I have successfully sold two cars via eBay. Both of these were Mercedes classics. This article will explain some of the troubles, successes and issues that I had to deal with. Using eBay to sell a car is a possible way for you to access a very large market of vehicle buyers. Good luck!

1959 Mercedes1967 Mercedes 250SL Convertible

On three occasions, I listed cars on eBay using their ebaymotors site. One of the listings expired without success while the other two did result in a successful transaction. Each of the listings exposed different behavior on the part of the various ebay members. For that reason, they should be examined separately.

The first listing was the first time I tried to sell a 1959 Mercedes 220S four door sedan. This vehicle had been listed locally on Craigslist and on a Mercedes user group without success. Before I listed on ebay, I cleaned the car really well and waxed the paint. This vehicle was bright white with very little rust. Unfortunately, it actually had a poor paint job when it was examined closely. The original rubber seals had been painted over as had an oil change sticker in the door jam. There was some overspray onto the front windshield which I removed with a razor. With the car looking as good as it could, I took a large number of photos of it from all angles. I got pictures of the underside, under the carpets and in the engine compartment as well. Where there were problems, such as the painted seals and sticker, I took good quality close-ups. When all of the photos were ready, I went to list the car on ebay. By this time, I had already registered with ebay as a buyer and added a seller account as well. These are both free but must be done prior to listing your car on ebay. There was some verification steps necessary which I won't describe here. Doubtless the current steps are quite different than my experience. You should check them for yourself at ebay. It may take some time before you are fully enabled for listing your car on ebay, so you should start the process early. With my ebay seller account, I began the listing process for my car on ebaymotors. This is actually an affiliate site of ebay which is accessed through the main ebay welcome page. Once there, you select the sell your vehicle option. A series of prompts lets you declare what it is you are selling. I selected "Car&Trucks", "Mercedes-Benz", "200-Series". In August 2010, you now get the option to list locally for free or nationally for a cost. When I did this listing, there was no local option. The national fee is listed as $60 for a sale price of $2000 or less or $125 otherwise. There is no fee to start your auction listing. You pick whether you want to establish a bidder's auction style or set a fixed price for your vehicle. Ebay notifies you that you need your vehicle photos, the serial number, or VIN, and the current mileage reading before you proceed. The automatic VIN entry didn't work for my 1959 car so I had to skip that question. A description page is shown that lets you enter the details for your car. You specify a title for your listing. I used "Classic luxury 4 door sedan in great shape with no rust". You get to enter a sub-model code. I used 220S. You then specify the year, color, transmission, engine, mileage and other specifics. There are a number of check boxes for options such as airbags, cruise control, etc. Not many of these applied to my car. I recommend that you check the appropriate boxes but write them up as well in the auction description. With all of this information entered, you get to describe the car. A large edit box is presented that accepts your text. It has controls to change fonts, add lists, format paragraphs, check spelling and more. If you prefer, you can switch to HTML mode and use that for your listing. You can add links in the HTML version which allows you to reference your own web site and any photos you might want. Next, you specify the price. The auction will assume a starting price of $200. For $2, you can specify a "buy it now" price. This allows someone to bid an amount you will accept and buy the car instantly. If you don't want this, you can set a reserve price. I used a reserve price of $7500. This meant that unless someone bid this much, the car would not be sold. If you don't use a reserve, then the car will sell for any bid at or above the initial listing price. This may not be what you want, so be sure to check the amounts. You are able to specify a higher opening price, say $2500 or more. At the price page, you can add up to 4 photos. This is far too few. Ebay says that each one over 4 increases your chance of selling the car by 15%. At a minimum, you should add 10 photos of the car. More are better. If you use one of the photo host sites, you can put a link to it in your auction listing. This will save money on your listing. There are a number of listing upgrades you can choose from. These allow you to highlight your listing, There is a small savings if you choose their Pro pack for $34.95. While none of these listing upgrades is absolutely necessary, they all might help to get attention to your listing. The highlight color and bold ones are likely the best at $5 each. Once the photos and upgrades are in, you specify your payment acceptance method. With that, you are given the final confirmation page which gives you the option to submit your auction listing. Take a moment to review the listing and to preview it via the preview listing button. Make sure it is exactly as you want it. There are ways for you to edit the listing after you submit it. Certain items, however, can't be changed. In some cases, like the description, you have to add additional text to that shown on the confirmation page. After you submit your listing, it becomes visible to car buyers. There could be a delay before it starts to be listed on the main page indexes. The confirmation email that you receive, as well as your ebay account control panel, will have direct access links that you can use to surf to your listing. Once there, you can see the current auction bid price, whether it has reached your reserve price, how much time remains and how many people have viewed your auction listing. Hopefully you get a good response and see your car sell for at least your reserve price.