What to do if your car isn’t selling

So you have take the time and put in the effort to find the right car to flip. Spent hours valeting it to perfection. Taken some great photos and written a carefully worded advert. You are excited and happy with the results so you post the car on Facebook and a busy local classified website.

Then you wait anticipating a barrage of messages and phone calls, but then nothing happens. You might get a few likes or comments, and someone tags a friend of theirs in your post. But you don’t get anything substantial. This isn’t as uncommon as you might think.

So what do you do next and did you do anything wrong?

Is the car priced correctly?

This is the first thing to look at, it’s also the easiest to fix. The car market is price driven. If you car is priced correctly you should be getting enquires. So if you haven’t been getting any interest its more than likely the price that’s to blame. Prices fluctuate so it’s worth researching the cars value again just to make sure your valuation is still correct.

If you have looked at similar cars and feel this might be a factor you will probably want to reduce the car. But the it’s important to remember to leave some wriggle room. You can also price a car to cheaply making people suspicious. 

The photos

The photos can have a massive impact on wether a car generates interest or not. I have taken thousands of car photographs and I look back at my early attempts with a Polaroid and early DSLR and cringe. It’s easy to see now why some cars sold quickly and others stuck around for months. 

So you need to take an honest look at your photos and decide if they are a contributing factor. Even if you are happy with them you may want to change them just to refresh the car. If you have had the car a while this can make the difference. 

If you a want to learn more about taking great phots you can find my simple guide here.

Did you get the timing right?

I have posted literally thousands of cars for sale on social media and classified websites. I did a huge amount of research when I first started using this type of marketing. I looked at what my competition was doing and various large dealer groups. Read post after post by internet experts on the subject, and looked at countless reports and studies. But in the end I found most success when I focused on my potential customer and when they are more likely to see my posts. 

When posting to social media timing can have a big factor in a posts success. You need to look at the car you are selling and ask yourself who the target audience is. This is the deciding factor I use to determine when I post a car on Facebook or any other social media channel.

Traditionally the weekends are the time when most car sales take place. Most people aren’t working and families can shop for a car together. With both decision makers present and able to make a joint choice on their new car. This is still generally true if you are selling a car that appeals to a family market. So posting a car that appeals to this demographic on a Friday or Saturday generally works well. 

The time of day you post is also important. If the car is aimed at the family market. Posting it at 5pm is probably not the best time. Families are normally busy at these times. So it makes more sense to post the car at 7:30 or 8pm. The children are normally fed and the family more relaxed by this time. So you are more likely to attract their attention on social media.

If the car is aimed at a younger audience or professional you might be best posting the car at lunchtime or directly after work. People are more active on social media at these times. So this can be the best time to catch their attention.

You can also have great success posting on a Sunday. With most business not operating on a Sunday and social posts being at their slowest your post can get more exposure. Posting on a Sunday also fits in with the traditionally theory that the weekend is the time most cars are sold.

The same rules apply when adding a car to classified websites. I have several friends that own such sites and they tell me car search traffic peaks between 5-7pm, with people checking to see new listing.

Did you advertise in the right place?

You need to look at other advertising option if a car isn’t selling.  I currently advice that Facebook is the the best place to flip or sell a car privately. It beats all other forms of advertising hands down. But sometimes a car doesn’t sell so you need to consider other options.

Among the best are autotrader.co.uk, Gumtree, motors.co.uk and Craigslist. If the car is more performance orientated the pistonheads is a good if expensive option. If you have a classic then carsandclassic.co.uk is the next place to try and it also free.

You can find my advice on the best ways to advertise and market a car here

Conclusion

Sometimes you can have the best car on the market, thats priced correctly, has a well written ad and brilliant photos. But the phone just refuses to ring. This has happened to me lots of times. 

I have heard all sorts of reasons why this happens from other dealers, flippers and salesman. But the truth is nobody knows why it happens. Sometimes it just takes a while for a car to sell. So don’t panic and be patient, everything sells in the end.

If you are flipping cars full time setting up additional side hustles car be a great idea. I cover the most common additional incomes for car flippers here – Car flippers side hustles.

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