Worst Thing to Include in Your Craigslist Truck (and Car) Ad

There are a number of reasons why the truck or car you put on Craigslist hasn’t sold. You might not have enough photos, or maybe the price is too high. Or, it could be due to one of the most difficult things to get right: the ad. Your post has to be clear and honest; brief, but not too short. But sometimes, it’s not what isn’t in the ad, but what is. Here is the worst thing to include in your Craigslist truck or car ad.

Personal views

It’s one thing for your Craigslist ad to include your reason for selling the truck or car. That’s not necessarily recommended—Craigslist scammers do this as a tactic sometimes—but it can on occasion spur potential buyers to step up. But what you don’t want to do what this one Craigslist seller Jalopnik found did.

What not to include in your Craigslist truck or car ad
What not to include in your Craigslist truck or car ad | Craigslist via Jalopnik

Selling your truck or car on Craigslist, while a personal transaction, is ultimately business. There is no need to waste anyone’s time by hearing about your personal political or religious views. Not only is it uncomfortable and unprofessional, it isn’t useful. Plus, Craigslist today requires automotive sellers to pay $5 for their ad. Which means going on and on like this individual did is just a waste of money. That’s why sharing viewpoints in this way is the worst thing to include in your Craigslist truck or car ad.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t share any personal information. The Car Connection actually recommends including a cool story about your car. Maybe you took a long road-trip in it or conquered Moab with it. A history like this can draw buyers in. But it is possible to share too much.

The risk with sharing personal information

Jalopnik has recommended, in the past, for Craigslist sellers to include a telephone number in the ad. On one hand, this does make some sense. Calling or texting someone is sometimes quicker than waiting for a reply email. Especially if it’s about a truck or car you really want.

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On the other hand, including a phone number can invite scammers. Tom McParland, an automotive consultant, and occasional Jalopnik writer had this happen to him before. It also happened to Jalopnik’s Jason Torchinsky. And it happened to my parents when they tried to sell my dad’s old car. Craigslist already generates a random email address for each ad you post that then links to your own email address. That way, you can screen potential buyers, and only give a phone number if you feel comfortable.

The same also applies to listing your vehicle’s location. While it does help buyers, it does raise the risk of someone using Craigslist to rob you. That’s why whenever I’ve listed vehicles on Craigslist, I’ve always used my approximate location. In fact, both Popular Mechanics and The Car Connection recommend using a public space to meet buyers. I’ve met Craigslist buyers and sellers by police stations and in front of popular restaurants. It’s all in the interest of personal safety.