Describing A Better Sale Proven Techniques For Developing More Professional Descriptions In Your Online Listing

May 2007, Auto Dealer Today - WebXclusive

by Rob Chesney - Also by this author

For most dealers, listing your first few vehicles for sale online is really more of an experiment with technology than a selling process.  Over time though, the technology becomes second-nature and you can concentrate on building listings that not only sell cars, but connect with buyers, drive interest and boost profits.

For every vehicle you list online, consider the title and description you provide as your advertisement.  They are your one opportunity to both inform and excite buyers – your newspaper listings, radio spots and sales floor conversations all rolled into one.  Since online listings charge by the vehicle and not by the word, experienced dealers know the value of thorough, well-thought, professional titles and descriptions for every vehicle they offer.

While writing clear titles and comprehensive descriptions may be the most important part of setting up your listings, it doesn’t need to be the hardest.  We’ve assembled some of the best practices of our eBay Motors dealer community below to help provide a guide to creating great listings online, and hopefully, inspire your best sales yet.

A Clear Title: Catch a Buyer’s Eye

In the world of online sales, a bad first impression means you won’t get a second look.  Fortunately, creating a title that attracts buyers is easy – just start with these tips, and be sure to follow any rules given by the site you are listing on:

  • State exactly what your vehicle is, even if your title repeats the category name (for example, you may select the 2003 Honda Accord category, but your title should still indicate that the listing is for a 2003 Honda Accord).
  • Include your vehicle’s make, model, year and color.
  • Use descriptive keywords that clearly indicate key features (such as convertible tops or custom bodies).
  • Do not include words like "wow" or "look." Buyers don't search for these words.

Describe Well to Sell Well

eBay Motors helps to ensure that the basics are taken care of for every vehicle listing by making it part of the process when uploading information.  For every vehicle you list, eBay Motors will prompt you to provide the make, model, year, mileage and color, as well as the vehicle’s basic condition, basic options, engine and transmission type, body type, and VIN number.  After that information is entered however, you should take advantage of the opportunity to describe the vehicle in detail as part of your listing.

One of the most common tips top sellers on eBay Motors give is that a solid description will significantly increase the chances of a successful sale, and will often noticeably increase your final price.  The secret to a great description that encourages lookers to become buyers is simple – keep no secrets.  Buyers online are looking for information, and the more information they receive, the more comfortable they are making a significant purchase from you online.

Your buyers will be looking for information about the car itself, including its condition and history.  Describe all the vehicle’s options and accessories, both those that come standard and any that were added or modified.  Highlight the vehicle’s ownership, including where the car is from, whether the mileage is highway or city and whether or not the car was owned by a smoker.  Include a maintenance history, and mention any existing or future repair work that may need to be done. 

Don’t be afraid to go into detail in your listings – the more background you provide, the more confident your buyers will be.  Cover everything you would look for if you were buying the car. If you work with an eBay Motors Preferred Service Provider, check with your representative to see if they have any specialized programs to help you maximize your listings and your descriptions.

Let Your Buyer See Too

While technically a picture isn’t part of a description, including photos in your listing provides another level of detail that even the best wordsmith can’t match.  Photos speak for themselves online, provide buyers with added confidence in the seller, and ultimately affect their bidding and purchase behavior.  On eBay Motors, listings that include multiple photos consistently sell more often and at higher prices than those that don’t.

Photos should be taken from several vantage points to provide a full illustration of the vehicle:

  • The exterior, including all four sides
  • The interior, including the backseat and the driver’s and passenger’s side front seats
  • The engine
  • The dashboard, including the odometer and the VIN
  • Close-ups of any dings, dents, stains or other damage

Listings that are straightforward, easy to understand and full of information will help bring in more visitors to your online sales and convert more viewers into buyers.  Building these listings is easy – just take your time and consider every element of each vehicle you list.  Thorough, detailed listings show your buyers how much you care about each car you sell and will help them find the confidence they need to close the sale with you.

Vol 4, Issue 3

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