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9 Reasons Why Selling Your Cars Online Yourself MIGHT be A Bad Idea

Posted by on December 25th, 2022 at 6:22 pm with No Comment Yet
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As tempting as it is to sell your car online yourself, with the hope that you will get more money for it than if you were to sell it through a car buying company or even by parting it out, there are a lot of hassles and hidden costs that you need to be aware of.

Most times, selling your car online yourself might come with doubt from the buyer because there is already a preconception that most sellers are out to scam, and if you don’t present yourself as genuine as the potential buyer wishes you to, you would be tagged a “scammer.” This is not all; read further to see the reasons why you should not sell your car online yourself. 

Selling Cars Online

Selling cars online can be a convenient and effective way to reach a wider audience of potential buyers. Here are some tips for selling a car online:

  1. Determine the value of your car: Use online resources such as Carmart’s Car Price Checker to get an idea of how much your car is worth.
  2. Clean and photograph your car: Make sure your car is clean, both inside and out, and take high-quality photos from a variety of angles.
  3. Create a detailed listing: Include information about the make, model, year, mileage, and any features or upgrades. Be honest about the condition of the car and any repairs or maintenance that will be needed.
  4. Choose the right platform: There are many online platforms for selling cars, including online marketplaces like eBay and Craigslist, as well as speciality sites like Carmart.ng.
  5. Be prepared to negotiate: When selling a car online, it’s likely that you’ll receive offers that are lower than your asking price. Be prepared to negotiate with potential buyers and be open to counteroffers.
  6. Protect yourself and the buyer: Make sure you have all the necessary documentation, including the title and any maintenance records, and consider using an escrow service to protect both yourself and the buyer during the transaction.

The cost of advertising 

Whether you advertise online or not, there are costs associated with putting your car up for sale that people aren’t normally aware of.

The cost to list an ad on an online website to showcase your car for around 2-3 weeks is roughly N10,000. Even then, there is no guarantee that you will sell your car at this time. And if you haven’t sold it, then you have to pay again for another few weeks until it does, hopefully, sell. But there is no guarantee. For some people, this could take weeks or even months. But you can trust carmat to always help in this way; it is quick and easy to post your car ad for absolutely no cost, and your buyer influx would be high.

You don’t know who your potential customers are

One of the most dangerous things about selling your car online is that you don’t know who you are dealing with. There’s no way to verify people, so how do you know if they are going to be legit or trustworthy? You don’t…

Inviting complete strangers over to your home is unfortunately a necessary process when it comes to selling a car online. You must always ensure that you take extra precautions when doing so to make sure you are safe.

Un-secure payment

Again, because you don’t know who you’re dealing with, how do you know that the payment is real? Someone may give you fake money, for example, and how are you supposed to know the difference? Once the money has exchanged hands, the person who bought the car also knows you have the money in your house, which could be unsafe too. Online payments and scams are unfortunately very common. Fake transfer receipts are things to look out for. 


On average, it takes someone 34.5 days to sell their car… Most people, when setting out to sell their car, don’t realize this. But by the time you’ve paid money to advertise and you’ve already gone down the track of doing it yourself, after a few weeks, it’s too late to turn around!

Most people don’t have the luxury of time, especially with having such busy lives with work, family, and socializing, and they’d much rather just have it taken care of for them.


When selling privately, you must ensure that your car is up to scratch, and there are many things to take into consideration. Some of which we’ve already discussed: the advertising, images of the car inside and out, valeting your car and ensuring it looks clean and in decent condition, writing adverts, contacting potential customers, arranging viewings, negotiating with potential customers, etc. The list goes on. Instead, you could be spending that time and effort doing something you enjoy!

Preparing your car for sale

When selling your car yourself, you need to ensure that it’s desirable to buy and in good condition. Scratches and some other things are all good enough reasons for someone to walk away and buy another car that does meet their requirements. You will need to spend (potentially a lot of) money on getting your car up to scratch if you want a quick sale. If not, then people will turn up and waste hours of your time because they assumed the car was in better condition than it actually is upon inspection.

After-sale liability

Just the same as buying something from a shop, if something goes wrong, you expect your money back. This is the same with selling your car: if you have not disclosed something to the buyer at the time of purchase and that goes wrong, you could be liable and may have to give the cash back to the buyer. This could even include a lawsuit and you going to court to settle the issue; you might not want this, but it could lead to it, which is why you should be open to fixing most faults in your car before selling it. 

 No guarantee

After all of the time, money, and effort that you have put into selling your car yourself, there is no guarantee that it will sell. Months down the track, you could be in the same position (just with less money and a lot of wasted time).

You need to be organised

When you sell your car online yourself, you are responsible for the whole process: responding to messages and online requests; making and booking appointments with potential customers, which can be a bit of a nightmare, especially if you are time-poor.

You don’t have the option to just call up the buyer or drop in to sell your car on your terms when selling online.

Frequently Asked Questions 

What photos of the car should I take?

Whilst you don’t need to use a fancy camera, you do need to take some good pics if you want a successful sale. Here are our top ten:

Front – stand directly in front of your car.
Rear – stand directly behind.
Profile – photograph the side of the car and include all side panelling and tyres.
Engine – hood of the car open, engine displayed.
Boot – show the back of the car with the boot open.
Dash – sit in the rear seat and face forward to photograph the front interior.
Front seats – photograph the interior through an open window or door.

How do I negotiate a good price?

Whilst it’s lovely if a buyer meets your asking price if you’ve got a classified listing it’s likely that they’ll look to negotiate and get a better price. At the start of negotiations, have a figure you’re willing to accept in mind. Do your research with the price guide tool and know the sort of amount to realistically expect. Negotiate by focusing on all positive aspects1 of the car, and reasons why they’re getting a great deal, and don’t be afraid to say no if their offer is too low and one you can’t accept.


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