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To Trade or Not To Trade?

I’ve been selling cars for 12 years. Kinda crazy, right?

Don’t know the exact number, but I’ve sold over 1000 JDM cars since 2007 (and I was testing waters as a backyard dealer for a few years before that).

Best People Movers

My number of trade-ins is a LOT smaller, less than 20 cars in 12 years. I never liked the idea of a car swapping. It defeats my mission of selling with best value for money.

The truth is it costs me or any other car yard around $3,000+ to take a trade-in (for keeping, cleaning, servicing, advertising, and selling. Plus warranty, GST and taxes on top).

We both lose. You’ll never get good money for your old car and won’t get a “quick cash sale” discount for a new one (even if it’s a slow finances sale). I’ll be stuck with an odd car in my stock for months (if not years) and we’ll be earning less too.


What I always recommend to my customers is called “$1 LESS” type of ad on CarSales or any other reputable website. Here’s what you need to do:

  • Tidy up your car (always on my to-do list)
  • Take good pictures in a park nearby with green bush in the background to make your pictures lively
  • Advertize on any reputable website such as CarSales (I wouldn't worry about gum tree, you’ll get people that want your car for free, but it may work for some local cars)
  • Put the price at least $1 less than the cheapest similar car in your make and model – most people search “by lowest price first” (so true!). This way your car will always be on
  • the top of potential customers list.
  • Pay a bit extra to highlight your ad to stand out
  • Mention all cool points such as sunroofs, mechanic husband, one lady owner, always garaged, serviced every 2-3,000km (not really), whatever applies to you.

It requires a bit of work but it’ll save you $$$ and I promise you’ll be proud of yourself.

Agree? Or can't be bothered and still prefer to trade-in?

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