Author Topic: that one time I flipped a car  (Read 3126 times)

solon

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that one time I flipped a car
« on: May 02, 2018, 03:05:36 PM »
I flipped a car this week. I REALLY liked it. It was easy and I made a good chunk of change. I'm writing it down so I don't forget the details, but also to see if you all have any thoughts or feedback.

My company maintains a fleet of cars. Right now we have 22. We buy 3-5 new cars a year, use them for approximately 8 years or 100,000 miles, and then sell them. We're a health care company. The cars are used mainly for hauling clients and patients to appointments and meetings. The cars stay on-site when not in use, and are well-maintained.

Last week the maintenance manager sent out an email saying our 2010 Chevrolet Malibu with 97,000 miles was being auctioned. Sealed bid, one bid per person. Opening bid was $3,100, since that was the trade-in value.

I took it for a drive. It was pretty dirty, the armrests on the doors were floppy, and hail damage on the hood and roof. On the plus side, no funny noises, shifts smoothly, no leaks, no other damage. I looked it up on KBB, confirmed the trade-in value, and saw that the private party value was $5,800. Hmmm, I think I see an opportunity.

I bid $3,400 and won. The maintenance manager told me the next highest bid was $3,275. I vacuumed and cleaned the interior, glued the armrests back on, shampooed the seats, cleaned the engine compartment, and washed the exterior. I got the oil changed, filled the gas tank, and paid tax and registration. I added it to my insurance. My total cost was $3,803.

I bought it on Thursday and listed it on craigslist on Saturday. One guy came to see it on Sunday, but delayed making a decision. Another guy came on Monday morning and bought it for $5,500 cash.

I've never been so happy to make $1,700 in my life! It was easy and fun. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can do it again. My state only allows three auto sales per year per person, so this isn't something I could do over and over. But I think I'll try it a couple more times this year.
« Last Edit: May 02, 2018, 07:48:15 PM by solon »

gpyros85

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #1 on: May 02, 2018, 04:20:27 PM »
Very nice! Maybe next time don't register the car if you are going to sell?

Gone Fishing

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2018, 05:55:19 PM »
Nice move!

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #3 on: May 02, 2018, 07:26:50 PM »
Very nice! Maybe next time don't register the car if you are going to sell?

That's a good question. It was the biggest expense, besides the purchase itself. I'd like to get around paying it if I could. How can I sell the car if it's not in my name?

JohnGalt79

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #4 on: May 02, 2018, 09:07:46 PM »
Very nice!  What price did you list it for on Craigslist?

gpyros85

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #5 on: May 02, 2018, 09:11:15 PM »
Very nice! Maybe next time don't register the car if you are going to sell?

That's a good question. It was the biggest expense, besides the purchase itself. I'd like to get around paying it if I could. How can I sell the car if it's not in my name?


Donít know if it is legal or not I would research but just hand over the signed title from the previous owner to the new owner, you are strictly middle man. I have done this in Florida several times.

The title shows proof of purchase whoever owns title own car.

Cali

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #6 on: May 02, 2018, 10:47:05 PM »
Congrats on flipping the car!


Also, this story is not what I expected when I read the phrase "Flipped a car" clearly I've seen too many car chases. LOL!

v8rx7guy

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #7 on: May 03, 2018, 12:05:32 AM »
Very nice! Maybe next time don't register the car if you are going to sell?

That's a good question. It was the biggest expense, besides the purchase itself. I'd like to get around paying it if I could. How can I sell the car if it's not in my name?


Donít know if it is legal or not I would research but just hand over the signed title from the previous owner to the new owner, you are strictly middle man. I have done this in Florida several times.

The title shows proof of purchase whoever owns title own car.

It's called floating the title, and as far as my research shows, it is illegal.

Solon, did you pay tax on the car when you registered it?

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #8 on: May 03, 2018, 04:29:02 AM »
Very nice! Maybe next time don't register the car if you are going to sell?

That's a good question. It was the biggest expense, besides the purchase itself. I'd like to get around paying it if I could. How can I sell the car if it's not in my name?


Donít know if it is legal or not I would research but just hand over the signed title from the previous owner to the new owner, you are strictly middle man. I have done this in Florida several times.

The title shows proof of purchase whoever owns title own car.

It's called floating the title, and as far as my research shows, it is illegal.

Solon, did you pay tax on the car when you registered it?

Yeah, I paid sales tax when I bought it. And this whole is-it-legal, floating-title, thing is a scary unknown for me. That's why I decided to make it official and put the title in my name. But it's still a big expense, so if there is a legal way around this, I'd love to know what it is.

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #9 on: May 03, 2018, 04:29:52 AM »
Very nice!  What price did you list it for on Craigslist?

I listed it for the KBB value, $5,800.

sokoloff

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #10 on: May 03, 2018, 05:19:53 AM »
In situations like this, my bid will always end in 1 or 2 (bid $3401/3402 rather than $3400). It can avoid a run-off tie bid or a coin-flip because most people will bid in $20 or $25 (or equivalently, $100) increments.

Car Jack

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #11 on: May 03, 2018, 07:19:45 AM »
Even 3 a year would be good money.

Don't "curbstone" the car (another term for turning over the title from the previous owner without titling and paying tax).  It is illegal and police (at least in my area) periodically go on the hunt for people doing this.  Our state's DMV is simply a branch of the state police, so we really, really don't want to get their attention.

Something else to look into is the lemon law in your state.  In my state, so long as the vehicle has 125k or less miles and sold for more than $700, it's covered and you're on the hook for 30 days.  Now, for a new owner to get a refund, they have to jump through a bunch of flaming hoops.

Also, in my state, saying "as is" means that the car has to be scrapped and can never be registered, so don't do that without first researching it.

honeybbq

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #12 on: May 03, 2018, 11:53:56 AM »
That's awesome! Nice job seeing the opportunity and potential growth in that car with a little elbow grease!

My spouse also works at a health-care company and he does the EXACT same thing with computers and monitors. They auction off nice laptops and computers to employees to make money for various things for patients... He's bought 2k laptops for ~$750. He reformats them, spruces them up, and resells for profit.


GuitarStv

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #13 on: May 03, 2018, 12:03:52 PM »
The last time my mom flipped a car, she bent every panel on it and insurance said it was a write-off.  :P

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #14 on: May 03, 2018, 12:05:18 PM »
That's awesome! Nice job seeing the opportunity and potential growth in that car with a little elbow grease!

My spouse also works at a health-care company and he does the EXACT same thing with computers and monitors. They auction off nice laptops and computers to employees to make money for various things for patients... He's bought 2k laptops for ~$750. He reformats them, spruces them up, and resells for profit.

Huh. I'll keep a lookout for those kind of deals too!

dcheesi

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #15 on: May 03, 2018, 12:46:02 PM »
Congrats on flipping the car!


Also, this story is not what I expected when I read the phrase "Flipped a car" clearly I've seen too many car chases. LOL!
This --then when I saw it was a Badassity thread, the image switched to something more like this:
(╯į□į)╯︵ ┻━┻

Just Joe

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #16 on: May 03, 2018, 02:51:05 PM »
"I flipped a car this week. I REALLY liked it."

I was so confused for a few seconds... ;)

I used to do this when I was single and had more time. Totally worth it and fun too.

meghan88

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #17 on: May 04, 2018, 04:39:05 PM »
In situations like this, my bid will always end in 1 or 2 (bid $3401/3402 rather than $3400). It can avoid a run-off tie bid or a coin-flip because most people will bid in $20 or $25 (or equivalently, $100) increments.

This, for sure.  And, go for the cosmetically icky cars that you can clean up easily, bid low, and don't get emotionally invested so that you won't be disappointed if you don't win.

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #18 on: May 04, 2018, 04:45:19 PM »
I thought about the double meaning of "flipped" before I posted. I was hoping it wouldn't be too confusing. It really is the perfect word for that kind of activity.

meghan88

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #19 on: May 04, 2018, 06:38:13 PM »
I thought about the double meaning of "flipped" before I posted. I was hoping it wouldn't be too confusing. It really is the perfect word for that kind of activity.

worked very well as clickbait!!

dollarchaser

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #20 on: May 18, 2018, 09:20:34 AM »
A coworker has always done side hustling. Recently he flipped a car from an auction. The local police department did the sealed bid thing and he won for like 800 dollars. Rather than a ragged out cop car it was a probation officer car. Hardly any wear inside and they maintain every thing pretty good.

Dicey

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #21 on: May 22, 2018, 11:13:11 AM »
I used to do something similar when I drove fleet cars. It pays to be super nice to the fleet manager. I mostly used the process to score deals on cars for friends and family members, but occasionally sold one for a quick profit. It made me happy to see people continue to drive their deals on wheels for many years. I've been FIRE for nearly six years, but my last one of those deals is still on the road. I see my artist friend driving it now and then. It still looks great and I'm happy to be supporting the arts in some tiny way. She's a plein air painter and needed something bigger to haul her gear to paint sites.

Edited to add: there's another one. I bought my very last company car when the program ended. Post-FIRE, we sold it to a couple of grandparents who wanted it for hauling the grandkids around. DH mentioned he saw it the other day, so that's two still out there.


BTW - In anticipation of someone saying "But I don't have access to deals like that", the point is to be alert for the opportunities that do exist around you. They're out there, but it's up to you to look for them and then act accordingly. Good for you, solon!
« Last Edit: May 25, 2018, 11:29:17 AM by Dicey »

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #22 on: May 22, 2018, 11:19:17 AM »
Thank you, Dicey! <tips hat>

I wonder how many times I can get away with this? If the fleet manager learns I've been flipping, and not personally benefiting from the cars, would he think I'm taking advantage of the system? Should I leave the cars for other employees who may have a serious need for a cheaper car? (I've only done this once, but there will be other opportunities with this employer.)

katsiki

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #23 on: May 23, 2018, 09:45:08 AM »
Awesome!  Not exactly the same but I used to "flip" computer and network gear.  I would buy in bulk from an auction site and then sell on ebay.  This was ~10 years ago but Cisco switches and routers were very easily sold for multiple of purchase price.

mm1970

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #24 on: May 25, 2018, 11:06:56 AM »
I flipped a car this week. I REALLY liked it. It was easy and I made a good chunk of change. I'm writing it down so I don't forget the details, but also to see if you all have any thoughts or feedback.

My company maintains a fleet of cars. Right now we have 22. We buy 3-5 new cars a year, use them for approximately 8 years or 100,000 miles, and then sell them. We're a health care company. The cars are used mainly for hauling clients and patients to appointments and meetings. The cars stay on-site when not in use, and are well-maintained.

Last week the maintenance manager sent out an email saying our 2010 Chevrolet Malibu with 97,000 miles was being auctioned. Sealed bid, one bid per person. Opening bid was $3,100, since that was the trade-in value.

I took it for a drive. It was pretty dirty, the armrests on the doors were floppy, and hail damage on the hood and roof. On the plus side, no funny noises, shifts smoothly, no leaks, no other damage. I looked it up on KBB, confirmed the trade-in value, and saw that the private party value was $5,800. Hmmm, I think I see an opportunity.

I bid $3,400 and won. The maintenance manager told me the next highest bid was $3,275. I vacuumed and cleaned the interior, glued the armrests back on, shampooed the seats, cleaned the engine compartment, and washed the exterior. I got the oil changed, filled the gas tank, and paid tax and registration. I added it to my insurance. My total cost was $3,803.

I bought it on Thursday and listed it on craigslist on Saturday. One guy came to see it on Sunday, but delayed making a decision. Another guy came on Monday morning and bought it for $5,500 cash.

I've never been so happy to make $1,700 in my life! It was easy and fun. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can do it again. My state only allows three auto sales per year per person, so this isn't something I could do over and over. But I think I'll try it a couple more times this year.

How do you shampoo the seats?

Asking for a friend with kids and really dirty seats.

Liberty Stache

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #25 on: May 25, 2018, 12:55:43 PM »
I flipped a car this week. I REALLY liked it. It was easy and I made a good chunk of change. I'm writing it down so I don't forget the details, but also to see if you all have any thoughts or feedback.

My company maintains a fleet of cars. Right now we have 22. We buy 3-5 new cars a year, use them for approximately 8 years or 100,000 miles, and then sell them. We're a health care company. The cars are used mainly for hauling clients and patients to appointments and meetings. The cars stay on-site when not in use, and are well-maintained.

Last week the maintenance manager sent out an email saying our 2010 Chevrolet Malibu with 97,000 miles was being auctioned. Sealed bid, one bid per person. Opening bid was $3,100, since that was the trade-in value.

I took it for a drive. It was pretty dirty, the armrests on the doors were floppy, and hail damage on the hood and roof. On the plus side, no funny noises, shifts smoothly, no leaks, no other damage. I looked it up on KBB, confirmed the trade-in value, and saw that the private party value was $5,800. Hmmm, I think I see an opportunity.

I bid $3,400 and won. The maintenance manager told me the next highest bid was $3,275. I vacuumed and cleaned the interior, glued the armrests back on, shampooed the seats, cleaned the engine compartment, and washed the exterior. I got the oil changed, filled the gas tank, and paid tax and registration. I added it to my insurance. My total cost was $3,803.

I bought it on Thursday and listed it on craigslist on Saturday. One guy came to see it on Sunday, but delayed making a decision. Another guy came on Monday morning and bought it for $5,500 cash.

I've never been so happy to make $1,700 in my life! It was easy and fun. Now I'm trying to figure out how I can do it again. My state only allows three auto sales per year per person, so this isn't something I could do over and over. But I think I'll try it a couple more times this year.

How do you shampoo the seats?

Asking for a friend with kids and really dirty seats.

Some of the carpet cleaners for shampooing rugs in your house have an attachment for small areas/difficult to reach places.

solon

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #26 on: May 25, 2018, 01:12:11 PM »
Yup. We have a carpet shampooer, and it has an attachment just like the one in the picture. It did a really good job too. The seats had some pretty ugly stains, but after the shampoo the seats looked brand new.

10dollarsatatime

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #27 on: May 26, 2018, 10:18:35 AM »
Very nice! Maybe next time don't register the car if you are going to sell?

That's a good question. It was the biggest expense, besides the purchase itself. I'd like to get around paying it if I could. How can I sell the car if it's not in my name?

Donít know if it is legal or not I would research but just hand over the signed title from the previous owner to the new owner, you are strictly middle man. I have done this in Florida several times.

The title shows proof of purchase whoever owns title own car.

Maybe it depends on where you are?  A Utah title has at least two (maybe three?) sections you can fill out for change in ownership.  I've both received and sold with titles that had changed hands a couple of times.  Never had a word from the DMV.  But, Utah is fairly lax in vehicle title law, to the point where there are companies who will help you get a title for an untitled vehicle by bringing it here, getting a Utah title, and then selling it to you in your own state.

GilbertB

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #28 on: May 29, 2018, 01:56:27 AM »
Yup. We have a carpet shampooer, and it has an attachment just like the one in the picture. It did a really good job too. The seats had some pretty ugly stains, but after the shampoo the seats looked brand new.
A trick for hard stains is to wet them (water) and blast them out with compressed air.
It is very effective. The compressor can also be used to blast dust out of seams and hard to reach places.
Top tip, an air filter is a must, compressed air can contain oil and or rust.

meghan88

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #29 on: June 11, 2018, 09:34:26 AM »
Not anywhere near as badass, but I flipped two bikes in the last three weeks.  Bike 1: paid 60, sold for 125.  Bike 2:  paid 20, sold for 110.  I am wanting more!!

Cadman

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Re: that one time I flipped a car
« Reply #30 on: June 11, 2018, 10:27:38 AM »
In regards to the question on how often you can flip a car, I believe it varies by state. Some states have a fixed number and if you exceed it in a year, you're required to carry a dealer license. In IA, it's 6. Of course the law here also states you need a license if you intend on buying and selling cars to make a profit or face fines/simple misdemeanor.