Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Buying & selling cars:

Tips for selling a car online, when to buy and what others want to buy.
By Motherpedia
Date: August 21 2013
Editor Rating:

Like almost everything else, listing a car online is fast becoming one of the best ways to sell it. In the past four years, listings across the major online car classifieds have doubled.

Australia’s number 1 classifieds, Gumtree, has led the way with more private car listings (113,000) than all of its competitors combined – and growing rapidly. In the last year the site as a whole has experienced 94.4% growth overall, and a whopping 107% growth in the automotive category. Gumtree is now welcoming dealers to the site – a strategy supported by a recent report which showed that that 89% of Australians enjoy the benefits of buying cars online so they can compare different vehicles and because it’s so convenient.

Car dealers

Motoring expert, Samantha Stevens, says while almost half of people believe the end of the financial year is the best time to buy a new car, dealers start clearance for the new year’s plates from November through to January.

“Dealerships can be very quiet with the lead-up to Christmas so there are nearly always added incentives.”

She also says that the end of the month can often give a better deal as many dealers have monthly quotas to meet. New cars tend to get the best value with a turn over of about five years.

“A car’s value falls rapidly in the first three years, and then depreciation tends to plateau – turn it over in two years and you look to have lost a big chunk. Turn it over in five years, and it doesn’t seem so bad; you’ve got the best years out of it, it’s still relatively new, the depreciation has plateaued, and it’s usually before the more expensive problems arise.”

For used cars, Samantha says that almost any time is a good time to get a deal.

Online sales

For online sales, a little bit of creativity will get you a long way.

Just ask Rich Wisken who recently listed and successfully sold his Subaru Brumby Ute on Gumtree. By using creative and humorous language, Rich’s ad was viewed over 370,000 times. Or James Anthony who listed his 'student car' Holden Barina, which sold sight unseen in less than 10 minutes. 

“When used imaginatively, online classifieds add a new level of competition to the car sale market,” says Samantha.

“From what used to be a battle of the car-yards, private sellers are now employing creative and persuasive listing techniques, exceptional photography and offering the convenience of locality. It’s rivaling dealers and means private sellers can get more bang for their buck.”

5 tips to help your online car listing stand out:

1.  Categorise your listing

When buyers are searching, they want to be able to find the car they’re looking for quickly and easily, so make sure you categorise by make and model correctly.

2.  Create a narrative

Step into the shoes of a car salesperson and make your listingexciting to read so that potential buyers don’t switch off after the first few sentences.

3.  Include bright and abundant photographs

A picture speaks a thousand words – and it’s never been truer than with a car listing!  Potential buyers are quick to judge, so make sure your photos are bright, clear, high-res and showcase each angle of your vehicle.

4.  Provide the specifics

Buyers will want to know the details, so be sure to share the specifications, kilometres, engine size, additional extras, etc.

5.  Set a reasonable price

There is always room for negotiations so do some research into the benchmark for a similar make/model and set a price that is realistic.

Top 5 auto brands searched for on Gumtree:

  1. Toyota
  2. Holden
  3. Honda
  4. Nissan
  5. Ford
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