In today’s economic climate of corporate downsizing, layoffs, and unemployment, a lot of people are turning to used cars, when they would otherwise normally be looking to buy a new car. A good many other folks have decided to get rid of their second or third cars in order to put more cash in their pockets.
Both those selling and buying vehicles will, most frequently, first contact used car dealers. These dealers, just like you, are in the business that they’re in in order to turn a profit. So, of course, they have to purchase their vehicles at a low, wholesale cost, and sell the vehicles they acquire at an increased retail price so they can turn their profit.
Although this is just the way of doing business, many people selling their used cars simply refuse to sell their vehicles for what they believe to be less than fair value. Of course, exactly what the average person considers to be “fair value” for their automobile is usually the average retail price of their used car. Dealers, of course, will not purchase a car for such a price, as that’s the price they need to sell the car for in order to make a profit. So, this turns a lot of people off from selling their used car to a dealer. A lot of buyers, on the other hand, believe that the retail price commonly asked by the average used car dealer is somewhat high, and it’s common for people to believe that they can usually get a better price and avoid used car dealer markups by purchasing a used car in a private sale.
Because of this, a lot of people looking to sell their cars may decide to sell their cars on their own in a private sale. And, a lot of people looking to purchase a used car may decide to purchase their used cars directly from a private seller in order to try and save some money on the deal.
It’s not a secret that the private trade of used cars is a huge business. It is a bit of a secret, however, that this huge used car market is actually available to you for tapping into and pulling out some rather hefty profits of your own. And, you never even have to ever buy or sell a single used car in order to do it. If you go about it in the correct manner, you could actually pull a fortune out of this used car market, and at the same time, provide a sorely needed service to the community in which you live. This article aims to familiarize you with that “correct manner.”
HOW TO EARN MONEY SELLING USED CARS WITHOUT ACTUALLY SELLING USED CARS:
In most places, it is required of you to hold a valid dealer’s license if you want to sell used cars. Most states have regulations on the books that allow a person to sell a very limited number of automobiles every year — usually just two or perhaps three. If you wish to sell more than that number in any given year, you’ll be required to obtain a valid merchant permit or dealer’s license. Because obtaining such permits and licensing can be rather cost and time prohibitive, you would be wise to actually NOT sell used cars! So, with that said, you may be asking: If I shouldn’t sell used cars because the licensing demands are prohibitive, then how can I make money by selling used cars? Well, the fact of the matter is that it is exactly because of these very licensing requirements that you can actually become rich by selling used cars without actually having to sell any used cars!
If you did go out and procure a dealer’s license for yourself, you’d be nothing more than just another used car dealer, right? People selling their cars wouldn’t want to do business with you anymore than they would any other used car dealer. And, people wanting to buy a used car would feel the same way. Sure, you could have a go at making a living as a regular used car dealer — many people have. But, that’s not what this article is about. And, you probably don’t want all the hassle involved in setting up and running a standard used cat lot and working every day busting your rump trying to sell used cars.
So, what is it exactly that you’re going to sell if it’s not used cars? The answer is this: You sell a type advertising, and a simple service, that will put prospective used car buyers in touch with individual used car sellers! It’s quite simple and can be very lucrative.
The very first thing you will need will be a vacant lot that will allow you to display the automobiles that you have for sale. Such vacant lots can often be fairly easily found and rented from the owner of the property for extremely reasonable prices. The lots are very often just sitting empty. They’re producing no income for the owner, and they’re costing the owner money in taxes and possibly in maintenance. The owners would love to have someone step in, pay them a very small amount of rent to cover the tax burden, and perform regular and simple upkeep on the lot — like simply keeping it reasonably clean and free from trash and litter.
Once you have found such a vacant lot, and you have entered into arrangements with the owner to use it, you should then set up a simple sign out on the street that reads something like: “QUALITY USED CARS – For Sale By Private Owners.”
The way you will make your money is by allowing the sellers of vehicles to park their cars on your lot. You’ll charge the sellers a small fee — perhaps twenty-five dollars every month for each vehicle they wish to leave parked and on display at your used car lot. Such a price is quite a bit lower than what it would cost them to run an ad in most newspapers and other such publications for the same amount of time. And, they are also getting the added and valuable advantage of having their car openly displayed in a publicly accessible place where any prospective buyer can come by and inspect the car at any time, without first having to make arrangements with them in order to make sure they’re home at the time the buyer wishes to view the car, and what not.
In order to obtain your first vehicles that you’ll display on your new lot, simply get yourself a copy of your local newspaper, or any local publication where people place ads for used cars they’re interested in selling. Look through the ads in the publication and call the people who have their cars listed for sale. When you have them on the phone, explain to them how your service works and make arrangements for them to meet you at your car lot. When they arrive, tell them about the advantages of displaying their car at your lot, and sign them up! I’ll go into details regarding how to most effectively do that later on in this article.
In order to make your new business profitable, you’re going to need to fill your lot with used cars. Keep calling sellers that you find, but, also, you’ll want to run one or more small and inexpensive classified ads in local papers. Make your ad say something like: “ARE YOU SELLING YOUR CAR? Sell it quicker on public display. Call: 123-456-7890 for free info!”
When people call, have them bring their car down to your lot. When they arrive, you’ll want to tell them something along the lines of:
“If you want to sell your car quickly, and for the most money you can get for it, you’ll have to advertise your car for sale. Advertising in newspapers and other publications is ok, but prospective buyers can’t actually see your car in your ad. If your car is displayed here on the car lot, however, they can come by whenever is convenient for them, look it over, and give you a call if they find they’re interested in buying. Most people who see your newspaper ad aren’t interested in buying your car. It will cost you money to run the ad and it will cost you more time and money to make arrangements to show it to the people who actually do respond to the ad. Whereas, if your car is displayed here on my lot, buyers who are interested see the car. The only people who come into the lot are people who are specifically looking to buy a used car and have actually gone out of their way to come and view your car. We, ourselves, constantly run our own ads to bring buyers in to the lot, and we get traffic from people who are just passing by and see the sign. All of these people are specifically looking to purchase a used car.”
After that, if the seller decides that they would like put his or her vehicle on display at your lot, ask that they sign an advertising agreement and that they pay one month’s fee in advance. Your agreement might read something like::
“I, the undersigned, do hereby authorize (your name) to display my automobile (for sale) on the lot located at (address). In exchange for this service, I agree to pay the amount of ($Price), in advance, per month for the display of my vehicle. I understand that (your name) will not enter into endeavors or actions to sell my vehicle for me, but will advertise and publicize the lot in general and its location in order to bring prospective purchasers to the lot to view my vehicle and others on display at the lot. “If any interested party wishes to inspect my vehicle further, or test drive my vehicle, I understand that it will be my responsibility to make all such necessary arrangements with the interested party. I understand that I will pay NO sales commissions or other fees beyond the above mentioned price given in exchange for the procurement of the display space on the lot. “I also understand and agree that (your name) assumes no liability for loss, damage, theft or injury which may be incurred by displaying my vehicle on the lot.” Date: Signature:
Make sure that you include the seller’s name, address & phone number on the agreement.
Once the seller signs the agreement (make a copy, or get the owner to sign two copies — keep one, and give one to him/her) and has paid you the first month’s rental fee, place a sign in the window of the vehicle, which shows the asking price of the vehicle, the owner’s name, phone number, and best times to call.
To get more prospective buyers in to your lot to view the cars you have on display, you’ll want to run a simple classified ad, which might read something like:
“QUALITY USED CARS FOR SALE By private owners. Private sales. View them on display anytime at (your lot address)”
When you have a number of used cars on your lot, you will get various people regularly stopping by to browse the cars. You’ll want to put up a sign somewhere in your lot where its easily visible that reads something like: “FEEL FREE TO BROWSE – Call owner if you’d like to test-drive a vehicle or inspect vehicle further. Purchase directly from the owner. NO Sales Agents. No Commissions. All sales are private sales directly from owner of individual vehicle. Call (your phone number) if you’re interested in displaying your vehicle on this lot.”
It really shouldn’t take very long before your car lot will be packed with cars and interested people viewing them. After just a short while, it should become thee place in town to go browsing for a used car.
If you can fit just thirty used cars on your lot, and only charge a very reasonable twenty-five dollars per month, that will earn you an extra $750.00 every month. If you do it right, you should be able to keep your costs for lot rental and advertising to about $250.00 or less per month. That’s an extra $500.00 a month in your pocket with practically no work involved! If your lot fills up quickly, raise your price slightly. Fitting fifty cars on your lot at a price of $30.00 per car will translate into about $1,250.00 in profit every month.
1) Once you get your lot up and running, it’s a great idea to contact the phone company ask them to put a pay-phone on your lot, so people can always have an easy way to get in touch with the sellers of the vehicles. Believe it or not, not absolutely everybody constantly has a cell-phone on them — even today. If you explain your business model to the phone company, and ask them for a phone, they’ll put one up if they feel it’s warranted. In most places, they’ll also either pay you a monthly fee for having the phone on your lot, or pay you a commission based on the money that pay-phone brings in.
2) In order to get the lot, you might want to think about offering the owner of the property a percentage of your monthly revenue that the lot generates, instead of a fixed rental price, until the lot starts turning a profit.
NOTE: Someone I know rents out unused space on parking lots at various shopping malls on holidays and weekends. He’ll use bright colored tape, flags and banners, with signs at every corner of the lot in order to mark out the space. He charges each seller ten dollars for the display of their vehicles over a single weekend. He advertises in local papers: “USED CAR SHOW Cars for sale by private owners – Saturday & Sunday ONLY- 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. (name and location of shopping mall)” He’ll even have a finance agent on hand that will offer financing for the cars to the prospective buyers. And, he actually receives a commission on each car that the agent finances.
3) In order to gain some additional revenue, you might think about offering sellers a clean-up service for their vehicles before they go on display. You can charge the seller around half of the going rate in your town or area (do a little bit of research and check with “auto detailers” around town to see what they’re charging) to wash and wax the vehicle, give it a good vacuuming, and clean it up inside and out for display on your lot. You can even hire young kids to do the work for you, and offer them half of what you’re charging sellers for the service for each car they do.
4) You might be able to drastically reduce your cost of advertising by setting up a contract with local newspapers and/or other local publication to run all your ads every day for a set number each month. Many such publications offer great discounts if you pay for long periods in advance.
5) Under no circumstances do you want to ever actually get involved with the actual sales of the vehicles. You are simply providing space on a publicly accessible lot — that’s your business. You’re not involved in the actual sales of the vehicles. If you do get involved in the actual sales, in any way, you may be required to obtain a dealer’s license.
6) Don’t put an office on your lot. The signs you put up will tell visitors what they need to do if they’re interested in purchasing a vehicle. It would also be a really good idea to contact the local Police and give them permission to enter and drive through your lot at night.
7) Contact vending machine services and inquire about placing outdoor vending machines on your lot. A lot of people might like to have a soft-drink while browsing the vehicles on your lot. If any vending machine service is interested in placing a machine on your lot, you’ll either earn a placement fee, or a commission from the sales the vending machine generates.
8) Once you get your lot up and running and turning a steady profit, think about setting up other lots in surrounding areas.
NOTE: Not long after this article was first published, one person that I know of employed a very unique twist and found themselves earning loads of cash every week. Rather than renting a lot and using it to display used cars, this person utilizes multi-floor parking garages located in down-town neighborhoods on Sundays when the garages are closed for regular business. He charges the sellers a minimal fee to park their vehicles in the garage on Sunday, and he advertises the Sale by Owner showings on the Internet, TV and in local papers. He then charges prospective buyers a very small fee — just a couple of bucks — as an admission fee to enter the parking garage so they can browse the vehicles. He also has a finance agent on hand and earns commissions from the deals the agent makes. He also invites food vendors and local artists and buskers to attend for free in order to create more of a draw for prospective buyers.
For more excellent and highly detailed information on how to make money selling used cars, you might also want to review the information located at this link — click here.
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