When it comes to your pride and joy, most of us think of the term “sell” as a four-letter word. But it’s a reality many of us face, and while the decision may not always be an easy one, sometimes it’s a necessary one. So how do you decide when it’s the right time?
For a lot of us, the first thing we consider is the market itself. There are good times to sell and bad times to sell, and if you’re not in a hurry to send your metal down the road, you can pick and choose when and where you’re going to make your move based on how the market in general has been doing. Watching cars like yours bring big money at auction can be a pretty good motivator, even if selling was the last thing on your mind the day before.
But if you’re using trends and fads as your reasoning, you need to move decisively, because the winds can shift faster than a seller can mobilize and capitalize. Your car could easily end up yesterday’s news before it even crosses the block, and that’ll hurt your bottom line.
Market conditions aside, you also have to consider your motivation for selling in the first place. It could be something as simple as needing the space or the money, and you can’t really argue with either of those reasons. If you think the car has become too hard to use, or you watch the good driving season pass by without actually getting behind the wheel, it might be time to consider moving it down the road for something fresh.
But regardless of your reasons for selling — and I can’t stress this enough — once it’s gone, it’s likely gone for good. So if you’ve had the car a while, or you have a lot of memories in it, you might want to sleep on it for a month or three before making the call. A great example of this is my dad’s 1970 Chevelle SS 454 LS6. He bought it new in 1970, drove it daily, and eventually sold it in the early 1980s for $3,000 because he needed the cash to buy a diesel Volkswagen family car. It probably seemed smart at the time, and the money wasn’t bad for 1982, but the car has become a legend in our family. To this day, Dad still regrets not selling his boat instead. We still talk about it 30-plus years later.
For me, it all comes down to this: know why you’re selling, and be completely comfortable with that decision before you let your car go. Because once that auctioneer’s hammer falls, the deal is done, for better or worse.