In this article, Mr Sampson Cooper of the used car sales website UKAutoSearch.com reviews the problems car sellers face when advertising their cars in traditional print media, and highlights the real advantages that sellers experience when advertising their cars free of charge on the Internet.
So, you want to sell your car?
> Maybe you are buying a new car > Perhaps you are getting a company car > Has your family outgrown your present car?
Whatever the reason for your wanting to sell your car, car sellers agree that selling a car can be a very stressful experience. The commonest concerns sellers have are:
1. "Will I get a good price for my car?" (i.e. will a buyer haggle hard and pressurise me into letting the car go for a low price?)
2. "How long will it take to find a buyer for my car?" (i.e. if I hold out for the price I want, will I be left without a buyer?)
The traditional option is to take out an advert in the weekly Autotrader magazine. For about £35, you get a 2-week advert which allows you to include one small photo of your car, and about 200 characters of free text.
If you submit your advert before the Monday deadline, it will appear in that week's edition which comes out either on Thursday or Friday morning. There are a number of regional editions, and you can choose which regional edition you want your advert to appear in.
Problems with advertising in Autotrader
Advertising in the print media sounds like a reasonable idea until you experience first-hand the crippling limitations of this proposition. Remember, the concept of advertising cars in print media has been around since the 1970's, and is certainly showing it's age:
1. Because you get only a limited number of words, you have to cram as much information about your car into the smallest number of words.
> This has given rise to a whole specialist lingo, with terms like "r/c/l" (remote central locking) coming into existence for no reason other than to save space in an Autotrader advert!
2. You get only one photo, so you have to try to convey an impression about your car in one image.
> Imagine you were going to buy something worth thousands of pounds - would you be impressed and satisfied with just one photo?
3. Because you know that your advert will run for only 2 weeks, you may be indirectly pressurised into accepting a lower price for your car than what you expected.
> Suppose someone turns up to see your car on the last day of the 2 week period and offers you £500 less than your asking price... would you accept it for a quick sell or would you hold out for the price you think your car deserves, and be prepared to re-advertise for another 2 weeks?
Faced with the uncertainties and stress of traditional print-based car advertising, car sellers in the USA, UK and Europe have been turning to the Internet to find a more relaxed and productive way of selling their cars.
Top 7 reasons to advertise your car online
Advertising your car on the Internet has some unique advantages compared with traditional print advertising.
Our customers have consistently identified the following 7 features of online advertising which they say have made the difference between getting the price they want for their cars, and having to compromise for a lower price:
1. It is usually significantly cheaper to advertise your car on a website.
> Disk space and bandwidth are cheaper than paper, ink and magazine distribution, and tremendous savings are made by not having to print and distribute a magazine. These savings can be passed on directly to the seller.
> UKAutoSearch.com is entirely supported by corporate advertising, and does not charge sellers for the service.
2. Online adverts can include a lot more information about your car than adverts in magazines.
> Car adverts at UKAutoSearch.com can have 10,000 characters (2000 words) of free text description, compared to approximately 200 characters in an Autotrader advert.
3. Online sellers can include multiple photos of their cars.
> Every FREE UKAutoSearch.com advert can have 10 photos of your car. For just £12.99, our sister site UKCarSeller.com allows 25 photos in each advert. Photos can be upto 1Mb in size.
4. Sellers can update / modify adverts at any time, even when the adverts are "live".
5. Anyone in the world with an Internet connection can view your advert.
> This means that people further afield who may still be interested in your car will be able to view its specifications online, without your having to spend more money on adverts in magazines serving neighbouring regions. The end result is that more buyers compete for your car.