If you are looking to unload your used car, you have two options. The first is trading it in or selling it to a dealership. Super-convenient, but you will get a low-ball offer. The second is selling it yourself. This approach takes more time, but you will get more money for the car. For those people who have the time, the second option is more appealing for obvious reasons. Of the variety of places to advertise your car for sale, the internet is one of the most effective.
You can easily reach tons of people and you can write a highly descriptive ad, chock full of pictures and even video. But, if you think you can put together some chintzy ad and just sit back while floods of people looking for a used car flock to you, think again. Like any person or business trying to move a product, you have to market it, make it seem appealing to your target audience.
Here are some helpful tips for writing an online ad.
Don’t Be Chintzy with Pictures
Want to know one of the biggest factors that separate a good online used car ad from a bad one? The amount of pictures. People are very gun shy about the used car purchasing process, whether from a dealer or private party. Fear of purchasing a lemon or getting totally ripped off run high. You want to do everything you can to up that trust factor and give people the information they want to know, and the more they can see of your car, the better off you will be.
It sends a message that you are honest and are not trying to hide anything. Don’t try to present an inaccurate image of the car by avoiding pictures of the less flattering parts. Unless someone is looking for a very late model used vehicle, they don’t expect it to be in pristine condition. Take pictures from multiple angles. Photograph the inside of the vehicle, from the dashboard to the floor mats. There is no such thing as too many pictures.
Avoid Jargon and Fluff—Be Clear and Descriptive
Online ads let you get into a lot more detail than the typical newspaper classified. Use this to your advantage to tell your car’s story. If you are particularly vehicle savvy, you may find yourself using terms that are second nature to you, but may not be to the average person. Avoid terms that may not be common knowledge. Be descriptive. If you want to let people know the car is clean, don’t just say that, tell them that you were a non-smoker, or that pets never were in the car, or that you got it detailed every month.
If the car was ‘’well-maintained,’’ give some background. What did you do specifically to maintain the car? Make mention of those specific oil changes or the fact that you got the tires rotated according to the manufacturer’s handbook.
Put Repairs and Flaws Out in the Open
Again, most people expect a used car will not be in perfect condition—it’s been used. It may be tempting to gloss over certain problems just to get people ‘’in the door,’’ with the intention of getting more in-depth in later communications or when they come to see the car. You may not want to photograph a particular part of the car because of the rust or dent, but do it. If there are any mechanical issues with the car, make mention of them.
Some people expect they may need to fix up a used car a bit once they purchase it. If there have been any recent repairs, make note of them. Every car has issues at some point and it is probably more advantageous to mention it. The potential buyer will see this as one less thing to worry about.
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Kelli Cooper is a freelance writer who blogs about all things auto. She recommends visiting Kanetix.ca for more information on Canadian car insurance.