Skip to content

How to Approach Private Vehicle Sellers

The art of the sale doesn’t stop just because you’re using technology. Knowing how to approach private vehicle sellers and make them feel comfortable with the virtual sales process takes practice. The experts at VAN have rounded up some of our top tips on how to get from opening introductions to signing on the dotted line for maximum acquisitions.


Start the Conversation with Transparency

Our first tip? Be transparent about who you are. Letting sellers know you work at a dealership right from the start is an important step to establishing trust and ensuring no one’s time is being wasted. While some sellers may be wary about working with dealers, it’s better to lose them at the start than working through negotiations only to find they are unwilling to sell to you in the end. Opening the conversation with your credentials is a great way to show your honesty and integrity, helping sellers feel comfortable with who is on the other side of their transaction.


Make an Offer

There are several different ways to approach the offer stage. Some dealers prefer to discuss numbers in person with a sit-down appointment, while others will make an offer online. No matter which strategy works best for you, all dealers can benefit from these best practices: 

Gauge seller expectations: If you’re working with a seller whose price is way above what you’re willing to pay, it’s better not to lead them on. Asking them to visit the dealership without an indication of your price may lead to frustration and bad reviews, so don’t schedule an appointment unless you think you can find a happy medium.


Prepare for your appointment: Ask as many qualifying questions as you can before you sit down with a seller. Confirming the condition of the vehicle (in addition to running a CarFax report) as well as the vehicle’s title situation will make the transaction easier and help you avoid surprises.

Leave a good impression:
No matter what happens with the deal, it’s crucial that you leave sellers with a good impression of what it’s like to work with your dealership. Even if they don’t sell to you this time around, a solid experience will make them more likely to reach out to you in the future.

Keep Learning with The Acquisition Council!

VAN is committed to helping your dealership earn more through private vehicle sales. Visit our Learning Center to sign up for our live monthly webinars to maximize your growth and profits!