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Selling a Car: Tips to Help You Get More Calls

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author photo by Doug DeMuro July 2014

If you're interested in selling a car, we can help. Not only is AutoTrader.com the ultimate automotive marketplace, we've also listed a few tips that will help attract more attention to your ad and bring you more phone calls once a potential buyer has seen your car's details.

Pictures, Pictures, Pictures

It's hard to stress this point enough: Pictures are incredibly important when you're trying to sell a car. This means not just taking a lot of pictures, but posting good ones that show every single angle from the front, back and sides to the interior, the back seat, the trunk and even under the hood. You may also want to take photos of the tires, and use a coin to show how much tread is left. When you're taking your pictures, try to imagine that you're a potential buyer, and consider what you'd want to see if you were thinking about buying the vehicle.

Another photo tip: Make sure that your car is clean when you take the pictures. A dirty car will never attract the attention that a clean one will, and a clean car will almost certainly bring a little extra money when it comes time to make the sale.

Describe Your Car Well

Many sellers think that a car's photos or mileage will speak for itself, so there's no need for a lengthy description. Others don't want to take the time to write out a long explanation of the car's history and condition. To us, that's a mistake.

If you're interested in selling a car, we strongly suggest that you write a long, thorough description of the car in question. Write about your ownership history with it, write about the car's current condition, and write about any flaws or defects that you know of. Not only will this help potential buyers better understand the car, it will also ensure that there won't be any surprises when they come to take it for a test drive.

Post the Details

These days, many potential buyers will want to check out a car's history using online services such as Carfax or AutoCheck. As a result, we strongly suggest that you post the car's vehicle identification number (VIN) in the ad so shoppers can use it to look at the vehicle history. We understand why you might be reluctant to do that if your car's history report details any problems, but we think buyers who want to run a history report will ask you for the VIN anyway. This means that they'll probably discover any flaws regardless of whether you post the VIN in the ad.

Additionally, we suggest that you post as many other details as possible. Is the car a manual or an automatic? How many miles does it have? What color is it? Many shoppers sort their searches based on this kind of criteria, and if you leave out important details, your car won't show up in their search results.

Be Thorough

In the end, our advice is simple: Be thorough. Yes, it's possible to sell a car with minimal photos and a meager description, but you're much more likely to get a lot of calls if you're thorough with your pictures, your description and your car's details. More calls generally means more money as you consider offers from potential buyers.

This image is a stock photo and is not an exact representation of any vehicle offered for sale. Advertised vehicles of this model may have styling, trim levels, colors and optional equipment that differ from the stock photo.
Selling a Car: Tips to Help You Get More Calls - Autotrader