How I Made Selling our Minivan Fun, Fast, and Easy

Who says selling a minvan has to be boring? Okay, so nobody has to say it, it usually just is. But when we decided it was time to sell our minivan, I decided to have a little bit of fun with the ad.

And since it was entirely too much fun to write, I can’t let that ad just fade into total obscurity. Sharing it here means I can laugh about it any and every time I miss my beloved minivan. And who knows? Maybe more fun ads will pop up in the future. Because, really, having a fun (while accurate) ad is a huge key towards making an easier sale. That and knowing how to avoid painful sales before the fact.

Buying and selling cars doesn't have to be boring, painful, or time consuming. Here's how we made selling our Sienna minivan fun, easy, and quick - with very little work. #minivan #marketing #forsalebyowner

2011 Toyota Sienna LE 8 Passenger Minivan

If this minivan could tow, it would be too perfect to sell. But since it lacks a tow package, we’re forced to say goodbye to the minivan that easily held 4 kids in carseats; could hold a whole sheet of drywall inside (if you take out the seats); seated 8 for Girls’ Camp; and carried us to countless soccer games where kids only sort of knew what they were doing.

As such, this minivan is ready for its third family. Its first family was as part of a cushy business fleet, where there were no kids to grind Cheerios into the upholstery. We’re its second family, and we had the foresight to put mats pretty much everywhere. That way, when the kids tried to grind Cheerios into the upholstery, it was very unsatisfying. And what little did make it past our multiple layers of Cheerio protection were easily cleaned up with regular car washes, vacuums, and details.

What the kids did like watching, however, was the regular maintenance like oil changes being done on the minivan. They were a little bit bummed when we had to drop it off for a full day at a Toyota dealership to get all those wonderful recalls handled, but they were placated with a donut and taking it through a car wash when we got it back. (What is it with kids and car washes?)

Buying and selling cars doesn't have to be boring, painful, or time consuming. Here's how we made selling our Sienna minivan fun, easy, and quick - with very little work. #minivan #marketing #forsalebyowner

In other words, this has been a very reliable minivan with no known mechanical issues. Sure, there are some scratches here and there on the exterior. But since my kids aren’t old enough to trust buffing those out, the scratches remain. The tires are “well-loved,” which is definitely a euphemism for “you’re going to want to replace those before too long, though they’re still a safe 5/32 per Toyota.” And since my kids have a strange aversion to tire stores, it’s far easier to adjust the sale price than to put on new white-wall tires so that it looks like Lightning McMinivan.

To sum up: 2011 Toyota Sienna LE 8 Passenger Minivan that’s in GREAT shape except for the tires. They’ll need replacing, but are still safe. $1,000,000 OBO (or best offer). In-person sales only.


No, I didn’t actually list my minivan for a million bucks. (I’m not crazy.) We listed it for a very reasonable price – especially given the low mileage and condition of the minivan. And the in-person sales thing? Well, out-of-state buyers can be a great thing. But it means a lot more work – work we weren’t willing to do this time around.

The work we did put into selling our minivan was minimal. It was: cleaning the interior (vacuuming and spot-treating stains), washing the outside, taking lots of *good* pictures, and writing our awesome ad. From there, we sat back, fielded questions via text, and let people come check it out in person.

In the end, we got quite a bit of interest in it – and ended up selling it to a lovely family who now owns an amazing, blue minivan with “robot doors.”

Selling a vehicle doesn’t have to be painful. In fact, when you do it right, it can be quick, painless, and easy. And maybe even fun.

Kimberly C. Starr

I'm a ginger who loves reading, eating, being a nurse, spending time with my family, and writing about it all.

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