TRED vs. OfferUp and Craigslist: the differences

In some ways, TRED is similar to Craigslist and OfferUp, in that you’re dealing directly with the buyer or seller. There are some advantages to this. When you buy a car directly from a seller you can ask questions and usually find out about the car’s history, and how well it was taken care of.

In other ways it’s different, because TRED handles a lot of parts of the process and transaction for you.

Buying a car from Craigslist and OfferUp vs Buying a car through TRED

A big difference is that when you buy a car through TRED, you’re dealing only with vetted sellers and cars. TRED verifies the seller’s identity, and their ownership of the car. We also make sure the car has a clean title—that it’s never been totaled, or flood damaged, for example. We handle payment and guarantee the transaction, too, so you don’t have to worry about handling large amounts of cash, or being scammed. TRED allows you to get the better pricing of buying from a private party through Craigslist or OfferUp, while providing the safety of buying through a dealer. 

Selling a car to Craigslist and OfferUp vs selling a car through TRED

When you sell a car on Craiglist or OfferUp, there’s a fair amount of work involved. With TRED, there’s considerably less. Here’s the general process for selling a car.

How do you sell a car privately? 

  1. First, you’ll want to make sure you have the title, service history, and any other documentation of repairs or updates. (The records aren’t essential, but are helpful to potential buyers and can make them feel more confident about your car’s history.)
  1. Next, get your car as clean as you can. Wash it, and clean the inside. A clean car with personal items removed from the interior draws a lot more attention and interest from buyers.
  1. Take great pictures. When you’re trying to get buyers interested in your car, the more information the better—and pictures are the most effective way to tell and show them a lot about your car. Be sure to take pictures of all sides of the car, the interior, and include front ¾ shots. It’s best to take pictures in horizontal/landscape orientation. If you can, choose a location where the background is neutral/plain without a lot of other cars or other things that distract from the car.
  1. Create a description. This doesn’t have to be too long, but be sure to include things like your car’s year, make and model, mileage, and any special options it has (e.g., leather interior, lane change assist, premium wheels). If it has never been in an accident, point that out.
  1. Choose your listing price. You can figure out how much to ask for your car by looking at other current ads with cars that are the same make and model, year, and equipment level as yours, as well as online pricing tools. You can also find out what your car is worth by simply entering your VIN or license plate number and a few details in TRED’s What’s My Car Worth? Calculator.
  1. Finally, list your car online. There are a lot of sites to list it on, everything from TrueCar, CarGurus,, to Craigslist and OfferUp. You’ll upload photos and fill out the listing form with all the details.

After you list your car, you’ll receive inquiries from interested buyers who will ask questions and may want to test drive your car. Once you find your buyer, you’ll need to make sure you’re comfortable accepting payment from them (e.g. that they’re not going to scam you). Then you’ll need to go to the DMV to complete the paperwork and transfer.

REAL ID line outside DMV

That can be a lot of steps, but you’ll definitely get more money selling it that way as opposed to selling or trading it to a dealer. But TRED offers a much easier, more secure way to sell your car privately and get more money.

An easier, simpler process selling with TRED

With TRED, you’ll just need to pull together your car’s details, clean it and take pictures. You enter them in TRED once, and we’ll publish the info on all the top car selling sites (even some that only dealers can post on). We also make the process safer, because interested buyers need to register with TRED’s site in order to contact you. And once you make a deal with a buyer, TRED will handle the payment (we’ll collect it from the buyer, and let you know when it’s okay to turn over the keys. We can even offer financing to your buyer if they need it!) so you don’t have to worry about fraud, or robbery, or the general risk of handling large amounts of cash. We also take care of all the paperwork—so you never even have to set foot in the DMV!

So there’s slightly more work involved when you sell through TRED, but not much. And chances are you’ll make considerably more money, since TRED has minimal overhead costs compared to Craigslist and OfferUp. TRED provides the best of both worlds: a simpler, safer, easier process than selling privately, but more money than selling to Craigslist and OfferUp or any other dealer.

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