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How to spot a serious used car buyer

By Kijiji Autos
How to spot a serious used car buyer

You’ve posted it on Kijiji Autos, and the photos are beautiful. You’ve followed our advice so well that calls and messages are pouring in. Some are from real buyers, but there are also people who just want more information. So how can you tell the difference between a serious buyer and one who is simply curious?

First, you need to make an assessment of your callers, and that means listening carefully. If they’re serious, they should be asking specific questions on the phone:

  • “Why are you selling the car?”

This means the buyer wants to know if the car has any particular problems.

  • “How long have you had it?”

You may have addressed this in your ad, but a genuine buyer really wants to know if you’re the original owner. It’s a way of finding out whether you actually know all the details of the vehicle.

  • “What condition is it in?”

Here, the caller wants to know about the general condition of the vehicle as well as more specific details. Serious buyers may have certain concerns.

  • “What is the mileage of the car?”

This may seem elementary my dear Watson, but surprisingly, people who are just curious often don’t think to ask this question.

  • “Do you have the CARFAX Canada report?”

This question is the ultimate sign of serious buyers. If they’re willing to spend time consulting the CARFAX Canada report for a detailed history of the vehicle, you can assume they’re really interested.

The meeting

By the end of your first telephone conversation, you and the potential buyer have made an appointment to meet. You’ve determined that the person is truly interested in buying your car. Otherwise you’d be wasting your time. Even worse, you could be missing an opportunity to meet someone who genuinely wants it!

Again, the way to distinguish a serious buyer is to listen to the questions:

  • “Can I have the vehicle identification number?”

This basic piece of information will allow the person to order the CARFAX Canada report if you don’t already have it. Definitely a sign of interest!

  • “Do you have all the documentation, including the maintenance log?”

This question shows the buyer is interested and wants to do their own preliminary inspection before going any further. It’s a promising sign. By the way, keeping all your maintenance bills is a good habit!

  • “Show me the defects.”

No one likes to reveal a car’s flaws, but you have to demonstrate transparency and prove you have nothing to hide. A person who is just curious will simply look at the bodywork.

  • “Can I have it inspected?”

This is a basic precaution taken by all serious buyers. If they don’t want to have an inspection done, it could be because they aren’t really interested.

  • Are you ready to negotiate if the car needs repairs?”

The moment you start talking about price is the ultimate test. If their eyes widen at the mention of the price, they probably aren’t serious. If your visitor takes the time to listen to you and negotiate, you may have a deal!

Here are a few more signs of people who aren’t real buyers:

  • They don’t ask many questions;
  • They want to go for a test drive too quickly;
  • They don’t care about the actual condition of the car;
  • They want to negotiate the price of the vehicle before seeing it.

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