You probably already know someone who has been buying older homes, fixing them up and reselling them for a profit. There’s a lot of money to be made in doing that and when you think about it, you can do the same thing with just about anything. All you are really doing is recycling something that was discarded and after it got fixed up a little, it became attractive enough for someone else to buy.
The same can be done with cars and it can be a very profitable part-time income for someone who is making the transition into retirement. But you will need to do some homework and if you are a bit handy with vehicles, that could help you a lot.
If your next door neighbor or the buddy you have coffee with daily at the doughnut shop has some experience under a hood, even better for you. Start looking for potential deals anywhere you see used car sales. This can be in classified pages of your local newspaper to online newspapers, CraigsList or whatever buy and sell website you like the most.
Spend time searching the listing for vehicles but be sure you know what vehicles have a better chance at resale. Searching online for consumer reports can help as well as simply entering phrases like ‘best resale cars’ to get an idea of what kind of cars you should be actually searching for to buy and flip. Be sure to get your car buddies involved for feedback if you aren’t so sure about the ‘great deal’ you see advertised.
The way to tell a lemon from a peach is pretty simple. Take it to a mechanic, or your buddy with the under-the-hood experience for a once over. What may look pretty good on the outside says nothing about the condition of the really important working parts hidden under the pretty packaging.
A mechanic can tell you things about a car you may never notice but the basics to have reviewed include all fluid levels such as oil and transmission. Check the sound of the engine. Your mechanic will be able to tell you if that interesting knocking noise you hear is a good or a bad thing. Check the shifting and the fan belt.
Also be sure that the vehicle has a clean title which will assist in telling you whether or not the vehicle has been in a serious accident. If it has a rebuilt title, pass on this one as it’s a lemon or about to become one quickly. If your mechanic says he’ll buy it if you don’t that could be a clue that the deal sitting in front of you is just that, a deal.
Once you make the purchase your job now is to turn this car into something that will sell easy and generate a good return on your investment. Just like selling a house, think about the curb appeal of your new, soon-to-be sold car. This means clean up and do whatever it takes to get it in shape for the big flip.
If you need to buy some new items for the car, like windshield wipers, do it. When it’s time to create the new listing to sell you car be sure to take quality photos and don’t be shy about emphasizing that special fuzzy dice or dashboard hula girl to give your listing some character.
Search your sources for average prices of the same car and start posting. CraigsList will likely generate some interest and when you get some bites remember what it was like when you were originally looking for a car.
Expect your buyer to be like you were and don’t be disappointed if the deal they are looking for isn’t near the price you are asking, but you will eventually sell that car at a profit which will allow you to start the process all over again.
Once you get good at it you’ll be flipping cars like a pro and banking some extra cash along the way.