Selling Your Car: The Easy Way to Make a Video Walkaround

December 6, 2010

We’ve been discussing the benefits of the video walk-around as a tool to help you sell your car. The video walk-around is an easy way for potential buyers to determine if your vehicle is the one for them—or not—and they can make that determination from a distance. This saves you both a lot of wasted time and effort.

The video walk-around for something like your used Chrysler PT Cruiser (above) is simple to record and you don’t need fancy equipment. I use a simple point-and-shoot, pocket digital camera that has a built-in microphone. Simply pick a secluded spot with lots of open space, such as the corner of a mall parking lot, a quiet street, or by a park, water, or a scenic backdrop. Make sure there isn’t a lot of noise or wind in the area and that you aren’t shooting your walk around in shadows that make your vehicle difficult for the viewer to see. A cloudy day or a shaded area help resolve the latter issue.

It’s useful to have a list of the major benefits your vehicle has to offer, such as low miles, one-ownership, moon roof, navigation/GPS, leather seats, alloy or premium wheels, tow package, and so on. Then make a list of what’s wrong, from torn seats to damaged bumpers to scratches on the exterior finish.

How to Record Your Own Walk-Around

If there’s something significant about the engine or trunk that you want to show, have the hood and trunk open. The same is true for a rear passenger door if you want to show the back seat. At a minimum, have the driver’s door open. I’ll explain why in a moment.

Always begin recording at what I call the “money shot,” which is a 45-degree angle looking at the front bumper on the driver’s side. Once you’ve “established” the shot, slowly walk toward the passenger’s side and then around the vehicle. This is a time to talk about what the viewer is seeing. As you move around your vehicle, record a “show and tell” of the major benefits it has to offer, as well as what’s wrong with it. Simply talk into the back of the camera as you record. The microphone will pick up the audio.

Don’t be afraid to kneel down and show a close up of the scratches on the front bumper. While you’re kneeling, you can tell the viewer that you live in an urban area where parking is tight and virtually every car gets marked up this way. You can show the alloy wheels and a close up of the tire tread. Talk about how new the tires are, and the brake job you got last month.

Slowly make your way around to the driver’s door. You’ve left the door open so you can slide into the driver’s seat to show the condition of the seats, the dash, and what the instrument panel looks like. It’s also a chance to talk about the low miles, how well you’ve kept it serviced, and even why you’re selling. When done, slowly get out and move back to where you started, a 45-degree angle looking at the front bumper on the driver’s side. Say good-bye and stop recording.

View Sample Videos

Would it be useful to see what a finished video walk around looks like? A picture is worth a thousand words. There are sample video walk-arounds on my website, BayAreaCarGuy. Tomorrow we learn what to do with your video once it’s recorded.


L. James Johnson is the guy who wrote the book on how to sell your vehicle online. HELP! I Gotta Sell My Car NOW! New Rules for Selling Your Vehicle Online! is available on

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