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GuideSelling Your Car

How to Place an Effective Classified Ad

If you're trying to sell your vehicle to a private party, the first (and most important) step is to get prospects interested enough to contact you.

This means you need to spend time creating an effective classified ad. It's amazing how lazy some people are when it comes to this.

Most used car classified ads are boring, don't contain enough information, and are missing good photos of the vehicle.

The classified ad is the first impression buyers will have of your vehicle. Present it well, and the car sells itself.

There are some great online resources that will show you how to prepare and write your vehicle ad.

First, read AutoTrader's guide to Creating an Effective Car Ad, and Car Ad Best Practices from Cars.com.

This will give you a good overview of all the information you should include in your ad.

It's particularly important to take great photos of your vehicle showing multiple angles.

This is especially important when placing Craigslist ads. We recommend including high resolution photos which will differentiate your ad from all the others. (we recommend photos that are 1,000 pixels in width).

You can host your images on a free image hosting service such as ImgUR and embed the images directly into your Craigslist ad using the following code:

<img src="URL_of_image">

Don't skimp on the classified ad - it's the most important part in the entire selling process.

3 Steps Every Car Buyer Needs to Take to Save Maximum Money

The key to getting the best deal is to gather price or lease bids from as many local dealers as possible. Then shop that best price around until no one can beat it. Here are the steps:

Step 1 Get Prices From My Trusted Network

Select the vehicle you're interested in to see if there are local dealers in my network who will provide you with their best upfront price. You will get direct access to an internet sales manager who you can further negotiate with online (no need to visit dealership).
Select Vehicle to Get Local Pricing

Step 2 Get Prices From TrueCar / CarsDirect

TrueCar, and CarsDirect are my top 2 online price quote recommendations. These services show you pre-negotiated prices from dealers closest to you - and the deals are usually pretty decent. But remember, you can still negotiate further.

Step 3 Complete my Checklist

Follow this up with my checklist to make sure you squeeze out every last bit of savings.
- Gregg Fidan

Each week, I'll keep you up-to-date on the latest car deals and news that might affect your purchase. This includes...

  • Best Rebates, Incentives, and Lease Deals
  • Latest Car Buying Scams and Tricks
  • The Best & Worst Time to Buy a Car
  • Which Cars You Should Avoid

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About The Author

Gregg Fidan Gregg Fidan is the founder of RealCarTips. After being ripped off on his first car purchase, he devoted several years to figuring out the best ways to avoid scams and negotiate the best car deals. He has written hundreds of articles on the subject of car buying and taught thousands of car shoppers how to get the best deals.
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