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Motors Explained

Make sure you have all the necessary information on your car ready.

You need to know your Vehicle Identification Number (VIN#), the year, mileage, make, model, number of cylinders, transmission, warranty and other features, including any history and inspection reports.

Check out our Selling Your Car checklist for a complete checklist.

If you're not the original owner, you may want to run a vehicle history report. Also, you'll want to know beforehand if you can export your car to the U.S. Check the U.S. EPA web site to see if your vehicle is eligible. Be prepared for potential buyer questions.

To figure out what your expected selling price should be, search for your car on eBay Motors, then click the Completed Items box within Search Options. You can see what similar cars sold for and how successful listings were set up.

Pictures are your best selling tool. Since a buyer may not be able to see your car in person before buying, you should use photos to give a virtual tour. Show everything from multiple angles – interiors, exteriors, special features and close-ups of any dings, dents, stains, or other damage. Take engine, odometer and VIN photos too.

If you're not sure what kind of photos to take, look at some successful auctions using the Completed Listings view for inspiration. It's also helpful to use the Picture Taking Tutorial and the Selling Your Car checklist which has a list of all the angles you should take pictures of your car from.

Your first six listings will have Zero Insertion Fees for all types of vehicles. Transaction Services Fees and optional feature fees will still apply. Starting with the fifth vehicle listing, Insertion Fees will be charged and will vary with the type of vehicle. The Transaction Services Fee is charged when the first bid is made or your reserve price is met. There is no additional fee charged after the vehicle is sold. eBay Motors vehicle listings are those within the Passenger Vehicles, Motorcycles, Powersports and Other Vehicles categories.

Check out more details on eBay Motors fees (Canadian and US dollars).

When you're putting together your listing you need to consider your pricing strategy. There are a few to choose from.

In Online Auction, any bid at or above your starting price wins the auction. If you need to sell your car fast, then this might be the format for you. Lower starting prices attract more buyers and generally result in a higher final price.

You can add a Reserve Price to your Auction, which lets you set a minimum price that you are willing to accept. You are not obligated to sell until the reserve price is met. If you have a late model or higher priced car, you might want to choose this option. If you choose this format, you can lower your reserve or remove your reserve price during the auction to sell your car quickly.

You can also add a Buy It Now price along with your auction that allows you to specify a fixed sale price for your car. This option will disappear after the first eligible bid is placed.

Another choice is the Fixed Price format. This means you set the price you want and forgo the auction format. Buyers simply purchase your car with one click.

Consider adding a Best Offer option to your Fixed Price listing. Buyers make an offer that you can accept, reject or counteroffer. Each Best Offer is binding, just like a bid, and is good for 48 hours.

Also, you can choose to sell your car in Canadian or U.S. dollars. Generally, most sellers choose Canadian dollars if they're selling within Canada and U.S. dollars if selling to both marketplaces. If you list on, your listing automatically appears to U.S. buyers unless you choose to restrict this.

This is where you tell buyers everything they need to know about your car. Be completely honest, thorough and clear.

There are a few things to remember. Inserting your listing into the right make/model category is essential to help buyers find it. Many buyers browse by category, so it's important to choose the right one. Also, write a good title including all the keywords that a buyer might type into a search.

Use the Selling Your Car complete checklist to make sure you include all the relevant info.

The description will automatically ask for the following info:

  • Year
  • Make
  • Model
  • Mileage on vehicle
  • Exterior Colour
  • Number of Cylinders
  • Transmission Condition
  • Warranty and Title

The following info is optional, but very important to buyers:

  • Sub model
  • VIN number
  • Options and option packages
  • Interior and comfort features
  • Notable vehicle additions or modifications
  • Ownership history
  • Any superficial or structural damage
  • Recent service history (if available)
  • Any other info you think would be helpful to encourage a buyer

Here's your chance to clearly describe your terms. It's important for the buyer to understand and agree to your terms of sale, so spell it out for them.

Setting Your Price - If you haven't already, check on Completed Items to see what similar cars have sold for. Determine your starting price and whether you want to set a reserve. Be realistic.

Lower starting prices attract more buyers and generally result in a higher final price.

You can also choose to set a reserve price to make sure you get your minimum acceptable price. There is a small fee for adding a reserve price to your auction, but this fee is fully refundable if your item sells.

You can also use a Best Offer option to encourage buyers to make offers on your car. Then you decide whether to accept, decline or counteroffer.

Payment - How do you want to be paid? The more payment options you offer, the more potential buyers you can reach. Do you want a deposit first? When are payments due? If you accept returns, say so in your listing. You should also provide sales tax information where applicable.

Shipping - Which countries will you ship to? Make sure it's clear who has to pay for the shipping costs. Your buyer will be responsible for vehicle shipping or pickup.

Warranties and Inspection - If your car is still protected by any warranties, it should be listed in the description. Make it clear if you've had the car inspected or if you'll let the buyer have the car inspected at their own time and expense, prior to close of sale.

Within Canada - Once your buyer has paid in full for the car, you'll need to provide them with the vehicle registration. You should leave the registration on the driver's seat of the car when shipping and send a copy directly to the buyer. It's the buyer's responsibility at that point to register the car in his/her own province.

Outside Canada - If you're exporting your car, you need the following documentation: customs notification, original bill of landing, bill of sale, Canadian registration, and any other documents related to the car. Not all cars can be exported to the U.S., so you should check this before you decide to make it available to that market. Use the Selling Your Car to the U.S. checklist for more details.

Duty fees have to be paid on foreign-made vehicles. Most cars will need to comply with American DOT standards, including bumper and emissions standards.

Many buyers choose to pick up the car in person, but if this isn't possible, there are many different shipping methods available to them. The buyer will be responsible for shipping the car, but you'll need to make sure it's ready to be shipped and that the necessary documentation is available for the service they choose.

Your shipping terms should have been covered in your listing, but make sure the buyer understands who is responsible for what.