Some people prefer to find their next car in the comfort of a dealership – others enjoy the hunt for a great deal with private sellers. There are pros and cons to each method of used car buying. But today, we specifically want to talk about the benefits (and drawbacks) of shopping on Craigslist Albuquerque, NM cars by owner.
Evaluate the following aspects to see if you think shopping for a used car on Craigslist is right for you!
Pro: You Can Find a Great Price
The number one pro we hear people mention about shopping for cars on Craigslist is low prices. Because the website allows sellers to post vehicles free of charge, you can often find costs that are affordable in comparison to other sources.
Plus, many individual Craigslist sellers expect buyers to negotiate with them. Most are willing to wiggle a few hundred dollars (or even a few thousand) in order to snag a successful sale, especially on an older car they’re itching to get rid of.
Before going to talk to a private seller, look up the car’s suspected value on Kelley Blue Book. This will arm you with the proper information to understand if the seller is actually offering a good deal – or if they’re overcharging you. You might even find that the price is too low – indicating a hidden problem with the vehicle that the seller might not be open about.
Con: Not All Sellers Are 100% Truthful
Although you might be able to snag a great price, you usually can’t be positive that a Craigslist seller is being totally open and honest about the state of the car. If you haven’t obtained a VIN number, conducted a test drive, and hired someone to do an inspection, you can’t be sure that the seller is telling the truth.
That’s not to say that all Craigslist sellers are dishonest – you’ll just need to double-check the facts they provide to ensure credibility. Additionally, you’ll need to remember that scams can happen on Craigslist. Never pay for a car in advance for seeing, driving, and inspecting the vehicle – and never provide personal information to an unverified, anonymous seller.
The more you can learn about a vehicle’s history, why it’s being sold, and its true state, the more confidence you can have that it’s a legit listing with a fair price.
Pro: Craigslist Is a Good Place to Do Research
A pro to Craigslist is that it offers deals from both nearby dealerships and private parties. If you’re hoping to look at hundreds, if not thousands, of options at once, this can make the shopping experience much easier.
You can easily compare many privately listed vehicles to ensure you understand what a fair price is and how well certain cars are selling. This can influence the buying decision later on, even if you don’t wind up purchasing a car from an actual Craigslist seller.
Con: You’ll Need to Schedule Your Own Inspection
Let’s say you meet with a Craigslist seller and love the car at first sight. Don’t fork over any payments yet – you’ll need to take care of some basics on your own first, including a test drive and visual inspection.
If you really want to know what you’re getting into, it’s a good idea to hire a mechanic to take a look at the car. When shopping with a dealership, this measure is usually taken care of and you can trust that the car is in the same state the seller claims – but it’s still advisable to get a pre-purchase inspection. However, when you’re shopping with a private party from Craigslist, you’ll need to be very careful and take care of the inspection with your own resources.
Pro: You Can Search for Cars Close to You
When you search cars for sale near you on Craigslist, you could find postings from people as close as your next-door neighbor. For many, this is a huge benefit – they love the convenience of being shown cars that are for sale in their neck of the woods – rather than at big dealerships that might be far away.
Using Craigslist, you can search for cars as far away as you want or within a 10-mile radius. It’s up to you, and that’s a nice option when you don’t want to waste time driving between different sellers.
Con: You’re Responsible for Your Safety
Millions of Craigslist posts go up every year – and of those postings, only 0.0005 percent have been associated with serious crimes. Still, interacting with strangers that you met online always comes with some element of risk, and you’ll need to be aware of that if you meet up with a Craigslist seller.
Bring a trusted friend with you to help make smart decisions, as well as an extra security measure. Although a serious sale with an online poster should go smoothly, it’s nice to have a friend on hand in case things get awkward or dangerous.
Additionally, you should always arrange for a meeting in a public place. Whether this is a busy neighborhood or a public parking lot, you want to be in a space where you feel comfortable and visible while meeting a stranger for the first time.
After reviewing the above-mentioned pros and cons, how are you feeling about shopping for a Craigslist used car for sale in Albuquerque? Are you comfortable working with a private seller, or would you rather buy from a dealership?
Here at NM Auto Press, we highlight a wide selection of cars from both kinds of sellers. Don’t hesitate to reach out if you’re struggling to make a decision or find the right options. Our magazine offers all of the best choices in the Albuquerque area, so you can rest assured that we have a car that’s just right for you.
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