Buying and selling car parts for spare cash can be a great way to make some extra money. However, there are a few things you should know. First of all if you are buying and selling car parts in Hawaii you will need a parts license, I have a guide here that will help you get that done. http://www.pacificaa.com/blog/how-to-get-a-parts-license-in-hawaii/
This article will cover:
- How to choose parts to sell
- How to price the parts to sell
- How to acquire the vehicle to part out
Finding and pricing the right parts: The fastest way to find out what parts are worth selling and how much to sell them for is to go to Ebay and run a search for the specific make and model of vehicle. Then sort by price, highest to lowest. This will only tell you what parts people are currently selling and for how much, not what the parts are actually worth. To find out what the parts are you want to pull and how much they will cost you must scroll down on the left hand side and check off the box for "Sold Listings". Now you have a convenient list of parts that have recently sold and for how much they have sold for starting with the highest value items! Thank you Ebay! this will allow to calculate what to pay for a vehicle at auction or off Craigslist and how much the parts off that vehicle should theoretically bring you.
Another great way to find the right parts to sell, and price them appropriately, is to start reading the forums for a particular make and model of car. For instance, the Brakes off of a Subaru Wrx Sti will fit multiple models of Subaru and are highly prized among the Subaru community. To find this sort of information out you can peruse the "for sale" section of Subaru specific Forums such as NASIOC.com or IWSTI.com. Each manufacturer will have a dedicated forum that will have specialty part information available.
Another way to do this is to Google common problems with (make) (Model) of car. If you were looking for common problems on a Honda Odyssey for instance, you would find that they had a lot of transmission problems. This would make a working transmission for that vehicle a high demand, and thus high value part.
Generally speaking however, newer vehicles have parts that are worth more money than older vehicles. Parts for new model cars cost a lot of money from the dealer and will have very few available parts on the used market. For instance, If you buy a wrecked 2016 GMC truck with power mirrors for instance, you can get 500 plus dollars just from the mirrors. The market has not been saturated with wrecks to pull parts off yet so a wreck is somewhat hard to find. This drives up prices on the used market. Thank you scarcity, coupled with exorbitant dealer pricing (each mirror from the dealer is right around 900 dollars).
Older cars can have valuable parts as well but generally you will be looking at specialty parts for cars over 12 or so years of age.
Where do you purchase wrecked cars from? Their are a number of nationwide auctions such as Manheim, IAA, and Co-part. These are the big 3 of auctions. IAA or Insurance Auto Auction allows public buyers with a sign up fee of, last I checked, 75 dollars. Don't quote me on that it has been a while. Co-Part also has a large number of insurance salvage vehicles. Manheim tends to have the higher end vehicles from lease returns and such so you're best bet is probably IAA and Co-Part.
IAA can be found here: https://www.iaai.com/
CoPart can be found here: http://www.copart.com/
Don't forget your small local auto auctions as they can be a great resource as well. Other places you may be able to get cheapish parts cars from are tow yards and even your local pick and pull. Typically Junkyards price items in batches, for instance an alternator will cost X dollars. If you know an alternator for a certain vehicle will bring a lot more it's an easy way to make a few bucks without the hassle of disposing of the whole car.
Remember that their are local ordinances setup to protect the consumer and the environment when it comes to dealing in the used parts market. Neither the government nor your neighbor is going to pleased with you hacking up a car in your driveway. The fluids in a car are considered to be hazardous waste and should be dealt with accordingly. I'm not going to begin to go down this road as these rules and regulations differ from state to state and county to county. This is however something to be aware of.
Don't forget to take your time into account when stripping a car. These things take a lot of time to find purchase and disassemble.
In the next post I'll get into disposing of the car once it's stripped and drained of fluids.