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Selling your car to a dealer saves you time and the hassle of paperwork, but it may come with certain drawbacks. Find out what the pitfalls are and avoid them.

Category: Car Selling Advice


While there are many avenues that you can seek to sell your car, the simplest one is always to approach a used car dealer who will take it off your hand without the need for you to go through the hassle of drafting up sales agreements, handover forms and other red tapes. However, if you have ever tried to sell your car, you would have noticed that it does come with certain drawbacks which are made worse by black sheeps in the industry.

Here are six potential pitfalls when selling to potentially dishonest dealers.

Some dealers will entice you with attractive pricing, only to go back on their promise
1. Empty promises over the phone

You may think that you are in luck when an attractive price is offered to you over the phone.

However, as the saying goes 'if it's too good to be true, it probably is'. Some dealers may promise you high prices over the phone, enticing you to make the trip down only to offer dissapointing prices upon seeing your car in the metal.  

Encountering such scenarious repeatedly while trying to sell your car will not only be annoying, but also takes up much of your precious time.

Always approach trusted dealers so as to avoid falling victim to dubious practices or scams
2. Dubious practices, or worse... fraud!

Due to cash flow problems, shady dealers may pay a token sum to take physical possession of the car, but do not transfer the ownership as they will then have to pay the entire balance amount. They wait to sell off the car before paying you and transferring the ownership. This delay in process will sour your car-selling experience and can potentially affect your plans for buying your next car.

Worse still, you may encounter fraudulent dealers who have no intentions of conducting fair business. They will issue cheques that bounce, and by the time you realise the payment never went through, the dealer would have already sold off your car and fled overseas. 

Selling your car often involves going to multiple dealers for the right price
3. Hassle and time-consuming to shop around for the best offer

Different car dealers offer different prices for your car, in order to get the best deal, you will have to shop around and compare the offers.

Ask anyone who has tried to sell their car, and most will describe to you the pain of spending days visiting 3-5 dealers, only to receive marginally different offers.

Spending so much effort, just to end up with a disappointing outcome is surely a frustrating experience that you want to avoid. 

Upon sensing your urgency to sell, some shady dealers may employ delay tactics to squeeze out the best deal
4. Delay tactics

Sensing that you want to sell your car within a certain timeline (maybe your new car is arriving soon), some dubious dealers will employ delay tactics to pressure you into settling for a lesser deal.

They may promise you an irresistible price, but delay the process through various ways without paying you a deposit. By stalling your car selling process, they are able to turn up the heat on you. Knowing that you are getting desperate as your deadline approaches, they will then get their friends from another dealership to pressure you into selling at a fire-sale price. Fortunately, black sheeps who operate this way are not that common.

Car dealers often offer low prices in a bid to minimise their costs
5. Offers are usually low or close to the paper value of your car

Car dealers profit by buying cars at a low price, and reselling them at a higher price after some work to refresh the car.

It is clear that the lower they pay for their inventory (your car), the more profit they make. As such, car dealers tend to offer low prices for your car in order to ensure profits, which will pay their overheads such as rent and worker's salary (it is a business to sustain after all). The situation worsens if your car is a less popular model in the market. Fearing losses, car dealers may even offer only the paper value of your car.

Dealers often nitpick on your car's condition in order to slash off your asking price
6. Some dealers might haggle over the price with you

As mentioned, dealers profit by selling cars at a higher price than they paid for after freshening them up. Hence, the less they fork out for your car, the more profit they can make. It is only natural for each party to strive for the best deal they can get.

It is not uncommon for some dealers to nitpick on condition of your car's paintwork, interior, and various other components in an attempt to lower the price, so that they can maximise their profits.

Does that mean we should avoid dealers like the plague?

As with most industries, there will always be black sheeps who do not practise fair business, affecting the reputation of the entire industry as a whole. Fortunately, the majority of car dealers will be able to help get your car off your hands and help to make the transaction a breeze for you. Of course, in order to maintain a viable business, the price offered may not always be the best that is available out there. 

Here are six compelling reasons to sell your car with Quotz
Okay, so what is the better solution?

If you want to sell to a direct buyer, you can always list your vehicle for sale or go through our verified selling processes on sgCarMart. However, should you want to avoid the hassle of dealing with the potential buyers or the various pitfalls of selling to a bad dealer, there is another option which is to auction your vehicle through an online auctioning platform that brokers a binding offer, such as Quotz.

With Quotz, you get to enjoy a seamless experience without the fear of encountering a dishonest car dealer. With a network of over 500 used car dealers, Quotz is able to guarantee the highest offer in an hour (if you can find a higher offer, Quotz will even give you $100 in cash!) You only have to book an appointment via the website, Whatsapp or a phone call, and drive down to Quotz for a 188-point professional inspection and photo-taking of your vehicle.

This simple process saves you the countless trips to compare between different dealers. Furthermore, upon accepting the highest auction offer, Quotz will pay you immediately. Meanwhile, you will only have to hand over your vehicle after two weeks. This means that once the offer is accepted, you will not have to worry about instances where dealers haggle down on the original auction offer when you proceed with the transaction offline.

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