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Reading and Writing car advertisements

1. Reading the ad

Confronted with pages and pages of used car adverts all vying for your attention and your cash, it can be difficult to find what you are looking for. Packed full of jargon and abbreviations the sellers often describe their cars in Arthur Daley speak. 

Understanding the adverts is an art, but a little practice and a little knowledge will soon have you talking the language. Its often more about what the advert doesnít say than what it does say that can give you valuable clues about the sellers state of mind and desire to do a deal.

First of all read the advert and prepare the right questions. You need to establish the facts and identify any weak points in the sellersí description.

Take this advert for example

  • BMW 528i 4 door Sport. Registered 1999 only 2 owners

  • FBMWSH, fully loaded, metallic paint, alloys, phone

  • Re advertised due to timewaster

  • £7,495 ono

Sounds like the seller is pretty annoyed that the car hasnít sold yet. They may be a little hostile to deal with but if you are serious you may catch them at a weak moment and get a good discount. It may be that the seller knows very little about the car they are selling, why state 4 door when all BMW 5 series are 4 door? Be wary of expressions like Ďfully loadedí much of the kit on this car would have been standard so check the original spec and only pay a premium for options that you will use.

Donít be persuaded to pay extra for options you donít want, big alloys mean big tyres and big tyres are more expensive to replace. An expensive phone kit thatís not compatible with your phone isnít worth a penny and donít pay £100ís for a terrific music system if The Archers is your preferred listening.  

2. Writing your ad

When it comes to selling your car remember the three Pís Place, where you advertise, Price, what you ask for your car and Presentation, what you put in the advert.

Writing the perfect advert can sell your car quicker and get you the best price. Here are some of the golden rulesÖ..

  • Start the advert with the make, model and engine size of the car

  • Always include the year and registration plate, for example 1996 ĎNí

  • Always include the colour of the car, and mention if itís a metallic 

  • List the cars specification, even if it is standard like alloy wheels, leather upholstery, CD and ABS as not all buyers will know what the car comes with

  • Avoid jargon or abbreviations, people donít understand them and makes the advert look muddled

  • State if the car is MOT and taxed, buyers like cars they can drive away immediately

  • Always include a price, never Ďoffersí if you donít know what your car is worth how can anyone at the end of a phone possibly know?

  • Always add ono (or nearest offer) or the advert can sound abrupt

  • Always include more than one contact telephone number and if possible include your first name, it sounds friendly

  • When you get a telephone call donít try to sell the car over the phone, you wonít, just make an appointment for the buyer to come and see it

Next article Calling the seller