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How To Write A Car Classifieds Ad Part 1 | Auto Classifieds Tips - Part 2

How To Write A Car Classifieds Ad Part 1

Sometimes when you go to sell your car you are stumped as to how to write your classifieds ad. If you've never sold one before you just don't know what gets a response.

This is where a few pointers can put you in the success lane straight away.

Let's cover a few quick basics first. Like any sort of advertising there is a physical 
response at the other end of your auto classifieds ad.

For example, say you are reading a piece of junk mail. The advertiser has only a few seconds to grab your attention before you throw it in the bin. 

His mission is to get you to read it. 

It works like this. Say he prints 1000000 pieces. 1% read it and out of those 1% 10% buy. He has just sold 1000 units, which is pretty good.

Now if he can get 2% to read it and increase the buying rate by 2 times, he has just sold 4000 units - even better.

When you are advertising your car in auto classifieds, you are competeting with other advertisers who are advertising similar vehicles in that price range.

Your mission is to get qualified buyers to call.

Imagine a buyer, he scans down the page and marks off advertisements - say every Toyota in the $10000 range in the model he wants.

Now that is if he is particularly thorough person. 

But is everybody like this. No, they are not. People have lazy eyes. We are conditioned to have advertising thrust into our faces. 

We are also conditioned sub-consciously to evaluate the quality of advertisements and make some sort of value judgement about the product at the other end.

It is only my opinion, but I believe we all pride ourselves on our ability to 'suss' out 
whether we want to follow something up or not.

Therefore you advertisements should be of sufficient quality to reflect your vehicle in it's best light.

The Car Classifieds Ad Mental Checklist

A buyer usually has a mental checklist in his mind when he is looking for a car.

E.g auto, low kilometers model, color maybe, what the wife wants. Reliable.

It's his checklist. Some of these things he would like to be able to isolate from the ad.

If you've ever looked through advertisements, you would be familiar with that spinning feeling where there are so many things on offer.

It is frankly a relief to settle on something you see and tick it off as something you are interested in.

The Easy Way Out - The Usual Practice When Someone Reads An Auto Classified Ad

Regardless of the better side of life and even with amounts of thousands of dollars, people are basicly still lazy. If you make your advertisement clear and answer as many details as you can you have done work for them. You have saved them time. Now they are ever so slightly in your debt and your rating goes up.

Generally people will take the easy way out. 

Saving them time is money in your pocket.

Bigger Ad, Bold Lettering for Your Ad

No,it's not a myth and an attempt to bilk money from you by the 
newspaper. In my experience it works. It's based on solid principles. First you must get the buyer's attention and only then can he evaluate your ad.

Even when people see the big ad and they think they have worked out your strategy.

'Aha, he's trying to sway me with those bold letters. I'm not going to fall for that" 

It doesn't matter. They still come back and the next thought they have is. 

"Yeah, but what if that's because it's a great car. I better not miss out on that" 

The fact of getting someone to see your ad is half the battle. What they do after that is mostly internal wackiness anyway.

The killer combination is to get your ad seen and write a killer ad, which answer's their mental checklist.

Mistakes advertisers make when writing a car classifieds ad.

Leaving key information out - like whether it's auto or manual. 

Apparently some people do this to encourage people to call. 

Look guys, you don't want people to call to ask silly questions, you want the qualified and interested buyers to call - don't you?

This is just plain stupid. You will miss a lot of people just because you have annoyed them. 

When they do call, you have a little hump to get over before you can close them to come and see your car.

Use of abbreviations in your ad

This is fine, so long as the abbreviation is decipherable. Use other car classifieds ads as a guide to see what others use. Don't make up your own language as there is no way anyone can figure it out.

That's the end of part 1. In part 2 of this article series, I'll give you some example 
auto classified advertisements as well as reveal some killer little lines that can prompt people to call.

Graeme Sprigge is the webmaster of He is also the the author of The 90 Minute Car Salesman. You can find more articles on selling your car in a private sale at
This article may be reprinted provided this resource box is included
Copyright © 2005 Graeme Sprigge

Go to part 2 of this article - Car Classifieds Ad Part 2