Parting Out a Car vs. Selling

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Thinking of parting out a car? Wondering why would I sell my old car to a junkyard? There are three factors you should be aware of when deciding between selling your clunker or selling its parts:

  1. What is your car’s value?
  2. How much are the parts worth?
  3. What would you charge for your time and effort?

How to Get the Most Money for Your Junk Car

Step 1: Contact Salvage Yards for Quotes to Buy Your Junk Car

Anytime you’re considering ridding yourself of an old car, salvage yards will usually be your best option. Some auto salvage yards even offer instant quotes when buying your junk car. As is the case with Pull-A-Part, free towing of your vehicle is often included in the price you are quoted. Salvage companies offer the simplest solution for getting rid of your junk car and getting paid fast – no matter your vehicle’s age or condition. So, make a list of local yards and contact them. Once you have received several quotes, it’s time to find out the value of your vehicle’s parts.

Step 2: Determine the Value of Your Junk Car’s Parts

If you’re comfortable under the hood and have a bit of extra time, it may make sense to remove and sell your vehicle’s salvageable parts instead. While this takes both time and knowledge it is possible to make money parting out cars, depending on the condition of its parts.

After you’ve taken inventory of your salvageable parts (or paid a mechanic to do so), it’s time to determine the going rate for each used part. You can do this by visiting local salvage yards, checking Craigslist or searching eBay. Keep a detailed list of the price range for each part so you can easily total the full estimated value of parting out your car.

Remember, most third-party retailers charge you to sell on their site. For example, eBay keeps 10% of the final sales and shipping cost of each item you sell. Also, if you use a third-party vendor to receive payment for your parts, you must factor in their fees as well. For example, PayPal keeps a flat rate of $0.30 per transaction plus 2.9% of the final transaction rate. Likewise, if you’re going the Craigslist route, don’t forget to consider the cost of driving to your buyers.

Step 3: Decide Overall Benefits of Money vs. Time

Armed with quotes and part estimates, now you must figure in the value of your time. The process of parting out cars involves a substantial time investment. Steps to consider include:

  • Removing each vehicle part without causing damage (view steps)
  • Researching parts market value to determine selling price
  • Creating an eBay account (view steps)
  • Creating a PayPal account (view steps)
  • Posting each item, and determining its weight/shipping rate
  • Promptly replying to buyer questions
  • Packaging parts and shipping them in a timely manner
  • Handling questions/accepting returns if there are issues with your parts
  • Dealing with no-shows and tire kickers (if selling in person)

So, sure parting your car out is doable – but does it make sense? In the end, that’s a question only you can answer.

Additional Considerations When Parting Your Car

In addition to the items above, there are also several other factors to consider when deciding whether to part your car. In fact, as you weigh this decision you may find that it’s the small details that make the biggest impact on whether to part out or sell the entire vehicle to a salvage yard.

  • Digital camera or mobile device with a camera. Whether selling parts through eBay or Craigslist, quality photos matter. So be prepared to take pictures with either a good standalone digital camera or a mobile device that takes clear pictures.
  • Physical storage space. Do you have the space to store a vehicle door or any car parts? When selling vehicle parts, disassembling them is only part of the process. You must also have the space to store and organize each part.
  • People skills. Selling car parts requires you to have a certain comfort level when it comes to dealing with prospective parts buyers. For example, how comfortable would you be communicating with difficult buyers?

These are just a few considerations to keep in mind. Of course, if any of the items mentioned above come as second nature to you then parting out may be the right move!

Selling Your Junk Car to a Salvage Yard

While many steps go into parting out your vehicle, the process of selling your junk car is actually quite simple. It’s as easy as:

  • Calling a salvage company for a quote
  • Setting up a pick-up time for your vehicle tow
  • Being home during your vehicle tow time window

Are there reasons you may not want to junk your car? Absolutely! For instance, maybe you’ve got an old G-Body sedan sitting in the driveway, and you’re uncertain what to do with it – in situations like this it may be in your interest to explore selling to a private vehicle enthusiast. Then again, some salvage yards have tons of experience with classic cars. So, while there are costs and benefits to each course of action, be sure to weigh all factors before deciding.

But more often than not, if you don’t have a lot of time or energy to invest – a salvage yard will be your best bet. Ready to sell your junk car for fast cash? Click here for a quote.

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