With the Goods and Services Tax (GST) now firmly in place, several carmakers have announced a reduction in automobile prices, which ranges between 2% and 3.25% depending on the models and variants.
The reduction in prices has set the automobile marketplace abuzz with renewed vigour and demand, with many car owners trying to cash in their old vehicles for a new one.
As for our co-worker (let’s call him Mr. X), he decided to sell off his three-year-old Perodua MyVi (A) 1.5SE for a newer, cooler ride.
The process was not without difficulty, but Mr. X was adamant to follow through on his own and ended up with a successful RM35,000 cash transaction (more on that later)!
Here, we detail Mr. X’s DIY car-selling experience, as well as the avenues that have worked best for him:
Firstly, deal(er) or no deal(er)?
In many cases, selling your car to a dealer is the easiest way to get about it. One, because dealers pay in cash and second, it saves you the trouble of transfer-time and all the activities involved.
The Pros: It takes out the bulk of the hassle from the car-selling process. They include: transferring your car loan, taking your vehicle to Puspakom for inspection, and going to the Malaysian Road Transport Department (JPJ) to officiate the transfer of ownership. Also, a dealer will likely take your car even if it is ridden with problems.
The Cons: They will try to get it for the lowest price possible because they will try to resell your car and make a profit.
Take Mr. X’s scenario for instance – his initial asking price was RM40,000. Dealers he’d contacted were willing to offer around RM30,000.
Also note that dealers generally go through a much more thorough inspection than most buyers. They also have an uncanny ability to spot the slightest defects and will potentially strip you off thousands of Ringgit from it as a result.
It is for this reason that many owners chose to sell their cars directly. This will certainly fetch you better prices.
The downside is, it will take you more time and effort. Some cars could lose their value pretty quickly and if you are unable to sell yours in a timely manner, you stand to lose money.
How to sell your car on your own
Step 1: Determine your car’s market value
The first thing you need to do when selling your car is finding out its value. This will give you a realistic idea of what your car is worth and where to set your selling price at. You can do this by:
- Checking your car’s insured value through sites like MyCarInfo.
- Looking through car listing sites to get an idea of how much other owners of cars that are of a similar make and condition to yours are asking for.
Step 2: Advertising
Here’s an actual screen-shot of Mr. X’s ad on Mudah.my
The vehicle’s main selling point was its low mileage, in which Mr. X was quick to highlight in this Carlist ad.
This is perhaps the most important part that can either make or break your sale.
In the old days, car owners sold their cars by placing an advertisement in the classifieds section in the newspaper or car magazine. The advent of the Internet has made the process much simpler, cheaper, and easier to monitor. In many cases, putting your car ad up online is free-of-charge.
But don’t take the Internet real estate for granted – if you want people to get excited about your ad, make sure you take a lot of good pictures of your car. Put out things that are genuine, interesting and preferably tangible about your car.
Mr X’s main selling point was his low mileage. His MyVi had covered only 22,500km over a duration of three years.
Avoid clichés like “tip top condition,” because anyone can make these claims without having substantial proof to back them up.
Also, it’s not necessarily free. Mr. X did pay a little to bump his listing to the top. Having a strong, tangible selling point for your car coupled with good visibility allowed him to get a sale much faster.
Now that your car ad is on-point, it is time to move on to the next step:
Step 3: Decide the best place for your ad
Sellers and consumers are spoiled for choice these days. Sites like Carlist.my and Mudah.my for example, are easily accessible and free.
Success rates will vary on a case-to-case basis. Below are the sites that Mr. X put up his ad on:
Although car-specific platforms like Carlist and Oto may seem like the most obvious choices for car classifieds, our co-worker actually found the most success with Mudah.
One probable reason for this is because Mudah has a wider user base, seeing that the list of goods and services purveyed on the online marketplace comes in varied and diverse categories, including real estate, automotive, and an array of business products and services.
Recent statistics by the Malaysian Digital Association (MDA) and comScore, Inc. revealed that Mudah takes the second spot (just behind Maybank2u.com.my) in the top 30 local web entities ranking in December 2014.
A quick check on web traffic also showed that Mudah attracts about 8.6 million (desktop) visitors per month. Meanwhile, Carlist and Oto draws about 910,000 and 276,000 (desktop) visitors respectively every month.
However, it is worth noting that Mr. X’s ad did garner more page views on Oto than it did on Carlist, even though the latter generates about 3x more traffic than the former every month.
Meanwhile, Carousell is an app and therefore cannot be assessed for desktop traffic. However, it is common industry knowledge for online site operators that up to 60 – 65% of traffic comes from mobile users.
In this case, given Mudah’s wide audience base, it is no wonder that Mr.X’s advertisement on the site generated the most response. However, out of the throngs of messages he received through email and on Whatsapp, only about 10 were genuine enquiries. It eventually led to his meeting with a mysterious buyer, who paid him for his car in cold, hard cash!
Imagine Mr. X’s “distress” when he had to carry the cash around in a bag and deposited all RM35,000 in a cash deposit machine in full view of a crowded mamak!
Although it was a few thousand less than what he initially asked for, he was happy to make-do with the cash amount.
Some key takeaways that Mr. X gathered from the experience:
- Watch out for scammers, especially those who want to “buy” your vehicle without meeting face-to-face.
- Make sure your service records are up-to-date (serious buyers have a way of finding out, trust us).
- Make sure all your summonses are paid (same as the above).
The whole process took Mr. X up to four weeks, a little longer than he would have preferred, but all in all, he walked away from the experience a happier (and richer) man.
He will now enjoy the comforts of his flashy new ride while this writer continues to lug around in her nine-year-old Proton Wira.