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5 tips for selling your BMW

Learn my 5 tips for getting maximum value when selling your BMW. I've shot many BMWs that head for auction, and I can help you list yours.


I shoot a lot of BMWs going up for sale, and at some point, every owner has moseyed up to me and asked “How much do you think I’ll get for it?” I can help you with selling your BMW and maximizing its value. Just follow these tips. We’ll use a recent shot with a 2016 BMW M2 going up for sale.

1- Please please use a professional detailer when selling your BMW

Even if your car has low mileage on it, you’ve probably given it a few washes, and that usually leaves swirl marks in the paint. If it’s older, than you’ll have more. If it’s got a clear bra installed, make sure there is no peeling, or simply remove it if it’s yellowed.

On the inside, leather on the side bolsters of your seats and steering wheel wears quicker, and because of use, often has lots of dirt. Clean these up with a steamer and leather conditioner.

Taking your car to a spot like Detailer’s Domain will ensure your entire car is looked over properly. Yes, it costs more, but you’ll get that money back when your car goes up for bid.

BMW M2 Apex wheel
Clean wheels make the car. A detailer can help get embedded brake dust and road grime out.

2- Get the undercarriage

This again ties to a pro detailer, who should have access to a lift. Have them clean away the salt and grime. If it’s rusted, that’s ok, just be up front about it to potential buyers.

Then, bring me in to shoot that undercarriage. Nothing artistic or fancy here, but clear images that show what’s rusted will give buyers important clues about the car’s history. The more you answer now, then less you’ll need to answer for later on.

BMW M2 suspension
Make sure to get all the nooks and crannies by the suspension.
BMW M2 exhaust
Nothing fancy here, but capturing the underside of the car is a must for auction sites.

3- Watch your reserve if you’re setting up for a bid.

Places like Bring a Trailer or Cars and Bids are more than happy to have you list your BMW, but set at a reserve they choose. From personal experience selling my own M3, Bring a Trailer set a reserve far lower than what I was willing to accept for the car.

Bidding sites are good if you’re looking to quickly get rid of a car, but for BMWs, explore other options if you have time, such as…

4- Use Bimmerpost or Roundel when selling your BMW

If you’re a member of Bimmerpost, list the car and its images under the “For Sale” section of the appropriate forum. Be detailed in your description, (I can help you write it), but truthful. I’d start here before listing your BMW anywhere else.

If you’re a BMW CCA member, you can also try a paid listing in Roundel. Include an image for more exposure.

Both of these options get not just eyes, but the RIGHT kind of eyes onto your listing.

True enthusiasts are going to know what to look for, like a leaking oil filter cap, so make sure you capture things specific to your model that might be trouble spots.
BMW M2 N55 engine
Capturing every part of the car is important. Shooting with morning or evening light will make it more dramatic.

5- Competition Commission

Remember, you’re going up against not just other BMWs for sale, but all makes and models. A pro photo shoot can help you stand out.

Remember to  capture the details of your car. You might be intimately familiar with it, but the potential buyer isn’t. Show off the ///M on the tachometer. Or the M4 badge on the seats. Wheels, brake calipers. The more detailed you are, the less people feel like you have something to hide.

Finally, pick a clean and simple location to shoot. The car must be the star here, not the scenery.

I also always include a poster shot with the car. Something that will grab attention and stand out amongst all the cars for sale.

There are so many factors that into play. How rare is it? How popular is the particular model? is it the right color? But regardless, you can control the variables I’ve listed above to get the most when selling your BMW!

BMW M2 Steering wheel
Capturing interior details is key – that’s where you spend the most time with the car.
BMW M2 side bolster
BMWs usually have pronounced side bolsters that wear, so be sure to show the condition from multiple angles.
I always include a few poster shots to use as the main image and grab attention.

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I use Nikon camera bodies and lenses, a Westcott Ice Light 2, Manfrotto tripod, B + W filters and an iMac Pro to make the art you see here.

Email me at with any questions.

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