Suppose you are buying a new car from Deery Brothers of Pleasant Hill, a popular IA-based Chevrolet Dealer and you decide you’re going to sell your old car yourself to maximize its value.  Frankly, you may find that it’s really easier to let the dealership take your old car in trade but if you are driven to do it yourself, here are a few tips.

Craigslist and ebay make it easy to sell your car on-line but there’s a catch -the competition is fierce.  Chances are there are several cars just like yours on those two sites right now and they are “setting the going price.” If your car is nicer (and thus worth more money), you’ve got to make it stand out from the rest.  Here’s some tips.

The basics

The first thing you want to do in your ad is list every detail that a potential owner might want to know.  Don’t make them call you to ask something trivial. List things like the year, make, model , color, trim, mileage, fuel efficiency, transmission type, etc. 


We can’t stress enough how important it is to have a great set of photos of your car too.  Think about this from the perspective of the buyer.  They are trying to reduce their risk as much as possible and photos are a great way to do this.  We recommend to thoughly clean the car and then take a minimum of 24 photos of the exterior, interior and engine bay to show potential buyer exactly what the car is like.  Smart sellers even focus on some of the “blemishes” (dents,  scrapes) so that potential owners aren’t surprised if they look at the vehicle.


This is the time when you need to channel your inner writer.   Write a long, very detailed description of your car complete with descriptions of condition, documentation of all work performed on it and any stories you might have about it. Go into detail. Mentioning when and where the car was purchased, how long you have owned it, and why it’s being sold helps paint a better picture of the car too. The more “transparent” you are, the more the reader is going to trust your listing.

This may also seem obvious, but take the time to properly proofread your ad to make sure there are no spelling or grammatical errors. Use proper punctuation and write in language that’s easy for people to understand.  Also, definitely avoid the standard over used clichés like “Runs like new!” or “It comes loaded!” That sort of stuff is going to make your potential buyer think you are a hack.


Like articles on the internet, used car ads need to be easily searchable. Think about what someone is typing into a search bar. Put similar words in your ad.  Subtitles are a great place to do this but including the words in the body of the text is fine too.  Here’s a good example, the phrases “low mileage” and “rust free” are two hot keyword phrases. 


Creating your ad with these tips in mind will help increase the confidence that prospective buyers will have about your car. You’ll come across as knowledgeable and trustworthy, and that’s an important trait to display online when it comes to selling a car.

Image Source: