When it’s time to get rid of an old car, most of us will trade it in at the dealership. However, even though the dealer manipulates the numbers to look favorable, they rarely give you the best price. In fact, car dealers make far more money selling a used car than a new one.

At some point, nearly everyone tries to sell a car on their own with varying degrees of success. It can be a positive and profitable experience!

Maximize the profit you earn from selling your used car in these ways:

1. Know the price of your car. There are many resources out there, but perhaps the best source to find out car prices is the Kelley Blue Book at www.kbb.com. If your car is an exotic or vintage, you’ll have to find an alternate source for information.

* To get the most accurate information, you’ll need to know the year, make, model, mileage, engine size, and all the other options of your vehicle.

* In most cases, it’s best to price your car at a slightly higher price than you’re willing to accept. Then, your buyer will be close to your price when they start negotiating, rather than too far below it.

2. Clean it up. The appearance of your car greatly impacts how much buyers are willing to pay. Do a good job of washing and waxing the car. Vacuum the inside, clean any stains on the floor or seats, and ensure the inside smells good.

* Consider making any minor repairs, especially ones that will fix those annoying squeaks and rattles.

3. Advertise your car. Hopefully, your car is now in tip-top shape and you know your asking price. There are several places you can advertise your car.

* Use the internet. If you’re a Facebook or Twitter user, many people have successfully sold their cars through social media. There are also many websites that will permit you to advertise your vehicle. Some are free and others charge a fee. The most popular sites are craigslist.com, eBay.com, and AutoTrader.com.

* Tell all your friends and family that you’re selling your car. The people in your life know lots of others and word of mouth is a great way to advertise. You can even put a sign in the window and park your car where others will see it.

* Many automobile forums have a classifieds section. Check them out!

4. Write a great ad. Think about the things you would like to know if you were the one looking to buy a car. Remember to include a picture.

5. Handle potential buyers carefully. Return phone calls and emails quickly and answer any questions. Allow potential buyers to test drive your car, but go along with them for the ride. Bring a friend if you feel more comfortable.

6. Negotiate. Practice your negotiating skills before you talk with prospective buyers.

* Be patient. Unless you’re desperate to sell the vehicle, avoid rushing. It’s okay to let buyers walk away. Many of them will come back. If your price is fair, there’s nothing to worry about.

* Avoid letting uncomfortable silences bother you. Many times, the first one to talk ends up “losing.”

7. Close the deal. Only accept cash or other certified funds, such as a cashier’s check. If you want to accept a personal check, wait until the check clears before turning over the car. If there’s a loan that needs to be retired, contact your lender. Once the car is out of your possession, cancel the insurance.

Selling a car yourself for the first time can be a little intimidating. However, it’s a great way to make some extra money instead of trading it in. Take the time to find the accurate price of your car and ensure the car is in good shape cosmetically. Enjoy the process and the profits!