We had a caller this weekend asking about spending several thousand dollars on his vehicle just before trading it in. I have some tips for prepping your car for trade-in.
Like most things in life, the more you put into something, the more you get out of it. The same is true when you get your car ready to use as a trade-in. I will tell you some things you need to do, and also things not to do, which in this case, is equally important.
Remember the first time you saw your spouse or significant other? He or she caught your eye, and it is no different at a dealership. First impressions of your car are critically important unless you have a real junker, then it doesn’t really matter, there’s nothing you can do. For everyone else, read on.
As I told you in my True Stories From A Former Car Dealer, I was the used car manager at a dealership for many years. Your job, besides providing inventory and managing a sales staff, is to properly put a value on every car that someone wants to trade in. If you appraise it too high, you get stuck with it. If you appraise it too low, the customer doesn’t trade it and you miss selling a new car. Accuracy is critical in this position, which is one of the most important in a dealership.
1. DO Bring It In Spotless
Best Price: $41.24
Buy New $54.99
(as of 10:55 EST – Details)
I remember I always got a “feeling” for a car as I walked up to it. In most cases, I knew immediately if I wanted this car for resale, or if I was shipping it off to auction. When I saw a clean car, no matter what age or miles, I knew I wanted to trade for it. So, when you go to trade your car, make sure it is clean inside and out, and invest in some tire dressing. That tells the dealer you care…