You love your machine—it’s like your baby. But there comes a time when you’re ready to move on to bigger, better, and/or newer things. At this point, it can help to clear out some space in your garage (and get a little extra cash, too). But where to start?
Selling an ATV or UTV can be overwhelming, especially if it’s your first time doing so. Luckily, you’ve got your friends at SuperATV on your side! Whether you’re selling your quad, side-by-side, or both, we’ve got some helpful tips and reminders to make the process a whole lot easier.
We’ve always been taught to never judge a book by its cover, but as it turns out, that’s exactly what people do when shopping for something. There are countless ATVs and UTVs on the market at any given time, so when people see a dirty machine for sale, they’re very likely to just keep scrolling until something cleaner and more attractive comes along. So the first step to take in the whole “selling your rig” process should naturally be to clean that machine! Nobody wants to buy something that’s covered in mud with debris and crushed-up, empty Coke cans littering the cab.
We’re not suggesting that you give your machine a total overhaul—that would be silly if you’re planning to sell, unless you’re willing to put in the work and think you can make a profit by flipping it. All we’re saying is that when it comes to appearances, a few finishing touches can go a long way. Get some touch-up paint for your side-by-side’s scuffed bodywork, or replace the grips on your ATV. Little details like this can do wonders when it comes to making a machine look newer and nicer.
While we’re on the topic of appearances, we should throw in this obvious but crucial rule to selling pretty much anything: post good photos! As we said before, if your potential buyer has over one hundred listings in their search results, a dark or blurry picture isn’t going to make your machine stand out from the crowd. Take photos from several angles, all using good lighting, with not a lot of distracting stuff in the background. The more clear photos you can post, the better! It makes your listing look more reputable, and buyers will appreciate getting to see as many details as possible up front.
It doesn’t make sense to put a ton of money into something you’re going to sell, but if there are any little bits of maintenance you can do before selling a machine, do it! Change the oil, air up those tires, replace that dirty old air filter. If you don’t, buyers will try to use these little neglected details as ammunition to talk down your asking price.
Speaking of an asking price, put some thought behind yours and make it fair. Take into consideration everything you’ve done to get the machine “sell ready” and also the obvious factors like how old it is, how much mileage it has, and how hard it’s been ridden. Check the Kelley Blue Book value of your machine and use that, along with everything else you know about it, to determine an asking price. Having all of these factors in mind will help you back up your asking price when buyers start trying to talk you down.
As with any sale, you’ll most likely end up lowering that price after a little bit of negotiation. So it’s natural to ask a bit above what you’d like to get out of it. Just don’t get too crazy and set a listing price that is double the machine’s actual value. You’ll get laughed at, and most likely piss some people off, too.
If you’ve kept all paperwork and receipts from maintenance that has been performed on that vehicle (think oil changes, filter replacements, etc.), have it all organized and ready to go. Being able to prove that your machine has been well taken care of over the years puts buyers at ease and will make them more likely to buy it. (Pro tip: if keeping all maintenance-related receipts isn’t something you already do, start now. Keep a record of everything you do involving repairs, upgrades, or maintenance in a file somewhere. Then, when the time comes to sell that vehicle, you’ll have everything you need all in one place.)
Specific title and registration laws vary from state to state, but no matter where you live, every ATV or UTV sale should involve the exchange of a title. Hopefully you’ve kept your title paperwork somewhere secure, like in a fireproof safe, so you can have it ready to go when a sale is made.
When writing your listing or communicating with potential buyers, be honest. Don’t stretch the truth or try to cover up any issues your ATV or UTV may have. Most people can sense when sellers are being dishonest and what you might look at as a little white lie could turn into a big red flag from the buyer’s perspective. This can result in them walking away and you earning a poor seller’s reputation, which is especially bad if you sell machines frequently.
Very rarely will you find a buyer who’s willing to accept your asking price with no further discussion. As we mentioned earlier, you’ll most likely end up coming down on the price a little bit in order to strike a deal. But that doesn’t mean you have to give in and accept a low-ball offer! If you have put in the work, done the research, and determined a fair asking price, you should have no problem standing your ground and getting the most out of your machine.
So now that you’re ready to put your machine on the market, where to start? The most popular (and easiest) way to sell pretty much anything these days is Facebook marketplace. Word of mouth and shares on social media sells better than almost any other platform out there, so we suggest starting by posting on Marketplace and your personal profile, and maybe asking a few buddies to share it. Don’t have a Facebook account? Find someone who does and ask them to post it for you.
Social media is a great means of selling vehicles, but it isn’t your only option! Websites like ATV Trader are a great way to reach a larger audience and get the word out there. And of course, there’s always the good ol’ fashioned flyer tactic. It doesn’t take long to put together and print a visually-appealing poster showcasing the machine you’d like to sell. Hang these up at local businesses or your place of employment and wait for the offers to start rolling in!
Another great way to make your machine visible is to park it in a high-traffic location with a large, easy-to-read “for sale” sign. Make sure you have permission, of course—the last thing you want when you’re trying to sell an ATV or UTV is to have it towed and get stuck with some fines. But if you can secure the go-ahead from a local business or a friend’s property, parking it next to a busy road is sure to get you some bites.
Getting the most out of your beloved quad or side-by-side requires a little bit of elbow grease and a lot of preparation. But we promise it will all be worth it when you’ve got some extra cash in hand to throw down on your next new (or new-to-you) prized possession!