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Is there still money to be made at automobile auctions?

Offline MovieMan

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Is there still money to be made at automobile auctions?
« on: January 04, 2013, 12:36:15 PM »
I've never done it myself, but I know of people who used to do quite well with buying autos at auctions.

Is that still the case or has that like everything else taken a hit?


Offline Alias300

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Re: Is there still money to be made at automobile auctions?
« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2013, 01:41:34 PM »
It's comeing back.  Still not up to where it was even 2-3 years ago.
On a personal level it's still pretty hard.   Not many car and fewer deals. 
Best deals are the online auctions but if you don't have your own mechanic and body guy it's easy to loose your *ss fast.    We get car out of Salt Lake and Pheonix.   Means you can't inspect and have to ship it home.

The 'cash for clunkers' killed the used car market.  Gret for he manufacturers but killed us car guys and dealers.   Add the poor economy and its a bad situation still to this day.

Last time I looked for car the opening bids were higher than typical wholesale.   From opening bid to retail price was only a few grand.   Pay for shipping, inspection,  few repairs (oil change, brakes,) and detail supplies .......your not looking at muh profit.   

Tow yards seem to be coming back up but ur looking at older cars and lots of competition.

Offline Travis

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Re: Is there still money to be made at automobile auctions?
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2013, 03:24:52 PM »
I made some pretty good money flipping cars last year and then I lost my *** on some too.

Craigslist is the best place to buy cars. Buy them low and sell them high just like the stock market. You can even find cars on Craigslist cheaper than at the auctions, unless you have a dealers license. If you buy from an auction, you have to pay vehicle title/registration & sales tax. If you buy and resell privately, you can avoid those extra fees.

The problem with flipping cars is, like any business, the learning curve. You have to know what cars resell well, what to look for mechanically, what cars to avoid, etc. It helps if you stick to a couple types of cars that resell well and become an expert on them and their value.

I went through the school of hard knocks trying to learn this business and here is some of the best advice I can give you.

If you're not mechanically inclined or if you don't have a reliable and inexpensive mechanic, avoid cars that need repair...parts & labor costs can kill your profit quickly.

People would rather buy a car that looks great and runs like crap, rather than a car that had cosmetic issues and was mechanically perfect.

Your local junk yard will save you a ton of money if you don't mind getting your hands dirty.

Your Totota, Honda, Hyundai, Lexus, Acura are quick sellers but used parts can sometimes be hard to find since they are in such demand.

Forget what the car price guides tell you.  NADA or KBB might tell you a used car is worth 5K but if you list it at that price, you may never get a phone call. The best way to determine value is by compare the vehicle to similar vehicles on Craigslist.

Re: Is there still money to be made at automobile auctions?
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2013, 10:30:24 PM »
We quit even shopping the auctions for vehicles about three years ago. Mainly for the same reasons Travis said. E-bay was great for a while then things went through the roof. We bought several from an auction in Benicia until they went out of business. A couple of pieces of small equipment were bought from Richie Bros. The last couple of times we bought vehicles they came from Craigslist.
I do have to say that most are used in our construction company but a few were bought just for resale because we couldn't pass up the potential profit. Descent used vehicles that we can purchase out right have just seemed to make more since than buying new.

Offline Alias300

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Re: Is there still money to be made at automobile auctions?
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2013, 10:32:12 PM »
Craigslist is good.

My shop currently holds a 526 BNW that needs a new front end. $1000. About $1000 to fix.  Sells for $4500

1972 Porsche 914 that <CL Ad Said> "has $7000 body damage estimate" that I got parts for $80. 
Paid $1200.  That's mine, not going to sell.  They sell in its condition for up to $8000 but could sell fast for $4000-$5000

1985 prelude for $600.   Just going to detail the crap outa it and put on street for $1500 and see hat is offered.



Tho, all have been sitting cause my injury prevents me from working on them and I'm to cheap to pay someone else to do he work.......

Looking at a slightly wrecked 2004 S-10 in the morning.  Guy wants $2000.   I just need a truck but has potential to flip.   Worries me a bit since the guy won't send me the VIN.   Says he's uncomfortable with that.   I don't want to waste my time.  Want to run VIN before I dive out there......seems odd he won't give it to me.

<update>

Still no truck for me.    Called In the VIN and trucks been totaled twice.   Hack job on repairs.  Safety concerns with front end.   No chance I could flip it and to much repair work to use myself. 


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