Direct Car Seller Tips: How To Set The Right Price When Listing Your Car Up For Sale

Direct Car Seller Tips: How To Set The Right Price When Listing Your Car Up For Sale

Gerald Yuen
Gerald Yuen
09 May 2024

Valuing your car / listing it up for sale can be a tedious process, given large sums involved when it comes to car buying and selling. Should I sell my car directly on Carousell? Or should I ditch the direct car selling route and resort to getting the best quotes from dealers instead? For the purpose of this study we’ll focus on the former, especially if you are already well versed in direct selling anything under the sun.

State your car’s annual depreciation

This is arguably the most important step when it comes to selling your car in Singapore. Due to the COE structure, the “ticking time bomb” leads us to primarily value our cars based on annual depreciation. Unlike in other countries where a higher mileage, high owner count car tends to be listed for less than a low mileage, single owner equivalent, a low sticker price can mean that the COE cycle is running out. Base your sale price on yearly depreciation - make use of Carousell’s used car classifieds depreciation filter to study the market.

Is my car in demand?

Checking up on your fellow direct car sellers’ list price is a given, but it’ll be useful to know what kind of cars are in demand now. What type of new cars are people buying? Lower output, Cat A-friendly cars tend to be the trend nowadays, but admittedly these interests are driven primarily by price points. If you are holding on to a higher capacity, more powerful vehicle, you might explore devising a strategy to entice new car shoppers away by valuing your car (setting the annual depreciation) lower than an equivalent new, less powerful car.

Prepare proper visuals

Sure, as a direct seller you’ll want to get the most out of your car. But prospective buyers will shy away from listings that are not “proper”. Come up with a few reasons why your car is “better” than the competition. Does it have a low mileage? Post an image of its odometer. Is the paintwork dent-free? Post a couple of images of panels prone to dents like the doors to justify your description. Is the driver seat bolster holding up well? If not, explain and still snap images of it - every detail counts. A car that has been on the road will not be flawless - compare these details with the competition.

What is your competitive advantage?

Out of the box ideas tend to be controversial, but it often pays off in ways that still favour you. Take this scenario for example: If a rice seller’s family member already owns acres of rice plantations, they can either afford to sell the product for less, or gain a larger profit from each sale compared to a seller that needs to engage the help of a middle man. Do you need funds from your car’s sale to buy a more expensive new car? Holding out for a higher listing price makes more sense, although we acknowledge the presence of an emotional aspect. Do you intend to sell your car because your new workplace is a 3-minute walk from home? Listing your car for less than the competition for the sake of a quicker sale might work in this case.

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