As a second-hand car trader, you are keen on finding the right cars for the right price. The creation of added value is often key to obtain attractive margins and make more profit. This list of easy and low-cost tricks can help to improve the quality of the used vehicles you are selling and boost the car’s resale value.

1. Affordable and easy ways to increase a car’s resale value

• Clean and polish the bodywork in a very precise and professional way. It is widely known that first impressions are the most lasting, so do your utmost to get rid of any traces of mud, dust and greasy stains. Do not forget about polishing the bodywork so it looks neat. Cleanliness really matters for a potential buyer.

• Get rid of the failures, scratches and any paint chips, visible on the bodywork. They are clear signs the car had a bump so it is advisable to remove them. The cheapest way is to fix single scratches rather than paint the whole bodywork.

• Vacuum the interior properly and equip it with air freshener. Cleanliness is crucial as it shows you really take care of the cars you sell. Air freshener is necessary, especially if the previous owner used to smoke when driving. It will help to reduce an unpleasant cigarette smell in the interior of the car. Replacing the air filter will also help.

• The condition of such components as steering wheel padding, wiper blades, pedal covers pads or car floor mats quickly reveal the extent to which the vehicle has been exploited. If they are significantly worn out, you would do better to replace them. It is very cheap and effective way to increase car’s resale value.

2. Equipment and accessories

• Always do a vehicle check-up to make sure that the car functions properly. Any brake system or steering system failures should be immediately fixed as they may lead to a car accident. If possible, try to replace only low-cost parts.

• Complete the basic equipment (fire extinguisher, warning triangle, medical kit, spare tyre) and top up necessary oils and liquids. There should be also a little bit of gasoline so your potential client could make a test-drive.

• If the car has been customised to someone’s personal taste, it is necessary to bring it back to the original condition (remove any stickers, writings, tuning bumpers).

• Offer additional accessories (radio, seat covers) if you have any. You may say you add them for free but in real, you can increase the price of the car for the amount accessories are worth. Anyway, it’s all about maximizing the profit.

3. Things to remember when speaking to potential customers

• As a professional car trader, you must be well-informed about second-hand car prices. It testifies to a good understanding of the used car industry and puts you in the driver’s seat when negotiating with customers and business partners.

• Prepare all relevant documentation to prove that the car was purchased legally and at the correct mileage. It’s shows that you are reliable car trader.

The crux of the matter is to increase your margins with some small, low-cost interventions. Some tricks prove that if you devote a little bit time and effort, you can substantially increase the car’s resale value.