Are you out to become a professional car refurbisher? Robert Bassam got his start in the car business in this fashion, as it eventually netted him the revenues he needed to expand his business to where it is today.
In order to be successful in this endeavor, though, there are some things that you need to keep in mind when you are acquiring and fixing up your first few vehicles. Let’s go over a few of them below…
1) Should I even buy this car?
Just because you have a car in front of you that is really cheap doesn’t mean you should purchase it. While there are some sellers that offer up their vehicles for a price that is way under its actual book value, many are priced absurdly low due to the fact that they have some serious mechanical defects that will cost many hundreds or even thousands of dollars to repair.
Any smoke coming out the tailpipe, excessive rust, distressing noises coming from the engine, or other signs and symptoms of serious issues should be grounds for immediately terminating the pursuit of a potential purchase.
Instead, focus on purchasing vehicles that have minor mechanical and aesthetic issues, even if their ticket price is higher than the $50 specials that you’ve been looking at lately.
2) Get rid of all rust
Of all the aesthetic problems that a used car can have, the presence of rust is one of the most important ones to tackle.
Its appearance is unsightly and in time, it can impact the physical integrity of a vehicle. Thoroughly inspect the exterior body for its presence, as it can be easily hidden by prior paint jobs.
Once found, sandblast it off, and then repaint the panel on which it was found. No vehicle with rust so severe that it has eaten away at a panel should ever be purchased, as they will need to be replaced completely in order to restore the vehicle to saleable shape.
3) Don’t neglect the interior
Some car refurbishers are only concerned with dealing with exterior defects, often neglecting interior deficiencies that aren’t glaringly obvious.
Last time we checked, drivers need to get into their car in order to pilot it. If the interior is as dirty as the day you purchased it, the upholstery is torn, and the radio barely works, you’re going to have a tough time selling the vehicle for a profit.
By installing new upholstery, upgrading its music system, and giving it a thorough vacuuming, you will be doing everything you can to make the new owner’s experience a great one.
4) Don’t go overboard spending money
While it is understandable to want to make an acquired vehicle as attractive as possible, understand that you are also in the business of making money as a used car refurbisher.
Have a set budget when you set out to fix a car. Doing so will allow you to establish a somewhat predictable profit margin for every car you refurbish, allowing you to create stability in a business where other operators often suffer from wild swings in net profits and losses.
When you are acquiring replacement parts for the vehicles you are working on, do not be afraid to negotiate with suppliers, as doing this for every vehicle will add up to a substantial sum over time.