How to write a classified ad

How to write a classified ad

Classified ads are used to buy or sell merchandise

Classified ads are placed by individuals having something to sell and are read by those searching for the items listed. Newspapers in larger cities arrange the ads into sections such as: automobiles, household belonging, houses and apartments for rent, garage and moving sales, etc. making it easier to find the item one is looking for.

Ads cost by the word or column inch so persons placing them will try to say as much as possible in a few words, therefore abbreviations are used to cut down on cost. Each ad will include a description of what is being sold, price asked and a way the seller can be contacted. Other types of ads are placed also, such as those wanting to purchase something.


Step 1

What do you want to sell

Before your start writing, you must decide what the item is that you want to sell. Think about who will want to purchase this particular item; that is your target audience. This has an effect on the way you word your ad.

Step 2

Choose your advertising media

Choose the media that will be the best for the item you have for sale. It could be the radio, TV, internet, newspaper or a specialty ad sheet. Decide which one is the best for what you have to sell.

Study the ads you see placed in these media to determine the best time to place the ad. Some newspapers run certain types of ads on certain days.

Step 3

What is your asking price

Before writing the ad, determine what price you want for the item. Think about whether you are willing to negotiate or if the price you set is firm

Step 4

State your ad in clear and concise terms

When writing the ad, be as concise as possible because ads cost by the word. Still you want to say enough about what you are selling to interest buyers. Use commonly accepted abbreviations, but be as clear as you can.

Step 5

State a description, your price and contact information

Include in the ad a description of what is being sold, the price you are asking and the way you can be contacted.

Things Needed
• An item or items to sell
• Pen/pencil and paper or word processor & printer or internet connection for email
• Phone number or address of the chosen media

Tips & Warnings
• Get the reader’s attention with an eye-catching title because readers scan the ads quickly.
• Use action words in the headline.
• If possible, have a little white space in your ad.
• Proof read your copy before you send it.
• Do not use all caps in your ad.


Add a comment



Text commentary: