Rice Burner Money Turner!
It's been quite a while since I authored a flip on the site, so given that I recently sold a car, I think it's high time for an update from the automotive life of DDon.
The last time you heard from me in this context I was parting out a 1993 Z28. Parting out a car piece by piece and selling on Craigslist is a challenge in and of itself, but it also requires quite a bit of patience and a long ROI. What I'm getting at is that I still haven't sold all of the parts off of this thing. There comes a time when parting out a car where the list of things you have sold becomes quite exhaustive, and as such when people ask if you're still parting out the car, you have to respond with a "Yes, but it depends on what you need." Obviously the things in high demand sell quickly, and are oft requested by multiple people long after they are sold.
Once you reach this threshold, it becomes necessary to essentially list components of the car piece by piece instead of a single ad that says "Parting out 1997 XYZ." Even if you update the ad with all the parts you have available, as well as the ones you have sold, people will always assume that the ad has not been updated, or they don't take the time to read it at all because they think it's faster to call you up and ask instead.
No dude. I don't have the transmission. If you read two lines past "parting out," you would have known that already.
So that's where I am with that car. I still intend to post an update after a few more parts have sold, namely the engine block and a few body panels.
Back to the topic at hand. I sold what has been my daily driver for the last year and a half. Without further ado, this is how I received the car, sold to me by a friend who gave me the smokin' hot price of $1000.00
Now you're probably wondering, well, what was wrong with it? Honestly, not much at all. There was obviously some body damage that needed replacement or repairs, but nothing that required complex laser frame alignment tools or anything like that. The A/C didn't work, and there were a few small cosmetic issues with the car on the interior. The cherry thing about this car was the drivetrain. The Type S option on a 2006 RSX gave this thing a K20Z1, one of the highest output 2.0L motors that Honda manufactured at the time. In it's stock configuration, it pushed 200 horsepower. Pretty spicy. It was also coupled with a 6 speed manual transmission, because automatics are for casuals. It ran GREAT and needed no work when I received it mechanically.
Here's the cost breakdown of what I spend on the car, and at the bottom my earnings from the sale and other extracurriculars:
I killed it on this deal. Considering the average price of fuel has been about 2.30 in my area for the last two years, and I put 16,000 miles on the thing, I spent $1,533.00 on gasoline for the time that I owned the car. Combine that with two or three oil changes with filters in that mix (about $35 per change with full synthetic), and I probably ended up coming extremely close to driving for FREE for 18 months!
Now, this isn't a true to form flip because I drove it so long, but it is a shining example of waiting for the right deal at the right time, and using a little know how to save yourself some expense over the years.
Now, there was a fun supplement to this flip I feel is quite worth mentioning. Shortly after I fixed the car up, I thought I'd throw it on Craigslist to see if I could get anyone to bite on it for $7,000. The KBB was decent for the car at the time I fixed it up initially, and I figured someone who really wanted it might come out of the woodwork. Not knowing the difficulty I would have with selling this car in the future, just such as customer came along, and lo and behold, he offered me $6,000 for the car, which I politely declined, because in my infinite wisdom thought I could get more for it. He was my first visit, after all.
If I had sold the car then, I wouldn't have made approximately $1000 of the repairs that would befall me in the next year, and would have walked away with a healthy 4500 profit.
When I finally committed to selling the car probably 9 months after that, I started the listing at 6K thinking it would sell quick. It didn't. I whittled the price down, little by little, until it was finally listed for very close to what I took for it - my final ad before deletion said $3600 firm (hint, even firm doesn't really mean firm if someone actually wants to get rid of something).
So there you have it. I could have taken 6K and been a happy man, but I thought I was smarter than the deal. I still don't feel that I lost out because I got to drive the car for a good while and came out ahead.
To summarize, here's what I learned from this flip:
1.) When you're offered a pile of money after having done almost no work, just TAKE IT.
It all worked out in the end but this would be a horse of a different story (and significantly shorter) if I had taken my first potential buyer up on his initial offer.
2.) People have a difficult time seeing through cosmetic defects.
The layman cares about looks and almost nothing else. The only serious buyers that offered me close to my asking price were in it for the drivetrain and didn't care about the paint. I had a series of disappointed people come look at the car and decide to low ball the crap out of me because I guess it costs $55,000 to have a seat reupholstered? I couldn't understand them. Oh well.
3.) It behooves you price something low, and sell quick.
The more time an item for sale sits at a high price unsold, the more people are going to look at the car that may actually be interested if the price was lower. They may purchase something else or similar instead of yours because you think your thing is more valuable than it is. I am confident that if I had initially listed the car for $4500 instead of $6000, I would have sold for more money, much more quickly.
Until the next flip!