It really isn’t that long ago that used cars were mostly bought and sold locally. Early personal computers were great in their day but online shopping was yet to come and we’ve moved on from Pong now. Today it is possible to buy a motor from anywhere in the country without leaving the comforts of home.
The Small Ad
Classifieds ads are a form of advertising that still exist in some printed publications, many of them free, but these days they tend to offer services rather than individual items for sale. Once, they were a mainstay of local newspapers as a form of revenue. Classifieds are much cheaper than larger display advertisements used by bigger businesses although display advertising remains more widespread. They were also commonly called "want" or ‘small’ ads and, it is surprisingly to learn, they first started as long ago as 1763. Coincidentally, that’s when the ‘Reign of Terror’ began in France. Presumably it all kicked off when someone tried to shift a dodgy tumbrel in the local rag; even then they clearly knew that if it looks to good to be true, it probably is.
Advertisements in newspapers were typically short, as they were charged for by the line or word, and were always one newspaper column wide. They were for many decades the way for individuals to buy and sell. Since the rise of the internet, print advertising has declined and it could be argued that the attendant loss of income is one of the reasons why so many local newspapers have disappeared.
Prospective used car buyers would religiously trawl through the small ads searching for the ideal used car. Selling privately was the way to go in those days. It usually resulted in buyers coming to the house and generally haggling over condition and price until a deal was agreed.
Meanwhile car dealers would list current vehicle stock in larger quarter page ads often at attractive prices. Almost inevitably the keen purchaser was too late by the time the ad went to press; with dealers it was usually best to wander the local area by car or on foot searching the forecourts for that automotive ideal.
Of course, we still have small ads today but they are the new online street market; what one person has finished with, another person might have a use for.
The Car Marketplace Now
Was it better in the old days? Probably not. The car market today is much faster moving than even thirty years ago. Cars that were once just an aspiration are freely available now and for the most part car advertising has moved online. Certainly it is still possible to visit local dealers and there will always be a fine selection of used cars, winking seductively in the sunshine from the forecourts; but usually the search begins online.
The internet is immediate. Here on the eCars247 website
, a quick check on our 'find my car
' page will provide you with a listing of all our fully prepared and AA inspected used cars
. And being the first dedicated end-to-end online used car dealership in the UK, you can make your purchase by simply clicking the 'buy now' button. It could be that the vehicle of choice maybe many miles away from our HQ, possibly at the other end of the country. It’s not a problem though because eCars247 offers the whole package of services from comprehensive vehicle listings, with many high-quality images detailing the exact condition of the car. Our website allows the buyer to select finance choices and part-exchange their current car in one sitting, we will also offer delivery options direct to the customer’s door.
Is it any wonder that the days of dredging the back pages of newspapers are in the past?
Buy your next used car online