TRED vs. Shift: how are they different?

How is TRED different from Shift?

There are several ways that TRED is different from Shift. The biggest one is that when you buy or sell with TRED, you’re dealing directly with the buyer or seller. There are some advantages to this. When you buy a car from a seller on TRED’s trusted marketplace, you know who’s selling it, and can ask questions and usually find out about the car’s history, and how well it was taken care of.

When you buy from Shift, you don’t know who owned the car before you—which isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but a lot of buyers do like to know how the car spent its life before they acquired it.

Buying a car from Shift vs Buying a car through TRED

A big difference is that when you buy a car through TRED, you can negotiate the price with the seller. Shift has a price listed for cars, and that’s what you’ll pay—there’s no opportunity to make an offer or get a discount. Remember that ‘haggle-free’ isn’t really a benefit, because it means you just pay the full asking price. Sure, it’s simpler, but you’re paying more.

Negotiating is a good thing when you’re buying a car, and TRED makes it easy to make an offer right on our website. So you have the option of talking with the seller about pricing, but if you prefer to just enter an offer online to send to them, you can do that instead. Either way, you’re likely to get a better price because many sellers on TRED are open to offers.

You really shouldn’t need a return period with a car—it’s a big purchase, so you’ve likely determined exactly what you’re looking for, and driven it, and you can even get an inspection before you buy a car on TRED, if you want to, so there should be no surprises. A return period like Shift’s generally means that prices will be higher, because taking cars back is costly for them, and they have to build it into their profit margin.

Also related to high overhead costs is the fact that Shift is a dealer that keeps inventory, tying up a lot of ‘carrying costs’ (the cost they have invested in inventory at any given time). They ship cars all over the country, and deliver them for test drives. That’s convenient for buyers, but it also adds a lot of overhead costs that buyers ultimately end up paying for in higher car prices.

Whether you buy from TRED or Shift, you have the same level of security and protection—you’re not going to be scammed like you could be when you buy from a seller on Craigslist or OfferUp. TRED allows you to get the better pricing of buying from a private party, while providing the safety of buying through a dealer.

Shift can be a good option for some buyers, but there are a lot of advantages to buying from TRED, if you want the best pricing (without risk), and you want to know who owned your car before you. And a lot of people enjoy the person-to-person aspect of private car buying, too!

Selling a car to Shift vs selling a car through TRED

When you’re selling a car, there are two basic options: sell it privately, or sell or trade it in to a dealer like Shift. 

Selling your car to a dealer is the easiest option, but selling it privately will get you more money. (Usually 20-30% more!) 

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.)
  2. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.

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

Selling your car 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 Shift. TRED provides the best of both worlds: a simpler, safer, easier process than selling privately, but more money than selling to Shift or any other dealer.

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