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Trading Up: Our First Sale

BCA Auction3

So our task on “Trading Up” into a £10,000 performance car has truly begun. Our little Renault Clio has been fully prepared and we managed to stay within the £500 budget. It has now come time to sell the car. The first thing we had to do was discover what price the Clio should be up for. After researching cars that were similar age, mileage, etc to our Clio we established that we should be looking for an asking price of £950 with immaculate examples achieving £1500. With no service history we knew that the Clio was more likely to achieve the lower end.


Now on to decide where to market the Clio to reach the greatest audience. Our first stop was AutoTrader where we discovered how ridiculously expensive it was to advertise a car with them. At between £20-£40 for just 2 weeks of advertising this would take a huge chunk out of our profit before we had even begun. We truly had to way up the cost of reaching a big audience and the profit margin in the Clio, so we looked at other options before making a decision. Having tried to source a car on eBay we found that low cost cars held their value strongly on the auction site. We decided therefore to go with eBay, although at a cost of £18 for our advert we believed that we could achieve close to the value we were looking for.


Unfortunately, thats not how it turned out. Despite what we believed was a great advert and over 1000 views on the site, the Clio achieved just £450 on it’s first listing and £500 on it’s second; falling short of the £600 reserve we had set. Disappointed we thought we would try our luck with social media, namely Facebook which seemed to have an ever increasing number of buy and sell sites. Our first attempt was at the full value of £950. Unfortunately despite a couple of viewings it was clear that people were unwilling to pay the expected valuation of £950. Therefore after a week of being advertised we reduced the price down to £750.


At this price we were getting a lot of people contacting us and on our very first viewing we managed to sell the Clio. Happy with the car our buyer offered less than what we were hoping for but at £600 we couldn’t be happier to know that our first project had managed a tidy profit. Our overall costs for the Clio were £403 meaning we had managed to achieve a tidy profit of £197 on our first vehicle. Adding that to the remainder of our budget we now have £700 for our next car.

Renault Clio 3

I will reiterate though. This wasn’t an easy task or a quick turnaround like we see on Wheeler Dealers. Just over 2 weeks of advertising and preparing the car for sale, with countless people contacting us there was a lot of work involved in selling the Clio. We have discovered that it doesn’t matter the value of the car people expect showroom condition. We’re hoping that the next car will be a little more straight forward. We have learnt a lot from this experience already especially with the preparation and advertising of the car.

Author – Matthew Pearson



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