How to Buy and Sell Used Cars

Part 4 - Used Car Prep

When you buy and sell used cars it is very important to prepare them properly. Prepare them before they are listed and or offered for sale. It is equally as important to do the preparation in the correct order. It would not make sense to have your interior shampooed prior to your mechanic doing any and all necessary repairs, picture freshly shampooed carpeting with big greasy foot prints everywhere.

First of all I want you to have the right mindset, an old car guy saying is as follows every dollar you spend is two that you will lose, well this may not be true but lets keep this thought in the back of our minds.

I want all of you to adherer to all laws of local governments as well as the universal inescapable laws of the universe like do unto others. You must be proud of the cars you buy and sell, you will have streams of cars coming in and it requires very little discipline to be discerning and picky up front about what you buy. With all that said let us jump in with two quick samples that clearly demonstrate what you should and should not spend money on.

Think in terms of complete, safe, clean and reliable, for example safe would be brakes and so on, reliable could be a new battery, cooling system fans in perfect working order and a tune up, clean is the required complete detail which includes buff, wax, steam clean engine, shampoo interior dressing etc only to be done by a professional and finally complete means no missing parts like a missing hub cap or a missing window.

The first sample would be a good transportation car that will be sold for $1800 to $2200, it needs hub caps, a detail and has a big tear or worn spot on the drivers side of the seat, do we spend two hundred and fifty dollars on the seat? No way, hub caps yes, detail of course and any and all required emissions or safety inspections or certifications.

As you prepare a nicer car that will be sold for $3500 to $5000 this may change a little, you may do the headliner for $150 to $200 or just use thumb tack to re-affix it to the roof, you may have the seat repaired properly and of course a detail, clean fluids, fresh battery and all required certifications.

I had a student ask me about a $2500 Ford Explorer he was selling, he wondered if buying a set of used matching alloy wheels and tires for $350 would be a good or wise expense, evidently it had three steel wheels and one alloy with all good tires. What would you do? I hope you said no to the unnecessary expense, this car would have been sold before he spent, I mean wasted his money on these fancy unnecessary alloy wheels.

Keep the correct order in mind always complete all mechanical repairs and certifications first, interior and minor odds and ends second and the complete detail is last, it is the cherry on the whipped cream, it is your reward for a job well done.

The final step is displaying and or posting your car for sale, this is the last step. I felt very bad several of my students would post or advertise their cars for sale before they did any work on them, wow is this foolish, you do not know what repairs are needed, you do not know what the car is worth because you have not seen it done or detailed, prospects will call and want to see the car but now what will you do? Where is it? It is dirty, is it safe?

Now that you have released it into the for sale universe when you re-list it in a week or two after it is all ready to go people will think something is wrong with it since it did not sell yet.

Be proud that you did a nice job and that you offer a good clean ready to go product, you are helping families get back on their feet and get back to work. Do it right, do it in the right order, Keep it legal, keep it fun, have fun and happy flipping.

How to Buy and Sell Used Cars is a video and article series created by an author with 20 years in all facets of the car business including retail, wholesale and retail.

Chris is well known in the marketing community and has been dubbed a “Marketing Genius” He has sat on various panels and been featured in notable periodicals as well as various trade publications. Chris is an industry expert, speaker, consultant, coach and highly sought out trainer.

Some of the various services that Chris offers to Flip Used Cars clients are: personal coaching, business development, training, Tele seminars, web-inars and a complete marketing make over. Whether you are just building a business or trying to rebuild an existing one there is none better at finding hidden under utilized assets then Chris and his team.

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