Whether your car is no longer running, had an accident, or has simply seen better days, selling car parts from your old vehicle is a great way to make money. Some people even get into the business of buying salvage vehicles just so they can resell the used parts. It can be as large as selling a car engine or as small as a hubcap.
There are many places you can sell car parts if you can connect with the right audience. While it can be more work to sell individual auto parts rather than selling a whole car, there are many benefits if you’re equipped with an understanding of where to sell and how to effectively make it happen.
If you’re mechanically minded, and equally skilled, parting out a car is a great way to make some extra money and help out others who might be looking for a hard-to-find part. Finding new homes for auto parts in good condition also benefits the planet as it diverts used car parts from the landfill.
Many garages rely on the business generated from selling used parts for good reason—it can be profitable and is very easy to do.
Step 1 - Preparing the Parts
Any used item will bring more value if it’s clean and in good condition. The same goes for selling used auto parts.
Whether you’re prepping a window crank handle or an entire car engine, make sure each part is looking its best. Take the time to degrease, remove fluids, and shine up metal parts. Make note of any possible problems such as cracks, broken pieces, or missing parts and fix or replace them, if you can, before listing the item for sale. If you can’t repair it, make sure the buyer is aware of the item’s condition.
While it is okay to list parts that aren’t in prime condition, it may not be worth your time. Choosing the best car parts for resale will benefit buyers as much as your pocketbook and cut down on wasted time and effort. Test each part to make sure they are in working condition. Remember that when people are considering a used part, they need it to make a repair of their own so focus on quality parts that still have life in them.
With a little practice, you’ll see which used car parts are more likely to sell. Garbage is garbage, even in the resale market so don’t waste time listing low-cost items anyone can easily buy brand new such as oil filters and spark plugs. Instead, look to the most sought-after parts like engines, a transmission with low miles, headlight and tail light units, tires in good condition, and airbags.
Remember there is more to a car than the engine and body. Interior parts often sell really well. For example, pull out speakers and subwoofers, stereo inserts, rearview mirrors, and even the seats.
Step 2 - Where to Sell
You can use a number of services to advertise a used engine and other auto parts for sale. They can be listed on an online auction site or you can simply take it to a parts broker directly and sell it there.
Start by checking in your local community. Depending on where you live, you may have scrap yards, mechanics, and resellers interested in the parts you have for sale.
To make the best profit, however, you want to connect with buyers looking for a specific item rather than those who will only give you a rock-bottom price so they can make their own profit by reselling it again. Be sure to advertise in the right place or you'll be wasting your time and failing to reach buyers who might be interested.
- Facebook Marketplace: Buyers don’t have to have a Facebook account to see listings on the marketplace so it’s a good place to start
- Craigslist: Tried and true, people still scan listings here when looking for used items
- eBay: Another long-running, go-to online marketplace
- Part Swap App: Offers a comprehensive marketplace with search filters and in-app communication with potential buyers
- PakWheels App
- Buy and Sell Motor Parts App
- CarSwap App
Step 3 - Choosing the Price
The value of any item is what a buyer is willing to pay and what price you are willing to accept. With this in mind, you’ll want to price items fairly and in alignment with the auto market.
If a buyer can get an item cheaper somewhere else, they likely will. Similarly, if you price your item well below market value, buyers may suspect a scam and avoid your listing with the fear, “if it’s too good to be true, it probably is”.
To price parts correctly, start by looking at similar parts to compare prices. Consider the condition of your car part when setting the price. Just like reselling cars, the condition of used parts is everything. Think of those Kelley Blue Book listings and how the price changes from a car listed in fair versus excellent condition. Some auto parts listing sites may offer a suggested price to get you started in finding the best pricing.
Spend some time scanning similar parts on the internet. Look beyond asking prices to see what parts have actually sold to gauge the best measure of its value.
As a general guideline, depending on mileage and the condition of the item, used car parts can sell for a wide range, especially if a car model or year has been discontinued. However, here are some general starting prices for an average car part:
- Engine - $500
- Transmission - $250
- Airbags - $150
- Seats - $80
Remember to take shipping costs into account. Selling at a local level removes this expense from the equation.
If you’re selling online, you’ll be able to reach a much wider audience but you’ll need to factor in any additional costs (listing fees, the website or app's percentage of the sale, shipping, etc.). In some instances, such as eBay, you can decide whether you’ll cover an expense like shipping or require the buyer to.
Step 4 - How to Prepare a Listing
Regardless of the platform or platforms you choose when listing your used car parts, you’ll want to make sure your advertisement is accurate and engaging.
Start by taking quality pictures of the parts. Ensure good lighting and take several pictures from different angles.
In the description, include the make and model of the car it came off of, any relevant history about the part such as mileage or age, and every detail of information you can think of.
While potential buyers can ask questions, it will save you both a lot of time if the information is available up front. When customers do reach out with questions you didn’t have answered in your ad, update the ad to include the information. If there’s one question, there will be more.
Whether you’re trying to figure out How to Sell a Car "As Is" or trying to find Car Parts That Are Cheaper to Buy Online, doing your research will help you both find and offer the best transaction.