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Creating a winning used car classified ad

By raccars Published

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Sell your car quickly and for the best price with a carefully crafted used car classified ad.

If you've ever searched among the classified ads for a used car, you'll be aware how frustrating it can be when the ads don't contain the information you need. A well written classified ad is short and to the point but contains everything that the buyer needs to know to decide if your car is worth a viewing. Here is some advice to make sure your ad is the one buyers respond to.

Avoid used car dealer clichés

The first step is to make sure that all the information you are giving is correct and relevant. Forget trying to insert overused clichés or hideous sales jargon such as 'first to see will buy', as these are an ineffective use of the space you have available. Potential buyers want to see meaningful information and pictures, and while you may have laughed at funny posts on social media where sellers create an amusing story around the car, doing the same is unlikely to help you sell. Keep it clear, simple and informative.

Make it relevant and informative

First of all, make it clear what you are selling. The key details are make, model, engine size and trim level first, plus the car's age as shown by the year identifier on the number plate. If relevant, include the date of the car's last MoT or state how many months remain on the MoT certificate, and give the same information for servicing. State if you are selling with a full service history and mention the colour and any special finish to the paintwork. Give a summary of the standard equipment fitted and mention any optional extras. Let buyers know where the car can be viewed and give at least one contact telephone number and an email address. Finish with the asking price.

Do a photoshoot

A serious buyer will take a good look at your car in person, but you are more likely to attract interest if you provide good photos. And this means photos showing dents or scratches too as buyers will appreciate your honesty. Take pictures that show the car at a variety of different angles, taken on a sunny day while the car is parked with plenty of space around it to give a clear view. Include close-ups of the wheels and tyres to indicate style and condition, and photograph the interior too including the seats and dashboard.

Take pictures of details you have mentioned such as the infotainment system, tools and spare wheels. Make sure that the car is clean and dry for the best results from a photo session and if you worry that your ad is getting a bit picture heavy, include a link to an Instagram or Flickr feed for buyers who want to see more.

The sales pitch

Once you have covered all the basics you can start giving your sales pitch. If necessary you can expand upon the information already given about specification, history and the car's condition. You can also give extra information relating to driving dynamics, sporty performance or fuel economy. Buyers also like to be sure there is a genuine reason for the sale, provided that you can come up with appropriate wording. Include information about any obvious faults to avoid wasting your own and potential buyers' time with unnecessary viewings.

Consider adding additional buyer confidence with an RAC Car Passport.

Make sure that you follow up your excellent work on your classified ad by responding in a helpful and friendly manner to any enquiries. Be prepared to answer the same questions a number of times without getting impatient, because a friendly and helpful manner is far more likely to get your car sold!

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