One thing we can all agree on is that when it’s time to sell your car, you want to get the most money you can for it. In an era dominated by the internet, the photos you take of your car are going to be an important part of getting the right buyer and the right price.
If you’ve looked at private-party used car ads on the internet, you’ve seen your share of postings with poor or nonexistent photos. The best thing you can do to combat this unfortunate situation is to not be part of it, so we’re here to give you the 7 tips you need to create stand-out photos of your car that will get the right kind of attention.
1. Good lighting is your friend. The harsh midday sun will produce glares and deep shadows, and using a flash at night is likely to do the same thing, only with more shadows. Your best bet is a cloudy day, or early morning/ late afternoon if it’s a clear day.
2. Location, location, location. Your car’s surroundings can be as important in a photo as the car itself. A simple, visually pleasing background will flatter your car in the eyes of the buyer.
3. Take a variety of shots . Remember, before you meet your buyer in person, your photos are the only way they can see the car. A close-up of the front grille and a blurry shot of the odometer aren’t going to cut it. Take photos from eye-level and from as many angles as you can – both inside and out. You won’t use all of them, but you’ll have a lot of good choices.
4. Honesty is the best policy . Don’t be afraid of showing that scratch or dent – your buyer will see it before the sale anyway, and it’s better to be up-front from the start. People know used cars aren’t perfect, but if they think you’ve been trying to hide something, the sale will likely evaporate.
5. Wash that car . The camera will pick up everything, so even if you’ve stopped noticing the pigeon excrement on the window, your buyer won’t. So wash and wax the outside, shine the tires, vacuum the interior, the whole 9 yards. Make sure your car looks its best before it gets out onto the internet, and you’ll send the message that car care and maintenance matter to you.
6. Highlight the selling points . Does your car have a sunroof? GPS? Folding rear seats? Is it a convertible? Any special features should be given extra attention in the photos, to create interest and add value.
7. Use the right kind of camera for the job . You don’t need professional equipment, but using an actual camera instead of your old cell phone should give a more refined, detailed result. It will show that you put time and care into your ad, which will be appreciated by your buyer, and could even increase the perceived value of the car.
A little bit of effort and thought will go a long way to help your bottom line when it’s time to sell, so don’t short-change yourself by skipping these simple steps.