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Selling a Used Car with the Customer Service Advantage

The task of selling a used car today seems to have gotten easier. New-car sales are in the dump, and car dealerships are more apt to offer better deals than during the harried economic climate at the start of the century.

Add this to the pros if you’re in the market to sell a used car: customer service. Those who buy cars for a living are treating sellers and buyers alike much better.

Reports in the media abound. Said an auto dealership co-owner to the St. Petersburg Times in Florida in early November, 2008: “We know customers are the most important aspect, they are our lifeblood. Our job is to make customers happy, and then they keep coming back. They feel they know us, they trust us. It’s not like an adversarial scenario. They pick out car, and we see what we can do to make a good deal.”

For example, the dealership noted above offers buyers a warranty, a service ticket showing every maintenance action on the car through their shop, and free oil changes for two years. Think about it if you’re selling a used car: would you offer the buyer two years’ worth of free oil changes?

Battling for Customers to Sell a Used Car

The Wall Street Journal reported the same week of the St. Petersburg Times article that the National Automobile Dealers Association estimates 700 new-car dealerships will close this year. That’s up from 430 in 2007, for a 63 percent increase.

The Dealers Association reports that in September 2008 alone, 61 dealers closed, or downsized to a used car lot. That’s two every day that month.

But fewer auto dealerships means more demand for used cars, and if you’re working to sell a used car or get quick cash for used cars, this could work to your advantage.

Those dealerships still must compete against one another, and with fewer out there they will work that much harder. It’s essential to staying alive in this economy.

Selling a used car, this can work to your advantage. At least you’d think. Said a sales executive at a large Los Angeles Dealership to USA Today in late October, 2008: “Business is slower but hasn’t died. The dealers just have to work that much harder to get their customers into a car.”

New Tactics, Cons in Selling a Used Car Today

There is a potential downside in this economy and selling a used car or getting cash for used cars quickly. The same USA Today article quoted an economist at Moody’s Economy.com: “All the problems of the economy are wrapped up in auto sales.” The article noted that remaining car buyers are in no hurry to make a car-buy decision, and are hunting for the best deal.

The USA Today article noted the sentiment of an executive looking to buy a new car: “Even though he wants a new car, he says, he’s determined to get a good deal. So for now, like many potential car buyers, he says he’ll wait on the sidelines.”

In the sell a used car world, that could mean trouble. More time not only means you have to wait for the cash for a used car, but the potential that a buyer could change his or her mind mid-sale.

Are there any other options? Well, certainly, and online. There are companies established with websites that buy used cars, and often offer cash for used cars, and fast.

If indeed timing is most important, to get cash for used cars as fast as possible, it might be wise to tap the Internet and unload that vehicle quickly. Many of the services, such as www.cash4usedcars.com, will even send someone to do a free appraisal, and upon sale agreement you get cash for a used car on the spot.

Now, THAT is customer service!

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