Buying and selling used cars can be an extremely profitable business, but how much you can make will always depend on several different variables. Those variables include location, availability, and how cheaply you’re able to purchase the vehicles. With this in mind, you can flip a car for profit almost anywhere in the world, as long as you can make enough profit.
Where to find used cars
Finding a great, gently used car anywhere can be a bit tricky, but if you live in a location like Nigeria, it can be even more difficult. The vast majority of Nigeria used cars are imported, but if you have the means to get the vehicles to your customers, you stand to make a lot of money. Most used auto flippers tend to find their inventory at auctions. Online auctions are some of the best places to get good deals, but they’re certainly not the only way to shop.
Other places to find used cars to flip include Craigslist, in-person auctions, used car lots, Auto Trader, Facebook groups, and local papers. Most of these take a little more time than online auctions since you might have to physically go to the locations to get more information, but the search is often worth the effort if you’re able to find a great deal.
Decide how much to spend
The first thing to consider is how much you’ll be able to sell the vehicle for. If your goal is to continue doing this to make some cash, it’s important to become as much of a pricing expert as possible. Most of the time, you’ll have time to look up a car’s value before you make a decision, but if you’re in a pricing war at an auction, you’ll have to think fast.
The best way to do this is to study the Kelly Blue Book. Start with a few makes and models you know to be popular in your area and learn their values for the past few years. Then, decide how much you’d like to make for the venture to be worth your time. Keep in mind that anyone buying from you will want a bargain as well and try to price below market value. A good starting profit is around $500–$1,000.
Inspect your cars
If at all possible, it’s a good idea to inspect all your vehicles in person. If you’re not an expert in this area, try to make friends with someone who is. You might even partner with a mechanic, combining funds to purchase inventory. This will ensure that he or she is as interested as you are in making sure you’re making sound decisions.
If you’re not able to enlist the help of a good mechanic, you can do the inspections yourself. You just need to arm yourself with some basic knowledge. First of all, check the body condition. Look for any rust or major damage that might deter potential buyers. Next, look at the lights and lenses. Make sure they’re all in working order and completely intact. Also check the sound system, pedals, fluids, and battery. Most importantly, give it a good test drive, both around town and on the highway whenever possible to make sure it runs well.
Do your research
In addition to researching the prices on your cars, you’ll also want to find out as much as you can about their history. For example, you can enter its VIN at SaferCar.gov to find out if there are any recalls. You can also check it out on the NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) to make sure it hasn’t been stolen. Other sites like Carfax also make it easy to see if a vehicle has been in an accident and how many owners it had.