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Find out how to make your car stand out so you can "close the deal."

Thanks to a wealth of online sites on which you can post an ad, selling a car online is easier than ever. But therein lies the challenge: Because it’s so simple, there’s more competition than ever. So take these steps to ensure your ad – and vehicle – stand out in the crowd.

The essentials. Every ad should include the make, model, year and color of the vehicle. As for mileage? This falls into the “gray” area. “It’s a good selling point to include if it’s low – which would generally be about 7,000 to 8,000 miles for every year that the car has existed,” says Brad Hines, author of Autoprofitz: Making Money Buying and Selling Used Cars. Otherwise, you may want to consider leaving it out.

Stress the highlights. The best way to stand out in a crowd is to push the unique options, features and “special something” qualities of your ride. These would include any upgraded wheels, audio system, leather, electronics, etc. that you’ve had put in. “Don’t list options, however, if they come standard with the model,” Hines says. “If it has every option, just put down ‘fully loaded.’”

Good copy. Choose your words carefully with your ad, as shorter ones appeal to potential buyers. (Besides, they cost less.) Don’t waste money on boldfaced type, stars, etc. “Think about it: If a person is looking for an early 1990s Ford F-150 and you have it for sale, they’ll find you,” Hines says. “That buyer isn’t even going to notice – or care – about special boxes, stars, highlights or any other doodads that sellers waste their money on. Also, avoid lines like ‘Only driven on the highway!’ and ‘Driven by an old lady!’ These clichés won’t impress anyone.”

Worth a thousand words. While good copy remains a must, so are great photos. With pictures, think “more, more, more,” so prospective purchasers get a clear sense of what it would be like to see the vehicle if they were right there at your home. “You need to address the buyers’ number one concern: That they’re not there to see your car in-person,” says Chad Fisher, CEO of OnTheBlock, an online vehicle sales company. “So give them that feeling and let them see everything: the odometer, gauges, under the hood, all sides of the exterior, close-ups of tires, etc.”

Short sale. OK, while it seems corny, you shouldn’t use round figures in pricing. Thus, a $5,000 product gets “knocked down” to $4999. “It’s an age-old trick,” Hines says, “but it really does make things seem cheaper than they are.” And always include “OBO” at the end of the ad, which means “or best offer.” If you won’t budge on price, write “firm.”

Room to come down. Speaking of pricing, if you really want, say, $4,500 for a car, then ask for $5,000. (Oops! That’s $4,999.) “Everyone wants to think they’re a great negotiator,” Hines says. “So, this way, the buyer can ‘bargain’ you down to $4,500. You get what you want, and the buyer gets what he or she wants. Even better, sometimes a buyer will come along and not even attempt to bargain, so you’d pocket the entire $5,000 in this case.”

Phone manners. When interested buyers call, be politely persuasive. Answer questions accurately. Address concerns proactively. “If they ask about the mechanical condition, for example, tell them you have all the maintenance records,” Hines says.

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