Trading in your used car, or selling it to a dealer, is a convenient way to get rid of it; the flip side is that you will get less money for it than if handle the sale yourself. But, the flip side to that scenario is that it requires much more effort on your part. The first step in selling your used car is getting wide exposure through as many advertising mediums as possible. The internet is a particularly powerful tool in your arsenal for two reasons. First, is the sheer number of people you can reach, and secondly, you have the chance to give an in-depth description of your vehicle that you really cannot in other places, such as a classified ad in your local paper. Simply advertising a car for sale is not enough to garner interest—you have to write an ad that draws people in. Here are some tips to help you do just that.
Pictures, Pictures and More Pictures
Online ads that have lots of pictures of the vehicle tend to draw more responses. People are naturally leery of buying used cars, and the more they can find out about them in advertisements, the more likely they are to want to learn more. Lots of pictures says ‘’I am honest and have nothing to hide,’’ and this is especially important in this type of transaction. It will also benefit you in terms of wasting less of your time, since anyone calling after seeing the car from every angle, is clearly interested. If you are only taking a couple of pictures, the chances are greater than many of your interested prospects will soon change their mind after seeing the car in greater detail. Take pictures from various angles; get every inch of the interior and exterior. Lack of pictures suggests you may be hiding something, and the second that someone suspects that, it will be onto the next ad.
Be Upfront about Flaws and Repairs
No one expects anything that is ‘’used’’ to be in perfect condition, and this is especially true of a car, which can take quite the beating over the years. You may think it is best to gloss over problems and, wait to discuss them with people once they come to look at the car, but this is not the best approach. It may make you appear dishonest, and like the lack of pictures, lead to lots of wasted time. If there are any issues with the car, whether it be an appearance issue or a mechanical one, discuss it in the ad. If there were any recent repairs, make mention of them. You may worry that it will send the message that the car has problems, but all cars need repairs at some point, and it can work in your favor if the potential buyer knows that he will not have to worry about those issues.
Be Clear and Descriptive
Instead of using generic phrases to describe your vehicle, get specific. Rather than state your car is ‘’clean,’’ give some details about what makes it so. Did you just have the interior shampooed? If you never had pets in the car or you are a non-smoker, say that. Instead of saying the car has been ‘’well-maintained,’’ mention instead the like-clockwork oil changes or the fact that you regularly had your tires rotated and rebalanced. If you kept your car in a garage, make sure to mention that—this is very attractive to car shoppers because it means that the vehicle was protected from the harsh weather conditions. When formulating your vehicle’s description, keep in mind the type of people that would most likely be looking for the type of car you are selling; this will help you craft an ad that will appeal to this target audience.
Kelli Cooper, writing for Bill Fitts Used Auto, has blogged about a variety of auto topics.