Four Steps to a Successful Sale
1. Prepare to Sell
Get started with tips and advice on what information to gather about your vehicle and how to take the best photos.
2. Create Your Listing
From how to describe your vehicle to determining the best price, we’ll guide you through creating a listing attractive to buyers.
3. Manage Your Listing
Once you have your listing posted, learn how to keep track of any activity on it and how to establish contact with potential buyers.
4. Complete the Sale
Review the final steps you need to take to close the deal: finalize payment, get the vehicle to the buyer, and transfer the title.
As you prepare to sell on eBay, complete our easy registration process and
create a seller's account. Before you begin your eBay Motor's listing, it is
important that you use the tools and tips that we provide to help you gather
information about your vehicle and take quality pictures. This will increase
the chances that your vehicle will sell for the highest amount possible.
Use the following helpful links as you prepare to sell:
To sell on eBay Motors, you must register to become an eBay member and create a seller's account. This one-time process involves two simple steps: (1) register as an eBay member and (2) create a seller's account. If you've already registered as an eBay member, proceed to the Create a Seller's Account section.
Register as an eBay Member
The one-time registration process at eBay is free and easy. Registering as an eBay member will allow you to bid or buy on eBay. When you register at eBay
, you will be asked to:
- Provide your basic contact information. Your information will be kept private on eBay's secure servers.
- Create your own User ID and password to ensure that transactions are safe and secure when you sign in at eBay.
- Confirm your eBay registration via email. eBay will send you a message with a link and instructions to confirm your registration.
Create a Seller's Account
To start selling on eBay, you will need to create a seller's account. This is a one-time process that is free, and your information will be kept private on eBay's secure servers.
When you create a seller's account
, you will be asked to:
- Verify your information. To help provide a safe environment for the eBay community, you'll need to provide the following account information:
- Credit or debit card
- Checking account
- Choose how to pay your selling fees. When you create a seller's account, you can choose to have your selling fees deducted from your U.S. checking account or charge them to your credit card.
To create an eBay Motors vehicle listing, you will need to gather important
information about your vehicle to insure a smooth listing process and a
Print and complete the Sell Your Vehicle Checklist
Save time by printing and completing our short and easy-to-use
checklist to record all of your vehicle information before you go
online to create your eBay Motor's listing. This checklist will identify all
the information you'll need to sell your vehicle.
Be prepared to provide the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN)
If you are listing a vehicle that is newer than 1981 the VIN is required. Even
if your vehicle is older than 1981, it is good to include the VIN in your
Know your vehicle history
If you are not the original owner, it is worthwhile to run a
vehicle history report. Make sure that any branded title or history of
the vehicle (such as Flood or Salvage) is appropriately disclosed in the
description. Even if you've got a current clean title, if there was a salvage
title in the history, you must disclose it to buyers.
Locate the vehicle title and have it ready to transfer to the new buyer
If the title is not in your possession currently, disclose any liens or other
limitations on title transfer in the item description, because it could take
extra time for you to secure the title and transfer it to the buyer. You may
need to contact your lien holder to determine timing and steps of acquiring the
You may want to run a check on your vehicle to make sure the title information
kept in public records is accurate. Your insurance company or your state's
Department of Motor Vehicles should be able to provide you with this
information. You should disclose information about the vehicle title in your
Check with your Motor Vehicle Department about other requirements.
Some states (such as California) require that the seller complete a smog check, pay taxes,
or meet other requirements before selling a vehicle to a new owner. Check with
your state Department of Motor Vehicles about your obligations when selling a
Because most potential buyers will not have the opportunity to see your vehicle
in person, it is important that you provide multiple pictures in your listing.
People will buy a used vehicle without driving it, but not without seeing it.
An online transaction requires the seller to provide a virtual walk around.
This is best done with a minimum of 12 photos. We recommend a setting that
produces original pictures of 1024x768 pixels (a common size) or some values
close to that. Do not use stock photos.
Why are photos important?
Multiple photos have proven more effective when selling a vehicle.
Because photos speak for themselves, buyers are likely to have fewer questions
during the listing duration.
Photos provide buyers with added confidence in the seller and ultimately in
their bidding and purchase behavior.
Photos should be taken from several vantage points:
Exterior: all four sides
Close-ups of any dings, dents, stains, or other damage
Photographing Your Vehicle
Generally, items listed with good photos receive more bids and sell for higher
prices than those with poor quality photos. Here are some photos tips for your
Provide potential bidders with a full exterior view of your vehicle. At a
minimum, you should use ¾ views to capture the front, back, and both sides in
two photos; however, the more detail the better. To provide the most effective
listing it is important to include a direct front and rear photo along with
each side of vehicle to help identify the distinguishing make and model
characteristics of the vehicle. These views are useful, because they can also
show options like fog lights (front) or trailer hitch (rear).
As you walk around the outside of the vehicle, check to see whether there are
any other details that show the condition. In order to increase buyer
confidence, you should take photos of any notable issues including:
Dents, rust, interior damage, rips, tears, paint fade, and scratches
Cleanliness of wheels and tire tread
Grill and font end of car
Truck bed (if applicable)
Buyers should be aware of any known problems before they complete the purchase.
Many successful sellers use blue masking tape to highlight damage, because
damage is sometimes difficult to see in a digital picture.
Photograph all the details a buyer will want to see inside the vehicle. Make
sure to photograph the seats, dashboard, and any optional equipment (such as a
stereo), floor carpets, backseat, or other interior angles. Also include any
items that help identify optional equipment, such as trim level and condition.
Lighting is important for interior photos as shadows and poor lighting can make
them difficult to see online. Use of a flash for interior photos.
Take close-up photos of the odometer reading and the VIN. Take a picture of the
odometer reading with the keys in the ignition and the power turned on so the
mileage appears clearly in the photo.
Lighting is important for interior photos as shadows and poor lighting can make
them difficult to see online. Use of a flash for interior photos.
Buyers will want to know that the engine has been maintained and is in working
condition. This is especially true of older and collector vehicles. One photo
of the entire engine compartment with good lighting is usually adequate.
Tips on Taking Photos
The car should fill the frame of the photograph.
Background should be neutral, so that it is easy to see the vehicle.
Shadows and poor lighting can make photos difficult to see online. Shadows from
trees and buildings can obscure a clear view. Early morning or late afternoon
light is generally best for photos. You should have your back to the sun and
watch for shadows, including your own. Use a flash for interior and engine
Your next step is to create an eBay Motor's listing that will entice buyers to purchase your vehicle. Be sure to include a detailed description of your vehicle, the terms of sale, and a realistic price based on research that supports your vehicle's value.
Use the following helpful links to create your listing:
You are now ready to create your eBay Motor's listing. Use the
Sell Your Item form
to get started.
If you did not already complete the Sell Your Vehicle
, you should do so now before you continue to create your eBay
Motor's listing. The information on this checklist will help you create your
You will be asked to provide a Vehicle Identification Number (VIN) when you
complete the Sell Your Item form. Entering a VIN allows eBay to pre-populate
your listing with information that is specific to your vehicle. This results in
a more robust listing.
It is important to be completely honest in your description as this builds
buyer trust and may help you sell at a higher price. Be professional, thorough,
A good description includes:
Make, model, sub model, and year
Example: "You are bidding on a 2002 BMW 328is."
Engine type and transmission
Example: "2.8 liter 6-cylinder with manual transmission"
Vehicle condition for the interior, exterior, and engine
"The paint has faded on the hood and roof."
"This is a non-smoker vehicle."
"My mechanic recommends replacing the shocks and struts."
Options and option packages
Example: "Sport package including sunroof, leather seats, sport wheels, and
Interior and comfort features
Example: "Leather seats with power adjustments"
Any notable additions or modifications to the vehicle
Example: "I added 18" custom wheels in 1998 including a new set of snow tires.
I also disabled the alarm."
Example: "I am the original owner and bought the car from Seaside BMW in 1997."
Maintenance records, if any
Example: "I have all records of service from my ownership and the previous
Example: "The car has new tires and a new clutch installed less than 2 months ago."
Example: "The car is still protected by a powertrain warranty that has one year left of coverage."
Your next step is to determine a realistic price for your vehicle.
Research Your Vehicle's Value
A great way to determine a realistic price is to search for the make/model you
are interested in on eBay Motors. You can then use the Price Research tab to
find detailed pricing information based on past eBay sales, current eBay
listing prices, and industry leading price research data.
Determine a Pricing Strategy
The most successful sellers on eBay Motors choose the best auction and pricing
strategy to meet their objectives. Selecting the right strategy will lead to
more bids and the successful sale of your vehicle. In general, set the starting
price low to attract buyers' attention and drive market excitement. There are
basically four pricing strategies to consider: Reserve Price auctions, No
Reserve Price auctions, Buy It Now listings, and Best Offer listings.
A Reserve Price Auction enables you to set a reserve price, which is the
minimum price that you are willing to accept. This minimizes risk, because
there is no obligation to sell until the reserve price is met.
When should you use a reserve auction?
Effective for late models and higher priced vehicles.
Popular with sellers with little or no experience selling their vehicle on eBay
Set your reserve price as the lowest possible price that you are willing to
Set your reserve price close to trade-in, as most sales on eBay Motors are
between trade-in and retail. New sellers often make the mistake of pricing too
close to retail; as a result, bidding excitement never gets a chance to start
and their items don't sell.
Set a low starting price to create bidding momentum as early as possible.
Listings with high starting prices and an unknown reserve fare poorly on eBay
If you've chosen to use a Reserve Price Auction format, you may
lower your reserve or remove your reserve price
during the auction to
sell your vehicle quickly.
In No Reserve Price Auctions, any bid at or above your starting price wins the
When should you use a No Reserve Price Auction?
Trends to Consider:
Effective for older and lower priced vehicles.
Effective if you are looking to sell your vehicle in a hurry and getting the
right price is less critical.
Popular with vehicle sellers who are more experienced in the eBay marketplace.
A No Reserve Price Auction with a high starting price that is equivalent to a
reserve price will receive very few bids until the final hours of the auction.
Bidding rates are generally higher for these types of auctions than Reserve
Price Auctions, but a high percentage of these auctions end with no bids.
A No Reserve Price Auction with a low starting price is for the seller who is
comfortable turning a profit based on volume. This method is potentially risky,
because the seller could take a loss if multiple bidders do not drive up the
price. This approach, however, does drive bidding activity and almost
guarantees that the vehicle will sell.
The Buy It Now price allows you to specify a fixed sale price for your vehicle.
When should you use the Buy It Now price?
To price your vehicle for a fast sale.
In a reserve or no reserve auction listing to give your buyers the option of
purchasing the vehicle immediately at a fixed price.
To show buyers that you are serious about making a deal.
Many buyers judge the value of the reserve price according to the Buy It Now
price. If your reserve price is lower than the Buy It Now price, consider
mentioning that in your listing.
Setting an unrealistically high Buy It Now price-like a "sticker price"-can
scare away potential buyers.
You can lower your Buy It Now price during
the auction to show buyers that you are willing to sell the vehicle immediately
for a fixed price provided there is a minimum of 12 hours left before your
listing ends. You may also add a Buy It Now price
to allow a buyer to end the auction immediately and win the vehicle-provided
there isn't a winning bid. Learn more about how to revise
With Best Offer with buyers can offer a price they are willing to pay for your
vehicle. Once your accept an offer, the listing is closed and the buyer is
obligated to pay the price offered. If you agree to review Best Offers, a Make
Offer button displays on your listing page in the same area as the Buy It Now
or Advertised Price.
When should you use a No Reserve Price Auction?
- Effective for older and lower priced vehicles.
- Effective if you are looking to sell your vehicle in a hurry and getting the right price is less critical.
Your listing will be your primary means of communication with potential buyers.
Therefore, it is important for the buyer and the seller to understand and agree
to the terms of sale.
As you create your listing, you should specify the following information:
Describe your requirements for payment in detail. Let the buyer know if you
require a deposit, what payment methods you accept, and when the balance payoff
(or full amount if you do not require a deposit) is due.
It is a common practice for eBay Motors sellers to require a deposit within 72
hours after the end of a successful listing. Specify the amount of the deposit
and a reasonable period of time in which you expect to receive it. Consider
using PayPal to accept deposits via credit
card and bank account deposits online, because this is a standard form of
payment used by eBay buyers.
Balance Payoff Amount
Specify how and when you'd like the balance to be paid. Most sellers require a
certified check, money order, or some type of financing.
Financing Through eBay
Let buyers know that they can apply for financing at the eBay Motors Financing
or on the Financing tab before they place a bid or offer to buy your
vehicle. Deals may close faster with loans arranged through the Financing
Center. Consider providing a link to the Financing Center in your listing.
Shipping or Pickup
It is standard practice on eBay Motors for the buyer to make the arrangements
and pay the costs associated with picking up or shipping the vehicle. Specify
who will pay for the shipping and whether you will be willing to deliver the
vehicle within a specific driving distance. Many eBay Motors buyers will drive
or fly to the seller's location to pick up the vehicle. As a seller, you can
facilitate the fulfillment of the sale by making it easy for buyers to
understand their options.
Sellers will often provide estimates of shipping costs to various locations
around the U.S. eBay Motors also provides buyers with an option to arrange
shipping in the Shipping Center and on the Shipping tab associated with any
vehicle. Always include your city and ZIP code in your listing. Buyers can use
this information to get a free online quote for vehicle shipping.
Specify whether you have already performed an inspection or you would allow
your buyers to have the vehicle inspected at their own time and expense prior
to the close of sale.
eBay Motors recommends arranging inspections through SGS Automotive. With their
150-point vehicle inspection, SGS Automotive helps you build the confidence
that is crucial to any vehicle or motorcycle sale. Learn more about
SGS Vehicle Inspections
You can manage your listing through My eBay. Once signed in to My eBay, you can add information or upgrade your listing to attract more buyers. You can do this at any time while your listing is active. You can also establish contact with your potential buyers to increase the chances that your vehicle will sell.
Use the following helpful links to you manage your listing:
Once your listing is active, you should build a relationship with potential buyers by email or phone. This will strongly increase your chances of arriving at a successful sale.
Be Accessible to Potential Buyers
Make sure that your phone number and email address on your eBay account is accurate. The serious buyer will be more likely to engage in business with you if you are open and responsive to questions and concerns in a timely manner - both during the listing period and after the purchase when transactional details are being resolved. You may want to consider adding your telephone number to your item description in order to further facilitate communication. This can also add to the buyer's sense of trust in a seller. eBay buyers expect customer service from the sellers, and that's what drives the feedback score. "Great communication!" is a common feedback comment. Be sure to schedule time every day to check your listings and look for emails containing questions about the vehicle.
Reach Out to Potential Buyers
If you have questions about a potential buyer's feedback rating or bidding activity, you should contact the buyer directly. It's likely that the potential buyer has questions regarding the vehicle or the terms of sale and will appreciate that you initiated communication. The best sellers talk to every serious buyer. This results in a higher level of buyer trust, more bids, and an increase in final sales, because communication problems are avoided that might have resulted in an unpaid item
Manage Listings Using My eBay
One of the best ways to track your listings is by using My eBay - a central place where you can manage all your eBay activities. You can click "My eBay" at the top of almost any page on eBay Motors. Next, select the Selling tab to track the current price of your listings and the number of bids that you have received. You can use My eBay to lower your reserve or Buy It Now price.
When you have received bids, you can contact bidders by accessing your listing, and then viewing the bid history.
Use the Bid History Page
The Bid History page is your source for contacting bidders. You can access the Bid History page by clicking the link in the History section on your vehicle listing.
Request Member's Contact Info
You can also request more contact information about the bidders by using the Find Contact Information
If your listing isn't receiving the bidding or buying activity that you expected, consider revising your price. The pricing information that you can revise depends upon the remaining time before your listing ends and whether users have bid on or purchased your items. Learn more about how to revise your price
If you want to change, add information, or upgrade your listing to attract more buyers, use the Revise Your Item
page. Learn more about the types of changes that you can make
Once you've sold your vehicle, you'll need to collect payment and confirm the pickup or shipping arrangements with the buyer. Be sure to check with your state's Department of Motor Vehicles for details on how the title transfer should be handled.
Use the following helpful links to close the deal:
You should have already established your payment terms in your eBay Motors listing. Sellers are encouraged to accept deposits via PayPal and the balance of the payment via the Financing Center
. However, sellers are welcome to accept or deny any type of payment, as long as those terms are clearly explained in the listing.
Complete the Sale: Arrange Pickup / Shipping
You should have already established your pickup and/or shipping terms in your eBay Motors listing. Most buyers opt to pick up the vehicle in person; however, if shipping services are required for your transaction, please make sure the shipping company that you and the buyer agree to use is fully bonded and insured.
eBay Motors recommends a number of dependable shipping companies that are listed in the Shipping Center
. But if you have a prior relationship with a trustworthy shipping company, you might want to offer to help arrange for shipping.
Complete the Sale: Transfer Title
You will need to transfer the title of the vehicle to the new owner. Each state has slightly different rules on how the title transfer should be completed. We recommend that you visit your state's Department of Motor Vehicles
to review detailed information about transferring titles to the new owner.
If for some reason your vehicle did not sell, you can make a Second Chance Offer to one or more of your bidders or take advantage of the free Relist policy on eBay.
Utilize a Second Chance Offer
Even if the auction closes unsuccessfully, you can make a Second Chance Offer
to one or more of your bidders. A Second Chance Offer allows you to contact the bidders on your ended listing with a lower offered price on the vehicle. You and the buyer can agree on any price that you want, but your automated offer must be lower than your previous reserve price.
Sellers can send a Second Chance Offer from any of these pages:
- Bid History page: Go to your closed listing and then click the "Bid History" link.
- My eBay page: In the Items I've Sold section, click the Action menu and select "Send a Second Chance Offer."
- Item page for a closed listing: Sign in with your User ID and then click the link for the Second Chance Listing tool.
The "Second Chance Offer" link is only available for closed listings with at least one non-winning bidder.
Relist Your Vehicle
You can always relist your vehicle by clicking the Relist Item
button on the bottom-left corner of your item page. You will be credited the Insertion Fee if your vehicle sells.
Normally, Insertion Fees are non-refundable. However, if your listing ends without a winning buyer or results in an unpaid item (UPI), you may qualify for a credit by relisting the item. If the item sells the second time, eBay will refund the Insertion Fee for the relisting. Learn more about relisting your vehicle