Five O'Clock Somewhere

Welcome to Five O'Clock Somewhere, where it doesn't matter what time zone you're in; it's five o'clock somewhere. We'll look at rural life, especially as it happens in Rio Arriba County, New Mexico, cats, sailing (particularly Etchells racing yachts), and bits of grammar and Victorian poetry.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

How NOT to sell a car

There’s dumb, and then there’s REALLY dumb

In our search for a replacement for El Caballero, we’ve been looking at many sources of information – classified ads (both online and dead-tree), word-of-mouth, postings on bulletin boards, and more. We’ve been looking at the magazine-like publications featuring ads for cars, and we’ve seen some interesting examples of how NOT to photograph a car if you really want to sell it.

I was just looking at one such publication, which includes ads from dealers as well as from individual sellers. For the most part, the dealers’ ads have decent pictures – they wouldn’t qualify as fine art, but they generally give a good and positive image of the vehicle that’s for sale.

There was one private seller who surpassed the dealers’ photo quality. This pickup truck was photographed in a scenic location that coordinated with the truck’s paint job, but the background was kept enough in the background that the truck remained the main focus, and the truck was posed in such a way as to emphasize its macho grill guard and four-wheel-drive performance, without making it look brutal – there was a sort of golden color to the lighting that was just perfect.

On the other hand, far more private sellers seem totally clueless about producing a good photo. Sometimes it’s just a photo that’s really out of focus, or that was taken from an angle that emphasizes a dented fender. Sometimes it’s worse. One of the photos in this magazine showed the vehicle in question on the back of a flatbed wrecker. Another photo showed the car coated in primer, while the text below the photo proclaimed “New paint!” Why didn’t the seller wait until after the new paint was applied to take the picture that went into the ad?

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Blogger Carol Anne said...

Another example along the same lines: A classic T-Bird, beautifully restored. The photo of the car is really a portrait of two overweight people in shorts and t-shirts, sitting on the fender of the car. The car is mostly obscured.

Now, at times, having a person in the same photo as the car can increase the car's appeal. Low-rider magazines, in particular, often have a sexually appealing female posing against or upon the car. But she never obscures the car's lines, and she's always a pleasure to look at.

Fri Jul 27, 01:09:00 AM MDT  
Anonymous Jerry said...

Actually, if it's a car that doesn't run, seeing that the seller has a flatbed might be a positive. That means I won't need to find a way to drag the thing home.

Sat Jul 28, 11:36:00 PM MDT  
Blogger Carol Anne said...

But if it's a relatively recent model of car that, according to the ad copy, "runs great," what's it doing up there?

Sun Jul 29, 01:05:00 AM MDT  

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