With a great ad, you will sell your item for more money and get more responses. Here are steps to effective classified ad writing so you can take advantage of our system and create ads that deliver results:
- Make it easy for someone to find your ad. Fill out all of the applicable ad details properly. Select the manufacturer, type in the model number, etc. This way, when a user looks for your item, they can find it quickly.
- Write a headline that is brief and to the point. For example:
- "Beckman DU-7 in Great Condition"
- or "HP 5890-II For Sale."
- Write an ad that sells. The first thing to do is to put yourself in the buyer's shoes. Ask yourself, "What is the buyer looking for?" The old sales school teachings still hold true today. A buyer isn't looking for a centrifuge. He or she has a Problem: "My problem is that I want to spin down my samples. It doesn't really matter whether the centrifuge is a Beckman or a Sorvall. Either will do the job, but I need to be sold on it."
- Are you selling a piece of equipment like a commodity, or are you selling a beautiful scientific instrument? Take advantage of the virtually unlimited text you can enter to describe your item.
Let's look at two examples of ads
||Acme DU-X Spectrophotometer
Acme DU-X for sale in good condition.
Call 555-1212. $4000.
||Well Maintained DU-X with Sipper
We have to part with our beautiful Acme DU-X. We've tested it out, and it's running like a dream. You won't find a cleaner DU-X with all the extras we're offering anywhere. Especially at this price.
Not only does it come with a sipper AND a spare lamp, but it also comes with a 30-day fitness warranty. The automatic sample handling will also free you from standing around the DU-X all day inserting samples.
This DU-X was used to measure chlorophyll's for several years and the sensitivity is still outstanding. But now we are going to replace it with a new one (I hope it's as good as our DU-X).
This unit won't last so call 555-1212 now!
So which unit do you want to buy? The piece of hardware or the nice instrument? Would you pay more for the item in advertisement B than advertisement A? Of course you would. Item B is a much nicer unit. Or is it? What if I tell you that these two ads are for the same unit? You get the picture.
Review the features of the above ad...
- We're selling a high performance instrument that looks great and runs great.
- We've mentioned accessories, features, and the little extras that make a difference.
- We've provided a brief history of what the unit was used for and why we're selling it.
- We're providing motivation to act now ("This unit won't last...").
- The general feeling one gets reading the ad is positive. Science is fun. Scientific instruments are fun to work with. And guess what? That's all true. People buy fun because that's what they want.
- Although we didn't disclose the price, we are selling price: "Especially at this price." (Mind you, it's okay to have a price, even if it's a high price.)
- We've included a phone number for immediate contact.
Things To Watch For
Spelling, grammar, and slang errors can slip too easily into your ad. However, you can make use of typing and grammar to drive home a memorable point. Don't make a speling misteak in your ad.
The bottom line is that Item B above has to be worth at least $5000 if item A was $4000, even if the ads are for the same item. Set up your ad for success. The old sales school defines each of the features in the above ad as Problem/Solution (Problem: I want high performance. / Solution: This is a high performance instrument). Try and predetermine what your buyers' problem is and offer them the solution in your ad. In addition, assume that a prospective purchaser doesn't know much about the item you are selling. They've heard of the DU-X, but aren't sure of its features. You might want to post some sensitivity/performance specifications or automation features to help sell the instrument.
Words/Things That Sell
Be original. Use the writer's number one creative tools, the dictionary and the thesaurus (try a site such as www.dictionary.com). Read other ads to get ideas. Here are some suggestions for words to use in constructing your ad:
"Clean/Spotless/Meticulous" – When was the last time you were in a lab that was dust free? (I'm not talking about those rich multinational pharmaceutical labs.)
"Warranty" – Are you just unloading the unit, or are you going to stand behind it?
"Performance/Sensitivity" – People want this in a scientific instrument.
"Reliable" – So who wants problems?
"Spare Parts" – What extras are included?
"Instruction Manual" – Comes with an instruction manual...great! You wouldn't believe the relief the buyer has when they hear this.
"Automatic/Automated" – Who wants to work? Are there any automated work-saving features on your unit worth mentioning (auto-calibration, self-aligning)?
"Maintained/Serviced" – People will pay more to buy things that were taken care of.
"Results" – That's what people are buying it for.
"Fast/Speed/Time Savings" – If it's faster at doing things, it's more sellable.
"Like New" – If it looks like new, tell 'em!
"Best" – Your instrument has to be the best at doing something. Let the buyer know what it's best at.
"Driven To Church Only On Sundays By An Old Lady" – Humor sells too.
There is no doubt that headlines are important in grabbing a reader's attention. Although a headline is brief and word-restricted, let's look at some "leading word" examples that work.
"Various" – An ad with multiple similar items is more interesting than any other ad. A reader has the opportunity to view multiple items of interest in one ad. "Various" is a grabber (but it only applies if you have multiple items in an ad!)
"Nice, Clean, Serviced, Reliable, etc..." – ...and many other similar words that are also "leading word" attention grabbers.
A Picture's Worth A Thousand Words
Not only do pictures provide a lot of visual information, they grab the eye. In a sea of grey type, a colour photo or even a line drawing floats high above the waves. Use the ability to upload several photos of an item. Show the back and front – and sides if that adds to the effect. Provide close-ups of the controls and features. Add a ruler or a soda can for size reference.
No two pieces of used scientific equipment are the same. Over time, each becomes unique. Differentiate your product from other similar pieces of equipment. Your unit might be three and a half years old. That's six months newer than a four-year-old instrument. Combine age with accessories, options, scratches, usage, service, maintenance, warranty, trial period, support/help, and other factors so readers can quickly see the differences between units.
So are you going to sell an ACME DU-X for $4000 or a Well Maintained DU-X with Sipper for $5000?