Buyers' Guide: Advertising tips for selling your car
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We often get calls from AA members who can’t understand why their advertisement for their prized possession isn’t getting the amount of attention their car deserves.
But there are usually a few tweaks you can do to give your car a bit of extra appeal.
A picture’s worth 1000 words
In today’s market, many buyers will potentially bid on an auction based on the information and images illustrated in your advertisement alone, without viewing the vehicle in person.
Provide as many relevant photos as you can to show the vehicle from all angles and ensure there is adequate light. It might sound like common sense, but make sure the car is cleaned inside and out. A dirty car is bound to scare off potential buyers.
Good photos will improve the buyer’s confidence and reduce their risk of being disappointed. It may be tempting to add in a filter to make the picture “glow”, however don’t mislead potential buyers about a vehicle’s true condition.
For example, a dramatic beauty filter that suggests the vehicles paintwork is 10 times better than it is.
Photographing body damage such as dents and scratches may seem negative, but it shows you’re being upfront and honest.
Have some fun with it. If you have some videography skills, make a short clip with a walk-through of your vehicle. Throw it up on YouTube and then link through to it from your online listing.
Aside from the essentials such as make, model and mileage, here’s your chance to really “sell” your vehicle with a bit of writing. Remember, it’s a big purchase and sagacious buyers will likely overlook an advert if it lacks enough detail.
Don’t know much about cars? Don’t be discouraged as you probably know more than you think. Even photos of a vehicle in premium condition can still leave a lot of questions. A brief explanation of your driving history doesn’t need to be technical.
“I purchased this vehicle from Mr Cars five years ago and use it on a regular basis travelling about 50km per day for work. The longest drive the vehicle has done was a trip to Cape Reinga last December and it has never had any issues.”
These things may seem trivial, however the more information you can disclose, the better.
Being descriptive is great, but keep it relevant, no one needs to know that the small stain on the passenger’s seat was from a hot chocolate on a cold winter morning.
If you are finding similar statements in your advert, you could be going too far.
Including some simple information on maintenance and repair history is important. You want to give potential buyers some insight into the vehicle’s history, and show that you’ve cared for your car (no one wants to buy a car with sludge-like oil and noisy brakes).
“Every year in early December, I have a comprehensive service carried out by Mr Cars in Penrose. After last year’s service I replaced the front shocks, as well as the rear brake pads and discs.”
The question of value is always a tricky one, and everyone generally has a different opinion on a vehicle’s worth. We know you don’t want to sell your car too cheap, but having an unrealistic price could see your car sitting on the market for months.
Our advice: purchase an online vehicle valuation. A cheeky $20 report will put you in a strong negotiating position by knowing the market value of the car. An alternative and free approach is to do some market research.
Scroll through some listings, and see what similar vehicles are fetching. The key is to put the effort in finding every feature your car possesses and expose them. Use these details to bolster your advert but don’t overdo it.