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How to Sell?

How to Sell Car on eBay? [Ultimate Guide 2024]

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Written by: Michael Becker
Last Updated:

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Quick Answer:

To effectively sell your car on eBay, dedicate time to preparing the car, capturing high-quality photos, and composing a detailed listing description.

Choose from three listing package types: Basic ($19), Plus ($49), or Premium ($79), and decide on your pricing approach, opting for Reserve, No Reserve, Buy It Now, or Best Offer pricing options.

Selling a car privately takes time, so promptly address buyer inquiries, maintain honesty, and be open to price negotiations.

Key Takeaways:

  • Account Setup and Car Details: Create an eBay seller account and gather comprehensive information about your car, including model, year, VIN, and specific features.
  • Prepare Documentation: Ensure you have all required documents, such as the Certificate of Title, and consider including maintenance records and a VIN check for added credibility.
  • Effective Presentation: Clean the car thoroughly and take high-quality, detailed photos from various angles to showcase its condition, both inside and out.
  • Detailed Listing and Pricing: Write a thorough description of the car for the eBay listing, and set a realistic price based on market research, choosing an appropriate pricing strategy like Reserve or Buy It Now.

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How to Sell a Car on eBay

1. Create the Seller’s Account

When selling on eBay, you need to register to become an eBay member and create a seller’s account. This process involves two steps:

  1. Register as an eBay member – you’ll need to provide basic contact information, create your user ID, and set a secure password.
  2. Create Seller’s Account – once you are a registered eBay member, go to the Create a Seller Account section. You will be asked to provide your credit or debit card and checking account information.

When creating Seller’s Account, you will be asked to select how to pay your selling fees. You can choose fees to be deducted from your U.S. checking account or charge them to your credit card.

2. Collect Information About Your Car

eBay provides a checklist of recommended car details to ease the listing process and ensure you provide relevant information about your car.

  • Year, Make, Model
  • VIN
  • Sub Model
  • Mileage
  • Additional equipment (e.g., sunroof, leather seats, third-row seating, convertible)
  • Power options (e.g., heated/cooled seats, air conditioning, power windows/seats)
  • Technology options (e.g., GPS navigation, keyless ignition, wifi hotspot)
  • Entertainment options (e.g., satellite radio, smartphone interfaces, DVD / VD player)
  • Transmission (manual or automatic)
  • Fuel type (gas, hybrid, electric)
  • Drive Type (front wheel, rear wheel, all-wheel, 4×4)
  • Safety features (e.g., blind spot sensors, park assistant, lane departure warning)
  • Under warranty (yes or no)
  • Engine cylinders

Make sure you know the exact details of your car’s model. The more features you list, the fewer questions potential buyers will have.

3. Gther Required Paperwork

The paperwork required to sell cars privately varies from state to state. However, in all states, a Certificate of Title is mandatory.

Depending on where you are, you might also need to have a signed and possibly notarized bill of sale, complete a VIN inspection, and provide a valid emissions test report.

To establish the value of your vehicle and reassure buyers of its upkeep, you should consider performing a VIN check, gathering all maintenance records, and including the owner’s manual in your documentation.

4. Clean the Car and Take Eye-Catching Photos

People can buy a used vehicle without driving it, but they won’t purchase one unless they see the inside and outside for themselves firsthand, so you need to upload multiple pictures of your car to get potential buyers interested.

Before taking photos of the vehicle, make sure to wash it and clean the interior. Take out all personal belongings and vacuum seats and carpets.


Give potential buyers a complete look at the outside of your vehicle. Show the front, back, and sides.

This helps highlight the unique features that identify the make and model of the vehicle.


Capture all the interior details that a buyer would be interested in seeing. Take pictures of the seats, dashboard, and any extra features like a stereo system, floor mats, the backseat, and other interior views. Include any elements that highlight optional equipment, such as the trim level and overall condition.

Good lighting is crucial for interior photos because shadows or poor light can make the images hard to view online. Therefore, using a flash for interior photos is recommended.

Condition or damage

To boost buyer trust, it’s important to photograph any significant issues such as dents, rust, interior damage, rips, tears, paint fade, and scratches. Don’t forget to capture the cleanliness of the wheels and the condition of the tire tread. Also, include photos of the grill and front end of the car and the truck bed if applicable.

Buyers should be made aware of any known issues before finalizing the purchase.

Useful tip: use blue masking tape to point out the damage, as it can sometimes be hard to spot it in a digital photo.

Odometer and VIN

Capture close-up shots of the odometer reading and the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). To clearly display the mileage, take a photo of the odometer with the keys in the ignition and the power on.

Remember, good lighting is crucial for interior photos because shadows or dim light can make the images hard to view online. Therefore, using a flash for interior photos is recommended.


Buyers are often interested in the maintenance and working condition of the engine, particularly for older or collector vehicles. A single well-lit photo of the entire engine compartment is usually sufficient to meet this need.

4. Write Detailed Description

Fill out the eBay Sell Your Item form. A comprehensive description should include the following details:

  • Vehicle Identification: Specify the make, model, sub-model, and year, like “2002 BMW 328is.”
  • Mechanical Specifications: Mention the engine type and transmission, for example, “2.8 liter 6-cylinder with automatic transmission.”
  • Condition Assessment: Describe the condition of the interior, exterior, and engine, with details such as faded paint, whether it’s from a non-smoking environment or any recommended repairs.
  • Features and Packages: List options and special packages, like a “Sport package with sunroof, leather seats, sport wheels, and traction control.”
  • Interior Comforts: Highlight interior features, such as “Leather seats with power adjustments.”
  • Modifications and Additions: Note any significant modifications or additions, like custom wheels or removed features.
  • History of Ownership: Share the ownership history, for instance, “Original owner, purchased in 1997 from Seaside BMW.”
  • Maintenance Records: If available, mention maintenance history, including services from both current and previous ownership.
  • Recent Services Performed: Inform about recent maintenance, such as new tires or a clutch replacement.
  • Warranty Information: State any existing warranty coverage, like a remaining one-year powertrain warranty.

5. Set the Car’s Price

The best way to determine a realistic price is to check your car’s market value by browsing similar listings on eBay. Compare cars by make, model, year, mileage, condition, and any unique features.

An additional option to get an estimate of the car’s value is using Kelley Blue Book car’s value calculator.

how to price a car to sell

6. Determine Your Pricing Strategy

Selling a car on eBay you can choose between Reserve Price Listing, No Reserve Price Listing, Buy It Now Listing and Best Offer Listing.

  • Reserve Price Listing – you can establish a reserve price, representing the lowest amount you’re willing to accept for your item. This approach reduces risk as you’re not obliged to sell unless bids reach or surpass this reserve price.
  • No Reserve Price Listing – the auction is won by any bid that meets or exceeds your set starting price.
  • Buy It Now Listing – lets you set a predetermined price at which your vehicle can be directly purchased.
  • Best Offer Listing – allows buyers to propose a price they’re willing to pay for your vehicle. When you accept an offer, the listing ends, and the buyer commits to the agreed price.
StrategyBest forAdvantage
Reserve Price ListingLate models and higher priced vehiclesGood option for sellers with little or no experience selling eBay Motors
No Reserve Price ListingOlder and lower priced vehiclesGood option if want to sell quickly
Buy It Now ListingAttracting serious buyersGood option if want to sell quickly
Best Offer ListingOlder and lower priced vehiclesGood option if want to sell quickly

Inform the buyer if you need a deposit, specify the payment methods you accept, and clarify when the remaining balance (or the full amount if a deposit isn’t required) needs to be paid.

7. Set Deposit Requirement

Most sellers on eBay require a deposit within 72 hours after the confirmed offer. It is common practice to request a 10% deposit, but you can ask for 20% or more.

Make sure those terms are specified in the listing so your buyer can evaluate his financial situation.

Set a period in which you expect to receive it, and consider that some transfers might take time.

8. Manage Your Listing

You can enhance and monitor your listing through My eBay. While the listing is active, you have the option to update information or enhance the listing to attract more buyers.

It’s also important to maintain open communication with potential buyers, as this can significantly boost the likelihood of a sale.

Ensure your contact details on eBay are up-to-date, and consider adding your phone number to the listing for better communication, which can foster trust and potentially lead to better feedback scores.

To manage your listing effectively:

  • Engage with Potential Buyers: Regularly check your listing and emails for any inquiries about the vehicle. Directly addressing a buyer’s concerns or questions can lead to increased trust and a successful sale.
  • Track and Adjust Your Listing: Use My eBay to follow your listing’s progress, including current bids. You can modify your reserve or Buy It Now price if necessary.
  • Contact Bidders: Utilize the Bid History page to communicate with bidders and understand their interests or concerns.
  • Revise Your Pricing: If your listing isn’t attracting the expected activity, consider revising the price. The scope of revisions depends on the time left in the listing and whether there have been bids or purchases.

9. Finalize the Sale

Now that you’ve sold your vehicle, the next step is collecting payment and confirming shipping or pickup arrangements with the buyer. 

Receiving Payment

Ensure your payment terms are clearly stated in your eBay listing. While deposits are often handled via PayPal and the balance through the Financing Center, you have the discretion to accept various payment methods as long as these are specified in your listing.

Safe payment methods:

  1. Cashier’s Check: the funds are guaranteed to be available, so you don’t have to worry about the check bouncing.
  2. Bank Transfer: the funds are transferred directly from the buyer’s bank account to your bank account. This means that the funds are immediately available to you.

Pickup or Shipping

Your listing should already detail pickup and shipping arrangements. Many buyers prefer to pick up the vehicle personally, but if shipping is necessary, ensure the chosen company is bonded and insured.

You can refer to eBay’s recommended companies listed on the Shipping Center page or use a trusted company you’ve previously worked with.

Transferring the Title

Transferring a vehicle’s title during a sale involves some essential steps, though these can vary by state. Generally, you’ll need to:

  1. Sign the Title: Fill in the required sections, including odometer readings.
  2. Notarize if Needed: Some states require notarization of the seller’s signature.
  3. Fee Payment: The buyer may be responsible for title transfer fees and possibly sales tax.
  4. Submit to DMV: After filling out and notarizing (if required) the title transfer documents, the buyer should submit them to the DMV.

Always check with your state’s DMV for specific requirements to ensure you follow all local regulations for transferring vehicle ownership.

How Much Does it Cost to Sell a Car on eBay?

The price for listing a car on eBay varies based on the selected listing package and the type of payment.

eBay Listing Packages

You can choose from 3 listing packages: Basic, Plus and Premium.

Package price varies from $19 to $79 and defines the number of images you can upload, the maximum time of the auction, the maximum price of the vehicle and the duration of the listing.

Payment MethodBasicPlusPremium
Auction listing durationUp to 7 daysUp to 7 daysUp to 10 days
Fixed price listing durationUp to 7 daysUp to 30 daysUp to 30 days
Vehicle priceUp to $10,000Up to $20,000No limits
Motorcycle priceUp to $5,000Up to $10,000No limits
Additional featuresAutoCheckAutoCheckBold title and subtitle upgrades

Additional listing upgrade options are not available beyond what is provided in the chosen listing package, and there is no final value fee charged upon the sale of your vehicle.

Additional Deposit Fee

A deposit processing fee is applied when you put up a vehicle for sale on eBay and require a deposit.

This fee is 2.8% of the deposit amount and is charged when the vehicle is sold and the buyer pays the deposit during checkout. The fee is taken out of the deposit before the rest of the funds are given to you.

EXAMPLE: You request a deposit of $600, eBay will deduct 2.8%, which is $16.8, and you will receive $583.2 in your account.

How Do Buyers Pay for Cars on eBay?

When you add details about your vehicle on eBay, you will be asked to specify the accepted payment method. Payment usually arrives within one working day in your linked bank account.

Available Payment Methods:

  • PayPal
  • Credit card
  • An escrow service
  • Bank transfer
  • Cashier’s check

eBay recommends using PayPal to accept deposits via credit card and bank account deposits, as this is a standard form of payment used by eBay.

Moreover, you can establish payment terms such as requiring the deposit, set balance payoff or a full amount due.

Balance payoff amount

If you accept installment payments, you will need to determine how and when you’d like the balance to be paid off.

The payment method for the balance should be agreed upon by both parties and can include bank-to-bank transfers, cashier’s checks, money orders, or cash if the buyer and seller are local to each other.

It’s important to note that for high-value transactions, using an escrow service provides an extra level of security.

Financing through eBay

This option allows buyers to finance the purchase of a car through eBay.

Once a buyer has qualified for eBay Motors Financing, they can apply for a loan through PayPal Credit. If approved, the buyer will receive a loan amount that they can use to purchase a car from you.

Pros and Cons of Selling a Car on eBay

Before deciding to sell a car on eBay, you should analyze both its advantages and disadvantages. This step can help you understand if this is the right platform to reach your goal.

eBay Pros:

  • Wide Audience – eBay has 133 million active buyers globally. On average, 32% of all users are from the United States.
  • Auction Format – this type of selling can potentially drive up the price of your car, especially if it’s an in-demand model.
  • Seller protection policy – eBay has various programs intended for protecting sellers from various frauds and scammers.
  • Potential for a higher price – selling privately can get you a better deal compared to selling to a dealership.

eBay Cons:

  • Fees – selling on eBay is not free. Each seller is charged a commission on the sale of their cars.
  • Time-consuming – you need additional time for listing, responding to questions from potential buyers, and managing the auctions. Moreover, finding a buyer can take up to a few months.
  • Potential scams – There is always a risk of fraud when selling anything online, including cars. Get familiar with various scam schemes to protect yourself.
  • Shipping logistics – if you’re not selling your car locally, you must factor in the shipping cost. It can vary depending on the distance the vehicle needs to travel and the size and weight of the car. As a seller, you will be responsible for delivering the vehicle on time and in good condition.

Alternative Ways to Sell a Car

Beyond eBay, several other options exist for safely selling used cars. Compare to choose what works best:

Best platforms to sell your car privately

Best platforms to sell your car online

When selling a car online you will get an instant cash offer, free tow service, no fees, and safe payment within 24-48 hours.

Selling your car to a dealership

Selling a used car to a dealership offers a hassle-free experience. You avoid the complexities of advertising, dealing with buyers, and managing paperwork as the dealership handles these aspects.

Although they resell the car at a higher profit, the convenience and time saved may justify settling for a slightly lower value, especially if you’re on a tight schedule.

How Long it Takes to Sell a Car on Ebay?

The average time it takes to sell a car privately is around 52 days. This timeframe might increase due to factors like many buyers hunting for bargains and the common occurrence of scams, which can delay the sale.

The duration of the sale is influenced by several factors, including the car’s condition, its specifications, the asking price, the effectiveness of the advertisement, and the local demand for such a vehicle.

Tips to Sell Your Car on eBay Motors

1. Have Your Car Inspected

To provide the most accurate information about your car, I highly recommend that you take your car for an inspection.

2. Address Mechanical Issues

Once you’ve inspected your car, you already know if your vehicle has any mechanical issues. Make sure you address any problems it has and fix them. 

Alternatively, you should indicate your car’s problems if you can’t fix the issues so the potential buyers are aware of what they’re buying.

3. Clean Out Your Personal Belongings

It’s highly recommended to remove all of your personal belongings, such as clothes, cleaning stuff, or equipment, from your car before listing it on eBay.

You need the potential buyers to imagine themselves driving your car – a cluttered vehicle doesn’t seem that appealing.

4. Wash Your Car

If you want to sell your car on eBay, wash your car. Many sellers don’t realize that keeping the exterior and interior clean will increase sales prices.

Your car’s appearance indicates you took good care of it than if it were dirty or oily. 

Plus, a clean car looks more appealing to potential buyers, catches their eyes more, and makes them review your listing thoroughly. 

5. Take Appealing Photos

To make sure people see the best of what you have to offer, take some great photos! 

Try snapping shots from different angles so potential buyers can have a full overview of your car and even imagine themselves owning it.

Can You Sell Car Parts on eBay?

Yes, you can sell car parts on eBay. The platform allows the sale of all types of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles, and boats, as well as their parts and accessories in the Motors category.

The list of best-selling car parts changes occasionally, but various car accessories and replacement parts are among the most popular.

Stereos, speakers, amplifiers, and GPS systems are popular among buyers looking to enhance their vehicle’s entertainment system.

It is worth mentioning that selling car parts can be a daunting and financially poor decision if you are an inexperienced mechanic.

How to Sell a Car on eBay Without Paying Fees?

You cannot sell a car on eBay without paying fees. If you want to save on fees you can either raise the price of your vehicle or Sell the car to Peddle, Wheelzy or Carbrain, which will only take you a few minutes and is free of charge.

How to Sell a Car on eBay Without Getting Scammed?

  1. Know Your Buyer: Before you finalize a sale, take the time to research the buyer. Check their feedback rating and history on eBay.
  2. Beware of Overpayment Scams: Be cautious of buyers who offer to pay more than your asking price, especially if they ask for a refund. This is a common scam where the initial payment will bounce, leaving you out of pocket.
  3. Use Secure Payment Methods: Be wary of buyers who insist on using less secure payment methods or want to complete transactions outside of eBay.
  4. Don’t Release the Vehicle Until Payment Clears: Make sure any payments have fully cleared in your bank account before you release the vehicle to the buyer. This includes checks and money orders, which can take several days to clear.
  5. Document Everything: Record all communications with the buyer and take screenshots of the listing and payment. This can be helpful evidence if something goes wrong.
  6. Be Wary of Phishing Attempts: Be cautious of emails that appear to be from eBay but ask for sensitive information. Always log into your eBay account through the official website, not through a link in an email.
  7. Use eBay’s Vehicle Purchase Protection: eBay offers Vehicle Purchase Protection for many vehicle sales conducted through the site. This can provide some coverage in the event of non-delivery or if the vehicle has undisclosed defects.
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Michael Becker


About the author:

Michael Becker is a car enthusiast and expert who has been working in the automotive industry for over 15 years. He started his career as a salesperson at a local dealership, where he learned the ins and outs of the car market. Then he moved on to flipping cars for a profit.

Michael has also helped many of his relatives and friends to sell their cars, using his knowledge and skills to get them the best deals. He will guide you through the process and help you avoid the common pitfalls.

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