With the 2005 and 2006 MINIs so hard to pass up, quite a few owners are considering a trade up. In fact, since selling my MINI a few weeks back, I’ve had quite a few folks write to ask about some of the techniques used to move the car so quickly. While I’d like to take credit for some brilliant ad copy or slick marketing techniques, I have to admit that the quick sale was probably due to nothing more than following few common sense rules that I’ve picked up over the years.

So with that in mind, here’s a quick list of tips on selling a MINI yourself and getting the most money out of it:

  • Use a nationally based car sales website and make sure to opt for at least the mid-level ad. I used Cars.com and went with their “enhanced” ad. The great thing about this level was that it allowed three photos and free renewals until the car was sold. Also a popular nationally based website allows MINI starved folks from the western part of the US a chance to check out your car. In the days after my car was sold I got three calls all from people located in California.

  • Create a photo website with tons of detailed pics and place the url within your ad. While this may seem like overkill, it’s simply more information for a potential buyer to sink their teeth into. Remember, they’re looking for as much information (beyond the ad copy) as they can get. If you’re not particularly web-saavy I’d recommend using a service like Flickr to create a site.

  • Price your car very competitively (in relation to the Bluebook value and what else is out there in the market) but be fairly firm once people inquire. This seems to get lots of people “in the door” so to speak and wanting to know more about the car. Of course the idea if is, once they see and/or drive the MINI they’ll love it. It’s also very important to familiarize yourself with prices for used MINIs in your area – specifically what dealers are charging for them. You can find out your car’s value at kbb.com.

  • Listed every detail, every accessory, and every feature that your MINI has. Be as complete as is possible with the space you have. Make sure that let people know you’ve enjoyed the car!

  • Stay away from MINI saturated online marketplaces like MINI2 or NAM – especially as your only listing. They’re both great sites but the competition level is very high in terms of price vs features on their marketplaces. And while you may be on both sites, a perspective used MINI buyer may not.

  • Be as upfront as possible about the condition of the car. Don’t spare any detail about visible nicks or dents. If the buyer wants the car, they’ll almost always look past minor cosmetic issues. This also helps to build a mutual trust, something that always helps private party sales move along smoothly.

  • Be prepared to be disappointed in some way with the transaction (ie – be flexible). While you may think your MINI should command top Blue Book value, you must be reasonable. And don’t be disappointed if your MINI doesn’t sell in the first few weeks. The right buyer is out there… sometimes it just takes a little while for him/her to find your car.

Okay, that’s my quick list of tips. Let’s hear yours….