PhotographyTips.com - the #1 guide to better conventional and digital photography Become a Member iPhone Posing GuideGuide to Posing the Female Model BookGuide to Posing the Model CD
Search
Login

Member Login

Find us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Find us on Flickr
Connect with us on LinkedIn

SPONSORS

Sell Photos Online

FEATURED SITES


Sell your car for more money

A fabulous photograph of your car will help you to sell it for its top price.


<!--INFOLINKS_OFF--> A woodland setting is an ideal location to photograph a sports utility vehicle.
A woodland setting is an ideal location to photograph a sports utility vehicle.

You have all seen the classified ads and used car magazines that have pictures of second-hand cars for sale. You may have noticed that very few look really attractive and would make you want to buy a particular car right then and there. But your eye is drawn to the picture that shows a spotless-looking automobile in prime condition in a nice setting. Your inner voice says, "Ah, wouldn't I like to drive a car like that." That photograph is helping to sell that vehicle. You can use photography in the same way to sell your car, and get more money. Sound wacky? Maybe, but it's true.

There are a few things to attend to before you get the camera out.

First, regardless of its age, you have to make your car look fantastic, as close to showroom as you can get it. A wash and a vacuum cleaning are a good start, but not enough. It is the detailing that matters, both for the photograph and for the potential buyers who come to see it. Used car dealers have known this for years. The cars they purchase are often so beat-up looking, you wouldn’t want to get in them, but after time in the detailing shop, the car looks good enough to drive home, yet it’s the same car mechanically. Only now it looks to be worth hundreds, maybe thousands, of dollars more.

This decades-old car looks better than many new ones. A great deal of time and effort went into enhancing its appearance.
This decades-old car looks better than many new ones. A great deal of time and effort went into enhancing its appearance.

And this is where photography comes in, because a photograph in an ad is the first impression buyers get of your vehicle. Your ad must stand out from all the other ads, whether it is placed in a newspaper, car buyers' guide or on the internet.

Give some thought, too, to its written description, which must be enticing and list all the extras - e.g. "1993 Ford Explorer, champagne color, 4WD, HD trailer hitch, oil cooler, super stereo, six great speakers, automatic everything, sunroof. Fabulous buy. Unquestionably the best deal in town. Moving to Bora Bora. The first $12,450 buys it." Use a bold heading, color or whatever else it takes to make your ad stand out, and especially use a great photo.

Repair all the little things that don't work. Clean the seats. Make the ashtrays spotless. Put in an air freshener. Degrease the engine. Wax or glaze the exterior so it is gleaming after you use rubbing compound, if necessary, to bring out the paint's luster. Use a wire brush to get rid of rust and even repaint after de-rusting with touch-up paint. You get the picture (pardon the photography connection). It's money and time (the better part of a Saturday) well spent, and you won't have purchasers think you didn't maintain your car. People will pay more if they believe the car has been well maintained - more than it will cost you to get it in shape to sell.

After you've made the effort to make your car look shiny new, don't photograph it against a cluttered, busy backdrop. Find an attractive setting that will complement its appearance, and move in close to fill the frame.
After you've made the effort to make your car look shiny new, don't photograph it against a cluttered, busy backdrop. Find an attractive setting that will complement its appearance, and move in close to fill the frame.

Now your car is showroom beautiful and ready to be photographed for the ad, and for posters to put up in your neighborhood. Although a sunny day is not completely necessary for the photo, there is something about the glint of the sun off chrome or a shiny hood that says “clean and new-looking.” Shoot in color, using a quality negative film with fine grain and a speed of around ISO 100 – a film like Fuji Reala that shows color so well. If you are shooting with a digital camera, select a sensitivity setting (ISO) of 100. If the ad runs in color, you will have the picture for it. If not, your color prints can be converted easily to black & white by the publication's art department, or digitally by you on your home computer, using image manipulation software. Color prints can also be scanned or photocopied for color posters that will help to sell your car.

Take your picture from the best angle against a beautiful backdrop, one that infers quality. Then, try other angles so you will have a choice of pictures. Don’t have garbage cans or a brick wall in the background. If there is nothing scenic nearby, try for a neutral backdrop that will make the car seem to jump out. Make sure there is no debris in the roadway. Don't have anyone in the car. Use a polarizing filter to eliminate reflections on the car’s surfaces and to intensify color and tone.

That's it. Simple, but effective. You do it, and you are on your way to selling your car for more money.

A truck or recreation vehicle that look their best in a good photograph will help to sell them, too.
A truck or recreation vehicle that look their best in a good photograph will help to sell them, too.

ADVERTISING ON THE INTERNET

If you are posting your ad on the internet, you will probably have the option of including more than one photograph. Use your imagination, your sense of photographic composition and your familiarity with the vehicle to photograph its best features. Attractive close-up shots of a five-speed transmission lever, custom headlights, an olivewood dashboard or a quality sound system, as examples of desirable features, may convert a looker into a buyer.

A close-up of a special feature, or even a photograph of the vehicle's rear end, may encourage a prospective buyer to get in touch with you.
A close-up of a special feature, or even a photograph of the vehicle's rear end, may encourage a prospective buyer to get in touch with you.

NOW THAT IT LOOKS SO GOOD, IT'S IMPORTANT TO KEEP IT THAT WAY

It is important that your vehicle be maintained in good condition and top appearance when prospective purchasers reply to your ad and come to inspect the vehicle. A spotlessly-clean vehicle (inside and out) is a great selling feature, not only in an advertisement but also when it is seen in person.

A clean interior is essential when selling your vehicle.
A clean interior is essential when selling your vehicle.

 
Related topics...

Tips for selling on eBay