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Selling your Tesla is easy right? …Not as easy as it seems. Here’s a complete guide on what you need to do to sell your Tesla. (The video above goes into more details and shows screenshots of the experience!)

We got our Tesla Model S in March of 2020 for $48k, mostly for product development. We’re selling it to make way for the Cybertruck or maybe a Model X? So, after almost 1.5 years, how much is it worth?  

How much is your Tesla worth?

Check around to these different sites, and see what the average $$ is: 

Based on what I saw, I decided to go with $45K for my starting price. 

Trade in vs Private

This is your next choice to make based on what you found. In general, you will get more money by selling to a private party rather than a dealership or business. Why? Because they have to make money too when they flip it. However, if you’re on a time crunch or don’t want to deal with a more complicated process, it’s really easy to sell to a dealership. It did take me about a month to sell the Model S through a private party, so not bad! 

      • CarMax: Keep in mind that there is no haggling here. Once they set a price, it’s final. They offered me $35K, which is a solid deal. 
      • Vroom: Another place like CarMax. $36K offer the first time, then $30k the next? Confusing. 
      • Tesla Trade In: Their numbers were all over the place too. One time it was 34K and a few days later it was $29K. Very inconsistent, but I don’t know what their algorithm is. 
      • Facebook Marketplace: Highly discourage Tesla owners from selling here. You will get trolled and have a lot of comments from people who are not interested in buying. However, maybe you would have better luck in your region as opposed to being in Chattanooga, TN. I was able to educate a couple people about Teslas and even let someone test drive my Model Y. So, that was kind of fun. 
      • OnlyUsedTesla: Mostly for private selling. Really good platform. It’s what I ended up selling this Model S on.

Preparing your Car for Sale 

      • Upgrades? If you’re selling private, this will help tremendously, especially if you have an older Model like me. They won’t have to worry about upgrading anything, and the convenience in itself is enough. If you’re trading in, don’t worry about upgrades, because they most likely won’t care. 
      • Detailing your car: Clean it up! They will not only appreciate it, but it’ll be easier to sell if it looks like it’s been taken good care of. Also, doing a quick one-step paint correction doesn’t hurt. 
      • Fixing any defects: I had big scuff marks on one of my back windows, because someone tried to break in. I fixed it for $250. If I didn’t fix it, it would be an easy opening for a buyer to ask to lower the price quite a bit. So, don’t leave any room for bargaining due to defects, and be upfront about all the fixes that occurred. 

Private Selling Details 

This is the one I decided on, so here are some more tips from my experience.

  1. Negotiation & Funds  
    • After you’ve decided on the price, talk about how to get the funds. I recommend these two ways: 
      • This acts as a middle man between buyer and seller. They hold the funds and the object being sold for the appropriate amount of time to verify everything before trading. They also will ship. 
      • Cashier’s check: This is what I used. They buyer can request a cashier’s check from their bank, and once they give it to you, you can call that bank to verify the funds on the spot. Super easy.
  2. Verify their identity 
    • Be open with each other from the start. I gave him my ID and vice versa.
    • Bill of Sale and odometer disclosure agreement – Super important to have these contracts ready. You can download them here. 
  3. Agree on location 
    • I suggest meeting in the daytime in public. I met at a supercharger so I could get them charged up.
    • Let them inspect the car. Answer any questions. 
    • Transfer ownership on Tesla app. *You have to factory reset the car FIRST on the touchscreen settings.
    • You will get an email asking to confirm removal.
  4. Final touches 
    • Remove your license plate. Don’t forget to remind them to bring one!  
    • Pay off your loan if you have any left.
    • That way you can get your title and send it to your buyer (typically takes about 2 weeks) to complete the transfer of ownership.  

Learning Outcomes 

    • If you have the time, go private. If you don’t have the time, trade in value isn’t bad either, especially if you don’t have the bandwidth. 
    • Always verify everything before agreeing to meet up. Always meet in public spaces and during day time. 
    • Don’t post on Facebook.