How to Sell a Vehicle
Table of Contents

Step 1: Prepare to Sell

Step 2: Create Your Listing

Step 3: Manage Your Listing

Step 4: Complete the Sale

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How to Buy a Vehicle

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Prepare to Sell: Take Photographs

Because most potential buyers will not have the opportunity to see your vehicle in person, it is important that you provide multiple pictures in your listing. People will buy a used vehicle without driving it, but not without seeing it. An online transaction requires the seller to provide a virtual walk around. This is best done with a minimum of 12 photos. We recommend a setting that produces original pictures of 1024x768 pixels (a common size) or some values close to that. Do not use stock photos.
Why are photos important?
  • Multiple photos have proven more effective when selling a vehicle.
  • Because photos speak for themselves, buyers are likely to have fewer questions during the listing duration.
  • Photos provide buyers with added confidence in the seller and ultimately in their bidding and purchase behavior.
Photos should be taken from several vantage points:
  • Exterior: all four sides
  • Interior
  • Engine
  • Odometer
  • Close-ups of any dings, dents, stains, or other damage
Photographing Your Vehicle

Generally, items listed with good photos receive more bids and sell for higher prices than those with poor quality photos. Here are some photos tips for your eBay auction.
Exterior Photos
Provide potential bidders with a full exterior view of your vehicle. At a minimum, you should use ¾ views to capture the front, back, and both sides in two photos; however, the more detail the better. To provide the most effective listing it is important to include a direct front and rear photo along with each side of vehicle to help identify the distinguishing make and model characteristics of the vehicle. These views are useful, because they can also show options like fog lights (front) or trailer hitch (rear).

Condition or Damage Photos
As you walk around the outside of the vehicle, check to see whether there are any other details that show the condition. In order to increase buyer confidence, you should take photos of any notable issues including:
  • Dents, rust, interior damage, rips, tears, paint fade, and scratches
  • Cleanliness of wheels and tire tread
  • Grill and font end of car
  • Truck bed (if applicable)
Buyers should be aware of any known problems before they complete the purchase. Many successful sellers use blue masking tape to highlight damage, because damage is sometimes difficult to see in a digital picture.

Interior Photos
Photograph all the details a buyer will want to see inside the vehicle. Make sure to photograph the seats, dashboard, and any optional equipment (such as a stereo), floor carpets, backseat, or other interior angles. Also include any items that help identify optional equipment, such as trim level and condition.
Lighting is important for interior photos as shadows and poor lighting can make them difficult to see online. Use of a flash for interior photos.

Odometer and VIN Photos
Take close-up photos of the odometer reading and the VIN. Take a picture of the odometer reading with the keys in the ignition and the power turned on so the mileage appears clearly in the photo.
Lighting is important for interior photos as shadows and poor lighting can make them difficult to see online. Use of a flash for interior photos.

Engine Photos
Buyers will want to know that the engine has been maintained and is in working condition. This is especially true of older and collector vehicles. One photo of the entire engine compartment with good lighting is usually adequate.

Tips on Taking Photos
The car should fill the frame of the photograph.

Background should be neutral, so that it is easy to see the vehicle.

Shadows and poor lighting can make photos difficult to see online. Shadows from trees and buildings can obscure a clear view. Early morning or late afternoon light is generally best for photos. You should have your back to the sun and watch for shadows, including your own. Use a flash for interior and engine shots.

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