painful process before you can settle on a mutually acceptable price. Some buyers are very skilled at negotiations (most buyers online are car dealerships who have mastered the art of negotiation) and may leave you with a not so favourable deal. Many sellers online have waited for months before they could sell their used cars online and in such cases, the price would have had to be marked down too due to lack of demand.
Documentation – Registering the sale of your used car and transfer of ownership to the new buyer is a time consuming process that might require a trip or two to the RTO in your area. Online portals do not offer any assistance on this and it is between the buyer and the seller to get the paperwork sorted out. Read about all the documentation requirements for a car sale here.
Loan Closure – If your car has been purchased with a loan, it is imperative that you close the loan and cancel the loan lien on the car before the buyer can register the car in his/her name. This involves some time spent with the bank or the lending institution to sort out the paperwork and other legal requirements.
In conclusion, all the advantages of an online sale are negated by the realities of closing a sale and exposes the seller to more risk. A trusted dealership like TSM, can get all the hassles of selling your car out of the way as we offer valuation at your doorstep, spot cash purchase or Park and Sell options, and we also handle all the paperwork involved. Our buyers are authenticated to safeguard your interests and all our dealings are tax compliant.