Lakeside

What are we doing wrong?

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Evening all, just joined the forum as I’m after a bit of advice. Me and a mate have been dabbling in selling cars for a few years now on a part time basis, we both have full time jobs in other trades, but are really struggling to find how you guys actually make a living from it?

Our dream is to both go into it full time but if we had it’s safe to say we’d both be bankrupt by now.

We think we’ve done everything properly, we have trade insurance, bca account, another private auction account, a rented storage compound for stock, card machines, receipt books etc. We are purely internet based and advertise on eBay classified, autotrader, gumtree, schpock and Facebook marketplace but it doesn’t matter what type of car we buy we are really struggling to sell.

We have around ten cars in stock at any one time and have tried everything from bangers up to £10k cars, from mainstream to sports to prestige and yet nothing seams an easy sell? Majority of the time our cars are priced within the cheapest in the country too.

For instance currently we have an 09 Insignia cdti in stock, perfect car, mileage is a little high at over 120k but a long mot and it’s cheap, yet it’s been for sale for three months without a single phone call! I’ve dropped the price so low now I’ll barely be breaking even.

Another one recently sold a 59 1.6 focus, been advertised since around March this year and only eventually went last month at cost, again barely any interest. What was more annoying is an identical car sold for £500+fee’s more at the block whilst it was for sale. Makes me wonder why dealers arnt even buying out cars?

Obviously we are selling a few in between with decent margins but they literally are few and far between. Sold two this month but nothing in October and only a couple in September.

Edited by Lakeside

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Answers I have none but welcome to trading in a depressed economy. Expect it to get harder over the next couple of years.

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This year I really struggle with what I call sensible stock. 

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"Evening all, just joined the forum as I’m after a bit of advice. Me and a mate have been dabbling in selling cars for a few years now on a part time basis, we both have full time jobs in other trades, but are really struggling to find how you guys actually make a living from it?"

GO HARD OR GO HOME

In answer to your question I'm actually a major league drug dealer and merely use car sales as a front to launder my money. Profit or not it makes no difference to me.

(In all seriousness though, refer to BHM's response... and d'ya want any gear?)

 

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an insignificant or an old focus both go to council estates,they are the equivalent of the old montego  cavalier vectra etc so im sure if you offered it for a roll of old lino and a bag of snot someone on social media has one better cheaper innit mate

anyone can buy this old shite at the block and try to bubble up

what is your usp

and dont say price because running to the bottom rarely sells cars

one little tip afore yee buy

think whos gonna buy it off you

i wont buy anything unless i see profit in the window

landmarks i leave for holiday soujourns

have you considered joining the imd something that might help?

Edited by s and b
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1 hour ago, Lakeside said:

Evening all, just joined the forum as I’m after a bit of advice. Me and a mate have been dabbling in selling cars for a few years now on a part time basis, we both have full time jobs in other trades, but are really struggling to find how you guys actually make a living from it?

Our dream is to both go into it full time but if we had it’s safe to say we’d both be bankrupt by now.

We think we’ve done everything properly, we have trade insurance, bca account, another private auction account, a rented storage compound for stock, card machines, receipt books etc. We are purely internet based and advertise on eBay classified, autotrader, gumtree, schpock and Facebook marketplace but it doesn’t matter what type of car we buy we are really struggling to sell.

We have around ten cars in stock at any one time and have tried everything from bangers up to £10k cars, from mainstream to sports to prestige and yet nothing seams an easy sell? Majority of the time our cars are priced within the cheapest in the country too.

For instance currently we have an 09 Insignia cdti in stock, perfect car, mileage is a little high at over 120k but a long mot and it’s cheap, yet it’s been for sale for three months without a single phone call! I’ve dropped the price so low now I’ll barely be breaking even.

Another one recently sold a 59 1.6 focus, been advertised since around March this year and only eventually went last month at cost, again barely any interest. What was more annoying is an identical car sold for £500+fee’s more at the block whilst it was for sale. Makes me wonder why dealers arnt even buying out cars?

Obviously we are selling a few in between with decent margins but they literally are few and far between. Sold two this month but nothing in October and only a couple in September.

Hi Lakeside

I can see you are trying hard,but I don’t think you should give up your day jobs just yet.This is a difficult and complex business and most of us started valeting cars when we were kids and worked in garages for several years before venturing out on our own.For a start    Insignias are worth nowt and are suitable only for sub prime finance punters only.A month ago,the Met Police flogged off about  2 dozen 64 plate Sri Autos at 60-70k  for about £3000 each.These were straight cars ,not what you would expect.Forget about making big profit margins and don’t believe what people tell you at the auction.Take note from the pros on here ,ask questions and we will try and help.Just buy nice stock,present it well ,don’t be greedy and you will be OK.Look at car dealer websites for ideas,not just in the UK,I am 50 years into this job and still learning. Good Luck

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Thanks all so far.

I have been in the Motortrade for over ten years, just not the selling game.

Yes the insignia was just an example but I can’t even get £1700 for it! They’re selling for more at auction.

we definitely won’t be jumping in balls deep anytime soon, I just can’t see how some of the full time dealers can actually make a living from it especially with bigger overheads? We feel we’ve tried everything but failed so far. Autotrader was my last hope as i’ve read a few members on here saying it’s the only place worth advertising  but we’re still getting no interest off there. Surprisingly the last couple of cars have sold via Facebook despite all the “last price” idiots.

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lakeside ? are you in the middle of nowhere ? location location location ? 

full time jobs yet doing it two years part time if doing it full time youd be bankrupt can be answered in two ways, [1] pack in then mate [2] do it full time, and work harder.

decent margins on a few ? i dont want to know but are you two pulling too much / expecting too much out of a sale ? are you drawing too much wage ?

why are you trying to be the cheapest in the country ? 

not knocking you here but i constantly meet buyers who bring "friends" to view/inspect cars who "used to do this job" 

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We’re midlands based, we’re only trying to be the cheapest as we feel if we can’t even compete at these prices we’ve got no chance aiming higher.

ill be honest we have had a couple of £1000 profits on a car but that is only now and again on cars we’be been lucky to get cheap on a quiet auction day, our average margin is under £500, more around £200 on a few recently plus a couple of break evens.

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17 minutes ago, Lakeside said:

We’re midlands based...

Buy the old scrap at the end of the day at Walsall and flog for double like these guys.

They've been at it for years changing names every 12 months..

https://www.autotrader.co.uk/services/car-dealers/uk/west-midlands/west-midlands/birmingham/car-place-birmingham-ltd-birmingham-dpp-10001411/sort/default

 

Good luck

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Christ! They’ve got a Chrysler Neon for sale! I can’t remember the last time I saw one of those.

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To be honest it’s not so much the profits we are bothered about at the min, as said we both have other jobs to top up the income, and we are still learning about where the best profits are. It’s more the fact we’re not even getting phone calls, I understand this time of year is quiet but it’s been like it for the last 12 months for us.

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12 hours ago, BHM said:

Answers I have none but welcome to trading in a depressed economy. Expect it to get harder over the next couple of years.

Even if the economy was on fire, shit stock like listed by the OP  would still be hard to shift. Don't blame it on the sunshine, don't blame it the moonlight, don't blame it on the good times, blame it on the buying.

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Lakeside - what are your photos like ? resolution, background, lighting

There's a reason why so many independants do well reselling cars bought off eBay/ forums

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I've been in the trade since 1995 and the margins are smaller now. I've always been fussy and car must have history, be clean and look good. I've never had very high mileage stock. It's more trouble than it's worth. There are thousands of cars for sale so yours have to be very very good. I've never been the cheapest as the cheapest are the rubbish. Let them look at the cheapest before they come and buy mine. 

Ive often wondered how traders make a living when I see some of the shite they buy at the block.Always polished the backside out of a car and vacuum it to near new condition. It works for me and I always normally sale to the first viewing.If only I had a quid for every time I've heard this is by far the cleanest and the best we have seen. We have seen some rubbish. I then think to myself yes you didn't see this when I bought it lol.

Hard work pays off and being the cheapest wil not make the phone ring, it just makes them think it must be a lemon. I have a friend who never repairs dents or scratches and he holds them for weeks. I always touch all blemishes up and clean any stains on interiors, I have a very good paint shop and it works.

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9 minutes ago, Pip said:

I've been in the trade since 1995 and the margins are smaller now. I've always been fussy and car must have history, be clean and look good. I've never had very high mileage stock. It's more trouble than it's worth. There are thousands of cars for sale so yours have to be very very good. I've never been the cheapest as the cheapest are the rubbish. Let them look at the cheapest before they come and buy mine. 

Ive often wondered how traders make a living when I see some of the shite they buy at the block.Always polished the backside out of a car and vacuum it to near new condition. It works for me and I always normally sale to the first viewing.If only I had a quid for every time I've heard this is by far the cleanest and the best we have seen. We have seen some rubbish. I then think to myself yes you didn't see this when I bought it lol.

Hard work pays off and being the cheapest wil not make the phone ring, it just makes them think it must be a lemon. I have a friend who never repairs dents or scratches and he holds them for weeks. I always touch all blemishes up and clean any stains on interiors, I have a very good paint shop and it works.

I whole heartedly agree. I get a nice warm feeling when our customers come into our (shed) showroom and say, 'wow' look how lovely your cars are. I see some crap for sale every day, terrible photo's, filthy interiors, damage hear there and everywhere. My mantra is, why give them a reason NOT to buy it. Like Pip, we detail every car, polish chrome, scrub exhaust pipes, dent man, machine polish, it needs to look as good as it possibly can, good pictures, good bodyshop for bumpers / bonnet paints ( especially on MINI's ) I also really only like to buy stock that I know will sell, bright cars, that when you look at them you say,.... That's a lovely car..... With us its easier I guess, as Most people love a Mini, we sell to 17yr old girls, 80 year old fellas and everyone inbetween.

Look at your oldest car and ask, would I buy it, is it clean, are the pics good, does it start..... Retail is detail.....

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All our cars are valeted and we do get any obvious scuffs and dents done prior to sale. I’ll admit we don’t make them absolute showroom condition but we’re not asking showroom prices. 

I could understand if people were turning up and walking away but that’s the problem, customers arnt even turning up. 

I do have a good record of sale to first viewers when they do eventually turn up though.

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On 12/1/2017 at 7:51 PM, Lakeside said:

All our cars are valeted and we do get any obvious scuffs and dents done prior to sale. I’ll admit we don’t make them absolute showroom condition but we’re not asking showroom prices. 

I could understand if people were turning up and walking away but that’s the problem, customers arnt even turning up. 

I do have a good record of sale to first viewers when they do eventually turn up though.

Sometimes if you're the cheapest around, you'll only attract chancers and idiots looking for a deal.  They'll turn up and expect more discount and just be crap business!

If we could see your adverts I imagine we might be able to tell you whats going wrong.

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Well our dry spell got a bit better this week, 2 sold and a viewing booked for today which unfortunately the customer has had to delay due to the bad weather. Plus a few calls on other stock. 

We’ll see how it goes into new year

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How do you end up with a £1000000 in this job? Start with £2000000,,,,,, seriously though why do you want t sell cars to be the cheapest around? that is just a race to the bottom and also fcuks the job for the rest of us because it sets a benchmark, personally I ignore the cheap bargains as I expect there to be something wrong with it,,, am sure I am nicking this quote off a previous poster off this site................would you buy the cheapest parachute you could find?  

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The pricing was simply because our thoughts were why price it the same as every other car and end up competing with every other dealer out there. 

I suppose we thought surely people would automatically go to the cheapest first.

Being internet based we have very little overheads so our profit margins don’t need to be as big as someone with a pitch/unit etc

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On 12/11/2017 at 2:41 PM, Lakeside said:

The pricing was simply because our thoughts were why price it the same as every other car and end up competing with every other dealer out there. 

I suppose we thought surely people would automatically go to the cheapest first.

Being internet based we have very little overheads so our profit margins don’t need to be as big as someone with a pitch/unit etc

We started out doing that - it doesn't work.

If you're car is coming up cheapest, it won't be long before another dealer with a similar car knocks a bit of their price to undercut you.

That just ends up going around in a big circle and before you know it, you are chopping your prices left, right and and centre to be the cheapest and you just aren't earning anything from it because you can't source the stock any cheaper!

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Sold my pal an old golf early last year in a bundle. He’s had it for sale at 1495 for ever, reduced it to 1195 and still no takers. Decided to stick it on last week at 1995 and it sold same day! Funny old game

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Price is NOT the only thing - timings are crucial but we can't always predict that (apart from 4x4 coming into winter and cabs coming into summer).

You need the cars prepped right, pictured right, good advert without grammatical errors and wait for that one person. MGM makes a casing example!

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