Posting your automobile for sale online is a great way to attract potential buyers. In step 2 of this series, titled “Sell Your Car Online: Step 2, Using Pictures of Your Automobile Correctly “, you learned how to select the right pictures of your vehicle for display in the classified ad.

The third step in placing an ad is selecting what information you want to use in your listing. Most auto classified web sites have information fields that are either checkboxes or blank textboxes for short answers. Here’s the danger. If you don’t give enough information, you may lose potential buyers. They may think that the missing information is an attempt to hide what’s wrong with your car or truck. The solution is to answer ALL information fields that are applicable to your vehicle.

So, what type of information do you display with your listing? The most important information that must be included in your listing is: make, model, year, mileage, engine type, and transmission type. When searching for a car or truck to buy, especially a used car or truck, this is the information that the potential buyer must know before taking the next step, contacting the seller. This information will determine whether the buyer is even interested in the vehicle to begin with.

Secondary information which should be included in your listing is: body style, drive train, and VIN number. You should always include the body style (2dr, 4dr, SUV, truck, etc.) and drive train (FWD, RWD, 4WD, etc.) in your listings. It is a great idea to also include the VIN number.

A growing percentage of buyers and dealers are using CarFax.com to gain information about vehicles. If the buyer is serious about purchasing your car, he/she can research the VIN number through CarFax.com without the added inconvenience of calling you first.

Next in the line of important information are the accessories or options your vehicle has. This is the information that can separate your vehicle from the rest of the pack. List all the options your vehicle has. Whether it has power windows, CD player, ABS brakes, DVD player, or a power sun roof, the buyer needs to know the accessories or options on your vehicle. List them all. Even if the classified ad system you use doesn’t list the accessories in a selectable list, include them in the description field.

You must not forget to include your contact information. List your address as well as your phone number.

If the buyer is interested in your vehicle, he/she could call or drop by for a test drive if close enough.

As a summary, you should include the following in your classified ad (listed in order of importance):

* Contact address and phone number
* Make
* Model
* Year
* Mileage
* Engine type
* Transmission type
* Body style
* Drive train
* VIN number
* Accessories or options

There’s no such thing as listing too much information about your vehicle, so type away and tell as much about your car or truck as possible. The worst thing that can happen is that the potential buyer will spend more time viewing your listing and less time viewing someone else’s listing. Isn’t that what you want?

Choosing the right information for your classified ad can set your automobile apart from the rest of the pack, at least in the buyer’s mind. Look for the next installment titled “Sell Your Car Online: Step 4, Writing a Compelling Description of Your Automobile.“ Happy selling.

Did you know that the VIN number to your automobile is more than just a series of numbers used for identification? In fact, the VIN number of your car can actually reveal to you the history of your vehicle. How can this be so? With a VIN number, you can find out who owned you are car in the past, whether or not the vehicle has been in any accidents and more. In fact, the VIN number is often used from car dealers that travel from home to automobile auctions to determine whether or not a vehicle is worth bidding on before they travel to the auction and place their bids.

Much like a strand of deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA), the VIN number of your vehicle is an identification number like no other—the VIN number of your vehicle relates solely to the vehicle you have purchased or you plan on purchasing and no other vehicle in the world has the same VIN number as the one your car possesses. In fact, there is even a decoding process when it comes to VIN numbers—a VIN number can be decoded by breaking down the various combinations of letters and numbers—all which have a significant meaning. For example, one number will denote the country that the car was built in, another number will denote the manufacturer, and certain numbers even denote the cars features.

Conversely, the VIN number can also provide you with information about odometer readings; whether or not the car has ever been stolen; if the car has experienced flood damage; and whether or not there have been recalls on parts associated with the vehicle. You can also find out if there is or ever was a lien on the car’s title, if it had ever been repossessed, and if it suffered major damage in the past. So, what does all this information mean to you? Basically, consider it fuel for a positive purchase when you are buying a car—the more you know about the vehicle, the better decision you will be able to make when buying it. Conversely, if you already own the vehicle, knowing the car’s history is vital in giving the car the proper maintenance it needs. Also, you may be able to foresee problems in the future that originate from past issues with the vehicle.

In the end, you should visit a website that allows you to check on the VIN number of any vehicle. In fact, some sites let you run a free VIN number check so that you can test out there services. Using your preferred search engine, you can easily locate a VIN Number checking website. You will find such services well worth the visit.