Wash your cars
First impressions are everything to your online viewers. Your dealership is trying to get your inventory on display and online as fast as possible, but sometimes you may receive the car in less than perfect condition. Your options are to give the vehicle a quick cleaning then take photos, take as-is photos, or wait until after the vehicle is front-line ready. Whichever you decide make sure the car is clean for the front-line photos. There is no need to take pictures that may mislead your website viewer negatively.
Be transparent about the vehicle flaws
There are plenty of theories out there on what images sell. Two solid theories are to tell the story of the car and take photos that reveal everything, including imperfections.
Make sure your first image is the vehicle at a about a 45° angle but can range from 50° to 35° and is a front end shot taken from a kneeling position. Also make sure not to be too close to the vehicle and use the zoom feature of the camera to minimize distortion. Take multiple images of the outside of the car then move to the inside features of the vehicle. Lastly take pictures of the rims, headlights and taillights.
Don’t try to hide imperfections if you are a used car dealership. The more transparent you are to the user viewing your vehicle online the better. They will be assured you are not trying to hide anything.
Angle is everything
Try not to get too close to the vehicle which could distort your aspect. You can still take close ups but use the zoom to help avoid distortion. Attempt to take images of the car that are from a kneeling position or at the very least not a down angle. Eye level images will give your future buyers the most accurate representation of the car.
Let there be light
Have your photographer take pictures in the best lighting possible. Although not always possible the best time to take pictures is when the sun rises or when the sun is about to set. Attempt to take images out of direct sunlight to help avoid reflections and glare. Also be aware of the background. There should not be too much background clutter distracting from your product.
Vehicle transparency equals more sales
Keep in mind that your online viewer is doing his or her research long before they speak with your dealership. They may even have more information on the car than your salesman. A combination of accurate online information and photos revealing any flaws will help you sell your inventory.
Communication is key
If your dealer ship should get an online lead on a specific vehicle, have a procedure set up in advance to get them additional information. Your internet department should be answering emails in a timely manner. For instance you could send the customer an online brochure containing an image and details of the vehicle. For example, CarCasm offers an online brochure for all our dealerships’ inventory. Here is an example.