So, you’ve finally decided it’s time to let go of your ride. It’s been a fun several years, but you’ve decided to upgrade to something a little higher up the automotive totem pole, and you figure selling your car online will go a long way towards a new purchase.
There’s just one problem: No one cares. More specifically, your used car listing on Facebook Marketplace is gathering dust and conducting an orchestra of crickets.
“Is it me? Is it the car? Is it Mark Zuckerberg trying to manipulate the used car market from behind the scenes?”
We don’t know about that third one. But the first two theories? We think they’re more likely than not. Here are seven possible reasons your used car listing isn’t gaining any traction online.
Oh, and before anything else, here are 10 pet peeves of used-car and used-motorcycle buyers. Keep these tips in mind before publishing that listing as well.
1) Your pictures suck.
Frankly, you don’t need a fancy mirrorless camera or lighting setup. Your smartphone camera will do, provided you know where your light is coming from and you choose a suitable backdrop for the auto you’re trying to sell.
Avoid shooting against the light, and try to find a nice, open, and secluded location to take photos of your vehicle. Cramped parking lots and side streets are a no-no. The same goes for anywhere there’s trash or junk in the background.
Oh, and we know that photos captured with your smartphone’s wide-angle lens look trippy, but people want to get an actual idea of what your ride’s dimensions are. Reserve this feature for use in the interior.
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2) You don’t have enough images and angles.
Speaking of photos, one or two images of the exterior isn’t going to cut it. Take as many as you can: Rear quarter shots, front quarter shots, front-facing, climb up on a step ladder for a higher angle, and get on the ground so you can highlight your vehicle’s stance.
The interior car is a particular point of interest for car buyers, too. Capture the contrast stitching on your dashboard and seats, show off the pristine condition of your steering wheel, and capture that headliner. The wide-angle camera on your phone? Now’s the time to use it to give potential buyers an overall picture of your car’s cabin.
3) Your used car model name is spelled incorrectly
Corola. Inova. Montero minus the ‘Sport.’ Come on, man. Let’s try to nail the basics first, shall we?
4) Your price is ‘P1’ or ‘P1,234,567’.
And since we’re in the business of basics, for the love of God, please put your actual desired price in the listing. No one is gullible enough to click on a P1 Honda Jazz thinking he’s struck gold. If anything, seeing an absurd or nonsensical price on a listing is usually an automatic pass. At most, you can specify that your asking price is negotiable.
5) Your listing is seriously lacking in details.
A 1.5-liter engine? What’s the output? Diesel or gasoline? Has it been serviced recently? If yes, when? ‘Slight rust.’ But where is it? Yes, we know you’re selling. If you want us to seriously consider your listing, at least give us a detailed idea of what we’re buying. You might know everything there is worth noting about your ride, but we don’t.
Be sure to specify the car’s age, any glaring issues, previous involvement in accidents, and registration status. Put yourself in the shoes of a potential buyer.
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6) You’re out of touch with the used car market.
We know you love your car and you had a price for it set inside your head the moment you decided to sell. That’s perfectly fine, but keep in mind that your perceived value for it isn’t necessarily in line with what it’s actually worth—at least once you take into account the car’s overall condition, accident history, and service logs.
Browse other listings and ask around. We aren’t just saying this because you may be selling it for too much either. For all you know, your vehicle may actually be worth more than you think.
7) The car is obviously in poor condition.
Okay, we get that you want to clear up any issues or imperfections with your ride with potential buyers—but at some point, being upfront just isn’t going to cut it. Unless you’re hoping to sell to a junk shop, you’re going to have to address these problems. In this case, just remember: Sometimes, it takes money to make money. Pony up.