Car spelling — the online sellers’ way

I’ve always planned on writing an easy-to-digest how-to guide for selling your car. It’s an interesting topic with many options, each with its own pros and cons.

After perusing Craigslist today (a daily habit), I finally decided that I needed to at least cover one specific area seemingly lost on many individuals out there…and I needed to do it pronto.

For god’s sake, people, if you’re going to list your car for sale, at least spell the name of the car correctly!!! Those of us in the great digital audience are not asking for perfect grammar or a thrilling description worthy of inclusion in a collection of legendary prose. Heck, I personally don’t care if you butcher the spelling of other words, but the make and model of your car is pretty damn important in the effort to sell it.

If you’re too lazy to go outside and look on the trunk (or on the registration, owners manual, or online) for the correct spelling of the make and model, do you honestly think people will believe you’ve changed the oil in the car every 3,000 miles?

I don’t know what it says about the ownership demographic, but Camaro owners seem to be the worst offenders. If I had a dollar for every time I saw an advertisement for a “Camero”, I’d be able to buy that “’69 Camero Rallee Sport” I saw advertised a few months ago.

Probably second on the list of the spelling challenge is Toyota’s Camry. For some reason, people think there’s at least one “e” (or sometimes two) in there. To remember how to spell it, just remember: “When you’re talking about Camry, Toyota engineered out ‘glee’, ‘weeee’, ‘golly gee’, and ‘goodness me’…. because they didn’t include an ‘e’.”

Some sellers seem to have a tough time with Chrysler. Today I saw a listing for a “Cristler”, but my all-time favorite was the ad for a “1997 Christler Town and Country”. Here’s a news flash – if Jesus really is the son of god, don’t you think he’d drive something better than a frigging ten year old minivan?

Too many car sellers obviously slept through geography class. Among these folks include the sellers of a ’87 GMC Siara (Sierra), a ’68 Chevy Malebuu (Malibu) and a ’86 Montey Carlow (Monte Carlo).

Cadillac seems to be a hard one for people to spell. All too often I see “Caddilac” or “Caddillac”. The first Caddy ad I saw today got the Cadillac part correct, but unfortunately called the model an Eldorado “Baritz” — which sounds like a name of a George Barris custom.

One way you should know never to buy a sports car from someone is if they show blatant disregard for the car’s name. How well do you think all those “Alfa Romero”s run that are currently for sale across the Internet? (It’s Alfa Romeo, Mr. Italian Car Owner, coming from a combination of the acronym ALFA (derived from Societa Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili) and the name of Nicola Romeo, the guy who bought the company in 1915.) Similarly, considering that even smart people have never been able to make a Maserati run reliably, I’m guessing that buying a “Mazeratti” with the intention of a good ownership experience is akin to attempting suicide with a plastic spork from KFC.

The bottom line is that if you fail to spell your car’s make and model correctly, it not only makes you look foolish, but also prohibits people like me from finding your vehicle in an online search. So much of selling a car is in presentation and making the buyer feel confident in the quality of the vehicle. Anything you do to jeopardize that image simply makes it harder to sell.

Of course, it’s better to spell the name incorrectly than to not include the name (or any type of basic identification) at all. The guy whose entire listing read “good running too-door cupe $7,500” needed to be euthanized (certainly before he procreated.)

And coming soon – what people expect when your ad says “straight and rust free”.

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One Response to Car spelling — the online sellers’ way

  1. Not to mention Alpha Romeros.

    Even Robert Farago (of TTAC) spelled it “Alpha” once and when I called him out on he threatened to ban me from the site. =\

    –chuck
    http://chuck.goolsbee.org

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