These are good times for selling just about any kind of car, but pickups and luxury cars are doing especially well in early 2022. While it’s true a rising tide lifts all boats, if you’re aiming to unload a luxury vehicle, choosing the right place to sell it can possibly lift your boat just that little bit higher than someone else’s.
As with any kind of sale, how much time you have to make a deal and where you set your won’t-go-a-cent-lower price will have the biggest effects on the transaction. Unlike sales of mass-market cars, though, transaction prices can swing by five figures depending on what’s being sold.
The first piece of advice is the best advice for any seller: Do your research. It’s not enough to know that someone somewhere sold a luxury car kind of like yours for an insane amount of money. Find transaction prices for cars just like yours. You can still ask an insane amount, but research might help you understand why the sale is taking longer than planned.
After that, specialization is a great way to go. There are plenty of brick-and-mortar and online sites to sell cars. Focusing on those that sell luxury cars could put you in front of the best buyers, ones least likely to waste your time pleading for you to lower the asking price for their dream car.
Here are some places to consider – and remember, you don’t need to limit yourself to just one marketplace:
Sell to a dealer or online site
The obvious choice, but if a significant other – or a former significant other’s divorce attorney – is compelling a fire sale, this is the quickest way to goose the bank account if you can forgo a top-dollar return for the convenience.
Coronavirus compelled online marketplaces to get serious about creating a better online experience, and nowhere has this been more pronounced than with car sales. You can get instant offers from sites Vroom and Kelley Blue Book, or a local dealer, but consider luxury specialists like I Buy Luxury Cars, or We Buy Exotics if the vehicle is worth more than $100,000.
If you just need some money to get through a rocky spot but know you want that car back, consider pawn brokers focusing on high-value assets like Borro, which operates nationally, or find a local shop like Pawn Brokers of Rodeo Drive.
Is there something distinctive about your car? A rare color or color combination? An unusual wheel choice? A holy grail manual transmission? Places where fans of your specific make and model gather to discuss that make and model can often yield the best sale prices. You need to know what you have, though; don’t try to fool the guy or gal whose unpaid part-time job is knowing everything about your car.
Aiming for a grand-slam sale on a luxury site – the kind that makes it to the Autoblog front page – can be worth a shot, especially if your car has some special feature. Bring a Trailer is now best known for turning high prices into utterly ridiculous prices, but BaT is also mysteriously selective about what it accepts for auction. If BaT rejects your car, try Cars and Bids or, for classic stuff, Hemmings.
There are also IRL auction sites that sell ‘everyday’ luxury cars you might not expect them to have. The lead image for RM Sotheby’s Open Roads auction in December of 2021 was a 2018 Dodge Challenger SRT Demon with a pre-sale estimate starting at $135,000, but there were also a 2003 Dodge Viper and 1998 Porsche 911 Cabriolet both starting at $45,000, and a 2008 Aston Martin V8 Vantage Roadster starting at just $20,000.
Luxury sales sites
Certain sites boast of having an audience of high-net-worth individuals looking for very expensive cars. DuPont Registry is a shoo-in, but consider JamesEdition for modern wares and Hemmings (again) for classics.
Don’t be afraid to let overseas buyers in on the action as well, particularly if you have a spendy American vehicle with a big V8, using sites like Autotrader UK, Car Sales in Australia, eBay Germany, and Dyler.
A fire-and-forget solution if you have time to wait but no time to deal with selling, this can be as easy as finding a luxury consignment shop with a good reputation in the closest major metro area. Or, Gateway Classic Cars has a national footprint with 18 showrooms across the country, and the company is flexible about the word “classic.” At the time of writing, the New Arrivals page showed both a 1957 Chevrolet Bel-Air and a 2012 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited.
Craigslist and Copart
Be wary of using Craigslist for a luxury vehicle in good condition; the site can be a hive of tire kickers and hobbyists who want to play 20 questions and test drive a car they've been drooling over but won't buy. However, if you have a luxury car in a bunch of luxury pieces or one big misshapen piece, look no further than Craigslist or Copart, and the latter site also buys broken-down heaps outright.
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