A picture paints a thousand words. This is so. When I see a picture of a politician at least one thousand words come to mind; few of them good. It’s a hackneyed old cliché that has been around forever yet it remains true, especially when selling your used car.
With the rise of the internet as a sales tool buyers want to have a good hard look at a car before they start organising viewing trips and the like, and they will expect to see images, so they’d better be good.
Used Car Sale: Phone Camera, CSC Or DSLR?
It falls to the seller to make sure that the photos are as good, as honest and as representative as they can be. It seems incredible, looking at the online used car ads of today, that despite all the imaging technology available, some people can’t take even a halfway decent photo although, if social media is to believed, they are clearly not aware of it.
The new Android based Google Pixel 2 phone camera is reckoned to be the best yet, outdoing even the mighty iPhone for image quality. The picture of the Alfa Romeo below was taken on a lowly Sony Xperia yet it is pretty good, if unexciting. Certainly though it shows the Guilia in a good light and that’s the important thing. Check out those wheels!
With the great new CSC (mirrorless) systems around now, it could be argued that most snappers no longer need the heavyweight DSLR’s that have ruled the roost for so long. This is correct. It is no longer about kit; it is about the eye of the photographer – that’s a truism that has never changed.
How To Sell A Used Car
Obviously, and it almost goes without saying, your car should be gleamingly well spruced up. It’s amazing how many ads I see with pics of poorly prepared, or totally unprepared cars. What’s needed is a thorough going-over or even a professional valeting to make it look its best; that ’s the time to start snapping away.
Take a look at the top image. Great isn’t it? If you didn’t want a McLaren before, you probably do now. Some professional camera work and digital magic has clearly gone into this shot. The whole image screams the freedom of the road. However, unless you have some great kit, professional skills and knowledge of one or more well known imaging programmes you can’t really get that close to this level of photography, but it is certainly possible to make pictures much better than simply snapping the car in the street outside your house.
Now take a look at the image of the Porsche Cayman. I sold this used car some while back. To make the best of it the car was driven out to an attractive location on a nice day and shot using a consumer camera. It could equally have been done on a compact or a decent smartphone – no fancy gear needed. Certain things are apparent: the exposure is spot on and the shot is taken from a low position to emphasise the sleek design of the Porsche. The inclusion of the road hints at driving pleasure and so on. It took one day to sell it.
Make The Most Of It
Depending on how much time is available several more photos should be taken from all angles, some to especially emphasise neat details and not forgetting the interior. Most online sites will allow a good number of images; these coupled with some honest descriptive writing should make any decent car sell with ease.
Dirty cars and dull snaps taken from the usual standing eye-level position will not offer any kerb appeal. Technically, nothing much needs to be done. As mentioned, the exposure should be spot on and plenty of pics should be taken. It’s best to shoot early or late in the day to avoid any harsh glare from the sun. If the camera has a fill-in flash facility then use it. A little bit of light blipped into the foreground will lift colour.
Note that in the Alfa image the edges of the picture have been darkened – or vignetted (slightly exaggerated here for effect) – to concentrate the eye on the car. That can be achieved with any simple imaging programme. That’s it. A bit of creative thought and the images will improve one hundred percent. Don’t leave selling a used car to chance. Market it properly and wave it goodbye. Geoff Maxted