How to Improve Your Craigslist Truck (and Car) Ad

Selling your pickup truck or car is difficult at the best of times. Trying to sell it on a website like Craigslist can be even harder. Scams abound, and potential buyers’ time is limited. But if you’re concerned your post isn’t standing out, we’re here to help. Here are a few ways to improve your Craigslist truck or car ad.

Clean up your Craigslist ad

Poor Craigslist ad layout
Poor Craigslist ad layout | Craigslist via The Drive

It’s important to include a few important details in your ad. For instance, the title should include the truck’s make, model, and year. But that’s the bare minimum. The body of the ad is where you add more details. Things like mileage, the truck’s mechanical condition, and modifications. But making a complete ad is one thing. Making an effective post is another.

As The Drive explains, what often holds ads back is a poor layout. Imagine you were trying to sell your truck through an email. You most likely wouldn’t want to read one giant block of text. Or something written in ALL CAPS, and with poor grammar. Potential buyers will take one look at a poorly-organized ad, and move on.

More effective Craigslist ad layout
More effective Craigslist ad layout | Craigslist

Even if you include a lot of information, as in the ad above, if it’s easy to read, people will like it. Said ad also demonstrates another way to improve your Craigslist truck and car ad: photos.

Craigslist buyers like lots of photos

When it comes to Craigslist ads, a picture is worth quite a few words. Not to mention the buyer’s wasted time trying to imagine what you mean by “some rust in the wheel wells.” But good pictures don’t just add clarity. They also let the buyer gauge what the truck is worth on their own. Good photos also help catch a buyer’s eye when they’re scrolling through pages of other ads.

You don’t need a high-end DSLR camera to take good photos. It helps, but in most cases, your smartphone’s camera or an ordinary point-and-shoot is enough. But make sure to clean your truck both inside and out before taking pictures. And make sure each photo is clear and well-framed. The point is to convey information and make the buyer even more confused.

Know your selling points and market

2019 Ram 1500 Classic | FCA
2019 Ram 1500 Classic | FCA

Determining what kinds of photos you’ll be taking also depends on know what your truck’s selling points are. And that requires you to know who might be searching for your truck. Someone looking at a Ram 1500 Classic, for instance, is most likely looking for a utilitarian work truck. In this case, the Craigslist ad would list things like payload capacity, fuel efficiency, and towing capabilities. On the other hand, someone looking at a Jeep Gladiator is probably into off-roading. So, an ad for that truck would list any off-roading mods and features installed, like locking differentials and winches.

2020 Jeep Gladiator Scrambler Tribute
2020 Jeep Gladiator Scrambler Tribute | Preferred Chrysler/Jeep/Dodge/Ram

Modifications and features like that can also improve your truck’s value. Having a limited-edition version can also bump up the value, but not always. Setting a price—and how firm you are on it—requires a bit of research. Sites like KBB and Autotrader can help, although Jalopnik recommends looking at other Craigslist ads for similar trucks. That way, you have a good idea of what other people are paying, and where to place your own truck on that scale.

Selling your own vehicle takes time. But with these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to improve your Craigslist truck or car ad. Happy selling.