Selling a vehicle online is much different than selling one via a printed advertisement. Most classified ad sales are locally based, which allows a buyer to see, test drive, and inspect a vehicle before purchasing it. However, most online transactions are long-distance sales that take place without the purchaser test-driving or seeing the vehicle. This means that sellers must put forth a little extra effort to make their vehicles stand out. Below are a few things to remember when selling a car online.

It Takes Commitment

To successfully sell a car online, you’ll need to approach the process the same way you would a work-related project. When selling a car through (or anywhere else, for that matter), the more effort you put forth, the more successful the sale will be.

Research is Required

As with other sales, the right price is not the figure you expect to receive, but it’s what the buyer believes is fair. While collector cars and exotics are somewhat immune to the effects of market pricing, most vehicles are competing against dozens of similar models online. To succeed, your car must be competitively priced. Do the research to learn the asking and selling prices for similar models, and set the asking price accordingly.

Headlines Need Keywords

When advertising on sites that allow sellers to write their own ad titles or headlines, the goal is to make the ad stand out among thousands of others. Here, keywords are crucial. Where possible, use phrases such as “low mileage”, “high top speed”, “premium audio system”, and so on.

Don’t Forget the Photos

Because cars bought online are typically bought sight unseen, photos (and plenty of them) give prospective buyers their only real look at a vehicle. Pictures are a seller’s principal marketing tool, and when selling a car online, it’s impossible to add too many photos. Be honest with those photos, as being forthright will save some frustration and disappointment later on.

Responsiveness is Crucial

Whether your potential buyers respond by email or phone, it’s important to respond to inquiries as quickly as possible. It’s usually less time-consuming to work with a current buyer than it is to find another one. Car buyers have thousands of ads to look through, and when their messages are left unopened, they may simply move on.

Communication is Key

This consideration won’t increase your chances of a successful sale, but it may help minimize potential post-sale issues. Luxury and exotic vehicles are big-ticket items, and purchasing them online is quite stressful. Keeping an open line of communication will ease a buyer’s anxiety and make them more satisfied once they’ve taken possession of the vehicle.

Call the purchaser, thanking them for their business. Provide a delivery timetable and other important details. If the vehicle is to be shipped, take photos of it once it’s on the truck. Not only does this provide a record of the car’s condition, it also makes it easy to tell the buyer that their purchase is on the way. With a little extra effort, you’ll ensure that the transaction is a good experience for your buyer.


Selling a car online has its pitfalls, but it doesn’t have to be an exercise in futility. By following these tips and making certain considerations, the sale will be made sooner rather than later.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments