My first new set of wheels was a forest green, 1996 Jeep Cherokee. It’s been most places I’ve been and brings up many memories. Back in a North Carolina snowfall, I once locked the keys inside when it was still running. My Dad and I drove it across country with my cat. My cat, so distressed about an outing to the vet, once peed in the passenger’s seat. I made countless efforts to do away with that stench. Loren, during our second date, pretended to ignore the scent while sitting in the same spot. My Jeep performed amazingly well during its 173,500 miles on our road of adventures.
My Dad recently took ownership of the Jeep and decided to put it up for sale. We hadn’t sold a vehicle in many years. My Mom talked about parking the Jeep with a for sale sign on a street corner. That seemed to go against my philosophy of knowing your target audience. My Dad talked about placing an ad in the newspaper. I told him fewer people read the papers since the last time he sold a car. We also discussed websites specializing in selling cars. Ebay Motors was mentioned.
I recommended trying social media first. Tell your friends and family first, right? Tell people in your network. I told my Dad to shoot pictures of the Jeep. I would publish the pictures on social media. If the effort failed, we would have a go at more traditional methods.
I tried LinkedIn and Twitter first. Shortly after 9:30 Friday morning, I posted the following message on LinkedIn. “Please let me know if you are interested in buying this 1996 Jeep Cherokee Sport for $1,200? Contact me for details. Thank you.” I included one picture, the same photo you see above. The first reply arrived in my in-box two minutes later. I exchanged e-mails with a number of people. Thirty-five minutes after I posted the orginal LinkedIn message, I received a reply with the following words: “I’ll take it.”
Using social media, I sold a 15-year-old car with 173,500 miles in 35 minutes. And I sold it for the asking price of $1200.
Some of my former co-workers mocked me for driving such an old vehicle. An old friend on Facebook asked me jokingly if I still locked The Club on the steering wheel. My Dad gassed up the Jeep at Costco and someone who saw the for-sale sign asked to look under the hood. He then offered $1200 and said he had the cash at home. He was second in line to the LinkedIn buyer. An owner of a local restaurant wanted to visit and look at the Jeep, but she was third in line. The guy on Facebook who said he’d pay full asking price was fourth on the waiting list.
Maybe I got lucky. Maybe there’s something about an old Jeep my cat and I never appreciated. But using my social media network, I speedily found people who I never knew had such interest in cars. The following line is worth repeating:
Using social media, I sold a 15-year-old car with 173,500 miles in 35 minutes.