Guide & Tips
How do you price cars for sale?

On the other hand, if you’re a seller, nearly every offer you receive will likely feel insultingly low. There aren’t many universal truths in this world, but here’s one: If you’re shopping for a specific year, make and model of car, every example you find will be priced too high, or at least too high for its current condition.

Blame it on fallout from televised auctions and restoration shows, or blame it on the popularity of free online classifieds where lowball offers and scammers are a fact of life. As anyone who’s bought or sold a car in recent years will almost certainly agree, it can be tough out there, and as a company that specializes in both print and online classifieds, we’re caught directly in the middle.

As many of you who’ve purchased cars through Hemmings already know, we go to great lengths to ensure that the cars listed on our site are legitimately for sale by owners or dealers. Fraudulent ads are shut down as quickly as possible to protect both buyers and sellers, and that requires a significant amount of trained staff.

In other words, our classifieds aren’t free, but we’d like to think that sellers get quite a bit of value for the money they spend with us. To be clear, however, we don’t write the ads or edit the copy submitted, and while we can guide customers on pricing, at the end of the day, it’s up to each seller to set a price for his or her listing.

Complaints about the prices of Find of the Day selections have reached epidemic proportions, to the point where numerous negative comments are deleted on a daily basis. From the seller’s perspective (and we’ve all been there), you can never negotiate up, only down. Worse, free online classifieds have trained sellers to expect the worst (“Would you take a half-eaten packet of Skittles and an autographed picture of Randy Mantooth for your Duesenberg?”), potentially prompting an inflated asking price.

With that in mind, I’ll throw the question out to readers: How much research do you do, and what tools do you use to price a car or motorcycle you’ve got for sale? How do you deal with negative criticism about your car’s value or condition, and when do you decide to drop an advertised price?


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