Is there any money to be made buying from salvage auctions?

Is there any money to be made buying from salvage auctions?

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Discussion

Byard

Original Poster:

539 posts

144 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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I was thinking of doing this, not really for the money but it would be a nice bonus, I was wondering if anyone has any experience in buying salvage vehicles, fixing them up and selling them?

What costs are involved with a VIC check etc also?

Thanks

Big Rod

5,918 posts

186 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Bookmarked as I've been thinking along the same lines myself of late.

I doubt you'd ever get rich from it, but it'd be a good source of beer tokens.

Mr serge

197 posts

152 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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I used to deal with salvage stuff all the time but stopped over 10 years ago,its not worth the bother these days,

J4CKO

34,692 posts

170 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Need to know what you are getting into, my dad and uncle dabbled and did ok but at home you are limited in what you can take on without jigs or whatever. Also a lot of stuff needs airbags or the interior is ruined, more complicated with intercoolers and aircon in the front, multiplexed wiring, having to "marry" modules to cars etc etc and to be honest, to the public the salvage places arent that cheap, we used to see pretty bent stuff that wasnt far off the price of an undamaged one, think all the best stuff changes hands in the trade and the remainder offered to the public.

mat205125

16,290 posts

183 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Big Rod said:
I doubt you'd ever get rich from it, but it'd be a good source of beer tokens.
If you've got the time and the space to have lots of bits sitting around for a period of time, then I think that the better way of making money from a "salvage" auction, is to do just that .... pick up a car for as cheaply as you are able to, and break it into its most valuable components. Sell on the good (diesel injector pumps, xenon headlights, airbags, AC parts, diesel injectors, catalytic converters, dampers and springs, lock sets, window motors etc), and then send the rest of the car off to be cubed.

These cars parts must be worth more than their sum in many cases????? Shirley!??

lost in espace

5,401 posts

177 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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mat205125 said:
If you've got the time and the space to have lots of bits sitting around for a period of time, then I think that the better way of making money from a "salvage" auction, is to do just that .... pick up a car for as cheaply as you are able to, and break it into its most valuable components. Sell on the good (diesel injector pumps, xenon headlights, airbags, AC parts, diesel injectors, catalytic converters, dampers and springs, lock sets, window motors etc), and then send the rest of the car off to be cubed.

These cars parts must be worth more than their sum in many cases????? Shirley!??
Yes this is my thinking, OK which auctions should I be looking at?

OldSkoolRS

3,977 posts

149 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Mr serge said:
I used to deal with salvage stuff all the time but stopped over 10 years ago,its not worth the bother these days,
Me too (well it was more like 15 years ago now). I did try again once when between jobs and I lost my company car, but I was caught out with the changes and had to get a VIC check done as it turned out to be a Cat C. Lost money on it in the end, thankfully not much and I wasn't too bothered as by then I'd got another job with a car.

I used to make more money (in % terms) on the older cars that had very minimal damage: Back then this was cars like Mk2 Cavaliers with a bent front bumper/ slight scratches. You could get spares cheaply in the scrap yards, but the biggest issue was putting it through an MOT as I often spent more money on the MOT than the repairs if I was unlucky. I don't know what the equivalent would be these days...maybe a 10 year old Vectra/Focus, but with airbags, catalysts etc, there is more to risk getting an MOT on it afterwards. Maybe breaking for spares would be more profitable, if less constructive.

Snowboy

8,028 posts

121 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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As with any business opportunity, of course there's money to be made.
But the money to be made is going to be effected by the amount of time and effort (and money) you invest.

There are economises of scale to consider too – just google used car parts and you can see there's some big investment in the business.
Then, look on abay for parts and you'll see a huge number of small companies trying to do the same thing.

You might be able to undercut some of the big boys as you have low costs and overheads.
But, how many cars will you be able to have sitting around at any one time – will you strip them bare and keep all the parts labelled and catalogued – or will you leave a dozen wrecks in a old barn and strip them as needed.

I doubt very much if you'll make much profit just doing it as a sideline.
Not unless you look out for repairable wrecks – or perhaps buy something that's just got huge bodywork damage and re-shell it.
Even then you might be on a hiding to nothing.


Edited by Snowboy on Monday 3rd October 16:43

sim16v

2,170 posts

171 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Used to do them 10-15 years ago and made a bit out of them.

Plus the family had years of cheap motoring.

A bit more difficult now, but still money to be made, or cheap motoring/track day cars etc.

Other option is buying and breaking for spares.

jas xjr

11,309 posts

209 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Somebody told me the salvage cars make a lot of money because in a lot of cases they are repaired with stolen parts/ cars

Snowboy

8,028 posts

121 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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I know of (friend of a friend) a bloke who make some cash providing cars for the 3 series racing circuit.
He looks for 3 series that have been flooded or had small electrical fires.
Then he buys them up, strips them out, puts in a roll cage, fire kit, harness, etc and sells them on as ready to race.

He then sells on the bits he takes out on the second hand market.
Apparently it's a good little business.

Jamirecluse

465 posts

121 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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You'd probably be better off just buying tatty cars with cosmetic damage than anything that has structural damage.The returns would be about the same and you wouldn't have to mention that it's got a dodgy history.....

...although I'm sure most wouldn't bother to do so anyway.

excel monkey

4,103 posts

197 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Separate thread here.

Quite a bit of legislation to get around, if you're looking to do it commercially, even if only on a small scale.

http://www.pistonheads.co.uk/gassing/topic.asp?h=0...

johnpeat

5,326 posts

235 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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If you want to buy Cat C and D cars, fix em and sell em - there's little stopping you.

Ditto taking parts off and selling them - tho you must, once you're finished stripping it, show that the car was disposed of properly. That's usually just getting a scrap cert. from a scrapyard and filing it with the DVLA.

The VIC check isn't always required (check the DVLA website) and when it is, it's quick and simple and costs £41. It's really just checking that all the serial numbers match up and you've not cloned a car or made it from more than 1.

The hard part is finding people to BUY the cars - people are terrified of Cat'd cars and trying to sell them without disclosing the fact they're Cat'd probably isn't wise, in the long term (tho it's not illegal so long as you're not asked).

Cat B (must be broken) and Cat A (mainly burnouts or totally destroyed cars) require a proper breakers licence - that's probably not something you're going to bother with...

johnpeat

5,326 posts

235 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
quotequote all
lost in espace said:
Yes this is my thinking, OK which auctions should I be looking at?
Before I tell you where to go, you need to realise that selling 2nd-hand car parts is a massive PITA and far, far harder than you think.

Not only will it take time and cost money to advertise them, but people will expect them delivered 'instantly and for nothing' and they'll want YOU to tell them if it fits their car (and deal with the problems when it doesn't) and they'll want one in silver, not black and...

It's a huge ballache - basically...

As for where - there are a tonne of sites like BlueCycle, MotorJunction and CoPart as well as smaller regional operations all over the country. All will require proof you're a trader before you can register/bid/buy (online or in real life) - that's basically a business registration number and a letterhead (VAT reg. not necessary).

Be prepared to get oily...

johnpeat

5,326 posts

235 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
quotequote all
Examples - here's a Golf 1.6S 1999

http://www.bluecycle.com/car-salvage-auctions/1505...

12 years old - over 100K miles - had a pretty decent rear-end shunt (the bumper is hiding most of the damage I suspect) and it's Cat C (which although it means nothing in reality, looks worse to punters).

It's at £75 with a few hours left - it's worth maybe £1000 in perfect nick so repair is clearly not viable (as a Cat C it's worth a LOT less) and therefore that's an Engine and front-end/interior parts bin I guess?

sim16v

2,170 posts

171 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
quotequote all
Lots of people talk about what you can and can't do, as well as talking about making no money or making a fortune.

Best way is to buy one and give it a go, as you have to start somewhere.

And if you do it as a hobby, one every couple of months, you don't have regulations stifling you.

Do you want to make a living from it, or just a little bit extra, or are you happy just having a cheaper than market price car?

I personally stuck with stolen recovered/very lightly damaged cars.

I used to stick to Mk2 Golf GTIs when they were worth £2500-3500 retail.

They were bought at auction or salvage for £500-1000, would need £100-500 spending on them then if not used, would be sold for £2000-2500, about £500 less than normal market price.

I'm a bit out of touch with it now though.


johnpeat

5,326 posts

235 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
quotequote all
and here's the other end of the market in history terms - the unrecorded stolen recovered...

http://www.hbc.co.uk/cgi-bin/zyview/D=vehicles/V=b...

Seems to me to be pricey already!?

sim16v

2,170 posts

171 months

Monday 3rd October 2011
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Last Saab I bought was a nightmare to deal with.

95 900 Cabrio bought with a knackered clutch for £350ish.

Broke it got £200ish back in quite quickly, but the remaining bits (substantial including engine/hood/leather interior etc) have taken about 7-8months to get rid of.

Probably up to about £750-800 now, so not bad for a hobby, but you need to be prepared to hang on to stuff, or find out what really sells well.