Selfie of Noel Rudloff (via Wikimedia)Enlarge Photo
Selling a car online is easy, right? Type in the make/model/year, offer a little description, name a price, post a few pics, and -- boom! -- you're done.
Except it's not that simple. If you're selling your car, you should spend just as much time planning your pitch as Madison Avenue types prepare for selling handbags and hand towels. Few people do, though, and as a result, sellers may not get as many inquiries from shoppers as they'd like.
One of the problem areas we see most often involves the photos that sellers use. They forget that pics are the first thing buyers see, the first thing to make an impression. No matter how dazzling an ad might be written, if the photos that accompany the ad aren't attractive, that car probably isn't going to sell (at least, not for what the seller is asking).
Swapalease has identified a few of the most common photo mistakes that sellers make. We've chosen to illustrate seven them with selfies from Wikimedia. Because it's Friday and because people post selfies to Wikimedia.
Selfie by DDOiseau (via Wikimedia)
Selfie by Chris Sampson (via Wikimedia)2. STRETCHING PHOTOS
Sometimes, images get stretched because the website that's hosting them has pre-set parameters. Sometimes, it's because you resized the image yourself and forgot to click the box that keeps the image size proportional. Either way, you're not providing an accurate depiction of your car, which is a big turn-off for shoppers. If you have to, open the pic in Photoshop or in a free app like Pixlr and create a new image that matches the dimensions that your website of choice demands.
Selfie by Chris Sampson (via Wikimedia)
Selfie by Ricky Gervais (via Wikimedia)3. VERTICAL SHOTS
We understand that your phone and your tablet are oriented vertically, so photos default to portrait mode. But to people browsing your ride on a laptop or desktop computer, portrait images look long and skinny, failing to provide much detail. It's true that a growing number of people are shopping for cars on mobile devices, but your goal as a seller should be to reach the largest possible audience, and that includes traditional computer users. Rotate your camera 90 degrees and snap a landscape shot. (Bonus: mobile users will be able to enjoy it, too, by simply rotating their screens.)
Selfie by Ricky Gervais (via Wikimedia)
Selfie by user #E4024 (via Wikimedia)