Selling Used Cars Can Be A Profitable Sideline

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The sale of used cars presents an opportunity to make extra cash in your spare time. Before embarking on this sideline/hobby check this article out.

Submitted: April 30, 2016

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Submitted: April 30, 2016



There will always be a market for used cars. It's no secret that new car dealers make much more money on pre-owned cars than the ones with the new car smell. So maybe it's time for you to get involved in the used car market. Don't write yourself off even if your mechanical skills are minimal, your knowledge of the local market is non-existent or your sales skills are abysmal.


So what's the first step? You must evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. If you don't know a ratchet from a socket, you have two choices. You can purchase vehicles for resale that only need cosmetic upgrades that you might be able to perform. Or you can align yourself with a garage that would be willing to look over potential purchases for a small evaluation fee. The understanding would be that if you bought the car they would perform the work necessary to get the vehicle ready for sale. Of course, you would be making an offer for the vehicle armed with the shop's cost estimate of the necessary repairs.


So where would you find saleable cars? Car auctions don't fit the model suggested here. This is not the venue for the novice with a limited automotive background. A car bought in "as is" condition provides too much downside exposure. A better strategy would be to network with industry hot spots – repair shops, car dealers, salvage yards, and donation sites. Each of these operations has a niche within which it excels, when vehicles fall outside of their comfort zone they much rather make some quick cash and move on to what they do best. Your job is to make yourself available as a reliable partner in that process while still providing enough room for your own profit.


Market knowledge may be the easiest piece of the process. Kelly Blue Book and Edmunds provide used car values keyed to specific zip codes and rate the value of the car based on equipment and condition. Value is easily determined but sale-ability is something different. It takes the experience to find out that a Honda Accord sells much faster than an Olds Intrigue.  Before you buy plan to do some research and be aware that turning over your purchases is important. You can't make a profit if you still have the car in inventory.


Being able to sell is all about believing in your product. If you have chosen your purchase wisely, prepared it for sale responsibly, and priced it fairly and in line with the current market value, the sales presentation will come naturally. It's when you're flying by the seat of your pants and trying to fake it until you make it, that your delivery becomes transparent and you lose credibility with the customer. Like so many other things, it's all about preparation.

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