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Discussion Starter #1
I've got to tread carefully to avoid violating the "no advertising" rule. I hope the moderator will understand I'm not trying to hawk the car here, but just get some advice on selling it.

I'm trying to sell my Insight. I have ads in a local advertising newspaper as well as the AutoTrader (print and online versions) but I'm not getting calls on it. I'm wondering if I have picked the wrong advertising venue or if my pricing is just out of line?

I've got "for sale" signs in the windows and gotten a few calls from people just seeing the car - but zip from paid print advertising!

I'd post the details of the car here to get opinions, but don't want to run afoul of the no advertising rule. Can I post a link to my ad on AutoTrader.com without my post being deleted?
 

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I think this is a valid topic... your not trying to sell the car here.

What did you put for the ad exactly? And what are the details on the car? Year, transmission, miles? And most importantly whats the price? If you aren't getting any bites you might consider a larger ad which more people would see. The last time gas prices were high and I had one for sale the auto trader screwed up and didn't get my picture in, I ended up selling the car with no picture in the trader to the first person who came and looked at it. As compensation for the auto trader not having the picture they gave me the big quarter page ad the next week and by the time I had the car sold it was too late to cancel it so I got a TON of calls the next week.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks, Rick

Here's the listing as AutoTrader ran it:

http://autotrader.com/fyc/vdp.jsp?car_id=165038330

Relevant details: I listed at $12,500 or best offer. Even though it's a 2001, I bought it new in late 2002 - so it's got low miles (<20K), is still under warranty, and in perfect condition. Loaded package with CVT and A/C.

Like you, I also had problems with getting a photo - they made TWO appointments to come out to my house and take the picture, but never showed up. I ended up driving to their office to have the picture taken a few hours before the deadline.

ALSO, even though I used their online ad builder, there's a mistake in the ad - no "cc" (cruise control). And it's not completely searchable online. It will show up if you search by make model year, and location - but not if you search for any details like auto trans, mileage, or other features.

I've been trying to get them to fix that for over a week now! Do you think this is limiting exposure (and calls) very much?
 

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I wouldn't post links to ads yet... instead voice your opinion over in the other thread saying you'd like a for sale forum where you can post such things.

(I don't have any sales advice, no experience with that, sorry)
 

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hrm its an auto =( not many people are looking for autos I would think....
Well I know a lot more people are looking for 5spd ....hehe
 

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The only things I noticed that might be a detractor is that you've quoted the mileage at "over 51mpg" which (to me) suggests that it gets about 51mpg. (Usually when ads say "over" a certain amount, they mean just over that amount) This might make it seem like it doesn't get as good of mileage as it actually does. Also, I'd mention the word hybrid in the ad somewhere if you can. Not a lot of people have heard of the Insight and so many likely don't realize that it's a hybrid. Mentioning that may pique some people's curiosity enough for them to have a look at the car.

Also, the Insights unique styling is attractive from some angles, but just plain wierd from others. The angle of the photograph is not the most flattering angle for the Insight, in my opinion. It makes it look kind of like an egg. If it's still possible to change the picture, I think the side profile of the Insight looks the best, possibly showing the rear a little bit.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Thanks for the tips.

Unfortunately, I can't do much about the fact that it's an automatic, or that it gets "over 51 MPG" (well, 51.4 LMPG).

I'll see if I can work the word "hybrid" into the ad, and find out if I can get a different photo. I wish I could use a stock photo, but AutoTrader won't let you do that.

What about the pricing? I looked at a lot of ads in print and online, and i thought $12,500 fair for the low mileage and condition (I'd probably take a little less if someone made an offer). But I guess that doesn't help if few people are interested in this model or they can't get a loan for that much... [:(]
 

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A modest proposal

Instead of...

"2001 HONDA INSIGHT, auto, ps, pb, ac, pdl, p/mirrors, p/windows, cc, stereo, am/fm, air bags, abs, over 51 mpg, exc cond, 19k mi, warranty, $12500 obo 248-693-5905 Lake Orion"

(a good ad, by the way... just not DIFFERENT enough)

How about:

"2001 HONDA INSIGHT HYBRID, 19K mi., WARRANTY, AUTO, SUPER gas mileage (51 MPG or better!), power everything. Commuters: SAVE MONEY, sporty, EXCELLENT condition! $12500/obo. 248-693-5905 Lake Orion."

We've found CAPS sprinkled in ads and used in KEY WORDS get attention and get a better response. YES, it looks UGLY but you want to SELL the car, not get a good GRADE in English class. :wink:

The trick is INSISTING they write the ad that way, some publications do NOT honor your wishes, or conveniently FORGET to do so... :roll:
 

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I deleted the other post you accidentally did.

I would change the picture for one. If you look in the auto trader most are side shots or ones with jus a little bit of the front of the car. You should be able to submit a picture to them via email, or just take a disk to their office. When they didn't get mine right the first time I just took my own and brought them a disk with it on there. I'd suggest stand about parrallel to the nose of the car and crouch down some and take the picture. Make sure you use the whole picture for the car. There's lots of wasted space in your picture there and if it's a small ad you won't be able to see the car so well.

As far as the ad I would try boogetyboogety's suggestions, and like I said if that doesn't work you might try a larger ad eventually. Don't give up yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
powertickle said:
12500 seems a little high. Even dealers don't usually sell 01's for that much. Try knocking it down to 10 or 11k.
Even if the '01 has less than 20K on it? That leaves over 16,000 miles and a year on the warranty. I used a search like this to get a feel for the price (shows all 2001 advertised within 500 miles of me):

http://www.autotrader.com/findacar/resu ... _type=used

I know lowering the price should get me a quicker sale - but I don't want to sell it short, either. I'm trying to find the optimum.
 

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I bought an 02 lease return from a dealer (CVT A/C) with 30k miles on it for $10,700.

You'll probably get less than 10k, would be my guess.
 

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I agree that when "under 20,000" is actually "over 19,000" miles and it is not the highly sought after 5 speed, you are high in what you are hoping to get. On the other hand, you might figure that most serious buyers likely would call and want to see if your price is flexible so you could then adjust downward. You can't adjust upwards.

Sometimes 'obo' seems like it implies there are problems. I think implicit in any car sales advertisement is the fact that it is open to negotiation. No one will ever agree to an exact price without seeing the car and testing it. Maybe try a slightly lower price and avoid saying OBO? I personally am a bit turned off by OBO lingo for the above reasons - rational or not.
 

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Here are my thoughts:
You get much more room in the add to describe the car. We all know it is a great car, but others don't. Tell them that it is aluminum, so it will never rust. Tell them you do not need to plug it in. Tell them it drives like any other car and will save money at the pump. You can get more for blue than other colors, at least that is what I have noticed myself, it makes sense because there are less of them. Describe what the warranty is. Note that the hybrid components have a great warranty.

So you know, I looked for a very long time and I bought an 01 Blue Manual w/AC in pretty good shape for 12,500, 16,000 miles. It is tough to get blue.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Again, thanks for the advice!

Thanks for the advice, everyone. Here's what I'm going to do for now:

1) I'm going to make sure the ad includes the word "hybrid" to catch people's eye, and mentions the color (blue) because that's a bit rare.

2) I'm dropping the asking price to $11,900, and removing "or best offer," because that's understood in car ads.

3) If these changes don't help, I'm gonna look for an additional advertising venue, like Cars.com. I'm open for suggestions to both online and Detroit area print advertisers.


Now, I know when I give people advice and they don't follow it, or they turn around and argue with me, I get a bit peeved and ask why they bothered asking in the first place. I hope I haven't offended anyone who thinks I ignored their advice. Here's what I'm not doing yet, and why:

1) I can't place a much more expansive ad, because AutoTrader imposes a tight limit on size (176 characters) for their basic ad package.

2) I can't change the photo easily. I had a heck of a time getting the photo in the first place - and they want to charge extra for a photo change. If it comes to that, I'll be advertising elsewhere.

3) Drop price another couple thousand? Not yet. I've looked at a lot of current advertising on Cars.com and AutoTrader, and really think the mid to high 11's would be fair. I thought starting above 12 and coming down would get me there, but I'll see what happens asking just under 12.

I'm sure there are some bargains to be found if someone looks hard enough - but I don't see too many of these in the 9000-10000 price range that some have suggested. Cars.com and AutoTrader both show much higher average & spot pricing for models with comparable condition, mileage and equipment.


And of course - I COULD BE WRONG :) If I still haven't sold it in a few weeks I'll make more changes. So far I think my biggest mistake was selecting the AutoTrader and their Detroit area print affiliate. Not a good experience!
 

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Sorry to hear your not having the best of luck with the auto trader. Here's it's practically the used car buying bible. I've always had good luck with it. You could also try running a small ad in the news paper if nothing else.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
AutoTrader

Rick:

I actually had a good impression from the magazine on the rack and the website. My experience with the Detroit area office (actually in Livonia) has been something else though.

First, they said they'd come out and take a picture of my car on a Monday. Very late in the day, they called to say their photographer had a problem, couldn't make it, would be out Tuesday before deadline.

Tuesday around lunch time I call and ask if they had a rough idea when the photographer would be there. Person I spoke to said they had no record of my appointment, they couldn't get a photographer out that day, so my ad would run the first week without photo unless I drove to their office for them to photograph it there.

I get there, and only one person seemed to be in the office. Took her several minutes to get her little Kodak digital camera, walk out to the curb, and snap exactly one picture. I asked if she could take a second shot just to be sure she got a good one, but she said she couldn't. Let me look at it on the camera's LCD screen though :)

I'm still trying to get in touch with them about changing the ad, too. Spending a lot of time on hold.

The other problem I have with the ad is my fault. When I first went to AutoTrader's website, I was presented options for "Print & Online Ad" combination or "Online Ad Package." I thought I wanted print & online - and didn't realize this would give me only the most basic online ad: 176 characters, just like the print ad, and only searchable by make, model, year.

For the advanced search features (e.g., search by mileage, color, other features) I have to buy the online ad. I'm looking into those extra online options now

My fault for not reading the fine print, I guess :(

Lee.
 

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I sold my 00 5 speed for 11750 a few weeks ago with 53000 miles. But it had alot of extras. It took about 4 weeks on the autotrader online ad. The buyer flew up from Fla to Atlanta.

Get the online ad in autotrader for a few weeks then hit up ebay.com The car needs to have national coverage to get sold. Those few people who want an insight will travel to get it.



If you want it sold - http://www.ebay.com and take alot of pictures.
And just hope fuel prices go up :!:
 

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Travelling to get it

I have to agree with the previous poster: it's difficult finding a local buyer for an Insight. Or a local seller, for that matter.

I purchased my 2001 CVT Insight, with 24,000 miles on it, and in very good condition (not excellent; the tires were pretty worn, the paint had rubbed off slightly where the driver's foot had dragged against the inside of the door where they got in, but otherwise very good), in December for $10,800 from a dealer about 700 miles from my house. It did not have much special to recommend it, other than being the right color, right price, having air conditioning, and being the right model of car I wanted to drive :)

I walked away from a local deal on a similar 5-speed at $11,900 because that was just too high for the actual value of the car. Right now, the private party value on the vehicle is going to be right about that value for "excellent".

Price that puppy at about $10,000 and you're sure to get a bite. Leave the price up around $12,000 and you're nearly certain to continue to have trouble selling, unless you either A) Find a desparate sucker, or B) have some really good luck.

Good luck :)
 
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