You may have wondered what a consigned car is and how buying one is different from your regular dance at the dealership or your craigslist prank. You may be wondering what is involved in selling a car on consignment and whether it is a good idea. Whether you’re buying or selling, you may have questions like these:
- what is car consignment?
- How is shipping different from regular buying and selling?
- why would someone consign a car?
- can this process be trusted?
- saves time. posting ads, answering calls and emails, and dealing with time wasters and tire kickers… it all adds up fast.
- relieves stress. no more rearranging your schedule hoping a potential buyer won’t be put off at the last second.
- extends its reach. It’s hard to ship a car across the country as a private seller. not to mention, how do you know it’s not a scam?
- be honest about the condition of the car, including its defects
- be upfront about rates and time expectations
- actually delivering payment, title and car as promised
even if you don’t know anything about car consignment right now, you’ll either be an expert by the end of this article or it’s free. wait, are you saying it’s already free? then I guess you have nothing to lose.
Reading: Consign a car reviews
what is car shipping, anyway?
Car consignment involves the use of a consignment company as a intermediary between the seller and potential buyers. The seller pays consignment fees to the company, and in return, the company handles the entire sale on behalf of the seller. Everything from building effective listings to handling tedious negotiations, to dealing with scammers and scammers, is done without bothering the seller. nice and easy.
but there’s more. The consignor accepts the buyer’s payment and delivers it to the seller, typically holding the money in an escrow account in between. This is generally seen as a safer alternative to accepting a check from a stranger in a Wal-Mart parking lot and hoping it doesn’t bounce.
Some consignment companies will handle the title transfer as well as all the dmv paperwork, making sure everything is filled out correctly. some will even play a role in delivering the car and might even give you a few details along the way.
In short, consignment allows people to sell their cars without the typical hassle and headache of doing it themselves.
what’s so hard about selling a car yourself?
It all comes down to trust.
If you’re selling a car on consignment and someone tries to scam the consignment company out of your car, you probably won’t even know it. if a buyer gives up at the last second, he won’t know either.
The goal is to take as much work off the seller’s plate as possible. car consignment:
When you sell through a good consignment company, their experience allows them to find the right market for your car and market it perfectly to reach the right buyer. that means you will get the best price in the shortest possible time.
why would I pay someone else to sell my car?
In an ideal situation, auto shipping will actually save you money. Not only does it open up your schedule for all those hours you would normally spend selling your car, but since consignment companies are experts at crafting effective listings and posting them in the right places, the resulting buyer is often willing to pay more than local buyers or craigslist low-ballers.
The frugal among us will be happy to know that shipping rates are usually based on a percentage of the car’s final sales price. Unless you’re selling a rare, exotic, or incredibly expensive car, the fees won’t run that high, and will be largely offset by the hours you save and the higher sales price you achieve. Additional perks such as detailed services and high-quality listings with professional photography also help tip the scales of value in your favor.
Consignment isn’t just for luxury collector car auctions, either. in fact, the cheaper the car, the less you’ll pay in consignment fees.
Learn more about consignment car sales with our guide for consignment car dealers.
why would i buy a consigned car? Won’t I overpay?
It’s no secret that consignment companies want to sell high; this is how they make money and keep sellers happy. but no one in their right mind would overpay for a car in the 21st century. there is too much variety to choose from.
What is acceptable is paying a fair amount for the right car. a car with the options and extras you are looking for. a car in the right color, with the right interior, with the right mileage, and the right maintenance records. a car that talks to you It may not be the cheapest of its kind, but it’s the one you’ve been looking for all along.
More pragmatically, consignment companies only make money by moving cars. average shipping prices are not higher than private listing prices depending on the model; after all, it’s more about what you’re buying than who you’re buying it from.
Learn more about consignment car buying with our buyer’s guide to car consignment.
how do I know a consignment company is legit?
Whether you’re buying or selling a consigned car, you need to be able to trust the company you’re working with. you trust the shipper to:
Because car consignment companies never buy your cars directly, they are required to act as the best possible intermediary between buyers and sellers. this two-way engagement means consignees can only stay in business by being honest and transparent with everyone involved.
If you’re concerned about its legitimacy, you can research the company’s past sales, legal documents, and business records to make sure it’s not a spur-of-the-moment operation. Fortunately, car consignment scammers don’t last long: A couple of well-targeted lawsuits or even a spate of negative reviews will shut down a deal faster than a landslide brings traffic to a standstill on Highway 1.
Learn more by reading 4 Telltale Signs of an Honest Car Listing and 4 Signs You Can Trust a Car Consignment Company.
how do I know a consigned car is trustworthy?
You want to trust this car you’re buying, right? he wants to drive it around the world, take his future soul mate on their first date, and pass it down to his children in a couple of decades as one of his most prized possessions. Or maybe it’s just for groceries and you’ll sell it in six months. to each his own.
car consignment has more moving parts than a regular car sale, resulting in what I call the consignment circle of trust. in this circle, each party must be honest with the next.
Buyers should practice the same level of discretion when contacting a car consignment company as they would a used car dealer or private seller. ask as many questions as necessary, not only about the car, but also about the company, until you can trust that sufficient scrutiny was applied when the consignee accepted the car in the first place.
Negative reviews can sink ships and lawsuits are nightmares, so consigned cars are vetted for safety and legitimacy long before they’re listed. this means that consigned cars are inspected twice before they are sold: once by the consignee and once by you.
The best car consignment companies will not knowingly risk their reputation just to make a quick buck. they want you to be smiling in the driver’s seat just as much as you are.
Do you feel confident about shipping cars?
It’s not a crazy concept: pay someone else to do the legwork while you sit back and relax.
shipping works fine from both sides. As a buyer, car consignment means you can trust that the car you’re buying has been looked at by someone who has a vested interest in making you happy. As a seller, instead of wasting hours writing ads and receiving reviews, maybe it’s worth investing that time in something you love.
at the exotic car dealer, what we love is right in our name. We offer a curated shipping inventory of high-end, exotic, and collectible vehicles. Our media-rich listings provide a transparent view of every car we sell. We’re a brick-and-mortar company with strong ties to South Florida’s car culture, and our consignment rates are more Honda Pilot than Pagani Huayra.
If you’re looking for a high-end vehicle, take a look at our current inventory.
If you want to sell, consider our car consignment program designed specifically for your needs.
how car consignment works as a buyer | how car consignment works as a seller
Cover Image Credit: Jose Mueses
Words from Justin Dake
We are not lawyers. this article does not contain legal advice.
See also: Best Remote Car Starters for 2022 – CNET