buy and sell cars in South Africa as a business

It might sound like we’re stating the obvious, but if you want to maximize your profits, you’ve got to buy a car as cheaply as possible and sell it for the highest amount of money. To do this, emotions need to be taken out of the equation; you can’t simply buy a car that you like in the hopes of finding the right person to pass it on to.
Where to find cars?

Search car auctions, classifieds, olx, and gumtree, junkmail for cars sold by their owner. You will rarely be able to buy a car from a dealer and flip it for a profit, as these cars are generally sold at their highest price. Random people, however, don’t have to pay employees or rent on a lot, and can afford to let go of their used car for much less than a dealer can.

Selling Cars at Their Highest Value

Determine your lowest possible price and your target price before putting the car on the market. Use the same appraisal sites you used when buying the car to set a reasonable price, using gumtree , olx , junkmail and local ads to find nearby buyers. If you don’t care how quickly the car sells, start the price on the high end. If you want it gone quickly, keep it on the lower end and note that you’re firm on the price.

  • Even if you say you’re firm on the price, people will still be looking to negotiate.
  • If the car is high value or a rare find, you might be able to make more money at an auction than a direct sale. Know, of course, that all auctions are a bit of a gamble: you might get way more than you hoped, but you could also get far less.



Get the car checked

Get the car checked out by a mechanic and fix any issues, as long as they are cheap enough to still resell at a profit. This is why you must set your price point early on. If the cost of the repairs makes the care more expensive than you can sell it for, the repairs are obviously not worth it.

Clean the car

Get the car as clean as you possibly can. A clean car is much easier to sell, especially for a higher price. Furthermore, vacuuming and cleaning the windows costs you nothing, despite potentially making the difference between cash in hand and a missed sale.

car problems

Show any obvious defects to the buyer, and include them in your ad. If they know the problems beforehand and still show up, they can’t use them to drive the price down. If they find issues you didn’t mention, however, they suddenly have a few bargaining chips. Being honest upfront may seem like it is admitting to a bad sale, but it only brings in buyers who will be serious about the purchase.
car service

Change the oil, radiator fluid, and wiper fluid if necessary to instantly raise the price. Be sure to note these services in your ad, as buyers will be happy to hear that they don’t have to worry about these little hassles and are generally willing to pay a bit more.

Trust your instincts

Trust your instincts when dealing with buyers and sellers. If a car doesn’t feel right or a deal feels shady, there is no shame in walking away. Hundreds of used cars are on the market at any one time, and your goal here is to turn a profit, not take undue risks. If you’re wary that someone is taking advantage of you or neglecting the entire story, trust your gut and walk away. There will always be more deals on the road.



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