How to Write an Effective Used Car Advertisement


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350Z

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So finally, you have decided to sell off your car and now the first step that would come in your mind is to advertise about it in magazines and online classifieds, which usually works better than word of mouth but this task isn’t as easy as many of us may think. A wrongly interpreted advertisement will simply leave you waiting for that phone to ring. Here is why we tell you about some quick and effective tips that can sometimes do wonders to attract a potential buyer who is searching for a similar car like yours.

The first rule of thumb is to keep your advertisement as much precise as possible, yet covering all the major points. Generally, these major points include Car Name and Make, Year of Manufacture, Kilometres Covered, Body Colour, Number of Previous Owners, Availability of Service Record and of course, the asking Price. However, mentioning obvious things such as Air conditioner, Power steering, Power windows in an ad of a luxury car is pointless, which does nothing more than occupying your advertising space. You can also take an advantage of using common abbreviations (That can be understood by a layman) such as Kms (Kilometres), A/C (Air conditioner), PS (Power Steering), PW (Power Windows), LHD (Left Hand Drive), in print advertisements where each word counts. Also, mentioning the price with a slight margin works too. For Example: Rs.4,95,000 instead of 5,00,000, but always try to avoid adding 'Call for Price' tag, where a typical buyer may think that your car will be overpriced, hence making them never bother to call you back.

Next below the basic details, what comes is ‘attracting the buyer’ part where you should add a short and effective paragraph describing about your car. This is mainly possible with online classifieds in which there’s no word limit. Keep your describing paragraph well-formatted because to an extent, it tells about the owner too. Remember, this is the right opportunity to brag as much about your car as you can but never go overboard and know the limits. Highlight if your car has covered low distance (Depending upon age, anything under 35,000 Kms is considered OK in India) but make sure that you actually mention correct mileage. I personally have come across several instances where advertisement appears pleasing but the story in reality sings a different saga altogether. And this is an absolute put-off. Furthermore, if the car was mostly driven by a woman, you must mention it too because women are considered as gentle-drivers, which makes another added advantage. You can also include about the accessories you have installed and are offering along with this car, such as expensive audio set-up, sunroof, branded alloy wheels or what not. If the car you are selling is pretty old, then stating about the required work done in recent past pays of as well, like replaced battery, new set of tires etc. These things do matter quite much to a conscious buyer.

The saying - A picture is worth thousand words suits perfectly well in advertising a second hand car. You should keenly focus on this factor and insert the best available photographs of your car (Atleast Four: Front View, Side View, Rear View, Interiors/Dashboard). If you find not to have any, then take your car to a scenic location and snap some pictures. I would personally dislike seeing a picture of a dusty used car parked in the workshop or garage, so avoid doing any such mistakes. Now when all’s said and done, it ultimately depends upon the presentation by keeping a note of every small thing. Every buyer would want to have a car which is maintained well, and if you – the owner, actually loves his/her own car, then it would naturally reflect on the describing paragraph. Remember, writing an effective used car advertisement does not need you have any super-magical skills, just honestly keep yourself in place of the buyer and you will eventually end up getting answers to all your queries. Good luck for finding the right deal soon.[thumbswink]
 

Akash

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Very informative thread. This will definitely be of great help for those who want to get their cars sold off soon.

The saying - A picture is worth thousand words suits perfectly well in advertising a second hand car. You should keenly focus on this factor and insert the best available photographs of your car (Atleast Four: Front View, Side View, Rear View, Interiors/Dashboard).
I second that. However only car mags cover such kind of classifieds. In most of the news papers, the info provided is usually incomplete. Recently i came across this ad in a reputed news paper.

For sale White Honda City in excellent condition, original battery and tires. For details contact mob no. XXXXX
I was wondering what this guy had in mind while framing this ad. He didnt even mention the generation of his car, forget the year and make!
 
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Great thread 350Z! Learnt all these things while selling off my Safari!


The most important which a buyer always looks for is year , KMS run and color.
 
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350Z

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Thanks all. Mentioning whether the price is negotiable or not is a nice idea too.

Drive Safe,
350Z
 
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thanks for this great thread. definitely going to be useful for used car sellers. rated 5 stars!!
 
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Bumping a 3 year old thread.

Some points from my side,
- Be transparent as much as possible
Online classifieds facilitate sufficient space for clear description. Mention about any issues / dents or deep scratches / accident history aswell. Hiding this in the classified may get you more customers over phone, but upon physical inspection buyer will feel you might have hidden something more.

- Mention the variant clearly
I see people posting "Top End model" very frequently. Nothing wrong with it unless it is really top end model. Few examples like Fiat Linea Emotion (2009~11) model listed as fully loaded where you have Emotion Pack variant over it. Maruti Swift VXi isn't fully loaded, we have ZXi.

- Post the recent snap
We do have classic examples of ads where the car will be 4~5 years old, but the snap will be glittering as brand new. I came across a similar ad when I was looking for a used car, when I called the owner and asked if they were recent snaps he said they were taken during the delivery and the image is for reference (what???[frustration])

- List down the added accessories
List some valuable accessories added to the base vehicle (if they are a part of the deal as well) If you have some high end audio setup, it is better to sell them separately rather than adding their cost to the vehicle (this will keep a potential buyer away from this ad who isn't very much interested on the audio setup)

- What not to post
As mentioned in the opening post, it is meaningless to list out the spec and feature of the car (car buyers these days are more matured and they do have sufficient knowledge about the cars)

"Showroom condition" - I get irritated on seeing this statement (personal opinion) What I get in mind is "If it is in showroom condition, why do you sell it dear?" (Posting it on lighter note and polished, couldn't write down the statement from mind)

Basic accessories - Some sellers list down floor mats, mud flaps, body covers as accessories in their ad. Yes they are, but these are something very basic and they do not favor anything rather than occupying more space in the ad.

Will add something more soon.
 
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Well I have been spending a lot of my time on OLX and Quickr. And many many ads have pathetic english to start with. One pic it will have with very insufficient details yet it will sell off quickly. That is why this area of our society will never improve. Though some ads are really nice online and their cars are generally well kept as well.
 
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