14 Jun 2021

Selling a car

Last week I sold a car. I decided to use Tred. You get far more money selling a car privately vs trading it in at a dealership. But then you have to advertise, deal with paperwork, give our your personal information etc.. Last year I bought a car through Tred, and it was a relatively simple experience, so I figured I’d use it to sell a car too.

Posting the car was simple. Just like selling something on Ebay. You add photos, some details, and answer a few questions. You even get a recommended sale price. Great so far, right? Unfortunately, as soon as I posted the car, I got several potential buyers sending me messages, asking for me to call them. For each of them I responded “Do you want to test drive, or not?” and each time, I got a generic reply “I just had a few questions that are better to deal with over the phone”… hm… I called the first one just out of curiosity. Immediately he said he was a dealership, and wanted to offer me $2k less than my asking price, and wanted to do the purchase outside of Tred (which has some safety guarantees). I told the guy that I was selling on Tred precisely to avoid people like him with low-ball offers, and said goodbye. People try to make money everywhere. It’s sad that there are people hitting refresh on Tred over and over trying to quickly buy a car for thousands less than its true value. I’m sure if I’d taken the car to the dealer, they’d have offered even less than the original quote due to scratches or worn tyres etc..They know that once you’re at the dealership you’re unlikely to turn around. Plus, by selling on Tred, people were coming to me to test drive. I wasn’t having to take the car 20 miles away to meet some dealer…

Fortunately I was patient. Within a week I’d given 4 test drives and sold the car. While this should have been pretty great overall, there were several problems. Their Android app is broken. Support acknowledged this, and just told me to use the website on my phone. They’ve also changed some of their practices due to Covid. That’s good. But their documentation differs depending on where you look. Who prints out the temporary permit for the buyer? Who fills out the odometer report? What do I have to fill out on the Title. Who’s the buyer: Tred, or the actual buyer. None of this is documented well, and requires a couple of calls to Tred Support. Still. This is all fine, as it’s still better than selling myself, and you get much more money vs a trade-in. I’m just surprised a service with these issues isn’t being crushed by a competitor. I guess there aren’t many players in this space. Well…. there should be. It’s a great idea to sell your car privately. And, despite the issues, Tred is a overall a good option. It can be a little annoying to get messaged by dealerships, and it takes time to give several potential buyer a test drive, but it’s worth it when you sell the car for thousands more than the trade-in value. Tred charges surprisingly little commission too! $19 to post the car, and 0.99% on the sale price.