M5Cars

Startup looking for feedback

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Hello all,

I’m just getting started in this business and would be interested to hear your feedback and suggestions for my approach.

Currently I work full time, but if I can prove the model works I can look at moving into this more seriously in a few months.

I’m working from home and keep my stock in a secure unit. 

Stock is self funded - raising finance to assist growth is a question for the future. 

I have previously worked in digital media and built my own website; www.m5cars.co.uk Each car has a series of high quality pictures and a video.

Currently I work as a sales manager so I’m confident dealing with people. I think I have the skills required to make this work.

I want to sell cars with a value between £10-20k I have decided to focus on BMW’s, in the fullness of time I would like to be recognised as a specialist. 

I’ve had some success buying cars privately. I have an account with BCA & Manheim but for the types of cars I want to deal in, I think it’s important to drive them and plug in a diagnostic first. Even if it means paying a tiny bit more. 

My plan is to build a following on Facebook to assist with marketing, although I suspect that AT will be key to get stuff moving in the early days. I will use all of the other platforms, especially the free ones. 

It would be interesting to know how hit rates compare between PH, AT and Ebay. 

I am FCA registered but as a new business, working from home, it’s difficult to find a finance house who will deal with me. Is this important? Can anyone suggest anyone that may be helpful? 

Any feedback / suggestions / improvemts welcome. 

Thanks 

Stu

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24 minutes ago, trade vet said:

Hi Stu.  Nice website...Are you presently a sales manager in the motor trade .

Hi Tradevet,

Sorry, that was slightly misleading. I’m a area sales manager (Rep) for a wholesale business. 

I haven’t worked in the motortrade before but I have retailed high value items. 

My father in law is a mechanic and the garage he works for is excellent. I’m hoping they can help plug the gaps in my mechanical knowledge and provide support in this area.

I anticipate a fairly sleep learning curve but I’m ready for a challenge!

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Like the website, personally I'd swap the sports wear for a shirt/polo top, but I'm an older fart, and that Z4 sounds like a bag of bolts or is it just a poor recording? 

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1 hour ago, Paddy said:

Like the website, personally I'd swap the sports wear for a shirt/polo top, but I'm an older fart, and that Z4 sounds like a bag of bolts or is it just a poor recording? 

+1 and probably the 4 pot petrol which are pretty horrid engines. 

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4 hours ago, M5Cars said:

Hello all,

I’m just getting started in this business and would be interested to hear your feedback and suggestions for my approach.

Currently I work full time, but if I can prove the model works I can look at moving into this more seriously in a few months.

I’m working from home and keep my stock in a secure unit. 

Stock is self funded - raising finance to assist growth is a question for the future. 

I have previously worked in digital media and built my own website; www.m5cars.co.uk Each car has a series of high quality pictures and a video.

Currently I work as a sales manager so I’m confident dealing with people. I think I have the skills required to make this work.

I want to sell cars with a value between £10-20k I have decided to focus on BMW’s, in the fullness of time I would like to be recognised as a specialist. 

I’ve had some success buying cars privately. I have an account with BCA & Manheim but for the types of cars I want to deal in, I think it’s important to drive them and plug in a diagnostic first. Even if it means paying a tiny bit more. 

My plan is to build a following on Facebook to assist with marketing, although I suspect that AT will be key to get stuff moving in the early days. I will use all of the other platforms, especially the free ones. 

It would be interesting to know how hit rates compare between PH, AT and Ebay. 

I am FCA registered but as a new business, working from home, it’s difficult to find a finance house who will deal with me. Is this important? Can anyone suggest anyone that may be helpful? 

Any feedback / suggestions / improvemts welcome. 

Thanks 

Stu

Really? We operate with motonovo and close bros and are at home.

in the interim try Will @ Meridian Finance and tell him I sent you, he’s a top guy and will look after you 

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4 hours ago, M5Cars said:

 

I want to sell cars with a value between £10-20k I have decided to focus on BMW’s, in the fullness of time I would like to be recognised as a specialist. 

 

I am FCA registered but as a new business, working from home, it’s difficult to find a finance house who will deal with me. Is this important? Can anyone suggest anyone that may be helpful? 

 

If you're selling in this price range then yes offering finance is pretty much a must I'd say. Try Close brothers or Blue motor finance. 

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11 hours ago, M5Cars said:

Hello all,

I’m just getting started in this business and would be interested to hear your feedback and suggestions for my approach.

Currently I work full time, but if I can prove the model works I can look at moving into this more seriously in a few months.

I’m working from home and keep my stock in a secure unit. 

Stock is self funded - raising finance to assist growth is a question for the future. 

I have previously worked in digital media and built my own website; www.m5cars.co.uk Each car has a series of high quality pictures and a video.

Currently I work as a sales manager so I’m confident dealing with people. I think I have the skills required to make this work.

I want to sell cars with a value between £10-20k I have decided to focus on BMW’s, in the fullness of time I would like to be recognised as a specialist. 

I’ve had some success buying cars privately. I have an account with BCA & Manheim but for the types of cars I want to deal in, I think it’s important to drive them and plug in a diagnostic first. Even if it means paying a tiny bit more. 

My plan is to build a following on Facebook to assist with marketing, although I suspect that AT will be key to get stuff moving in the early days. I will use all of the other platforms, especially the free ones. 

It would be interesting to know how hit rates compare between PH, AT and Ebay. 

I am FCA registered but as a new business, working from home, it’s difficult to find a finance house who will deal with me. Is this important? Can anyone suggest anyone that may be helpful? 

Any feedback / suggestions / improvemts welcome. 

Thanks 

Stu

Welcome Stu

Firstly, a nice introduction, very articulate and albeit you're some way off, it is good to have some future vision, a goal.

website looks professional and clean.

Yes, you'll need finance on cars in that price range.

For video appraisals, wear something smart casual, not footie shirts and shorts.

Good luck

 

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8 hours ago, Paddy said:

Like the website, personally I'd swap the sports wear for a shirt/polo top, but I'm an older fart, and that Z4 sounds like a bag of bolts or is it just a poor recording? 

Thanks all for the comments.

I’ve been lurking on the forums for a while and always been impressed with the constructive support offered. 

I don’t own any sportswear/football shirts. (It’s a polo shirt.) but I take your point about what I’m wearing. 

7 hours ago, justlooking said:

Really? We operate with motonovo and close bros and are at home.

in the interim try Will @ Meridian Finance and tell him I sent you, he’s a top guy and will look after you 

Thanks, I will give him a try.

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9 hours ago, have a word with the wife said:

interesting, question, why bmw ? your answer maybe a sales aid, use it.

 

Simple answer, because I like them. I’ve always owned them and enjoyed driving them.

Product knowledge is key to me, it’s so important when selling anything.

I’m sure I will buy other brands, but I aspire to be in a position where I know everything about a focused product group, rather than skimming over the details with a car I don’t really understand. 

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Back in the day i used to be a VW fanatic and almost every car i bought was from the VW family (back when there product was good) i stopped in the end, niche seems to work for some people for me it was just to hard to find the right stock and enough of it to fill the lot with just one brand and then the product turned into a pile of rubbish anyway so it worked out well in the end. 

 

 

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Your website is  really nice looking good work. Best of luck to you.

 

Nothing wrong with wearing shorts etc better than shiny suits and pointy shoes. I am always very casual and think it makes buyers feel relaxed. 

Its going to cost you big time to get a facebook following now its not easy or cheap and for the returns personally I think you are better off just focusing on the proven sites like autotrader and extracting the most from them.

 

 

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11 hours ago, M5Cars said:

Hi Tradevet,

Sorry, that was slightly misleading. I’m a area sales manager (Rep) for a wholesale business. 

I haven’t worked in the motortrade before but I have retailed high value items. 

My father in law is a mechanic and the garage he works for is excellent. I’m hoping they can help plug the gaps in my mechanical knowledge and provide support in this area.

I anticipate a fairly sleep learning curve but I’m ready for a challenge!

I have to say,don’t give up your day job and BMWs have been slow for the last 6 months.Firstly,I think we would all like to sell late low mileage £10-£20k stuff with a 2 grand margin and operate from home.In reality,the mentality of buyers for this stuff is that they mainly prefer to go to franchised dealers.If you did BMWs under 10k miles,you may have a better chance but you have to sell stuff that the punters want and not what you like.i.e If your Z4 had done 80k with fish and it was £9500 ,the phone would ring.Some people make a good living selling ex Met Police X5s and 5 series Tourers,because they are good and cheap for the punters and impress the neighbours who don’t know they are ex Police.........I hope it works for you,but if it doesn’t,take a hit and try something else......we all do that from time to time.

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8 hours ago, trade vet said:

I have to say, don’t give up your day job and BMWs have been slow for the last 6 months. Firstly, I think we would all like to sell late low mileage £10-£20k stuff with a 2 grand margin and operate from home. In reality, the mentality of buyers for this stuff is that they mainly prefer to go to franchised dealers.

With the hugest respect for trade vet I disagree. A LOT of people wouldn't set foot in a main BMW dealer and will comfortably buy from an independent working from home without too much reservation. 

You absolutely have to be able to offer finance if you want to sell (more) expensive cars. You can do it from home, depends on your provider and their rep. 

If I were you I wouldn't start with 10K-20K cars. Start cheaper. Gain some traction, confidence, knowledge and experience dealing with comebacks. No comebacks on newer cars??? Oh yes, there are :-)

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As other have said, nice website! Really well presented and nice see one not riddled with spelling mistakes.

Our local German specialist does solely AT but I know others do really well off FB and with your tech skills i'm sure you could build a bit of a brand on there.

Ditch the sportswear for the video (you did ask for opinions). No one wants a shiny suit these days but someone in a footie shirt is almost as off putting as buying a car from a Midlands postcode from a guy with a tracksuit and one of those stupid Eastern Euro bags they all wear. Just an opinion though.

Nick makes a really good point about the lower price point. You probably know more about German metal than me already but you will make mistakes, it's inevitable in this game and it's better to cock up on a 5K lump than a 15K one.

Also, unless you're doing it for a bit of fun, just remember the fundamentals. I don't mean to sound like a d**k but so many new traders forget. If you earn 1K clear out of a sexy 15K 3 Series and £800 clear out of an ugly 5K 1 Series then you want to be stocking three boring one series not one shiny 3 series. If you only want to stock the sexy stuff then it's a hobby/vanity project not a business.

The forum is a wealth of knowledge, must be an answer to almost every question, so worth reading through a lot of the old posts.

Finally, best of luck!

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I went this exact route, I now sell German between £4k - £9k 

when I started out I wanted to sell £20k Audi’s straight off the bat..... well I bought a mini last night for £2k and sold it this morning for £3290 within 18 hours. What a result.

i can buy 3-4 sensible cars to one £20k lump. We all come in with the best intentions but reality is, you can can earn more from less. 

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7 hours ago, Grantlfc81 said:

I went this exact route, I now sell German between £4k - £9k 

when I started out I wanted to sell £20k Audi’s straight off the bat..... well I bought a mini last night for £2k and sold it this morning for £3290 within 18 hours. What a result.

i can buy 3-4 sensible cars to one £20k lump. We all come in with the best intentions but reality is, you can can earn more from less. 

I have to agree with Grant. You’ll start with the best intentions to just buy 20k stock and then the inevitable big hit will happen and you’ll start to rethink your strategy. 

I like your website and you clearly are articulate and enthusiastic. If you are passionate about BMW’s follow your nose, people buy from people who are knowledgeable and passionate. 

In this game we all do things differently, so when being offered advice cherry pick what’s right for you. At the end of the day you are turning the first page of an unwritten book, you write the story. 

Best of luck ! Simon 

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11 hours ago, Grantlfc81 said:

I went this exact route, I now sell German between £4k - £9k 

when I started out I wanted to sell £20k Audi’s straight off the bat..... well I bought a mini last night for £2k and sold it this morning for £3290 within 18 hours. What a result.

i can buy 3-4 sensible cars to one £20k lump. We all come in with the best intentions but reality is, you can can earn more from less. 

I like that post - As long as there is profit in it I will sell it. I don't get any happier looking at nice cars on the pitch I do get happier taking big chunks of profit out of cars. 

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With a few very nice cars on any pitch a customer gets a lot of confidence when buying cheaper stuff. They then tell their mates how they bought their £5K Golf from "this top bloke that has a pitch full of RS6s, AMGs and M3s". 

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Well there you go, if you ask 10 people, you will get 15 answers!

I think if you averaged everyone’s responses I would agree with you, except on the sports wear - ITS A BLOODY POLO SHIRT! :-)

I will take the point though, if it looks like a football shirt in the videos I will wear something different next time.

There are a couple of reasons for starting with the more expensive stuff, I currently work 50 hours a week and until we move in a few weeks I don’t have any storage space at home so I deliberately want a low volume of higher value sales. 

I also thought that starting with some nice looking cars would add an element of credibility to a new business and make it easier to sell cheaper stuff.

Ultimately, I want to work smart with my money to maximise the margins I can generate.

Despite what I said earlier about brands and price points, I don’t really mind what I sell, i want maximum margin and to work my money hard.

I think to sell online you need a point of difference, I will take on board your suggestions and search for the niche with the best return. 

Thanks all for the input, im sure I will bother you with questions as I get stuck in the future.

PS. I’m based near Taunton in Somerset, if anyone is local and fancies catching up for a pint, the first round is on me.

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Pint of cider mmmm. Yes please and I love Somerset (first job was at Butlins, Minehead)

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28 minutes ago, M5Cars said:

PS. I’m based near Taunton in Somerset, if anyone is local and fancies catching up for a pint, the first round is on me.

Wincanton here ;)

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38 minutes ago, Mark101 said:

Pint of cider mmmm. Yes please and I love Somerset (first job was at Butlins, Minehead)

You must know a thing or two about dodgy sportswear then Mark! :-)

36 minutes ago, Tom said:

Wincanton here ;)

Yeah, it would be good to catch up if you have an evening free. PM me.

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