When customers call us looking to sell used cars in San Bernardino County, we go out of our way to make the transaction simple and fast. Things are not so easy when car owners choose to sell by putting an ad on a website. It is not unusual to have a slew of potential buyers respond to that ad, only to walk away after just a few minutes.

5 reasons a car sell fails

So why do buyers walk away from used car deals so quickly? There isn’t just one reason. There are dozens of things that could scare buyers away. And oftentimes, it is a combination of three or four things that raise too many red flags.

It pays to know how people shop for used cars. It pays to know how they think, what they are looking for, and what they expect from sellers. To that end, we have put together a list of reasons buyers tend to walk away from used car deals. You may have experience with some of them.

1. Pictures Don’t Reflect Reality

Today’s used car buyer is a lot more visual than their counterpart from thirty years ago. Perhaps that’s because the internet is a more suitable medium for detailed pictures. Unfortunately, pictures often don’t reflect reality. Too many buyers find this out the hard way.

If you are looking to sell a car in Los Angeles, for example, you are going to go out of your way to make sure the pictures you take show your car in the best possible light. You are going to avoid publishing pictures that show any negative aspects of the car. After all, you want buyers to come take a look.

Here is the problem: only showing the positive aspects of a car in the pictures you take can lead to a major letdown when buyers actually show up. They may come out expecting to see a spectacular car only to find out that it is average at best.

2. Suspicions of False Advertising

Hand-in-hand with unrealistic pictures are suspicions of false advertising. You may describe your car in such a way as to imply that it is in better condition than it actually is. The language in your ad might fail to disclose some important things that would have otherwise told buyers not to bother. Even if your intention was never to deceive, buyers don’t see it that way.

If a buyer feels like you are trying to pull the wool over their eyes – even if you’re not – the chances of them walking away are pretty high. That’s why you have to be extremely careful to describe a used car you’re trying to sell as accurately as possible.

A good ad lists the make and model, the general condition of the car, and any known issues. Be upfront about it. Otherwise, you may find yourself frustrated by one potential buyer after another turning around and making tracks.

3. The Price Is Too High

As a company that specializes in cash for cars, it has been our experience that most buyers who walk away from used car deals do so because the vehicle is priced is too high. We wouldn’t be surprised if a survey revealed this to be the number one reason why people have trouble selling their cars.

People have a tendency to value their used cars based more on personal attachment than market factors. Likewise, car owners tend to believe that every penny they put into repair and maintenance adds to the value of a car. Unfortunately, this is not true.

The U.S. government may consider cars durable goods in the sense that a good car can continue running for a decade or longer. But with the exception of classic cars that are enjoyed as collectors’ items, cars always depreciate over time. The older a car is, the less buyers will be willing to pay for it – regardless of mileage and condition!

4. Worries About Mechanical Issues

When it comes to buying used cars, the two most important things buyers tend to consider are asking price and mechanical condition. We have already discussed prices that are too high. As for mechanical issues, buyers always have to think about how much money they will have to put into maintenance and repairs.

Any suspicion that a used car may need extensive repair is enough to turn buyers away. And by the way, potential repairs don’t necessarily have to be immediate. If a buyer suspects that a car’s exhaust system will only make it through one more winter, they might already be thinking about the expense of replacing it the following spring. The same holds true for everything from tires to transmissions.

5. Worries About History

There are times when buyers will walk away from used cars based on worries about history. A good example here would be suspicions that a car really wasn’t previously owned by little old lady who only drove it to and from church.

Used car buyers have keen eyes. They can tell when a car has endured a lot of heavy use. Experience with their own cars tells them everything they need to know. So if there are any worries that the seller isn’t being truthful about a used car’s history, buyers will be reluctant to pull the trigger.

An extension of this principle can be applied to classic cars. Classic car collectors are sticklers for origin. They want to know where a car originated from. If there are any questions that cannot be answered with documentation, the classic car buyer has every reason to walk away.

It can be tough to sell a used car to a stranger off the street. Online ads and pictures notwithstanding, selling a used car on your own is not always easy. The good news is that we have a better way. We buy cars directly from consumers with no fuss and no hassle. If you are looking to sell a car in Santa Barbara, Riverside, or anywhere in Southern California, give CarFastCash a call.