How To Advertise Pre-Owned Cars and Trucks

Selling your beloved used vehicle can be a challenge. How much of a challenge depends on if you know what your vehicle is worth, and how to get the word out that you're selling it. Lets go over some useful tips and helpful idea's to getting that old goat gone!

Step 1

First and foremost, you don't have to take my word for it, but giving a realistic asking price will help your advertising sell your vehicle. Check out another article of mine for an idea of what your vehicle is worth in the 2008 market. You might be suprised at what your vehicle is really worth. Not only that but you'll know whether to up your original asking price or lower it.

Step 2

This step is where you pick a place to put your ad. I will always suggest using free advertisment before you pay out of pocket to try and sell it. By all means you're trying to make money, aren't you?

  • Make use of free online classifieds. You can run this in your search engine to find plenty of classifieds that will showcase your vehicle in your area. Popular free online classifieds can be found at: Craigslist, MySpace, Facebook, Listpics and Yuwie. Check these out and see if you can reel in a buyer!
  • Another form of free advertisment is through the artist side in you! Get out some blank paper, some pens and get to work! Just write the basics "'97 pontiac bonneville, loaded, runs and drives, keys and title in hand, $1500 obo phone#xxx-xxx-xxxx". You can place several of these artistic flyers all around. Try your local grocery store, convenience mart, gas station, on telephone poles, in the mail, at the mall, your local library, or even on the car you are selling! Try it!
  • If your ad has not sold through free advertising, or you just want to widen your reach, you can look into your local newspapers. Papers will often ofter you a deal for running your ad longer. In most of these ads you will need to keep your ads short, so make sure to leave an asking price, location for the vehicle, whether it runs or drives, and your phone number. Good luck!

Step 3

Once you have picked the place, it's time to think about what to say. A strong advertisement will keep buyer questions down, but will not bore them with more info than they want or need. You want your ad to grab their attention and hold it long enough to get them to reply to it or call you.

  • The best place to start is in a title. Using words such as "Cheap", "Well Used" , "Running", "Deal", "Quality", "Strong" and "Drives" will get your ad seen frequently. These are what most buyers are looking for and will almost always look over ads with these words in the title first.

    Your title should be an eye-catcher not and eyesore. Make sure it's not too long and gives a good summary. "Great Deal! Running '97 Dodge Cobalt" or "97 Dodge Cobalt, runs, keys and title in hand" will work great.

    "Cheap Running 1997 Dodge Cobalt For a Great Deal!" is not only a bit long, but it's easy to tell you're desperate. "1997 Dodge Cobalt" is too bland and won't stick out. "Cheap Car, has engine" is more than an eyesore -- it's annoying because there is not enough info and begs the question, "Why would I look at that?" Try your hand at different titles. Choose one that you would be more likely to look at if you were looking to purchase a pre-owned vehicle.

  • After you have chosen the title, it's time to plan out your ad. It should be detailed but concise. Make sure to include at a minimum: Asking price, any major conditions, whereabouts of the keys and title, tabs info, the location of the vehicle, driveability, and if you would be willing to trade or partial trade.

    It's good to answer all the essential questions you would have if you were a buyer.

    • "Will it get me home if I come buy it now?"
    • "How many things am I going to have to fix to get it ready to be a daily driver?"
    • "Is the title clean? Are the tabs current?"
    • "Will it need emissions soon?"

Once you have put your ad together, make sure it looks clean; it doesn't take so long to read that it hurts your eyes; it has either your email or your phone number readily available; and it answers as many questions as you feel you would want to know if you were in their shoes.


Advertising the sale of your used or pre-owned car or truck does not have to be such a hassle. Once you know where to place an ad, how much your vehicle is worth, and what to say (how to say it is the hard part, you'll get it!), you'll be on your way to meeting with a cash buyer who will give your used vehicle a great new home.

The Magick Green Fairy....
 

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