Photos are a powerful way to communicate with an audience. If you’re thinking of putting your car up for sale, high quality attractive images can help you sell your car fast and at the price you want. That said, choosing the right images to boost your ‘used car for sale’ ad is not an exact science, but there are easy-to-follow photo selection tips that can help you provide the best possible presentation:

A photo of your car must add information

A great movie has no extraneous plots. Every scene contributes to the story and moves it forward. Each image that you see onscreen is purposeful and content-rich, not just embellishments or afterthoughts. Your ‘secondhand car for sale’ ad needs to be the same way. When looking at a photo that you intend to post, you need to ask yourself, “Can potential buyers learn something from this image, or is this mere decoration?” If your answer is the latter, than it will be better not to post that picture and go with something else.

A photo of your car must convey the right emotions

Your pictures need to evoke the right feelings from those who view it. Scale, background, angle—all these combine to communicate a mood. It may not be obvious at first, but you need to take a look at your photos and see what messages they convey. You could be turning car buyers off without realizing it, so it’s important to look at your pictures with a critical eye from your buyer’s point of view and get a feel for how it affects you.

Quality matters…

High resolution pictures always work best. The number of pixels need to be enough for your images to deliver the impact you want. Such images look impressive and put your professionalism in full display.

…So does size…

Open your images in a photo editing software and save them in the size you want. The ideal size will vary depending on your layout, but the web standard is 72 pixels per inch (PPI). When you have the ideal size resolution, your pictures won’t look blurry or get cropped awkwardly.

…And uniqueness…

Using generic pictures or other photos taken from the Internet is a cardinal sin in private car selling. Potential buyers want to see photos of the exact item for sale, so you need to show them the actual car that you own. If you choose to post generic photos, you can be accused of false advertising, which can sully your reputation big time.

A photo of your car must have an easily distinguishable focal point

Every photo you post about your car should have a focal point. If a picture doesn’t draw a viewer’s eye to any one focal point, then he won’t get much out of it. To ensure your photo has the intended focal point, show it to a friend ask them to say to you the first thing they see. If their answer isn’t what you want to hear, use another image or take a better picture.

A photo of your car must be relevant

This may sound fairly obvious, but you’ll be surprised at how many used car sellers fail at this criteria. The featured image in particular, is usually one of the first thing that potential buyers see about your ad, along with the headline. If the connection between your images and the headline isn’t easily apparent, then your ad can give off the impression that you don’t know what you’re doing, which could turn off a lot of potential buyers.

A photo of your car must be compelling

With the amount of competition that a car seller can have these days, it’s not enough that your pictures simply be relevant—they have to be compelling as well. Make sure your image imparts a great first, second, and even third impression. If the photos you choose are plain and unremarkable, you risk losing out on a sale.

A photo of your car must utilize vibrant and complementary colors

A great image not only showcases a very obvious focal point, but vibrancy as well. If the colors in your images are dull or unattractive, you can always edit a picture to enhance it. Be careful not to alter it though. Putting it simply, it’s okay to use ‘auto correct’ and enhance contrast, but if you start cropping features out or replacing them with others, you’re crossing the line.

A photo of your car must be actionable

An actionable picture is one that incites a viewer to take action. You need to ensure that your selected images play a tangible role in your ad and not just provides your ad visitors with ‘something nice to look at.’ Make it so that your ad viewers will want to contact you to strike a deal when they look at your pictures.

A photo of your car must be powerful

‘A picture paints a thousand words,’ so they say. If you’ve been attracted to a National Geographic picture, then you know the power that an image can have to tell a story. Of course, this is not saying that your photo needs to be as gorgeous as what can be seen on National Geographic magazines, but you need to have images that hold a viewer’s attention, keep them engaged, and make them want to know more about the car that you’re selling. Such images can strengthen the salability of your car for sale.

A final word

When it comes to choosing the right photos for your second hand car for sale ad, your biggest critic is yourself. Learning to look at your photos objectively is something that you need to do, especially if you want your car to sell fast or plan to sell more cars in the future. That said, the pictures of your car that you post on your ad needs to be more than a decorative element. Think of your pictures as the key drivers of your ad’s success. As long as you give your pictures the importance it deserves, then you increase your chances of selecting the right images. Every so often, car sellers fail to consider the various characteristics that go into choosing the ideal image for their car for sale ad and end up paying the price for it. Hopefully, the tips listed above will make sure this doesn’t happen to you.