Trade Your Car Or Sell Privately: Pros And Cons: Part VII

August 29, 2010

We’re looking at the benefits of trading your car with a dealer compared to selling privately. Generally, you put more money in your pocket selling it yourself, but it’s significantly more work. The added effort to sell your own vehicle includes knowing where to post your ad online. That’s what we’re looking at today.

Free Websites
I clearly state in my book (see below) that “unless you’re in a hurry or don’t have to worry about a budget, list your vehicle on free websites before going premium.” Premium sites charge a fee when you post your ad. Begin on free sites and see if your car sells. If not, add a premium website or two, then wait and see how effective they are before shelling out more money.

You want to post your ad to websites that have a lot of traffic because that increases the odds of someone being interested in your specific vehicle. The best free websites vary depending on the city or region of the country. What’s best in one city won’t be as effective in another city or region.
One of the overall best free websites is It’s the towering giant among free sites and draws up to 50 million unique visitors per month. When in doubt, make you sure you include Craigslist on your short list of free websites.
I like Backpage because I have an affinity for my local San Francisco Bay Area alternative newsweekly, the SF Weekly. Backpage is owned by the original alternative newspaper, New York's Village Voice. Your ad can be listed online AND alongside other classified ads in various local alternative papers including the LA Weekly, City Pages (Minneapolis), and the Seattle Weekly. Online is free; adding your ad to the local paper incurs a fee. is another effective free website in many regions of the country. Kijiji is Swahili for “village,” as in providing a sense of community as its members exchange goods, services, and ideas. Kijiji is user friendly. Pronounce it kee-gee-gee.
While Kijiji is modeled closely after Craigslist in how it works, another good website,, is not. Oodle gathers classified ads from many other websites (up to 80,000 sources) and then feeds that information to websites in its network. What does this mean to you, a private seller? It means your ad can show up on many other websites other than These include Walmart Classifieds and hundreds of others. The more websites, the better the chance of your vehicle selling.

Tomorrow we look at some of the premium websites available for private sellers.


The author is not only a contributor to this website, but has written the only comprehensive guide to selling your car online: HELP! I Gotta Sell My Car NOW! New Rules for Selling Your Vehicle Online. The book is available on

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