I was out at an auction in Measham just a few weeks ago and got talking to a couple of traders who have a dealership in Coventry. I had popped into the business lounge, as there was a car at another location that I wanted to bid on and so wanted to use the Internet. There was only the one computer left available and I was using that and the other two traders asked if they could use it for a few minutes to check a couple of trade prices. That’s how we got chatting. They asked what I was bidding on and they were surprised I was bidding on a £50,000 car. They asked if I had a local dealership and I told them I just rented some land to store the cars on. The one lad told me he rented a dealership and had to make £2,000 every WEEK just to break even! When I told them I had to make less than 10% of that they were shocked. Not only was I buying and selling more cars than them but I had seriously less overheads!
Funnily enough I was at Measham a week later and was chatting to another dealer. We were looking over the same car. We were both just doing a pre inspection and we got chatting. He told me he used to own a local main dealership for a prestige brand. I was impressed. He had owned it for 15 years. He then told me the best thing that ever happened to him was when a man came into the dealership and offered to buy it from him. He said that he had to make £15,000 a week to keep it going. He now enjoyed life more selling cars from home!
Car Dealing From Home
Many full and part time traders start, or end up selling cars from home lol. Its a great way to limit your overheads or to see if this is the right business for you before you take on a dealership or premises or before you decide to just keep your business manageable and keep trading from home. Some full time traders stay with selling from home and never take on a premises, after all running a ‘brick and mortar’ business comes with serious overheads such as rent, rates, utilities and staffing costs.
I totally understand some people don’t want to trade from home. Trading from home will mean you will have to have people coming in to your house all the time. So what are the options available to you?
Trading from home
If you have enough room to store the cars at home (or you may just have one car on the go) then you could choose to either set one room aside at home for this business to be run from. If you have a garage you could use this (especially if its already converted to an office like mine is) or you could buy a garden office, its something that’s becoming more popular all the time.
Rent a piece of land
I also rent a piece of land where i store my cars. It’s a really good option. You could also put a port-a-cabin or garden office on the land too. The best way to find a local piece of land is to search for somewhere that stores caravans. I’ve loads near me and it’s exactly what I currently do.
You could also visit your local independent dealers and ask if they would take your cars on consignment. Now you have to leave room for a profit for them too but they will store, insure and advertise your cars for you. More stock equals more sales all round.
Rent a lockup or unit.
As you get more and more cars, especially prestige cars, you may find you need to rent a lockup or unit. Industrial estates offer perfect facilities for this type of storage but you now may well have to pay rates on top of the rent. Look for areas that might have incentives for new businesses to move in to and remember to make sure you fully understand all the overheads you are opening yourself up to.
Home trading has many advantages. But remember to always look after your customers and think about your neighbours too. Its fun, rewarding and a great business to be in, when done right.
If you are new to this business you should also think about coming on my Car Auction Buying Course. You wouldn’t drive a car without learning first so why try and sell as a trader without learning the correct way to do it. You don’t have to, but why make the mistakes you’re likely to make, when you can learn the right way to do it in the first place.