For most people, after a home, a car is one of the most expensive things they will buy. As someone selling a car, your ad has to not only catch someone's eye but it also has to explain to them why they should buy from you and not the next seller. To help you, we've compiled a list of some tips you can use to get your automotive ad noticed and your car sold.
Include a Clear and Honest Description: Most potential customers are not 'car people'. They may be not familiar with or interested in the jargon and technical specifications of things like your car's exhaust system but there are some things that all buyers want to know before they pick up the phone. These are things like the Color, Year, Make and Model of your car. Another good thing to include is the mileage because if that is not included, most buyers may assume that it has high mileage and will not be persuaded to contact you. Avoid using generic and subjective terms like 'runs great!', 'handles super!' and 'like new!'. Almost every car ad has these words included in them, making yours become just another listing on the page and also without being specific, people can become confused as to what you specifically mean by these terms. Instead of these, give specifics like 'all-wheel drive' and 'V8 engine', etc. Also, if there is any body damage such as dents in the fenders or doors, you may want to state this up front in your ad. The fastest way to lose a sale is for a customer to feel like he has been cheated by coming out to see what they were led to believe was a mint condition car only to find body damage or rust. Also, if your car has had mechanical problems that you are aware of, you may want to state this as well. With the availability of car history reports and service records, most buyers will be aware of this as well.
Set a Clear Price: If you are willing to negotiate, feel free to use verbiage like '$15,000 obo' in your ad. However, be aware of exactly what you are stating. If you state 'best offer', and you already know that you are not willing to lower the price more than a few hundred dollars, you may not want to use this term. If you are firm in your price, make sure you say this as well using terms like '$15,000 firm' or '$15,000 non-negotiable'. If you are clear about the price, it will be easier for buyers to make an informed decision whether or not they wish to pay that much and will save you and the buyer time and possibly unwanted negotiations.
Avoid 'Shouting' in Your Text: Some sellers have a tendency to use ALL CAPITAL LETTERS or several exclamation points (!!!) when they write their copy in hopes of showing excitement and enthusiasm. Most of the time, however, this backfires and appears like they are being aggressive, shouting and even pushy. This will make some buyers ignore the ad outright for simply not wanting to deal with the 'typical used car dealer' types of sellers. Instead, type your ad as you would any other document, using proper punctuation and capitalization and let your car and its features inspire interest and excitement, not your capital letters.
Be Sure to List All Benefits and Features: Cars are expensive. People want to know why they should buy from you and not someone else. Part of this is explaining what you get for the money. However, you cannot just make a general statement like 'Loaded!' because people really still do not know what that means. Loaded with what? Be sure to be specific and mention things like leather seats, air conditioning, navigation systems, etc. Also, if your car has been kept in a garage, has only had one owner or only driven by 'non-smokers', be sure to include that too. People want to know if your car is worth the money and seemingly little things like these mean a lot.
Include Photos: The first thing people want to know when buying a car is if it will run. After that, they want to know what it looks like. No matter how long your description is, or however many 'stock' model photos you add, it does not matter. People want to know what your specific car looks like. Be sure to include several photos (you can include up to 12 photos on Cars.com ads) from different angles such as such as exterior front, rear and side angles; interior front/rear seats; the dashboard; trunk/cargo space; wheels and tires; engine block; and other special features. Also, if your car does have some rust, dents or dings, this will give people a chance to see it before they call. Doing this allows people to feel that your ad is honest and is not attempting to conceal any factors that may change their minds. Also, it will save both you and the buyer time by disclosing exactly what the body damage is before they even arrive.
Include Clear Contact Information: If a buyer doesn't know how to reach you, then you obviously cannot sell your car. Be sure to include your email address and phone number in your ad and any specific contact details. (i.e.: 'Call after 5pm', 'Ask for John', etc.). To reach more potential buyers, you may wish to include both a daytime and an evening phone number (if applicable) in your ad. The more ways people have to contact you, the better your chances of selling your car.
If you need assistance at any time during the ad placement process, please contact us via email, Facebook, telephone at 1-877-223-7355 or you can visit our website by clicking here and opening a ticket with our support team.