How NOT to sell a car
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?