How To Sell Your Car Online: Craigslist Edition

How To Sell Your Car On Craigslist

  1. Photos are the most important thing when trying to figure out how to sell your car.  And it’s not just uploading photos from you cellphone that you took last summer, although that’s a great start.  You need to upload high quality, detailed photos that show all aspects of the car.  Sometimes I see a Craigslist ad with just a photo of the front left fender.  I’ve seen photos of the wrong car.  And in the example below there isn’t a photo of the whole car.  A picture is worth a 1,000 words and in this instance, a picture uploaded to Craigslist can make you $1,000 more on your sale.
    Are they trying to sell an Accord or parking space?
  2. Words:  The next best thing to a great picture is a great ad.  As silly as this sounds it’s the truth.  When you sell something online you are technical a sales person.  Unfortunately, most people in the world don’t understand sales.  In sales you have to convince the other person why they need to buy your product.  If you don’t give them a reason – it’s unlikely they will buy your car.   Here are the key things you need to list in your ad:
    1. Reason for sale
    2. Car history/maintenance/ownership
    3. Price
    4. Great title
      1. This means you can’t put “buy now” in your title.  Just put the car make, model, etc.  No need to go fancy here: you can ad in rare or custom if you want but it really should be a rare or custom car.
    5. The Pitch:
      1. Why you Camry is different or better from the next guy selling his Camry too (remember it’s a competitive market)
        1. See this is your pitch and every great salesman has their perfect pitch.  Some cars sell themselves since they are so great.  But if you are selling a Toyota Prius among the thousand others on Craigslist – you must list why yours is so great.  Sounds silly but is so key.
    6. Call to action
      1. This is an interesting point because you need people to take action on YOUR car.  At the end of your pitch you should tell them to call you, or email you.  Tell them to make an offer.  Or come take a look at the car.
        1. This again sounds silly but people need to be told what to do and this is where you do it.
          First off – was that picture taken on the sun? Second off – why so many commas in the title? Third – the description gives the bare minimum. Just horrible
  3. Proper Pricing: This is where many go wrong when trying to figure out how to sell your car. Most sellers price way to high over market value or way under value.  Both have their wrong implications.  If you price too high you’ll never sell your car and then it will go stale on the used car market and no one will buy it.  If you price it to low – two things happen: one you’ll lose money and two you’ll get non-stop calls from everyone offering you cash on the spot and it won’t go to a good home.  So how to you price your car properly?  First thing to do is ignore the prices of cars on AutoTrader,, eBAY, and  You need to watch Craigslist for similar cars to yours and watch their prices and how quickly they sell.  You’ll start to see trends on the value of your car for the mileage, year and condition.  After at least one week if not two weeks of a solid understanding of the Craigslist market then you can price you car accordingly.
    This is an example of how not to sell your car on Craigslist. While the Forester XT is a rare car. This one has an automatic transmission and no one that is sane will pay $14,000 for it.


It’s that easy

Just follow the steps above and your car will be sold within a week.  It’s sounds so simple but it isn’t.  Selling a car is an artform and it takes a proper salesman to do it right.


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