we sold the mini cooper! boo hoo, tears of sorrow welling up in both of our eyes. now we are carless for the rest of the summer (hello zipcar!), or until we find a car we really like. we sold the mini to the sweetest girl i think i've ever met. she refused to negotiate the price, even though we started high on purpose, so i dropped it a few hundred because i felt bad. good thing i don't sell cars for a living, i would be out on the streets!
if you are trying to buy a new car, i would definitely recommend selling your old car yourself. it took us about 3 weeks from posting it on craigslist and putting "for sale" signs in the window to sell it. we created a blog, a google phone number, and an email address for our little MINI, so we didn't fear putting the ad on craigslist. in the end, craigslist triumphed. our buyer was the first one to show genuine interest and the first one to drive it, and we felt pretty lucky to have avoided any major headaches of buyers falling through or trying to scam us. we walked away with so much more money than we would have with a trade-in, and our buyer purchased the car for much less than she would have at a dealer. it might take a little more blood, sweat, and tears to sell your car yourself, but it's a much sweeter deal if you have the time. plus then you get to know who is driving your old car around, and that's just a nice thought, ya know, for posterity's sake.