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Technical The State of the Union: How to Price Parts in This Crazy Economy; a Moral Dilemma

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by crazycasey, Nov 5, 2022.

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  1. Dave G in Gansevoort
    Joined: Mar 28, 2019
    Posts: 1,867

    Dave G in Gansevoort
    from Upstate NY

    Buy high, sell low, make it up on volume!
  2. Hemi Joel
    Joined: May 4, 2007
    Posts: 1,405

    Hemi Joel
    from Minnesota

    Buy low, sell high is not a moral issue. It is capatalism, a great thing. Once you realize and accept that, it doesn't matter how much under market you pay when you buy, or how much mark-up you have in your asking price. The transaction is voluntary. No one is holding a gun on the other party.
    Where you DO have a moral obligation is to be honest in your representation of the items condition when selling.
    phat rat, 5window, winr and 9 others like this.
  3. stanlow69
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 6,980


    If pricing parts is this hard for you. Doing it full time will give you lots of stress. Among many other things.
    low down A and alanp561 like this.
  4. Honesty from the buyer is just as important.
    For instance, when so called friends of a deceased person show up at the home after the funeral. They offer way below a fair price for his best items. If the widow has no idea of the value it’s a feeding frenzy. I’m into all kinds of antique/vintage things and I’ve seen it happen in all of them.
    I’m the dumb ass with just enough morals to tell her what the items are worth. Sometimes there are more important things than just making money.
    impala4speed, Carter, winr and 8 others like this.
  5. My understanding of this (and I’m not a lawyer, or a CPA, but I did study accounting in business school), is that an individual is not able to deduct cost of goods sold on a tax return. When an individual is 1099’d by an “eBay”, they have tax liability for the full transaction amount, unless they prepare a Schedule C filing.

    I mean, the Schedule C filing isn’t that big of a headache, but the average occasional seller just pays 100% of the tax…which is lame.
    olscrounger likes this.
  6. 41rodderz
    Joined: Sep 27, 2010
    Posts: 6,530

    from Oregon

    Rare is a flipper or rebuilder who has the ethics to pay a fair price. Right up there with hens teeth , imho.
  7. I don't agree with this, I have sold Chevy parts at Ford events, Ford parts at Chevy events, Hot Rod parts at oval track swapmeets, and vice versa.

    I think a big issue now is there are so few car guys left, so many now are just guys with cars or trend chasers!

    Car guys are well rounded and interested into all forms of the hobby, hot rod, muscle cars, racing oval track, drag racing etc... car guys have friends who are into other brands/segments of the hobby as well as knowing the value of the cars and parts of other brands.

    Where know there are so many trend chasers on the loose who only care about what's cool now and have little to no care for the history, for them it's just a matter of showing off I paid X for this part or this car, and they don't care about anything not deemed cool by the unwashed masses holds no value to the trend chasers.

    The result has been inflation in the prices because for them it's not a matter of building a period correct hot rod, custom, racecar, muscle car etc... it's a matter of showing off and boasting about how much they paid just like when they were having Pro-Street Splash graphic Boyd-mobiles built!
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
    alanp561 likes this.
  8. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 3,463


    And I don't disagree with you, I've done the same at larger venues. I sell some parts here because I'm more likely to find someone who wants or needs something I have. If I go to a small car show/swap meet in a 100 mile radius from my house, I'm more likely to find buyers interested only in Chevrolet 4x4 parts and engines. There might be the occasional Ford seller and his buyers are looking for 4 x 4 stuff, as well. If I go to the bi-annual All Ford Swap in Columbus, OH, I will have a better chance of selling my Flathead parts or finding something I need than going to a local swap. I've been to the Charlotte, NC swap as a buyer and been highly successful. I've never been to Hershey but would like to just once for the experience. I've had a lot of luck buying things at race car swapmeets, suspension parts especially. For early body parts, I have more success at the Nashville, TN fairgrounds swap. You have to pick and choose very carefully. These swap meets are the salvage yards of our youth.

    Edit: I agree whole-heartedly with your comments about those who buy whatever is trending just so they can try to impress others with how much they spent.
    Robert J. Palmer likes this.
  9. Where do ethics come into this? If I offer you lower then you are asking on an object am I unethical? As a seller you have every right to reject my offer. I’m never mad when someone says no to an offer, I simply explain that’s what I’m willing to pay for that object at that time. I will also never say that a buyer “screwed” me by not paying enough. It’s the sellers choice to sell at that price or not. In my mind had nothing to do with ethics.
  10. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 11,557


    Can’t fault anyone for trying to make the most on what they have, can’t fault anyone for trying to get it for the best price either.
    I’ve given more away in the last few years than sold. I just take the stuff to the UPS store, tell them to pack and ship it, and get reimbursed. Easy for me, no rush, shelf/wall space, bench etc has one less thing in my way. Never asked or cared if the person was going to resell it. I don’t get messages, emails, etc about “has it shipped yet, I payed you last week, etc”. I’ll drop it off at the UPS store when I’m out that way.
    Bob Lowry and Desoto291Hemi like this.
  11. Sorry I kind of rambled there (I edited) I wrote that at 4:00 A.M. while trying to get ready for work and I have had a wicked cold for the last week that I haven't been able to shake.

    I have been tested no Covid or the flu.
    crazycasey likes this.
  12. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 500

    low down A

    doe's the old car HOBBY really need another flipper. with ebay , fb marketplace,craiglist and all the internet group market places. compare all of that to the number of actual current builds going on right now on the hamb.
  13. The value of the dollar is half what it was in the 80's so parts should be about double what they were around 1985. It's not the not so much the sellers as it is the very bad state of the US dollar. Chinas dollar is now the measure of world money, for 50 + years it was the US dollar.
    crazycasey likes this.
  14. Squablow
    Joined: Apr 26, 2005
    Posts: 16,736


    Yes. Anything a "flipper" can grab from a junkyard before it's all crushed out is more goods saved for the future, and if that person makes a profit by getting into the hands of someone who wants it, all the better. Same goes for estate cleanouts and even stuff bought at swap meets, the internet is a worldwide audience and swap meets are not.

    If anything, we need more people doing that. If there was tons of stuff available for sale all the time, there would be more items to fill demand and prices wouldn't be so high.
  15. I don’t necessarily think of myself as a flipper but I certainly try to save as much stuff as I can and if I make a buck or two off of it then great, I’ve shipped parts to a couple H.A.M.B. members.

    Mostly it’s trying to keep the parts in circulation.
  16. banjorear
    Joined: Jul 30, 2004
    Posts: 4,352


    Best advice I've heard in a bit. Agree 100%. Need to factor in what's your time worth as well. Keeping something hoping for top dollar while keep trying to sell it via various means all takes time. Time is money.

    Cash in hand is always preferred whenever I'm dealing with stuff.
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2022
    Budget36 likes this.
  17. alanp561
    Joined: Oct 1, 2017
    Posts: 3,463


    Feel better, OK?
  18. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 500

    low down A

    i guess what you and i call a flipper are two different things. a person that pulls parts off a vehicle in a junk yard works for everything they get, anybody that's done it knows it can be alot of work, now the person that buys a part with out physically doing anything with the intension of resale is a flipper. hope this clears that up for you
    '28phonebooth likes this.
  19. Budget36
    Joined: Nov 29, 2014
    Posts: 11,557


    And what is wrong in your mind with that?
    If you think that’s going happen with a part you are selling, as been mentioned before, you don’t have to sell it.
    I mentioned before I give stuff away, not due to a sob story, etc, but someone needs it and I don’t, what they do with it I don’t care.
    If you care about a part you are selling, why sell it?
    Desoto291Hemi likes this.
  20. Jagmech
    Joined: Jul 6, 2022
    Posts: 127


    Casey- back to your original post, instead of hit and miss searching, stop at the higher end resto/ builder shops to your west, with in a 2 or 3 hour drive, and find out what they might be looking for so you can keep an eye out for something you have a better chance selling quickly, you are in a great location for that. Since you are going to estate sales, no sense walking past a crock for $50 , worth $500, to buy a $100 car part, so stop at any high end antique shop, find out what they would buy , expand your opportunities for flipping since you're on the road anyway, don't limit your efforts to a fading market, check out " Prewar cars" for info on old euro car parts that may have value to your customers. Economy? Screw it, make hay while the sun shines.
    crazycasey and Budget36 like this.
  21. Jagmech
    Joined: Jul 6, 2022
    Posts: 127


    In other words, be a "picker" for anything valuable to sell, you can fit in the truck. You never know how it could turn out, sounds like a great venture!
    crazycasey likes this.
  22. That does sum it up quite brilliantly and is great advice (this and what you said in the previous post), and it’s an excellent spirit in which I should sign off on this topic.

    I want to thank everybody who replied. I really did find this discussion about how people are currently thinking about selling parts (and cars) informative, stimulating, and entertaining as well. I even appreciated the exchange with @HOTRODPRIMER, and, I’m sorry to tag you, because I totally get your not wanting to be bothered by a thread like this, and I too value the kind of escapism that you stated as your reason for that, but I wanted you to know that I truly appreciated the discourse.

    I would like to note, that 24 hours into this thread, I did make a thread in the “What’s it Worth” section, all about the “secret part” that spurred me to make this thread in the first place, and in 48 hours online that post has only received 68 views and 0 responses. In just a little bit longer than that, this thread has received over 3,500 views, 110 responses, and a “Featured Thread” status, so I’d argue the discussion around it has hardly been a waste of time.

    I understand that there are rules, and we all agree to follow them, and we should NOT blatantly break them, but there needs to be a little bit of leeway, when bending those rules serves the community.

    I’m reminded of a time I posted a thread about a broken tool I was trying to fix, and Ryan deleted my thread and told me join Garage Journal. I don’t fault him for it; he created this whole other forum just for tool and garage “stuff”, and he IS running a business, after all. Well, I’ve got a post over there now that I know the HAMB could totally help answer, and it hasn’t gotten a single reply in three days, and barely any views either. It’s hard to not ask the question here, knowing I could probably find the answer, but it is what it is, I guess. There’s always two answers to every question, anyway, but one would require a lot less work.

    Anyway…I digress.

    Thanks again to everybody! I’m going to go get back to work!!


  23. 57JoeFoMoPar
    Joined: Sep 14, 2004
    Posts: 5,732


    As long as you're not misrepresenting a part or fleecing someone through dishonesty or fraud, there is nothing immoral about making money on a transaction.
    phat rat likes this.
  24. oldestman1
    Joined: Apr 17, 2016
    Posts: 25


    I'm perfectly willing to admit I'm a "flipper." When I retired 20 years ago I was going nuts and driving my wife nuts. I accidentally got into hot rod parts for something to do as I had a 50 year background in them at the time . I sell on eBay and my ads are honest and I give perfect descriptions of what I sell. 2600 feedbacks, 4700 sales with 1 negative. My parts are probably the nicest on eBay. Take a look at classichotrodparts and you'll see. I buy low (sometimes) and sell high. If a seller asks me what something is worth, I give him an honest answer. With few exceptions, everything I sell has been restored. I don't have a single collector gene in my body. I sometimes fall in love with a restoration and keep it on my desk until I finally decide to send it to a new home where it will be mounted and run.

    I am an absolute freak for Edmunds parts. I've sold over 175 of them. My biggest gripe is the regulars at the swap meets who watch me on eBay and bitch about how much I sold his part for. He has no idea of how much money and time I've invested in the part that I bought from him at the price he was willing to take. The fact that it no longer resembles the part he sold me means nothing to him. I'd be embarrassed to tell you how little I make for an hour of my work. There's parts I make big bucks on, but they're really few and far between and the expenses eat that up. With the exception of some of my really cheap parts and some parts I leave untouched for collectors, everything I sell has been restored to like new condition.

    I feel there's nothing wrong in flipping parts if you're dead honest to the buyer and seller. The seller got what he wanted and the buyer's getting a part he wants and/or needs. This is getting as wordy as my ads, so I'll stop here.
    partsdawg and Tman like this.
  25. 5window
    Joined: Jan 29, 2005
    Posts: 9,146


    Post up your question. The worst that can happen is that it will get deleted. But, maybe an answer will appear before that. No harm in trying.
  26. nrgwizard
    Joined: Aug 18, 2006
    Posts: 1,937

    from Minn. uSA

    Hey, oldestman1;
    Since you restore the parts to like-new condition prior to reselling, I wouldn't classify/identify you as a "flipper". Parts Restore, or savior, yes. & restored-to-new-condition are worth more than just-aquired-dirty-condition-ukn parts. Flipper to me is the other end of that spectrum.
    Happydaze likes this.
  27. MCjim
    Joined: Jun 4, 2006
    Posts: 739

    from soCal

    You would be surprised how many are willing to pay more for beat up, dirty original junk...just another trend that needs to die. I disassembled an old Harley brake assembly, cleaned, bead blasted and repainted it, put on new lining and made it functional again...all the "patina"scenesters whined that I ruined it.
  28. low down A
    Joined: Feb 6, 2009
    Posts: 500

    low down A

    i'll buy original as found, untouched ,unfuckered parts anyday over what most flippers call restored
    stanlow69 likes this.
  29. corncobcoupe
    Joined: May 26, 2001
    Posts: 6,603

    Staff Member

    Leeway ends at anything with a political mention, reference as to a reason why something is what it is.

    Also anything newer than 1965 unless the body style didn’t change for a year or two beyond 65. There are a small number of exceptions.

    No Pony Cars - VW Bugs - Big Semi Tractor Rigs.

    Also later model wheels, even though they look like they’re vintage, big 17,18,20 “ plus wheels is a no.

    When in doubt , ask a Moderator first before posting.

    Remember, Moderators follow the rules set up and delete basically for editorial reasons.

  30. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 17,394

    from oregon

    Not to pick nits but 16" wheels were one of the standard wheels on 60's diggers.
    Tman likes this.
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