Selling Tips

Getting the most value for your car

When selling a car to a dealer or trading it in, the process is quite cumbersome and unpleasant: driving dealer-to-dealer, getting low offers, and missed appointments. Swap Motors brings 1000s of dealers across U.S. to you – all online through our auction – potentially helping you get up to 20% more than trade-in value.

While our auction is aimed to bring you the best price for your car – our instant cash offer helps you sell your car quickly. Swap Motors buys your car and makes payment instantly.

Understanding trade-in, retail and private party values
  • Trade-in value: the amount a car dealer is willing to offer for a car when buying another car from them. Trade-in value tends to be a tad lower since the dealership is either buying it for inventory or send it to a wholesale auction. The advantage for a car-seller is the ability to negotiate a better deal on the car being sold and the car that is being purchased. The dealer also assumes total liability for the vehicle once it’s in their possession and also tend to manage paperwork and closing process.
  • Retail value: the amount a car dealer typically sells their inventory for, i.e., the amount paid by a buyer to purchase a car from the dealer. Retail value is the perhaps the most value for any given car – however, it applies only when being sold at a dealership factoring in overhead costs.
  • Private part value: the amount a private seller asks (or gets) for a car when it’s sold to a private buyer. Since no middlemen is involved in the transaction – private party value tends to be typically higher than trade-in and below retail. However, there are certain risks associated with a private party deal for both the buyers and sellers. For buyers: the lack of expertise to self-assess the condition of the car; title issues; lack of paperwork guidance. For sellers: risk of meeting up with strangers; potential failure in authenticating funds prior to closing; lack of paperwork guidance.

Is your car going to be easy to sell? Is it a hot commodity? Understand the real-time value of your car based on your geography and vehicle condition. Reputable companies such as Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds are good places to get started.

Factors that can increase the value of your car

Several factors have a direct impact on the value of your car when you decide to sell it. While the year, make, model, mileage and condition have significant impact on the value, factors such as title status, location, warranty, add-ons or upgrades and desirability can contribute to its overall value. Here are a few that can potentially increase the value:

  • Proper maintenance including storing records
  • Factory upgrades
  • Low mileage
  • Clean and odorless interiors
  • No accidents or significant body damage
  • Clean title
  • Factory or extended warranty
Factors that can decrease the value of your car
  • Accident or damage
  • Poor maintenance history
  • High mileage
  • Branded title
  • Scratches and dents
  • Interior odors and stains
  • Odors and stains
  • Aftermarket parts
  • No warranty