2 3 4 5 6
dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/3/17 10:12 p.m.

I've not been called organized for a long time.. maybe the photos and words are pretty enough to cover for my deficiencies. ;-)

In the interest of figuring out how long this stuff takes and how to calculate my "hourly take" as it were I kept track of my time tonight. I was mostly listing non-MR2 stuff (stuff I had sitting around waiting to sell) that I have already cleaned and taken pictures of. So it's photo editing and posting on eBay only tonight. I worked for 1.5 hours and listed 14 items with buy it now prices totaling $935. I do not expect it all to sell at the asking prices but the prices are based on actual sales so they're not totally out of line. So that's a little under 7 minutes per item but remember that's just the keyboard jockey part of it. The cleaning and photo taking takes less time (I think!) but the pulling and organizing takes more time. Packing and shipping takes the most time of all, I believe.

I would like to know some time so I will try to keep track of my time for a little while. It won't be "to the second" accurate but good for a better calculation than I have done so far. Thanks to Jaynen for raising my curiosity!

The parts sales have been slow. I knowingly priced them toward the top of the market but didn't expect things to go quite this slowly. As 30 days rolls by and my initial round of listings starts expiring, I may start dropping prices in the interest of moving stuff along. My inventory shelves are completely full so I need to sell stuff!

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/5/17 9:34 p.m.

Well, today was a comedy of errors. I had the cut up shell loaded in the back of a friend's truck and it was supposed to rain around 10am. Perfect, I thought. I will go drop the shell at the scrap yard on the way in to work. I got to the yard and gave the scrap guy the title and my ID, verified the vin, no problems. Start tossing very heavy pieces out into the scrap yard and he comes running up saying - whoops - title needs to be in my name or owner of car needs to be present. Keep in mind this thing is cut up into chunks about 150-200lbs each so it's not a car. It's a pile of sheet metal. So, he helps me re-load the truck, and I head out, deciding to try a couple different yards first to see if there was a less "discerning" scrap yard I could drop it at. Nope they all want the title in my name. So I decide I'm getting this done today so I drive halfway across town to the title transfer place. Wait for a bit (and get to coo at a very cute 1 year old girl cuddling with her very cute mom in the next row up) and pay my $58.50 tax and title fees. No bid deal, I had originally planned to transfer the title, it just seemed like it wasn't going to be needed. Then I look on my phone and find that the first yard I went to has a location near me - why not give it a shot. Weird place. There was absolutely no activity outside and there were two loading docks with big steel ramps up to them, one dock says "enter," the other says "exit only." OK, pull in the enter and there's about five guys milling around inside doing nothing and looking surprised to see me. I felt like I was interrupting a meth deal. The first guy comes up to me and says I'll need to "get this thing out of the middle here." Keep in mind I literally just pulled straight into the entrance and haven't blocked anything or done anything at all. I'm about 3' from a fence on one side, definitely not in the "middle" of anything. Those are the first words out of his mouth. Then we start talking about the car, yes I have a title, yes it's in my name, ok we're good to go. It's raining profusely outside at this point so it's great that we're inside. They take a hopper over to me so I can just toss the stuff out of my truck into the hopper while they do the paperwork. I get about half unloaded when the guy comes back and says "woah hold up, I need to wait on a call back, she thinks you might need to take it to our other location." OK why did you bother calling someone? Your manager here said you were good, it's just a pile of sheet metal at this point, once it's on your truck there's nobody going to be looking at it. Oh well, wait a while and she finally calls back. NOPE - they can't do it here. So then what? We have to unload the hopper back into the truck. I had to climb down with wet boots into this greasy ass steel hopper and push heavy sharp steel things up onto the truck while the other, older, guy climbs around on the wet truck giving me heart burn that he's going to fall and face plant and I'm going to feel responsible for a dude's early retirement. We get the stuff back into the truck and I drive in heavy driving rain for a half hour to the other side of town to drop the stuff off at the first yard I started the day with. THIRD TIME'S A CHARM. Paper work is good, I work in the pouring rain offloading the stuff - scrap is unloaded, I pull around to get my money. $37.20. I should have thrown it into the dumpster at work a piece at a time. I got to work in time to eat lunch around noon, soaking wet, and $21 poorer for a whole morning's work. It's done, though.

I did sell the steering rack on ebay last night, so that's nice.

Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
-Part sales $1412
=Total $272.78

Patrick
Patrick MegaDork
10/5/17 9:48 p.m.

Take it in half a car at a time?  Wtf kinda yards do you have down there, the guys up here just want a signed title by anyone, you can even sign the owner's name in front of them.  If it's cut up it isn't a car anymore and requires no papers

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/5/17 10:33 p.m.

In reply to Patrick :

If it has a VIN on it they want the title and owner present. I need to find some less discriminating yards. We have had a huge problem with stolen metal things being turned in as scrap and Columbus has enacted some strict laws about it. I didn't even think of finding a yard that wasn't actually in Columbus. I bet that would make it easier.

When they did take the car, the lady in the office said "where's the rest of it? because if you're scrapping it, we have the title, so ..." meaning they wouldn't take what was left. I said I was selling it, and thought, if it doesn't sell it's going in the dumpster.

chandler
chandler PowerDork
10/6/17 5:36 a.m.

I usually cut them into quarters and unload them without mentioning it's a car. Scrap metal at that point....

jfryjfry
jfryjfry HalfDork
10/6/17 8:25 a.m.

$21 to do the right thing....  crazy. 

WilD
WilD Dork
10/6/17 9:25 a.m.

My father is currently cutting an old diesel Maxima wagon into pieces (only keeping the engine & trans, maybe).  I wonder if he has tried making a run to the scrap yard yet...

dropstep
dropstep SuperDork
10/6/17 9:39 a.m.

As long as you have id and a title regardless of the name they will take it here. I figured the meth heads would have ruined it around here but so far its still easy to scrap an entire car! 

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/7/17 7:43 p.m.

A contact from Craigslist came over (175 miles each way!) to buy the sideview mirrors and ended up leaving with a heck of a deal on all the interior plastics that I had. I was probably going to sell the bin lids (behind-the-seat storage covers) and toss the rest, so I made him a package deal for $60 for all of it. He ended up wanting the (rather poor condition) door panels so I cut him a deal on those too and, combined with the mirrors, cleared another $120 plus a spare tire for my trailer. The best part was that he's rescuing a Spyder that had been stripped out extensively and he was over the moon at all the plastics I had for him. I was honestly going to toss everything I didn't need or couldn't sell for more than $50/ea so that was going to be most of it. I'm just glad it's getting put to use and not put in the dumpster.

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
-Part sales $1532
=Total $152.28

Getting close! Just one or two more parts sales on eBay and I'll be at zero. I'm sure I'll clear some profit. It's hard to add up all the time but it's only been an hour or two here or there other than a few sessions of 3-4 hours. The engine and transmission that I'm using are probably worth $1500+ with shipping so that alone is already a pretty good profit. But I'm sure over the next couple months the rest of my parts will sell, if I can keep up motivation to keep listing them!!

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/7/17 7:45 p.m.

Oh, also, I found out that the driver's side door had been replaced - once I had the inside panel off it was obvious it was originally yellow and had been painted silver to match the car. This car's had a pretty rough life. Well, did have - it's reached the end of it for sure. Good thing it ended up an organ donor, though.

Jaynen
Jaynen SuperDork
10/7/17 8:53 p.m.

What are your plans for the engine/trans? going into another MRS?

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/7/17 9:36 p.m.

In reply to Jaynen :

Yes, I have a 2001 that has a toasted engine (really bad bottom end knock) that I'll be putting them into. The SMT trans for 2003 was a regular 6-speed with a double overdrive and some hydraulic components to shift and control the clutch. Supposedly the stuff from my 5-speed will swap over and make it a manual trans. It'll give me the same 1-5 ratios but 6th is nice for freeway cruising. I drove someone's that had the swap and it was really nice to drop the RPMs by 500-600 or so.

No secrets. I've had the 2001 with a rod knock for 5 years now. I'm excited to finally get it on the road. Things just keep popping up and keeping me away from it. Now's the time, I'm going to start cleaning the motor and car and pulling stuff tomorrow! I'll try to document the proceedings and start a new thread for it. This'll stay my log for parts sales from the '03.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/9/17 9:09 a.m.

I sold the power steering pump for $300. They're often used in electric p/s retrofit applications. I'm officially positive on the car! Though I haven't calculated for eBay fees in this.

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
-Part sales $1832
=Total $147.72 profit

Actually looks like eBay fees will be about $115. So total profit so far is actually $33. Plus the "free" engine and transmission, of course.

I pulled the 2001 MR2 into the lift bay. I'm going to wash it up really good (it's gotten quite dirty from sitting) and get started soon!

markwemple
markwemple UltraDork
10/9/17 9:42 a.m.

Did you enjoy it so far? I've only done this twice, and hated both times! There's always a few items that sell quick and the rest sit around. You've done very well.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/9/17 10:33 a.m.

I'm enjoying it so far. I've actively sold stuff on ebay for 20 years so the logistics part is second nature to me. (Storing, packing, shipping, etc.) The only thing that's different about this is what I'm selling and how I got the parts.

I probably wouldn't have bought this car if I hadn't needed the engine, though. $1500 is too much to pay to make enough money to make it worth while. But the heart wants what it wants.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
10/12/17 9:12 a.m.

I realized I haven't posted many pics lately. Here's what happened to the shell. I cut it into big sections:

Using a sawzall. I started with a cordless and the battery lasted all of about 1 minute. The steel this car was put together with is quite hard! So, I switched to a corded sawzall. (OK, "reciprocating saw," except the corded saw was actually a Milwaukee Sawzall.) Then I loaded it up in the truck and went through the saga detailed earlier trying to get rid of it. Here it is when I actually finally got it gone:

And thus ends the life of the body of the car.

I made a couple good sales and now am very, very happy with the outcome of the deal. Another $710 in parts gone! Still lots to go so I think this will turn out to be a very good deal.

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
+eBay Fees: $185.50
-Part sales $2542
=Total $672.22 profit

If I had to wild guess the number of hours I have in it so far I'd say somewhere around 40 hours. It might read like more but it's literally about an hour or two here and there, none of my "long" sessions went over 4 hours or so, since most of it is done after 9pm and I do have to be functional every morning. (And I paid dearly for those 4 hours sessions!) So right now it's not an awesome per hour rate, but I am keeping some of the most valuable parts for myself. I have a feeling once everything's sold it'll be pretty good. But right now it's around $17/hour. Every part sold will bump that up.

Durty
Durty New Reader
11/6/17 11:41 a.m.

Cheers to a profit and a drive train!

 

I think three are a lot of lessons learned here that will help if you decide to move forward with another part out. If you have stuff moving in and out then you will eventually build up a backlog that can provide a slow and steady revenue stream.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
12/11/17 10:04 a.m.

I haven't been listing new stuff for a while because I've been working on fixing my MR2 instead. That and all of us in the family being sick and having extended family in town for the holidays have made workshop time limited lately. But I have made another bit of sales off stuff I have had listed for a while.

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
+eBay Fees: $217.50
-Part sales $2892
=Total $990.22 profit

And I did convert the 6-speed SMT transmission to full manual to work with my MR2 using Monkey Wrench Racing parts. I've also opened up the engine and have a bunch of seals and accessories to replace. Should be able to bolt it in and get it drivable by Christmas, assuming the family keeps recovering from our cascade of illnesses.

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
12/11/17 10:07 a.m.

In reply to Durty :

Sorry I missed this. I agree - there's a bunch of parts I have that will eventually sell at a great profit but might take time. I need to come up with some "cold storage" that's organized for these parts to get them out of my hair and yet have them be easy accessible for when they do sell. There's a big attic above my garage - separate from the one I use to store packing materials in. I should put a floor in and a nice ladder and use it for long term inventory storage.

maschinenbau
maschinenbau Dork
12/11/17 1:13 p.m.

Nice job with the profitable drivetrain donor! This motivates me to compile all my sale data from the Rice Rod's 2JZ donor car. I think I only made about $500, but I kept a lot more parts such as radiator, front suspension and hubs, brake/clutch hardware, fuel system, etc. I exceeded Challenge recoup limit so now I'm disqualified blush

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
1/15/18 1:01 p.m.

The long tail continues - I sold the ECU for $85. Just about to crack the $3000 level in parts sales and lately I've spent zero time on listings, etc. Shipping parts like an ECU is really simple. Grab box, wrap ECU in bubble wrap, a few clicks of the mouse and a label and packing slip are printed, tape up box, label it, and drop it in the mail box. The modern eBay integrated shipping tools are really handy. I still remember copy and pasting name and addresses between form fields in different programs and even filling out shipping manifests by hand. Thankfully those days are long gone. It probably takes me 10 minutes to ship something like this, including the time it takes to start my music up on the computer after I get into the garage. ;-)

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
+eBay Fees: $226
-Part sales $2977
=Total $1066.72 profit

Jaynen
Jaynen SuperDork
1/15/18 5:44 p.m.

Awesome!

dculberson
dculberson PowerDork
1/23/18 10:33 a.m.

Sold the airbags! I've doubled the purchase price in gross sales and still have the "free" engine, transmission, and body parts. I should sell some of the body parts; they're taking up space and I don't need them.

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
+eBay Fees: $233.50
-Part sales $3052
=Total $1134.22 profit

FuzzWuzzy
FuzzWuzzy Reader
1/23/18 10:59 a.m.

Maybe it's just the analyst in me, but damn do I love threads like these..

dculberson
dculberson UltimaDork
2/1/18 10:59 a.m.

And the original shocks and springs are gone. Took a little longer to ship than the earlier stuff because they're so heavy and large. But I had the supplies on hand so it wasn't too bad.

New totals:
Car purchase: $1500
+Towing: $125.78
+Title fees: $58.50
+eBay Fees: $243.50
-Part sales $3152
=Total $1224.22 profit

2 3 4 5 6
Our Preferred Partners
jq7aEufr8XqBmiwvqd28Pnk4mxejWYtaTGBLlBAJOU1GV9TMRavE0P37gT1WSCf9