1: Make sure you have a presentable car
Before you get down to even thinking about how you will word and post your ad, you have to have the goods to back it all up. Make sure that the car is cleaned and detailed as much as possible. Some elbow grease, towels, and wax go a long way to helping you sell a car and can easily increase the value of a car on the used market. As a rule of thumb, imagine that you will be selling the car today. Don’t have any garbage or personal belongings left in the car. Furthermore, if the car has any regular maintenance that has to be performed, perform it. It’s a hassle for buyers to have to do those things right after getting the car, and won’t be a stumbling block for later on in the process.
2: Honesty for all
Leave the lying and ambiguity to the crooks. If there are problems with the car, however minor or major, write it down in your ad or at least mention it to the buyer at the first point of contact. Showing that you can be honest about these problems will enable the buyer to trust you more and believe that there isn’t anything else wrong with the car.
Conversely, if the car is in amazing shape, mention a few maintenance items that were either performed regularly or recently. You should expect buyers to want their own inspections done anyway, but you have nothing to hide, right? Lastly, if you are not the first owner of the vehicle, state that as well and maybe mention that you are uncertain (assuming you are) about the vehicles previous service history. This last part isn’t absolutely necessary, however. You can (and should) mention that at the first point of contact.
3: Don’t forget those details
Buyers, particularly the ones that are cross-shopping the same kind of vehicle, will be interested in the options and accessories that the car is equipped with other than make X, model Y, and colour Z. Car has a sunroof? List it. Car has the optional cruise control? List it. Car has working A/C? Definitely list it. Bullet points are a big part of any used car ad, so make use of them. Just don’t go overboard and list things like headlights or door handles that open the doors. I remember an ad once that stated that the car was “equipped with a speedometer”. Must have been special.
4: Check your spelling and grammar
You would expect this one to be a no-brainer, but I’m putting it on here for a reason. More than half of the ads that I read on any given day have horrid punctuation, syntax, and spelling mistakes that make the ad both difficult to read and belittle the poster’s position. As any self-respecting journalist will tell you, good writing is at the heart of presenting any case. Don’t ruin otherwise plentiful information with atrocious prose. The more effort that goes into the ad, the more attractive it is.
If push comes to shove and your English isn’t terribly good, have someone proof it for you. It will be a solid time investment.
5: Define acceptable payment options
This one could save you a lot of time and effort on buyers that wind up trying to pay you in ways that you are not comfortable with. If you only accept cash, state it in the ad upfront. Make sure you settle on how the buyer will pay before the test drive. Kijiji recommends that all transactions take place face to face, using cash only.