A Bit of Buying and Selling but Don't Call Me Arthur Daley!

My brother brought a van a couple of months ago. He paid over eleven hundred quid for it which I thought was a little OTT but the bloke selling it had polished it up really nice and it did look nice. Without the polish job, he would probably have been lucky to get six or seven hundred quid for it but when my brother saw that gleaming red beast, he just knew it was the one for him.

Anyway after giving it some thought, I've just gone out and got motor trader insurance. It cost £900. I'm not planning on buying expensive toys. Just they what the call in the trade "W*nkers." These are often the cars that are swapped in for more expensive models and the dealers want to shift them on off their lot asap.

You can pick up some bargains. Pull the odd dent out and give it a good rub down with T cut and an electric polisher and move it on with three, four or even five hundred quid on what you paid for it.

Auctions are another source but the cheaper motors are not a big item there because of the aggravation of getting it to auction. You can still pick up the odd bargain again though.

I'm also thinking about getting some trade plates. I've heard that they can be difficult to get hold off for various reasons but they are worth their weight in gold because you are able to move the cars around at a whim. They are particularly useful when having brought the motor, you need to get it back to your gaff from the traders lot or the auction.

So, any ARRSERS on here dabble in cars? Any tips on do's and dont's? I don't expect to make bundles of money but a few quid each month for a decent holiday, maybe a bi-weekly trip to a restaurant and of course to recoup the traders insurance I have paid for would make it worthwhile to me.
 
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
My cousin has done it for years. He started out as you describe, shifting crap around making a few hundred quid here and there and eventually worked his way up to doing classics and exotics, importing stuff from the continent and exporting back again depending on exchange rates etc.

About 10 years back he had 3 or 4 Maseratis, 2 Ferraris, some 911s and loads of Lancia Delta Integrales clogging up his garden.

Everyone thought he'd become a millionaire. The truth was every penny he had was tied up in those cars and he could barely afford to eat.

He's now back to dealing with shit again. He'll rarely take a punt on a car that's worth more than 5k and reckons it's too hard and risky doing the high end stuff. It's not good having loads of capital invested in just a few high value vehicles.

He's now got a rented lock up that can store 20 or 30 cars. Save for some early 90s Bentleys that are worth about 4 grand each, most of his stock is run of the mill dull stuff.

He had a nightmare a few years back when a VW split screen camper he'd chucked £15 grand at, burst into flames in Calais with a rucksack full of cash inside. He's had a shipping company rag the **** out of a Ferrari 348 he had imported, sticking 400 miles on it, trashing two wheels and nicking the Ferrari badges, service history and manual etc. Another time French customs slashed open the leather seats and dashboard of his Lancia Thema 8.32 to search for drugs.

He's never really made any proper cash out of it, doesn't even own a house and if I'm honest it looks like a pretty shite existence if you are relying on it for your living. He's permanently involved in some sort of legal battle or disagreement with someone over a car he's either supplied or bought that's then gone wrong.

Also his house looks like a ******* scrap yard and all his neighbours hate him because he takes up half the road with old bangers.

If it was so easy, everyone would do it.
 
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Ravers

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
Another thing to watch out for is friends and family. Never sell a car to anyone you know.

As soon as you build up a bit of a reputation as someone in the trade, you will immediately become a go to man for "my car needs fixing can you sort it cheaply?" As well as "I need a new cheap motor can you sort me out?"

Invariably in a year when the shit car you sold them for zero profit as a favour breaks down, it'll all be your fault and they'll want their money back.

My old man was a mechanic for years and he gets stitched to do thousands of pounds worth of work for people just for the sake of a pint.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
my neighbour has a front garden full or cars, mostly MX 5's as for some obscure reason he loves them. I don't know if it has any bearing on his son being gay mind.. anyway, he buys them dirt cheap, fixes them up and then flogs them on for a bit of profit. the 200sx he picked up for under £300 is a bit nice, just needed a polish and a new indicator (not available in the UK ,but he has a spare set from a previous car he scrapped) he's already turned down 2k for it.

he does it mainly as a paid hobby
 
My mates dad does this , he used to be head salesman at the local SEAT dealership for ages , but now trades from home . You do have to be careful as i dont think you are allowed to do this sort of thing from home insurance wise . And you will need someone who can do a bit of paintwork for you , he often has to have bonnets relaquered , rust bubbles on archs done etc .

I should also add he spends ALL day on ebay and autotrader as there are loads of people doing the same thing everywhere . Any honest reasonably priced car will have someone on the phone and in a car within a hour or so , its that dog eat dog , with every one from abroad etc.

And you have to balance your time , assesing a car and seeing if its worth spending x amount or x hours for what you can expect to get , and you want to sell them cheap so they go quick . Turnover is the key .
 
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slick

LE
I tried it for a couple of years but got fed up lying underneath motors in the rain trying to turn them around in a week. I recently got back into it in a small way but with mopeds and scooters.
Youngsters rag them and aren`t interested in fixing them so I can pick them up cheap. They also don`t take up much storage space, parts are dirt cheap, and they`re simple to work on.
There`s bugger all down this way so I nip up the line in the van, pick a few up, bring them back, bit of a service, bit of paint, mot and good to go. I can shift up to three a week and make a couple hundred on each.
 
my neighbour has a front garden full or cars, mostly MX 5's as for some obscure reason he loves them. I don't know if it has any bearing on his son being gay mind.. anyway, he buys them dirt cheap, fixes them up and then flogs them on for a bit of profit. the 200sx he picked up for under £300 is a bit nice, just needed a polish and a new indicator (not available in the UK ,but he has a spare set from a previous car he scrapped) he's already turned down 2k for it.

he does it mainly as a paid hobby

I'd quite like an MX5, the trick is to, 'buy one for the missus' so you can just be 'giving it a bit of a test drive mate' if anyone asks. I know a couple of blokes who've done this with MX5s and one with a Boxter- they're never out of the things but it's definitely her indoors motor :)
 
Mx5's are/will be on the up for the original ones . Most are being ragged to death nowadays , owned by chimps painting the bonnets black and covering them in stickers . A good standard one or getting one back to a good condition would earn a nice few quid.
 

theoriginalphantom

MIA
Book Reviewer
you'd have liked the last one he sold, low mileage, soft and hard tops, japanese import with the lightened chassis and stupidly powerful engine. shame about the automatic box but it went like a rocket sled on rails.
We had some fun with the replacement steering box, but apart from that it was quite easy.
 

greyfergie

MIA
Book Reviewer
Mx5's are/will be on the up for the original ones . Most are being ragged to death nowadays , owned by chimps painting the bonnets black and covering them in stickers . A good standard one or getting one back to a good condition would earn a nice few quid.
They're all given the nickname "clitoris", coz every c unts got one........
 
Another thing to watch out for is friends and family. Never sell a car to anyone you know.

As soon as you build up a bit of a reputation as someone in the trade, you will immediately become a go to man for "my car needs fixing can you sort it cheaply?" As well as "I need a new cheap motor can you sort me out?"

Invariably in a year when the shit car you sold them for zero profit as a favour breaks down, it'll all be your fault and they'll want their money back.

My old man was a mechanic for years and he gets stitched to do thousands of pounds worth of work for people just for the sake of a pint.

Try working in IT!
 
Try working in IT!
"Certainly mate, no probs - my commercial rate is......"

If I wanted to spend my free time fixing peoples self induced IT disasters I'd advertise. Feck em all off at high port as soon as they say "You work in IT don't you?"
 
Way back in the dark ages I used to drive cars home for a mate who bought cars at auction and sold them on. He never used to make a fortune but didn't have to work for a living as such either.
 
I buy off ebay.

Buy for Retail price, sell for trade, rarely fail to lose on a deal

I am in an ongoing automotive nightmare version of BBCs "Bargain Hunt"
 
I spent a summer selling motors a long time ago. Worked for a main agent Rover dealership (see, I said it was a long time ago!). I'd never do it for myself. No money in that game, unless you're really, really good at it. And those few blokes make a lot of money. Everyone else gets by.

There are pitfalls left, right and center. Selling new cars, the utter shite that we used to take in on trade had to be seen to be believed. We tried to retail the better ones of course, but most of it went to a bloke that popped round once or twice a week, and took all the shite. For pennies on the dollar. Didn't matter to us, all that mattered was moving new metal. But hell, did that guy have his work cut out trying to value the dross, and not lose his shirt. The big problem is you don't know what's wrong with any of them. It's a lottery, so you play it and set the odds like one; that's all you can do. You can take an educated punt that a 6 yr old Merc is going to be in better nick than a 6 yr old Ford, but if you get that one wrong and it needs a transmission, you need to shift another 5 Fords to pay for the Merc.

In all, **** That For A Game Of Soldiers.
 

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