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My car flipping experiment

Strm

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Hello everybody!

Because I have 1.5 months free time until I go to work and my business journey is not taking so much time, I've decided to do a little experiment with cars. I sold my Chrysler 300C in April and I am thinking about buying a cheaper car, just to get around and I will need it for business purposes too. But I'm not only buying a car, I will improve it a bit and put it up for sale/trade.


Why and how, you ask?

A lot of people are very bad at making the pictures when selling a car. I have a good camera and above-average eye for photos.

I've decided to spend around 2K on the car + 400-500€ to make it look better. I will prefer popular makes like BMW, Audi, MB etc, with proper features. I'm looking for cars that are little bit cheaper, without tinted windows and nice big rims. I will ad both of these myself later. I believe the first impression is crucial when selling (a car). If the car looks good, then people will start to look for other reasons to buy it and when they like the looks, they WILL find these reasons. I will do my research and will only buy if it has not had any accidents etc.

In Estonia we have one big website for selling cars + huge FB marketplaces too. Older people don't post on FB marketplace, so I try to find them from the website. If I get a good deal, and the car is in good condition, I will buy it. Then I'll buy some bigger wheels that make the car look a lot better, also will add tinted windows (not me, but another company that does that).
Then I'll make great photos and post it on FB marketplaces and on the website. At the same time I am looking for more expensive cars (around 3500-4K) that are put up for sale/trade and I will contact the owner and offer the trade. Ideally it would also be a bit cheaper than the rest and without great looks. And the process starts over.

I just called one older man who is selling his 2003 MB C-class. It looks very good and has good features. I will probably get it for 2K. He tries to find the time and meet me in the next couple of days. If the deal goes thru, I will add before and after pictures.

If nobody want's to buy or trade the car, that is OK, because I need a car anyway. But the main point is to try and get newer and more expensive car in a short period of time by trading and not investing much. I have a friend who's very good in similar stuff (I think he just trades, not messing with rims and tinted windows) and he's had cool and exotic cars in recent years. He told me that he hasn't lost money and is on the + side.

I think it will be fun and it'll be like a small new hobby for me!
Who knows, right? :)
 

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minivanman

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So, in your plan, once you put the money in to it, how much do you plan to sell it for?
 

Johnny boy

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Have you considered leasing out the car for a couple years to someone? Idk why leasing used cars isn’t a thing...
 

minivanman

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Turo. Before my friend ended up with my Tesla & Maserati I thought about renting them out on Turo. They are still in my name so I could still do it.... and he is in Austin so I think they would stay rented but it seems like such a hassle and I'd always be worried. But, I was thinking that when we go on some trips, the few times we fly, we can rent from Turo.
 

Rawr

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protip for you - put this line in your turo profile :

get your first ride free (or however$ it is ) when you sign up using and insert your ref code.
 

minivanman

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protip for you - put this line in your turo profile :

get your first ride free (or however$ it is ) when you sign up using and insert your ref code.
Do you rent from users or rent your car to users? How is your experience?
 

Strm

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So, in your plan, once you put the money in to it, how much do you plan to sell it for?
Hey minivanman! Thanks for asking. I understand you're the king of flipping stuff!

I got it for 2K and it looks good and in good condition too. I like it very much.
48.- was the cost to register it in my name. I will get 17" AMG wheels today, with tyres it will be around 270.- and next week will get the windows tinted for 110.-

If it will look as good as it looks in my brain, I will probably get around 3K from it. Definitely not losing money. But I will probably try to trade for a bit more expensive car. Or I can be so wrong and this can be a disaster! :)

Have you considered leasing out the car for a couple years to someone? Idk why leasing used cars isn’t a thing...
Hey Johnny Boy.
Actually no, at least not at this point. I need wheels myself and I'd only sell/trade right now. I would consider this if my plan works and the profit would allow me to buy a second cheap car.
 

Jeff Noel

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I dont rent, I saw this on someones ad and it was a smart move
I can already see the trouble here. Turo's offering insurance for your car if something bad happens during the rent. If you make it for free, it'll probably go on your personnal insurance in case shit hits the fan.
 

Strm

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I got the AMG wheels under the car today.

These are the original 16" wheels. I'll take the summer tyres from these and sell them. I got winter tyres too with the car so I will use these as winter wheels. The new owner gets both sets of wheels.

25066


Today I replaced them with these 17" AMG wheels. God, how I hate when the windows aren't tinted!!! Total black tinted windows coming next week.
25067
 

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minivanman

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So, you will have $2428 in to the car and you will sell it for $3000 for a profit of $572?

Does your country use Euro?
 
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astr0

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My buddy used to be pro in car flipping.
Two things I learned from him are that profit is made when you buy the car and that painting/details matter when selling. He flipped a ton of cars and probably 70% of Honda CRX in Ukraine were once his. He knew the market really well and were able to negotiate the price even lower for a good deal already. I bought my Patrol with him 25-30% cheaper than average on the market. Most profits he made on cars after small accidents when vital parts were completely fine and the geometry was perfect too, but the car needed some work on the exterior. Great deals on popular cars with some minor issues like injector/ignition made him good money too. He managed to flip some of them with double price in days. People don't always understand that something can be fixed much cheaper than the engine rebuild and were willing to get rid of the troublesome car lower than it really worth. He bought most of the parts used to repair them where it was applicable. Sometimes he bought cars purely for parts, like with CRXes and sold everything he doesn't need afterward. We have really high import tax on cars to make them street-legal, so he bought cars abroad and imported them as parts. He's a good car painter and somewhat mechanic himself, the best hustler I know in real life, and got tons of connections in the industry.

However, that hustle as a business is not scalable. He painted or at least prepared for painting a good amount of cars and that takes a lot of time. So he bought a truck, hired a driver and started international container shipments. That had too many issues with customs delays so he sold everything after scaling to 3 trucks. Now he's doing grains wholesale import/export and probably things are going really well. He just filters out the deals that employee finds him, arranges the shipment and sometimes personally checks the quality for large volumes. That was strange to me, but most work is really done online.

P. S. 2003 MB C-class is $6.5-10k here, averaging around $7.7k...
 

Strm

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So, you will have $2428 in to the car and you will sell it for $3000 for a profit of $572?

Does your country use Euro?
Yes, I am living in Estonia and we have Euro here.
I've listed it for 3500.- now. But my main goal is to trade for something better. Unfortunately, I had a job offer in the middle of the week and that means I'm leaving on monday to Norway for 2-3 weeks. No tradeing in the meantime but I leave the ad up, if there is interest my gf can show and sell it too.


Two things I learned from him are that profit is made when you buy the car and that painting/details matter when selling.
Couldn't agree more!


Here's how the car looks now. I'm hoping to trade it when I come back from Norway. If I can find a good deal. I'm willing to pay a couple of hundred on top of the car. Maybe looking for first generation X5, e61, MB-E or Audi A6.
25264

25265
 

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