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The Definitive Guide to Selling Your Car on Consignment

Are you looking to sell your car privately?  Wouldn't it be great if you could hire someone experienced to take care of the entire sales process? That means you wouldn't have to take calls from strangers, you could avoid meeting with tire kickers and "test drivers" that end up ghosting you. Now imagine a professional car dealer selling your car for you. With their expertise, they could do it quickly, and for top dollar. In exchange for a small fee, you'd be saving your time and likely getting more for your car than if you were to sell it yourself.

That’s what selling a car on consignment is all about. If you're researching options for selling your car, read on to learn everything you need to know about car consignment so you can decide if it's the right choice for you.

Porsche 911 rear taillight

What is car consignment?

Consigning your car means allowing a dealership to sell your car on your behalf. A nominal fee is paid to the dealer, who is then responsible for cleaning, conditioning, photographing, listing, promoting, selling, and even shipping your car to its new owner. What's the benefit for you (the owner)? Simply put, convenience & profit. Compared to selling your car privately, consignment saves you an incredible amount of time and effort, and it tends to result in a higher sale price for your car or truck.

What's in it for the consigner/dealer?

Car consigners & dealers make money by charging you consignment fees. Consignment fees will vary based on things like vehicle condition, history, features, etc. Please contact us if you'd like to learn more about consignment and our fees.

To see if the consignment fees are fair, compare the likely sale value of your car if you sold it yourself to the time savings and convenience of hiring someone to do it for you. If the fees and their values are in your favour (they often are), then the consignment fee will be worth it.

How to find a good consigner

Consigning your car can be a great way to get a higher price for it, but you need to make sure you find a reputable dealership who will take good care of your car. Do your research to learn about the consignment process and what steps are involved. That way, you can be sure your car will be well-taken care of and sold quickly.

As with any other product or service, research the dealership to learn more about their business. Read their reviews and compare them with competitive offerings to ensure you're getting what you need; experienced dealers can market your car properly so that it sells faster and for more money.

Read their Google Reviews and browse their site. Take a look at how their existing vehicles are merchandised and advertised, this will give you a good idea of how they'll promote your own car. You can even ask for live examples to see what they're currently doing for other consignment clients.

At Carget, we're always working with consignment cars, so feel free to reach out to us with any questions.

Nissan GT-R rear end

So now that you know what car consignment is, read on to understand our consignment process better.

5 Steps to Selling Your Car on Consignment

1. Learning about your car

The first step to selling your car on consignment is for the dealer to get familiar with your car.

It's important that they learn everything there is about your particular make and model. Next, they'll research finer details that go beyond basic specs. Things like the exterior colour, optional extras, model year, and special packages can have a big impact on the rarity & desirability of your vehicle. Using these details, consigners can effectively price and market your car during the selling stage.

White Lexus RC rear quarter view

In addition to vehicle details, dealers will need to know your history with the car. This paints an important picture of the car's life and how it's been looked after. They will also request documents like maintenance receipts, a window sticker, and receipts parts and modifications. It might seem like a lot of work, but the more they know about your car, the better equipped they'll be to price and market you car. They'll also be better equipped during negotiations, which ultimately results in a higher selling price for you.

2. Setting a price

The ideal price for your car should be a reasonable reflection of its condition, desirability, and the market. The consignment dealer will advise you on a suggested price based on their research and expertise, but you have the final say in determining the price of the car. Whether you choose a range or an exact figure, be sure to set a price that you are comfortable with.

Perhaps the best thing about car consignment is that dealer's goals are aligned with yours, they want to sell your car fast, and at high a price as possible due to their fee structure (more on that later).

3. Preparing for sale

The next step is to prepare your car for sale by taking care of necessary repairs, addressing any cosmetic issues, and cleaning it inside and out. Once the car is clean and ready, the photographers begin taking pictures. Our professional photographers specialize in this kind of photography and will take high quality photos that accurately highlight the main selling points of your car. The dealership will then create a comprehensive listing for your car that includes professional photos and detailed information.

Porsche 911 getting detailed

4. Listing for sale

After all of the necessary repairs and maintenance are complete, the vehicle is then listed for sale and marketed to potential buyers. If you've ever sold a car privately, you know how time consuming and frustrating it can be. But with consignment, the dealer will take care of everything, making it much easier for you! The dealer's goal is to find the right buyer for your car and balance speed of sale with maximizing the value of your car. To do this, you'll need to maximize the visibility of your car. Online classifieds sites like AutoTrader.ca, Kijiji Autos, and CarGurus are important players in the market, and dealers have access to features and upgrades within these marketplaces that private sellers don't. The dealer will list your car for sale in the places they see fit. This may include other marketplaces like Facebook Marketplace or eBay.

5. Selling your car

The dealer will provide potential buyers with the information they need to feel confident about their purchase. This includes answering phone calls and emails promptly, and providing detailed information about your car or truck. The dealer will share any offer that meets your requirements and work with you to find the ideal buyer. Once an agreed upon price has been accepted by the buyer, the dealer will take care of the remaining steps.

Mercedes Benz GLE in underground garage

6. Receiving payment and transferring ownership

The dealer will also handle the transfer of the title and filling out DMV paperwork. Lastly, once all the paperwork is done, they'll facilitate the payment transfer. When selling a car on consignment, the seller (current owner) will keep the title until the car is sold. The buyer's payment will be kept in an escrow account and used to pay any existing loans and applicable consignment fees before being transferred to the seller. This is a significant reduction in risk for both the buyer and the seller.

7. Delivery

We consign many types of cars, with a focus on collectible or rare cars that can generate nationwide or international interest. We provide excellent visibility for your car in all the relevant markets and can also arrange shipping for distant buyers.

Semi truck transporting cars

Now that you're familiar with the benefits & process of consignment, you may be wondering one more thing.

How much does Car Consignment cost?

The short answer is; it depends. Consignment fees can vary depending on the car or truck, and they can be a flat fee or a percentage of the final sale price.

At Carget Automotive, we charge fees based on the vehicle being consigned. Cars that are more challenging to sell, or ones that require extra care and attention during the sales process will typically command a higher consignment fee. Each car that is consigned with us receives the necessary attention and support in order to achieve the highest possible sale price for the seller.

Our consignment fees will be explained to you before you agree to consign your car with us, so there are no surprises. Please contact us today to learn more.

Are you ready to consign your car?

Now that you know how car consignment works, you can make an informed decision on the best way to sell your car. If you do decide to consign your car, please reach out to us for a no-obligation consultation. We'll answer your questions, learn about your car, and come up with a plan to sell your car faster and for more money.

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    About Carget Automotive

    We're Saskatoon's largest luxury car dealership, offering a large selection of quality pre-owned luxury cars and trucks. We offer financing and leasing options for all credit types. We proudly serve customers from all over Canada with nationwide shipping. No matter where you are or what you're looking for, we're here to help! If you're interested in consigning your car with us, take a look at how our car consignment program can be customized to your needs.

    Legal disclaimer: We abide by all local laws and governing bodies, but none of the content in this article should be taken as, or treated like legal advice.