Buying, selling cars online made simple

To prove once again you can buy and sell anything on the Internet, I have decided to put a bunch of my old business cards up for sale. You can buy them directly from me for $.01 per card or $.25 for a whole box.

All right, that might not work great, so instead, I'm going to show you the best sites to buy and/or sell an automobile. When the first person tried to sell a car on the Web, people thought, &quot What is the Web?&quot They also thought it was a Hot Wheels car or possibly even one of those Barbie cars that little kids drive. The public had no idea what was about to take off: the growing industry of online car transactions.

It's still most efficient to start to sell your car through the newspaper because chances are, people will be able to stop by and look at it. The biggest drawback to purchasing a car on the Internet is you can only see pictures of it. You can't test drive it. You can't even smell the inside to see if a dog has been driving it. On the other hand, there's a big advantage: more people can potentially see your vehicle as opposed to just parking your car outside your house with a sign in the back saying &quot FOR SALE -- INCLUDES BOXES OF BUSINESS CARDS.&quot

Let's start with MassCars.com, where you can sell your car, find a car, check out insurance and warranty information and get approved for a car loan online. You can find cars, either new or used, by entering various criteria. If you're in the market to sell your car, you can get an account and post your car immediately for a small fee.

Although MassCars.com does the job, it's not quite as comprehensive as Edmunds, which even has a place to find out exactly how much your car is worth. There's an area where the Web site will help you determine what vehicle is best for you. You can compare autos side by side and there are plenty of reviews as well. You can't list your car directly on Edmunds, but you can find sites in your area that will take your listing. I wasn't able to find anyplace to sell my complete set of Hot Wheels Cards, but I guess I'll keep trying.

Autoweb.com is another site where you can list your vehicle for a nominal fee. On top of that, you will receive your money back if you have not received any leads on prospective buyers during a 30-day period. A special feature of the site is the research area, where you can find crash test data, recalls and do a lemon check on specific autos.

There seem to be numerous other sites -- AutoTrader.com, Stoneage.com, cars.com -- to buy and sell cars. Another popular choice is an online auction, where you can bid on vehicles based the pictures and descriptions given. You have national sites like eBay and also local companies like CarJockey.com. Those sites can be utilized for getting a great deal on a used auto, but then again, it would take a little more patience to get the exact car you want.

The good thing is there are ways to stay on top of the car buying/selling game. The bad news is I still haven't sold all those business cards yet. Maybe I could auction them off with my Hot Wheels collection.