In real life, first impressions are formed in about seven seconds. Online? You have mere milliseconds. The “swipe right” mentality doesn’t just apply to dating sites — it also applies to private car sales. It’s important to immediately capture the interest of potential buyers with the photo and fields that show up on the search results page, then keep them interested with more detailed information.
Get the Money Shots
What’s that adage? A picture is worth a thousand words? Words, schmords. When it comes to private car sales, photos can be worth thousands of dollars. Wash and vacuum your vehicle before photographing it — clean usually equals more green. Choose a location with a clutter-free background and shoot photos right before sunrise or after sunset, when the flattering light makes your Supra look like a supermodel.
The main image should be photographed with a 4:3 landscape orientation, as this is how it is displayed on the search results page on KSL.com. Be sure to leave a little space on the left and the right of the photo, so it doesn’t look weird when it is cropped and displayed as a square on the KSL Classifieds app.
A three-quarter angle shot from the front of the vehicle is typically used for the main image, but you may want to consider a different approach to make your listing stand out. Maybe the rear light signature on your 2014 BMW i8 is more of an attention getter. Or perhaps you’d like to show off the classic curves of your Volkswagen Beetle with a straight-on side shot. Choose the most attractive angle for the main photo.
There is no limit on the number of additional photos you upload. If you used something other than a three-quarter shot as the main image, it is still best practice to include that angle in the gallery. You’ll also want to upload an interior shot of the cabin, as well as closeups of various parts. Adding a short caption/description of each photo is also recommended, for both the good and the not-so-good features. “Irony is when the Dodge gets hit by the garage door, dinging the paint on its power liftgate.”
Don’t Forget the Trim Level
The year/make/model/trim is displayed as a title on the KSL Cars search results page, as well as the detailed listing page. The first three are required fields, but the trim level is optional. If you leave the trim level blank, your listing likely won’t be seen by potential buyers with specific search requirements. Take the time to fill in this field.
Can’t remember what trim level your vehicle is? Go to the manufacturer’s website. Use the VIN lookup on the site to find out what the trim level is, as well as other vehicle options and features that can be included in the description.
Price It Right
Whether playing baseball or selling a vehicle, no one likes the lowball. Fast and in the zone? That’s more like it. Pricing your vehicle fairly and competitively facilitates a faster sale and eliminates excessive negotiation.
The first step to determining what your car is worth for a private sale is to valuate it using NADA Guides or Kelley Blue Book. Then, browse KSL Cars to see what similar models are going for in your area. And remember, buyers expect listings from private sellers to be priced slightly lower than those from dealers.
Add Certainty to the Sale
Unless they are specifically looking for a demolition derby entry or their next garage project, buyers appreciate it when they know the maintenance is up to date and there are no expensive repairs looming. Including this information in your listing description ups the ante.
But what about unexpected repairs? No one wants to purchase their prize pony car, only to have a belt break as they were driving off into the sunset. Consider adding a vehicle protection plan to your listing to bring certainty to the sale. Protect With KSL Confidence covers unforeseen repairs on 130 powertrain parts for 30 days after the sale, regardless of how many miles the buyer drives it.
When you add Protect to your listing, an icon is displayed on the main photo, differentiating your listing from similar makes and models. Though Protect costs $99, buyers are more willing to pay the asking price on listings that include a vehicle protection plan.
Make Communication Easy
When adding listings on KSL Cars, you now have the option to use Messages to communicate confidently with members of KSL Marketplace rather than making your phone number and/or email visible on the listing.
The Messages feature is accessible from the menu, listing detail pages and search results pages — anywhere you see the paper airplane icon on KSL.com or in the KSL Classifieds app. We recommend opting in, using the app and allowing push notifications. This enables you to stay on top of listing inquiries as a seller, so you can earn some quick bucks for your truck. Or sedan. Or SUV. You get the idea.
Upgrade Your Listing
Vehicle listings get the most traffic the first few days after they are added to KSL Cars. If you aren’t getting as many inquiries as you’d like, consider upgrading it to a FeaturedListing. For a small fee you can reap the benefits of a new listing for a longer period of time.
KSL Cars is the Mountain West’s go-to site for private car sales. List your vehicle today.
KSL Confidence is rolling out in stages. Protect and Finance are available exclusively in Utah County and Salt Lake at this time, but will be available in other geographic regions soon.