When selling anything online it's important to create a good listing to grab people's attention and inform them about exactly what they are buying. This is especially true when selling a used car. Used cars are usually not perfect, and a good photo can help to show off the good qualities and the potential of the car.
Clean Everything - Show Everything
When preparing your car for sale, it's important to make sure the car is clean. A dirty car will not only look bad in photos, it will look ill-maintained and usually portray the car as much worse than it is. Once that is taken care of, take pictures of everything - good and bad. Ads with good quality photos are statistically shown to sell faster and for more money. A wide variety of photos showing the cars good points, and flaws, will help to build trust with your potential buyers. Show a wide assortment of exterior angles, interior shots, details and unique points on the vehicle. Don't forget the odometer and under hood shots!
Most used cars will have a few flaws and issues. To get top dollar for your car, try to get any mechanical issues or damage repaired before listing your vehicle. If you can't fix something, be sure that you are up-front about the issues in your listing. Whenever possible, try to show the true nature of the car in photos, including any flaws. I always try to be careful to ensure the car's imperfections show through when taking photos for an auction or classified listing. You can have a professional, well edited photo and still be honest about what the buyer is getting.
Before and After
Here is a great example of how photography can help a car sell. These photos were for a listing of a high-mileage 2001 Volkswagen Jetta. The car was far from perfect, but wasn't in bad shape for the age and mileage. Using the original cell phone photos, this car was listed for about 2 weeks with no responses. Once the new photos were posted, ad response increased and the car sold within 5 days.
Here are 4 examples of the cell phone photos used in the original For Sale listing. Even tho the car has been detailed, it's very hard to see the condition of the paint, or many of the details about the exterior of the car. The black interior looks washed out, damaged and gray due to poor lighting.
The following four shots were taken with a DSLR camera under better lighting conditions from the updated listing. These shots show off the condition of the interior and let the paint shine while letting the car be the photograph's focus on a simple, dramatic background. You can still see the flaws in the seats and none of the scratches or imperfections were touched in the editing process.
Don't Be Afraid of Hiring a Professional
The small investment from a detail shop and professional photographer can greatly increase the effectiveness of your ad. Travis Ingram Photography offers competitive, professional automotive photography packages to help take the pain out of selling your car, or as gifts for the gear-head in your life. From exotics to daily-drivers, we'll capture the image you need to show off your ride. Please contact us firstname.lastname@example.org to get more information about what we can do for you!
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