How to Sell Used Car Audio

Everyone who gets bitten by the car stereo bug will eventually want to upgrade their system. But what do you do with your current equipment? Time to liquidate. Here's some of the best places to unload your used gear.

Ebay

The 800 pound gorilla of online auctions. Ebay remains the top auction house and is the best place to sell your equipment in my opinion. Because of the volume of traffic that eBay gets you'll get more people to see your auction and these people have come to eBay with the intention of buying something. A perfect market. Make sure you list your item in the correct category though. I'd recommend searching through completed and current auctions to get an idea of what your equipment is worth on eBay. On the left side of the screen you'll see a link that says "Completed Items". Click this to find items like yours and see what others have sold them for. Use a similar format to their's and you should get similar results. Pay attention to listing category, listing title and start/end times. Click here to go to the car audio and electronics category on eBay. If you're new to selling on eBay you should check out the eBay help section. You'll need to follow eBay's guidelines, the FTC guidelines and USPS guidelines (if you send the item through the mail). Here's a few tips that the FTC recommends:

  • Provide an accurate description of the item you're selling, including all terms of the sale and who will pay shipping costs.
  • Respond quickly to any questions bidders may raise during the auction.
  • Contact the high bidder as soon as possible after the auction closes to confirm details of the sale.
  • Ship the merchandise as soon as you receive payment.

Newsgroups and Forums

Most newsgroups and forums will have areas that you can list items you have for sale. Make sure you post in the right area to keep from getting flamed.

Classified Ads

Classified ads online are typically not that effective but classified ads in a local newspaper may be. The problem is that the buyer will probably want to meet you somewhere or have you deliver the equipment which can be both a hassle and possibly dangerous. The danger comes from meeting someone you don't know who knows that you are going to be bringing lots of valuable merchandise with you. How do you know they're not going to rob you at gunpoint? If you need to make a local transaction then you should bring one or more people with you for safety and close the transaction in a public place. Don't accept a check either. You have no guarantee that the check will clear and they've already got your stuff. Your cost will be much lower with an online ad and you'll be able to put much more information and full color pictures as well. All of that being said classified ads still remain a good way to sell equipment to a local audience. As you can probably tell I much prefer to sell items online.

Friends

It's often easier to sell your equipment to friends because they know you won't take advantage of them, they can see the equipment, they know it works and they feel that you'll give them a good price. That last point can be a problem for you. Because they are your friends they are probably going to expect you to sell to them for a very cheap price. Strangers won't have that expectation. Plus friends will have no problem asking for their money back when they install it incorrectly and fry the unit. Friends might be willing to accept a trade for something that they have and that you want though. This can work to the advantage of both you and your friend.

All of that being said I find that the best place to get cash for your gear is online at an eBay auction. You'll be able to write a long description, include pictures and have hundreds or thousands of people see your auction listing. For the small listing and closing fees this a very good value which helps explain why eBay is so popular. I'd recommend getting setup with a PayPal account if you don't already have one. They make it much easier to accept payment quickly online. Your buyers will appreciate it too.

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