Keeping up with auto-body shop tools can get expensive for professional mechanics and do-it-yourself mechanics alike. Tools wear out, get misplaced and lost or cease being effective. Mechanics are always on the lookout for new tools to add to their collections, making the business of tool sales a potentially profitable undertaking. Auto-body shop tools typically can be cleaned and refurbished to make viable sales. Look for a variety of avenues to begin selling used auto-body shop tools.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Market pricing sheets
Familiarise yourself with the market value of various tools by visiting auto-shop retailers and websites that sell used tools. You'll need to know what others are selling used tools for so that when you begin looking for inventory to sell, you can gauge a fair price on which you can build a profit. This exercise also will help you get a feel for what is commonly available through used outlets and where there may be a void that you can fill.
Begin by amassing an inventory of mechanic's tools. Watch for ads in the local papers from mechanics who are retiring or getting out of the business. Search sites such as Craigslist for deals from individual mechanics. Look for tools that are expensive when purchased new such as welding equipment, dollies and workbenches, hydraulic lifts, air compressors, sand blasting tools and towing accessories.
Set up a shop where you can test the tools before you offer them for sale. Invest in cleaning equipment such as a Dremel tool and a sandblaster to brighten tools, remove rust and give them new life. Stock metal polishes such as 3M rubbing compound and hand glaze. Tools bought in bulk often include items that cannot be fixed and others that turn out to be treasures with a little sanding and polishing.
Visit local auto-body shops and let mechanics know about your new business. Pass out business cards and offer to bring your inventory by for them to consider. Check with the owner of a shop to find out the best time to visit the mechanics. You want to establish good relations with the owners so that you will be welcome.
Place your own ads online. Use auction sites where people shopping for tools tend to visit. Bypass all the other merchandise being sold online and attract customers for auto-body shop tools through classified websites such as UsedCar Tools and Autobody Online.
Tips and warnings
- Consider setting up a trade-in plan for mechanics. Provide a credit they can use toward the purchase of different equipment and upgrades. You can encourage loyalty through a trade-in program while continuing to stock your inventory and building up a referral network.
- While auction sites such as PoliceAuctions.com or eBay may provide useful sources for you to sell your inventory, consider the shipping costs when looking at auctions and online sites for purchasing tools to resell.
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