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Selling a Stick Shift '09 Outback Woes

I have had my '09 Subaru Outback posted on Craig’s List and for a month now and not one bite! I realize that it is probably because it has a manual transmission. On a recent Car Talk show they talked about how few people are driving manual transmissions today. This could either make my car more valuable for the select few or less valuable for the masses…Any suggestions on where I can post for people who are die hard manual transmission/Subaru drivers?

I think you have to accept your car is less valuable with a manual transmission. Is your asking price reasonable? Craigslist and ebay are your best bets for getting a good number of interested parties.

Do you have “for sale” signs on the car? I’ve had good luck doing that, and placing a simple ad in the local newspaper. You could reach more local buyers that way.

Personally, I would get an automatic if I was only planning to keep a car for three years. I only buy stick shifts because I plan to keep them until they fall apart, and because people are less likely to steal them.

If you are getting rid of this car in favor of another, it might be easiest to trade it in and let the dealership worry about selling it.

It’s the price, not the transmission.

Do you have pictures posted? I NEVER look at any ads without pictures–in fact I have Craigslist only display ads WITH pictures.

Do you live in a hilly urban area, like San Franciso? People prefer automatics in places like that. But out here in the hinterlands – like San Jose, Calif – which is flat and suburban, manuals remain in demand.

I don’t think the problem is that is has a manual transmission, assuming you’ve priced it by the blue book. The blue book price adjusts for the transmission type. You may be pricing it too high though. The blue book lists in creasing price the trade in value, the private sell value, and the retail (used car lot) value.

For a 1997 Toyota Corolla the values might be

trade in: $1000
private sell: $1800
used car lot: $2500

Make sure you are pricing it close to the private sell price, not the used car lot price.

And suggest you post your CL ad to focus on an area of potential buyers where it is less urban and less hilly if possible. I know people in cold climates where it snows like Subarus too, so that’s another location to focus on, if there are snowy areas not to far from where you live I mean.

I agree with mleich- it is the price, not the transmission. When I was looking for cars a couple of years ago I pretty much ruled out used Subarus because of the insane prices they were commanding. Sorry, but I am not paying $15-18k for a 5 year old car with over 100k on the clock. If I was feeling generous I might give you half that.

A quickie search in my neck of the woods show two 2 2011 Outbacks with 17k and 36k listed at same price ($23k). Considering I can get a 2012 NEW for a little over $24k, not to mention a better interest rate from the bank, full warranty, etc. why would I want to buy used? Even around here the used automatics for a 2009 are running in the $22k range with 30-40k on the odometer (okay, they are the "Special Edition, don’t know what the means in today’s lineup). At the moment with the economy we are in some weird times when it comes to new vs used car prices. One gentleman I work with was able to buy a new truck for less than the dealer across the street was listing a nearly identical used one for.

Not just Subaru, just about every brand is going that route, GS. And some people still refuse to buy new, even if the price of the used car is MORE than the new car with the same options/color/etc.