seller information

Buggy Bank has been helping people sell their vehicles for over thirty years. Our record is outstanding. Our reviews illustrate that very effectively and how loyal and greatful for our service our customers are. About 60 cars sell here each month. Over 90% of the cars we list do sell, and around 45% sell within 10 days. But we have to say that other car sales and past performance never can guarantee if or when you sell. Our location is in a fantastic high traffic area of South Berkeley across from the Berkeley Bowl. There are no sales people on our lot to pressure buyers in any way. This is why buyers love shopping here. We do not earn a commission on any vehicle so both you and your buyer can usually save a thousand or two at Buggy Bank. In this economy dealers and consignment shops are not the only ones trying to take advantage of your situation. When you are trying to sell in the newspapers or on the Internet there are those who have ways to get your hard earned cash. We are here in your corner to help you avoid bad experiences and unnecessary losses.

our advertising success

Our best advertising is our long-standing reputation for serving this community with honesty and professionalism that far outweighs the advertising benefits of any of the numerous ad channels we utilize, including craigslist, or even our own website which constitutes around 80% of our online referrals. Our lot and your car are physically advertised to the thousands of people driving and walking past our lot full of great cars we attract. Hundreds of those potential buyers walk through our gates every day and have an excellent chance to get interested in your car. Another advertising method is our 5 most recent cars showcased on our homepage and the 12 most recent cars on the Buyers page. Many of our buyers watch these daily in order to be fist in line to have the best chance to buy your car. This is why we now have so many one day sales. Check our 1 day sales by clicking on the Days to sell column's sort arrows.

how does our service work?

Buggy Bank LLC is NOT A DEALERSHIP. It is a Community Auto Display Service catering exclusively to the public, a secure and professionally run environment only for private individuals to sell their own cars and trucks to each other. We make sure each customer is a potential buyer. We monitor their test drives and with your authorization, schedule their visits to local garages for pre-sale vehicle diagnostics. Vehicles are assessed and local private party market values determined upon intake. Your chances of realizing a fair selling price are almost always much greater with the use of our service than selling on your own. Buyers win as well because values are usually a few thousand dollars less than dealership vehicles. Besides the fact that there are no commissions and overrides to allow for in the sales between private party buyers and sellers, there are other reasons that exist only at Buggy Bank that can help you get more for your car.

Most of the of the time you can simply bring your car in, sign up and get your car sold sometimes on the first day because buyers are watching the for the most recent cars showcased on our homepage every day when they need a car. There may be reasons why it is not quite ready to sell, however, and we'll go over them with you in the next section. Some recommendations in this next pre-sales "preparing to sell" section may seem daunting, but not if you just bring it in. We can usually make referrals and arrangements for you normally at a lower cost and you don't have to use your valuable time running around town.

preparing to sell:

The following tips are designed to promote smooth transactions, avoiding unnecessary wasted costs, confusion, and inconveniences for both buyers and sellers, and a "win-win" for all parties, where the buyer ends up with a good value and the seller sells for a fair price:

before I bring my car

step 1: check your title

Bring all paperwork and your title. We'll make a copy of it and keep it on file and note the location you will keep it stored at home. This way you will know for sure where your title or "pink slip" is so you are ready with it when the opportunity to sell presents itself. If there is an "and" or a "/" between your name and other names on the title, bring the other co-owner(s) or a DMV power of attorney document to sell the car. If you don't have a POA we can help you create one. Are their any liens or loans to pay off? If you have a lien-holder, call in advance now and ask them for the most convenient and secure way for you and the buyer to complete the sale. We can assist with this as well.

step 2: bring it in

When your vehicle is clean, emptied of personal belongings and filled with gas, bring it in. When you bring your car in and sign up, we'll go over everything. The sale will start only when your car is ready to sell. Customer-recomended, high-quality, on-site or at- home detailing will be made available at a low price. No need to waste your time and money elsewhere.

step 3: check its condition

Some cars with normal wear and tear issues can sell as is, while others need repairs to sell. Sometimes you can allow for the cost of poor condition in your advertising or you can negotiate it, but as time moves on and it becomes obvious that buyers are turned off by it, or just don't want to deal with it, you may have to fix it yourself. We'll consult with you on what is needed and what is not. The increase in value can usually offset the cost of repairs. You may not want to put more money into repairs, but it makes no sense to waste your money trying to sell when your car's condition would be turning off buyers.

step 4: get a clean bill of health

As the owner of the vehicle you must ultimately provide the buyer with a valid smog inspection certificate. In order for the new owner to register a vehicle, it must have been smogged within the past 90 days. Normally it would be to your advantage to smog it early on so you can advertise "smogged and ready to go." Otherwise, when you get an acceptable offer, have the buyer get a cashier's check while a service smogs your vehicle. We have services that will pick up your car at our lot, saving you the trip. Also, it's not a bad idea to have a smog inspection certificate on file with us before the buyer takes the vehicle to a mechanic. If you already have had a mechanic's check and have a clean report, we can keep that on file for you to enhance your ability to sell. A vehicle history analysis is required and performed by us when you sign in to make sure that the vehicle does not have any title problems or hasn't been in any major accidents. Buyers will also have access to the same information so you need to have the answers for questions they might ask.

step 5: pricing

Aggressive pricing and fast action is required in order to effectively sell your car in today's market. Pricing high and playing the waiting game often backfires and results in your car outliving it's welcome on the market. Once you are in this situation, it usually only gets worse. Half of the people looking at your car online feel something must be wrong with it; the other half, often brokers, lie in wait, hoping to take advantage of you as your situation becomes desperate. The price should be in line on day 1 to have a good chance of selling within your initial contract period at Buggy Bank. Don't fall into the trap of letting your needs or the payoff of a loan influence your considerations for your initial price. Don't get excited about Kelly Bluebook pricing for dealers. If you want a rude awakening ask a dealer what he will pay for your car without a trade-in involved. High pricing can result in no sale or a very long time to sell. If you later lower your price, the prospect you had may have bought another car or may say "Oh, yeah there's that high-priced car I saw last week.", and he doesn't even look to see if you've lowered your price. Also, it rarely matters how much you have put into a vehicle or how much you owe to a financial lien-holder or how much a good friend says it may be worth. We all value the extra goodies we have invested and hate to give up our cars at any price. But to base your pricing decisions on this criteria is to invite a high degree of failure to sell in any reasonable length of time. Most of you can find some of the stats we use on the internet and walk into our office with them in some cases. The problem is understanding the context in which they can be actually used or not used to determine a good price for your car when selling to the public at large. How to interpolate what you see. That's where we can assist in getting you off to a good start with a great price. We will review and interpret the local and regional sales statistics that apply to your car. While there are no guarantees, we will find the best local market value range and within that range find prices you can choose from that will attract buyers while being fair to you and honor your personal considerations. First impressions are important.

step 6: be available

Nothing can kill a potential sale quicker that not being reachable and available when a buyer wants to make an offer. Leave with us your cell phone, home phone, business phones and email addresses. Tell us if you are going out of town or any circumstance that might jeopardize your sale.

step 7: check your activity

The majority of sales happen well within the first contract period, but to stay on track be sure to call in every 3 to 4 days to get an "Activity Analysis" to see if you should "hang tight", adjust the price, change the advertising, or make a repair. If your initial price turns out to be a higher price than the local market will bear, don't leave it high if there is no interest within the first week. If you don't have the time to call us or answer our calls your car may well sit there with a price or condition that is not attracting any buyers. These are not the times to gamble and temp fate by waiting to long to finally find the market for your car. Let us work with you to make the necessary adjustments to give your car its best chance to sell. Otherwise, after your initial contract period, you may have to renew for another month or pay for extra days. Remember you are ultimately responsible to sell your car. We are here to assist you as much as we possibly can.

step 8: battery health

Long stays with low activity (no key checkouts, test drives, etc.) can hinder sales. Other problems are dead batteries when vehicles just sit there (usually with a high price or in a condition unattractive to buyers), plus having to pay for more insurance, registration, etc., are other problems you can avoid by moving your sale right along.

step 9: offers

When you get reasonable offers that aren't quite what you expected, don't shoot yourself in the foot by nit picking over small amounts. Its only human to overprice so if you come down a little you are probably closer to a fair price. Choosing a recommended market value is the best defense against any unnecessary losses. Try not to be upset or indicate your extreme displeasure with a "low-ball" offer. Tell the buyer "if that is your best offer you may later accept it, but you want to see if there are higher offers while you still have time on the lot". There are some who "low-ball" so that you will explain why it has the value you place on it. Once they understand the value they may actually buy it for your asking price. Still others feel the need for some token negotiation to save face with their family or friends. If you are uncomfortable with the buyers approach let us know and we will intercede for you.

step 10: the sale

You have paid for our service, so unless we recommend that the final paperwork should be handled at a bank or other institution due to special circumstances, make sure your buyer meets you at Buggy Bank to complete your sale. We'll handle your release of liability and other concerns on the spot. There are some sad stories out there and you don't want to be one of them.
sellers frequently asked questions

What does it cost to sell my car at Buggy Bank?

You'll probably spend up to $550 for 4 to 6 weeks of our display service. This includes a $155 setup fee. If you price or sell below $10,000 there is a $100 discount. If you price or sell below $3,500 there is a $200 discount. Over 90% of the qualified vehicles we list do sell within the initial contract period. If yours does not sell within that time, we will generally continue to advertise for you at no extra charge until your car is sold. Cars in good condition below $3,500 fall into the "very affordable" category. Somehow at Buggy Bank they have been selling for more than standard market values. As those values go down to say $1,000 because they are more affordable, they have been selling for $100 to $500 over private party standard valuations. Our fee of $350 for these cars can be said to be more and more "absorbed" as the standard market value becomes less. So don't assume that our fee is percentage-wise too high for your lower priced car. But be advised that your car has to have been well maintained and in great condition like all other cars to sell here or sell elsewhere for that matter. Bring it in and we'll let you know if it qualifies to sell and meet the high vehicle condition standards. If we don't think it has a good chance to sell, we are not interested in taking your hard earned cash.

What services am I paying for?

1. Preparation of your car's ad and photo on our website
2. Coverage - Our website attracts thousands of buyers from a wide geographical area
3. Display of your car to the hundreds of prospective buyers that come to our lot every day
4. Vehicle market analysis with local sales data to effectively price your car for a sale
5. Experienced and friendly staff to assist with the info you need to stay on track for a sale
6. Secure procedures for your vehicle’s inspections, test drives or mechanics checks
7. Weekly car wash service

Does what I pay include the internet advertising?

No. We provide you with a free web hosting page that contains a picture of your vehicle and its descriptive information along with your advertising. The actual display of your car's ad and photo on our Internet website is usually, but not always available. We also have no control over with other internet advertising or listing services we may recommend based on your special needs. There is no extra charge for these services because they cannot be guaranteed.

Can you help me post my car with other Internet services?

It is your responsibility to post and publish information about your vehicle on other sites. As a courtesy, we will do whatever we can to assist you on any site we are familiar with. To save time and provide consistant advertising, you can copy the information from your free web hosting page to other web advertising sites. For example, with craigslist, you might copy and paste the title (basic description), the included, the extras and your own advertising into the posting screen. You also might include words that contain a link to your page here, such as, "To see a photo, my most recent price, my title history or to find out how to test drive my car, click on [http://www.buggybank.com/carNNNNN.html]", where "NNNNN" is your contract number. This is basic information. Liven it up if you can making sure there isn't any questionable embelishment. For a more detailed explanation, click here.

What attracts people to the Buggy Bank Internet site?

Our main Buggy Bank web site is now getting around 1,000 visits from individual internet browsers per day. The "hits" are 20,000 or so on the average daily. We are one of the few sites that actually list the SOLD price as well as the asking price and a local market value on our Sold Vehicles list. Whether you are interested in buying or selling, this public information is helpful and attracts many more people to our website.

Is it worth it?

We think its a small price to pay to have a secure place away from your home with professionals who administer your test drives, handle the buyer inquiries. Our experience may just help you remove a problem that could cause you to miss what might have been an excellent opportunity to sell your car. Check to see how quickly cars are selling at Buggy Bank.

When should I bring my car in to sell?

There is never a bad time to sell. Good or bad economy, season, or weather. People always need cars at a reasonable price.

What should I do before I bring in my car to be sold?

1. Bring current registration and insurance records. Please check the expiration dates.
2. Make sure the registration is in your name only. If there are two names on the registration joined by "or" either party can sell. Both people need to sign our contract if it has two names separated by an "and" or a slash.
3. You will not need an expensive detail, but you should wash and wax.
4. Remove all items and clean the interior of the car thoroughly.
5. Remove all items from the glove compartment and trunk, etc.
6. Make sure it runs smoothly, and is safe to drive.
7. Complete any critical repairs.
8. Make sure your battery is healthy.
9. Bring your car in with a full tank of gas.
10. Bring two sets of your car keys, if possible.
11. Be available for callers, or have answering system, and respond promptly.
12. Locate the title of your vehicle in preparation for the eventual sale.
13. If the car has a lien, ask the lien holder for a smooth transfer procedure for your buyer.
14. See our Seller's Tips for more information.

What happens when I bring my car in to Buggy Bank?

When you come to Buggy Bank and sign-in your car, we'll first do a "walk around" inspection and record the condition of the exterior, interior and engine. We will take a photo of your car for your free Buggy Bank internet web-hosting page. We will ask for and record your current registration, insurance and we assist by presenting you with local market statistics, and other factors that may have a bearing on your car's ability to sell in today's market. Depending on the year, make, model, price range, condition and your particular needs, we will do our best to present you with an advantageous way to market you car. Allow 30 minutes to an hour for this process.

What do I have to do while I am waiting for an offer on my car?

Normally nothing. Go about your business and life without the distractions. As your agent, we will professionally handle the inquiries, the on-the-lot inspections, and test drives. Stay in touch and make sure our calls are answered. Call in once a week yourself to get an activity analysis from one of our staff members. Double-check with us to make certain that your vehicle has been smogged and has no liens or encumberances. Delays like this can easily kill a sale.

What happens when someone wants to buy my car?

Once a buyer has done the research at Buggy Bank and wants to make an offer, we will tell him or her to give you a call. If a diagnostic or "Mechanic's Check" is requested, you will give your approval to us and we'll make secure arrangements. If all checks out well for the buyer, and he wants to proceed, then you would both come to Buggy Bank and we would assist you with the paperwork for DMV. You would bring your title and current registration.

What should I tell the buyer to bring?

Tell the buyer to bring a cashiers check for the purchase of your car.