Your idea of the used car salesman may be forever changed by this particular case study. It’s not super difficult to obtain a license to deal cars in most states. In the state of Michigan, for example, there are ten types of car dealer licenses and the cost to obtain a license varies from $75 t0 $160. However, becoming a car dealer usually requires a significant initial investment. Even if you skip the traditional route and focus on “flipping” (buying and quickly re-selling used cars) cars, you still need to buy that first car up front.
Unless you choose to export vehicles, which is our cool home business idea this week.
The Vehicle Exporter locates cars in the state where she lives for people in other countries who want to buy cars. Her particular target customers live in a country in West Africa. Typically, prospective customers make initial contact with the Vehicle Exporter and provide her with a budget and the type of used car they wish to purchase. If she doesn’t already know the market value of the car, she does a quick scour of the local market to ensure she is able to meet her customer’s needs. After that, she calculates the shipping costs and other fees, and adds her administrative fee. If the total costs fall within the buyer’s budget, she agrees to the deal.
Unlike traditional auto dealers, exporters collect buyer fees up front. Exporters use the buyer’s money to locate, purchase and ship the car.
If you would like to get into car sales but are not able to make the initial inventory investment, working as an exporter may be a good choice for you. While the exporter in this particular cast study is also a mechanic, you want to make sure you include the cost for your mechanic to inspect any car you consider buying ahead of time.
- Skills inventory: Strategic thinking, credibility, organizational skills, boldness, mechanical skills
- Physical / virtual inventory: Transportation to view cars; if you don’t have mechanical skills, you will need access to a trusted, dependable mechanic
- Launch cost:
Marketing: Begin forging relationships with people you know who still have close ties to their native countries. You definitely want to have your own website and spread the word through your close network. There is an entire website dedicated to providing U.S. Companies with assistance exporting goods and services at www.Export.gov.
This post is an excerpt from my book, 70 Cool Home Business Ideas for Women Who Think Outside the Box. 70 women share 70 case studies of 70 creative and inspirational home business ideas.