How much does the dealer make selling a used car?

I just got done posting an article on detailing how car dealership profits rose last year.

Here is the key piece of information I learned that stunned me:

Used car profit rose a small amount also. The profit per sale increased from $252 per vehicle in 2010 to $269 in 2011.

You don’t have to take my word for it. Feel free to look it up yourself. I’ll wait.

I’ve seen thousands of people over my years in the business who tell me they “know” how much I’m making on a car sale, and what they’re willing to pay me. This is why some folks over the years have left me just shaking my head, as they have no concept as to how little money is actually made on the sale of a car.

You should always shop around for a good deal, but bear in mind that the kind of profit many people think is built into the used vehicle price simply doesn’t exist.


12 thoughts on “How much does the dealer make selling a used car?

    • different dealerships give dieferfnt prices of several thousand dollars sometimes. usually a dealership that gives you MORE for your trade will charge MORE for the car they are selling so it works out to be about the same. what you want to avoid is a dealership that sells THEIR vehicle for a premium, and wants to give you wholesale auction price for yours. These are generally more easily identifiable by the ultra high pressure salespeople. Your best bet is to go to several dealerships and see what they will offer you for your vehicle and the selling price on their’s. Also, take someone with you that is bold enough to help you out of high-pressure situation.

    • I have bought many dirffeent cars, many dirffeent ways. The best is to see it in person, because you get a better idea of what you are getting for the money. I bought my 67 Mustang from a guy my dad knew from work, but I bought my 77 Mustang II off of eBay, because it had the options I wanted (V8, 4spd, A/C). I bought my 87 Mustang through autotrader, and got my 73 through and my 76, I bought from a guy that had just happened to put it up for sale at the base I was stationed at at the time. As far as cheaply fixing it up, I would say do your homework. I have spent many an hour at the local libraries, and online, just researching a vehicle. Plus if you have a particular interest in a certain vehicle model, join a club near you. You may even come across someone who is wanting to sell theirs. I have found that most car guys and gals are like me, we would rather have or cars go for less money to someone who will enjoy them rather than more money to someone who won’t appreciate it.Everyone has their favorite cars, but most real car folks will appreciate the time and effort it took to build a car rather than the dollar amount put into it. Personally I would start with something that has lots of parts available before delving into anything a little more uncommon. You will be happier with the results. The cheapest way to get them looking good is to take time, and do it yourself. If you join a club, you can find people to talk to and can ask them how they did certain things, and usually there are guys that’ll be glad to help you if you need it.

    • As far as i’ve seen, the exicots you can buy cheap i know or close to exicots are viper, supra, s2000, 3000 gt, and i’ve seen a ferrari and skyline for 30 grand but it was really old (early 90s). You can find them on large auto websites. Nobody wants to stay with the same car forever, that’s why they sell them(it takes forever to sell exicots cause sellers want cash for them) and why its easier to buy them like that off the internet. I’m saving up for my own viper or supra. Screw the dealers!!!!

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