5 Mistakes Owner Operators Make When Selling Their Semi-Truck On Craigslist

How To Sell Your Semi Truck

Craigslist put want ads out of business. The popular website ranks in the top 50 of all sites on the internet. Craigslist is a powerful tool that can help you sell your semi truck fast and with little or no costs. Yet many Owner Operators shy away because of the scams, and the endless tire kickers. There is no shortage of faux buyers calling wanting to buy your Peterbilt, Kenworth, Mack, Freightliner, or Volvo. Twenty minutes later you find out they don’t even have a Class A license and are waiting on their tax refund before they can make the purchase. For many Truck owners it’s not worth it. They rather trade their truck-in and avoid the hassle. But they could be missing out on thousands of extra dollars.

Craigslist Can Help You Sell Your Used Truck If Used Properly

As a dealership Charter Trucks posts hundreds of semi-trucks each year on Craigslist. We also purchase trucks off of the site. While many companies will offer you “secrets” to selling on Craigslist, ebay, or similar sites, we would like to offer you a common sense approach. Avoid these five common mistakes and we believe you will have greater success in selling your heavy equipment.

1) Avoid Placing Your Craigslist Ad Where it doesn’t belong

We see dealers place the same truck in multiple cities and multiple states. They have the money and the time or software to do this. The average trucker has neither. Placing your craigslist ad in Los Angeles when it is located in New York is a mistake for several reasons. Dealing with a long distance sale makes things more complicated and makes your ad more susceptible to scams. There are exceptions, such as in California where pre-emission trucks must be sold out of state. Or if you have unique trucks for sale that you know are more popular in an area outside of where you are selling it. However, in most cases it is best to post locally.

2) Be Careful of Posting In The Wrong Category

Many owner operators place their craigslist listing under Cars and Trucks instead of Heavy Equipment. Unless you want to place your ad in both categories, stick with placing your heavy duty truck under Heavy Duty Equipment. Not as many people search for dump trucks or tow trucks under cars and trucks. If it requires a cdl license, it is heavy equipment. A small 26K Lb. GVW box truck may be an exception but if you are going to place an ad in only one category, we suggest Heavy Equipment.

3) Creating A Misleading Title or Avoiding Putting Down A Price Is A Mistake

The biggest complaint that owner operators and trucking companies have when placing an ad on craigslist is the amount of bad calls craigslist generates. In most cases this is self inflicted. You only need one caller to buy your used semi truck. A misleading ad or one without a price will generate calls, emails and texts, but it will also waste a colossal amount of your time.

4) Poor Photos

Truck drivers are not photographers but that is not an excuse for poor photos. Craigslist allows for 24 photos on each listing. We suggest you take photos from the front, back and sides of the truck, the engine compartment, the odometer, interior and a photo of any significant damage. However, before taking any photos, wash your truck and clean out the cab. If you don’t have the time to do this or would like it to be professionally done for a better end result.. We know your truck isn’t brand new but pics of a dirty truck with a cab full of fast food wrappers and Big Gulp cups won’t help you sell it.

5) Bad Copy and Lack of Detail

WRITING IN ALL CAPS AND EXCLAMATION POINTS WON’T HELP SELL YOUR HEAVY EQUIPMENT!!!! Specific details about your semi truck will help you avoid pointless calls and confusion. For example: If you are trying to sell your late model Peterbilt include whether it has a Cummins or Paccar engine. This will cut down on 50% of the prospective buyers who will tell you the engine you have in your Pete sucks. Provide important details such as wheelbase, transmission, GVW, and other important specs.

  • Include in your listing:
    • Buyers love details and history
    • Tell us how many owners the truck has had
    • Let us know if your dump truck hauled rocks or feathers
    • Give us specifics. For example: How much horsepower does your 2019 Freightliner Cascadia with a Detroit engine have on it?
    • Did your semi-truck run throughout the USA, locally or from Ontario to Atlanta?
    • Do I need a class A license to drive this truck?
    • Isn’t there any warranty left on your 2020 Volvo?
    • How big is the sleeper and what are the amenities?

Writing a good listing description takes time. However, painting a clear picture for potential buyers will save you time from unproductive calls and texts.

Craigslist Is Not For Everyone – Other Options For Owner Operators To Sell Their Semi-Truck
Craigslist is a great place to sell your used truck but it is not right for everyone. If you need your heavy equipment gone fast, dealers like Charter Trucks are set up to pay quickly. You won’t receive a retail offer but sometimes getting paid and having your heavy equipment gone quickly is a better option. Other options include pay sites like Commercial Truck Trader, Truck Paper and Equipment Experts. If you don’t mind the risk, auction houses like Taylor Martin or Ritchie Bros. can provide a huge upside and reduce your liability.

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