May 27, 2024

Bucks: Selling Your Car? Try Making a Video

Thinking about selling your car yourself, instead of trading it in for credit toward a new one? Some amateur video recording and smart use of the Web may bring you more offers and a better price, advises the automobile site

In a recent post, Philip Reed, the site’s senior consumer advice editor, suggests making a video of your car and posting it on YouTube, which attracts millions of visitors daily. Most digital cameras and many phones now have video capability, so it’s easy to shoot a virtual “walk around” that mimics what salespeople do at dealerships to show off cars to prospective buyers.

A video ad, he notes, gives shoppers “the sense that they are standing beside your car, listening to you describe the key features and options while they enjoy total anonymity and no risk.” After you post the video, you can create an ad on a classified ad site, like Craigslist, and include a link to the video.

His main tips for making an effective video car advertisement:

  • Park your car in an attractive location free of noise or traffic.
  • Briefly rehearse what you want to show and say in the video.
  • Start your walk around facing the front left headlight and move clockwise around the vehicle.
  • Provide basic information, including the vehicle’s year, make, model, mileage and any special features or damage.
  • Keep it under 2 minutes.
  • Don’t mention price in the video; you may want to change that later without having to reshoot.
  • There are some caveats to do-it-yourself sales. Using the Web and meeting potential buyers in person raises safety issues, which Mr. Reed recently addressed in a separate post. Some highlights for playing it safe:

  • Vet callers on the phone by asking questions. If anything seems suspicious, hang up.
  • Don’t go alone to a meeting.
  • Meet in a public place, like a mall parking lot.
  • Tell the prospect you want to see a driver’s license before a test drive. If you’re uncomfortable negotiating with strangers, he adds, you may want to sell the car through a dealer. You may get less money, but you’ll have peace of mind.
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