I have a 2004 Toyota Prius. It is the best car ever. I want to sell it.

So you’re thinking, “If the Prius is the best car ever, why do you want to sell it?” Two reasons:

  1. New things are VERY enticing, and the new Prius has some nice new little features besides just being new
  2. A new Prius won’t have 87,000 miles on it

Here’s what I have done so far:

  • Put a for sale sign in the window with my phone number
  • Posted an ad on Craig’s List


  • Two phone calls from the ad in the window
  • Nothing from Craig’s List
  • I still own my Prius

Possible Explanations:

  • No one in Indianapolis looks at Craig’s list. I have no data to support this, but Indianapolis is a very poor city so I suspect that there are far fewer people in the city with internet access than other large cities.
  • No one in Indianapolis wants a Prius. This is a possibility, although I have certainly overstated it for dramatic effect. There are Priuses in Indy, and a Toyota dealer I talked to said that the used ones don’t stay on the lot very long, but I have never lived in a city with so many SUVs and trucks. (That only really became clear when I was stopped at a red light on a recent trip to Madison WI. I was the third car back and I could actually see the intersection, instead of just the giant butt of the vehicle in front of me.) According to Craig’s List you avoid a lot of scams by selling locally, so we are trying to stick to our region.
  • There is some other venue that I don’t know about yet where people sell cars in Indy. From what my friends say: in Detroit you put a sign in the window and a car sells; in Phoenix you put a listing in “The Trader” newspaper; in northern Wisconsin you go to the bar and start talking about how you have a car to sell. Maybe I need to go to a Nascar race or a Colts game.

Added Problems:

  • We don’t really care if we sell the car. Since the Prius is already the best car ever, and we already have one, it makes it hard to get motivated to put in a lot of time, effort, or money to sell it.
  • We want $21,000 for it. Not only has the Prius retained it’s value (most comparable cars online are on sale for $23,000), and our Prius is pretty decked out, but we don’t want to sell it bad enough to drop the price down to bargain status… and people like bargains.
  • It has 87,000 miles on it. Although they are almost entirely highway miles, and I take meticulous care of the car, that’s a lot of driving in two years. I actually haven’t found another Prius for sale with mileage of more than 65,000.
  • According to a recent article in Newsweek magazine, as a nation, we have amnesia about the recent high gas prices, so no one is even thinking about saving money on gas with a hybrid vehicle.
  • Although many people would spend an additional $2000 on leather seats without considering the cost-effectiveness, almost no one is willing to spend the same amount to be a responsible global citizen. Now that the election is over though, gas prices should start to go back up and the point may be moot.