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 truly deserves. Majority of the time there are usually a few little tweaks you can do to give your car a bit of extra appeal.
A picture is worth a thousand 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 actually 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 and messy car is bound to scare off potential buyers.
Good photos will only 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 vehicles true condition. For example a dramatic beauty filter that suggests the vehicles paintwork is ten times better than it really is. Photographing body damage like dents and scratches might seem negative, but it also 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. It doesn’t have to be movie quality, just something that helps your car stand out from the other thousands of listings. Throw it up on YouTube and then link through to it from your online listing.
There was a famous 1996 used Honda Accord (Greenie) advert made in America that netted the lucky lady an outrageous $20,000 USD. It was an over the top advert produced and filmed like a new car commercial which prompted a popular car sales company to offer the exorbitant amount as a publicity stunt.
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 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 from McDonalds Taupo on a cold winters 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 extremely important. You want to give potential buyers some insight into the vehicle’s history, and show that you’ve really 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 years’ service I replaced the front shocks, as well as the rear brake pads and discs”
If you’re an avid car enthusiast and have a good knowledge of upgrades and modifications on your vehicle, talk about them to set your vehicle apart from the pack. It could be a larger turbo, new wheels and tyres or an aftermarket radio upgrade which has something more appealing to offer than the original cassette player from the 80s complete with worn crackly speakers.
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 simple market research. Have a 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. If you are finding yourself stumped, you can always look back into the past to see how your vehicle was first advertised for some inspiration.