Craigslist can be a blessing or a curse for independent dealers. No one selling experience is like the other, and the ads you prepare and post should be no different. While there is really no formula when selling your car online, a little common sense goes a long way in helping you get the most out of Craigslist and sell more cars than you may think possible. Here are a few helpful – and successful – tips for you to sell more cars as you dive into the craigslist ad jungle:

Step 1: Be Organized.

This simply cannot be overstated. The quickest way to turn a prospective buyer away is with chaos. If a person clicks on what looks like an intriguing ad only to find a cacauphony of random details, interest in your car will immediately fade and they will move on to something that makes more sense. Make the case for your vehicle in a way that walks the reader through the many important details they’ll be interested in. Another key part of the process is having the proper paperwork in the event that a sale is made. Check out this helpful DMV site for more information on your state’s procedures. The legal headaches surrounding title transfers and the like can easily be avoided with this initial step. If you’re ready to sell your car, communicate that readiness in your ad; there is always someone on the other side willing and ready to buy it.

Step 2: Be Specific.

The potential buyers searching Craigslist ads aren’t desperate, so don’t treat them that way. For instance, rather than putting up a generic listing for an older Buick with low milege, use specific images, details, and numbers to make your car appealing. Change this to a more exciting listing, perhaps for a Blue 2002 Buick Lesabre with ONLY 59,000 miles! Be sure to also include the year, make, model, and mileage of the vehicles being sold, because this will bring stronger leads to your door.  Selling more cars happens only when you continually deliver exactly what a buyer is looking for. Craigslist makes this easy by including places on its sidebar where users can search for more specific ads. Using specifics is, most importantly, proof that you’re organized (see Step 1) and trustworthy to buy from.

Step 3: Be Unique.

If you want your ads to stand out, use multimedia. It can be far too easy for your listing to get lost visually in the sea of sameness that is Craigslist, but this too can be side-stepped. The use of photos was mentioned above, and for good reason. A potential buyer is not interested in looking at ads for a figment of their automotive dreams, however they are very interested in combing through ads filled with relevant images, in order to see the car that they want. You have much to capitalize on if you put yourself in the shoes of the buyer. What do you look for when researching a vehicle? How do you respond to details and visual aids? What are those key selling points for you? As the individual seller or dealer, you are in search of that customer in the rough, just as they are in search of your diamond of a deal. Put wholehearted effort into each individual ad, using thoughtful language, helpful descriptions, and yes – plenty of images. For the computer geeks, an advanced technique to make your ad unique is through the use of HTML. Here is a list of supported HTML for craigslist postings.


The online world of automotive sales is at your fingertips if you put your time, effort, and personality into it. Craigslist is a widely successful way to sell more cars, so take advantage of what it has to offer you!