I am presently looking to replace my 'vintage' Porsche. She's been a great car but I have trouble stuffing my mountain bike inside. So I need something different. I spent an hour looking through the car section on raleigh.craigslist.org and felt absolutely compelled to write a quick article about how and how not to write car ads.
- If you describe the condition of your car as 'immaculate', kindly remove all visible stale french fries from between the seats.
- Include pictures of the car. This is very helpful as visual imagery invokes emotional responses from prospective buyers. Oh, also helpful when you omit critical details such as the colour of the car or the true size of the dent on the quarter panel.
- When possible, put the VIN number in your ad. Having the VIN number precludes me from asking you a lot of dumb questions.
- If your car has a 'salvage' title, please tell me up front. Revealing this 20 minutes into our conversation is not cool. ( You know who you are )
- If your car has over 200,000 miles on it, don't bother trying to sell it.
- Do not put 'LOW MILES' and forget to place the actual mileage in your ad. I write the check so I decide 'Low Miles'.
- DO NOT WRITE YOUR AD IN ALL CAPS.
- Do not use unnecessary punctuation in your ad title. For example, this is a real ad title: **********************HUMMER RECOVERY VEHICLE*********************** - $5000. (Though I would be very interested if I were an asterisk salesman)
- Do not price your vehicle by what you owe. Your loan payoff amount is what YOU owe on the car and that can vary wildly from market rates for your vehicle Frankly, YOUR payoff figure is relative to how well you negotiated, how much you put down and the length of the note. I'll have no problem paying market rates for your car but I do not wear a red suit with a white beard, sliding down chimneys to pay car notes off.
- Do not overuse the words 'Rare Find'. A 1965 Corvette with 10,000 miles and all matching numbers is a rare find. Your tan 1998 Oldsmobile with the 'rare' velveteen interior is not.
Now back to our regularly scheduled programming...