Isn't it amazing how quickly everything changed once the Coronavirus showed up? Within days, states began ordering everyone to "stay-at-home," and suddenly the way we do things changed overnight in order to stay safe and stop the spread. What is also amazing is how well we Americans innovate and adapt. Our collective response thus far during COVID-19 has already changed many aspects of daily life, some of which will remain beyond this pandemic:
- Restaurants - drive-through, curbside, or home delivery
- Grocery and retail stores - Online ordering with curbside pick up or home delivery
- Movie theatres - stream content from Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, YouTubeTV
- Religious services - online streaming and drive-through confessions
- Banking - ATM, drive-through, scanned deposits, online transfers
- Shopping for a car - Digital online buying with test drives and paperwork delivered to your home
- Working from home - Zoom, Skype, VPN
- Education - home schooling, online classes
- Haircut - spouse, friend, roommate, relative, self
- Keeping up with friends - social media, live video streaming, virtual everything
Selling A Vehicle
What about selling a vehicle now and in the post-COVID-19 era? Did you know each year approximately 14 million used autos, RVs and motorcycles are sold in the United States by private sellers? Before COVID-19, most people sold their vehicle to a dealer (trade-in or instant cash offer) or sold it themselves online. Since COVID-19 arrived, both traditional options have already experienced significant changes and are trending downward among private sellers based on safety concerns, government directives (social distancing and shut downs) and economic uncertainty:
Instant Cash Offers Down Significantly
During the initial COVID-19 shut down, dealers were making decent "trade-in" offers if you were buying a vehicle from them (1 out, 1 in), but many, especially the large dealer groups like Carvana, CarMax, AutoNation, initially stopped or pulled back from making "instant cash" offers as they tried to manage their cash and inventory levels while vehicle sales were down significantly, showrooms remain closed, and employees remained furloughed. Uncertainty seems to be everyone's new normal and when used car dealers become uncertain, they generally caution on the side of lower instant cash offers, if any. Selling a vehicle to a dealer is still much safer than selling it yourself online, but it could come at an even higher cost to you than before COVID-19 with even lower instant cash offers.
COVID-19 Makes One Risky Option Even More Risky
The number one benefit of selling a vehicle privately online is the chance to get more money than local dealers are offering. However, even before COVID-19, this option has always had its share of hassles and real dangers - dealing with strangers, scams, assault, identity theft, product liability, and improper transfer of ownership. With COVID-19, the new question many private sellers are asking themselves is, "am I willing to expose myself and my family to illness and perhaps death for the chance to get more money for my car?" Americans have already begun to answer that question.
Almost overnight and for very legitimate reasons, the most popular vehicle posting sites like Autotrader, Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, CarGurus, eBay, and others experienced a dramatic decline in the number of private seller listings. This downward trend will likely continue post-COVID. Another new risk associated with selling a vehicle privately during COVID-19 is that many state DMV offices were closed during the early months of COVID-19 and could close again if the pandemic surges. Sellers expose themselves to greater liability and headaches when buyer registation and title transfer delays occur.
The good news (we can use some during these unusal times) is a safe and smarter option has emerged and is trending upward among private sellers and used car dealerships:
Safe Way to Get Retail Value Without Dealing With Strangers
A much safer and smarter selling option called automotive consignment has emerged from COVID-19 and trending upward among private party sellers. Faced with the prospect of lower instant cash offers from dealers and unacceptable health risks and dangers associated with selling privately online, more sellers are learning about and using retail consignment for the first time to optimize their resale dollars and eliminate their risk.
Consignment has been around a long time and it works very well, especially when it comes to being a safe alternative to selling a car online yourself. Essentially, with retail consignment you hand over the entire selling process to a licensed dealership in your area that specializes in selling your type of vehicle. The consignment dealer sells it for you along side their inventory while taking the proper COVID-19 precautions (sanitized vehicles, solo test drives, home deliveries after purchase) and charges sellers a reasonable commission. Sellers generally get 15-35% more money using consignment compared to a traditional dealer instant cash or trade-in offer.
Here is the other good news. Retail My Ride has created a free and easy online tool for private sellers to connect with Auto, RV and Motorcycle dealerships in their area that provide professional retail consignment services. Avoid the old risks of online selling and the new higher risks associated with COVID-19, while getting more money.
How to Use Retail My Ride
Use Retail My Ride to find a Consignment Pro (dealership) near you specializing in selling your type of vehicle, then contact the Consignment Pro to discuss their specific program details and requirements. You can search by Zip code, City, County, State, and filter your search by vehicle type, including Autos (late-model), Classics, Exotics, Antiques, Vintage, Custom, RVs, Motorcycles, Wheelchair accessible, Commerical, or Trailers.
You can also request a free no-obligation consignment valuation quote for your vehicle before contacting the dealer.
Get a Free Quote:
What is My Vehicle Worth on Consignment?
Watch Our Video:
How to Get More Money, Hassle-free
How Automotive Consignment Works in 3 Easy Steps
Which Vehicles are Best Suited for Retail Consignment