Has anyone else noticed a correlation between the decline of the average national IQ and the quality of CL for sale ads? For those clueless people who are confused why their stuff doesn't sell, here are some free tips. Turn off the Simpsons, unplug your MP3 player, hang up your cell phone and concentrate...
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1. List what you're selling! Trust me, neglecting to tell us what you are selling is a real confidence killer. I'm not the Great Kreskin you know. I don't enjoy wasting my time trying to figure out what the hell you have. Here's a post that illustrates my point. Subject line: "running,low miles and there is nothing wrong". OK, now I know you have something running and you think nothing is wrong. If it is your nose or your genitals, there is definitely something wrong, call your doctor immediately. Description: "I HAVE THIS BEAUTY OF A CAR, THERE IS NOTHING WRONG WITH IT. THE AIR BLOWS COLD WHEN THE CAR CRANKS YOU CAN'T HEAR THE ENGINE EVEN AFTER YOU TURN THE AC ON. IT HAS A NEW FUEL PUMP AND FILTER, THE ALTERNATOR IS NEW, THE AIR WAS JUST SERVICED,THE TIRES ARE IN REALLY GOOD SHAPE, THE PAINT IS NEW AND IT IS POWER EVERYTHING AND EVERYTHING WORKS PERFECT. THERE IS NO BODY DAMAGE." Well now I understand that you have a car with tires and paint, an air conditioner, a quiet muffler and some new parts. That narrows it down to 39 makes and 1,182 models including engine and transmission options. Is it too much effort to narrow it down a little more for us, or are you really not sure what car you own? That's OK, if I buy your mystery car I'll just give you some bills. Doesn't really matter what numbers are printed in the corners does it?
2. Skip the theatrics. "!!!!!!!!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!!!!!!LOOK!!!!!!!!!YOU GOT TO HAVE THIS!!!!!!!!!!LOOK!!!!!!!!!!!WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"
Some subject lines read like a Saturday morning infomercial. "ACT NOW!!! DON'T DELAY!!" Are you dumb enough to believe a breathless or obnoxious subject line will somehow persuade me to call you? It just convinces me that you are the sleaziest used car salesman in town. One ad actually included the phrase "call me so I can tell you why you will buy my car today!" Give me a break. If you really think "in your face" is how to sell, go back to hawking carnival games.
3. Check Your Spelling. Just for the record, a tacometer is not a gauge, it's a Mexican dish. A Beatle is not a German car, it's a famous pop singer. Cars do not have redial tires, tilt weels or all-whell-drive. Corola and Iuszu are not Japanese cars. Chevy never built a Maliby and your iPod is not 3 moths old. A Blazier is a burger, not a truck. You don't live on the Soutshide. the Wetside or Flaming Island. Santa does not ride a sliegh. Expoxy is not a glue and this is definitely not Craigslits. If proper English eludes you, take my advice. There is a wonderful invention called a spell checker. It makes you appear much smarter than you really are. Use it and you mite akchuuly sel somthink.
4. Learn grammar. Some people post ads like they talk. Unfortunately. Here's an example: "I have a used Tiger Shack, it still look new, but need to rebuild before it work. It would not started, it has same problem with engine... local pickup is perfect, ship is find but it in your own cost". Oh yea, I'll definitely call you Long Dong! Descriptions like these are real turnoffs: "must sail" (what, are you in the Navy?), "just lower the price" (OK, I will if you say so), "truck is running but not register" (so you can't ring it up then?), "I don't no the miles" (I don't no two), "For times I place the add" (know times I call), "it drive good" (Mongo like sheriff Black Bart). A spell checker cannot correct grammar errors. Only paying attention in English class or a literate friend can. If you "know spoke god gramma", ask someone who does to write your ads. Remember, prepositions are our friends. 2 ALL U IM BF: "PDTFARBPMATARA" (Put down that f@cking Amp/Red Bull/Pepsi Max and type a real ad!) Text messaging is not a primary language dude!
5. Post pictures. They say a picture is worth a thousand words. But with some people I really need some pictures because you couldn't describe your way out of a wet paper bag (see tips 3 & 4). I know it's drudgery to learn to use that digital camera that's been in your dresser drawer since Christmas. You actually have to read the manual. (It's OK to move your lips if you have to). And it's like real work to import pictures to your PC then post them in a CL ad. But nobody said effective selling was for dummies. Use the picture option, it's free for God's sake. So if writing is not your forte, try snapping instead. It only takes your buger finger to make a picture. BTW, avoid taking a picture of your iPOD from two blocks away. And DON'T be a sleaze ball, DO post a picture of YOUR car, not a picture from a sales brochure you downloaded online. We can tell the difference. You don't date the super model standing next to your car and you didn't drive to the Golden Gate Bridge to get the shot. Duh.
6. Follow the rules. Like most buyers, I size up a seller along with their item. I've learned that sellers who cheat the system are more than willing to hose me. Over posting an ad nearly every day is cheating. Does it improve your odds of selling an item? Just the opposite Einstein. It pisses us off to have to sort through all your ads after we decided not to call you from the very first one. I came across an ad for a car I was looking for that immediately turned me off due to the obnoxious subject line, the bad description and the faked picture. When I did a search for the same model, this jerk had posted 18 different ads for the same car in 20 days! Do you think I will buy your car just because you tried to block me from finding other legitimate offers? Think again dickweed. Show honorable intentions and you'll win sales. And if you neglect to delete your ad after your item sells, I will track you down because you are the same doofus who leaves garage sale signs up for months!
Well, that's all I have to say. I hope I did some good. If I pissed you off, great. Maybe I got you thinking. If I made you sad, you're probably my fifth grade English teacher who tried harder than your salary justified. Sorry Ms. Martin. If I just confused you, great. Maybe I made you wonder why you are wasting your time posting on CL. Now get back to the Simsons before you miss another exciting episode.