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http://www.forbes.com/sites/benzingainsigh...y-in-the-world/

 

"System D" is a ten trillion dollar a year industry.

 

 

interesting read, I went through my local list and do not see any real deals but my novice eyes might of failed me. If DC is on your chart keep me in the loop. This defintely has potential :)

 

System D here I come!

 

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interesting read, I went through my local list and do not see any real deals but my novice eyes might of failed me. If DC is on your chart keep me in the loop. This defintely has potential :)

 

System D here I come!

 

I'm working on a project right now that has grabbed my attention full time. Once I've got a break, I'll try to re-engage on this.

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Joe, just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to figure out the goods/bads? Any advice on spotting stuff, or do you just browse and then cross reference on ebay and stuff like that? I have two retired/semi-retired parents at home who have all the time in the world and looking for stuff to do. Seems like a good use of their time.

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Joe, just out of curiosity, how long did it take you to figure out the goods/bads? Any advice on spotting stuff, or do you just browse and then cross reference on ebay and stuff like that? I have two retired/semi-retired parents at home who have all the time in the world and looking for stuff to do. Seems like a good use of their time.

 

Not long, really. But what I'd recommend is looking past "stuff" and looking for desperation or stupidity. That's actually a much better tactic than looking for types of things at certain prices.

 

I know it's sort of hard to comprehend. The idea of looking for types of people, or types of situations, or general areas- but that's where you'll really find the homeruns.

 

Your semi-retired parents can help you a lot. I use a program to scan CL every day in central texas. Getting through the crap is half the battle. Just eliminating the dealers/flippers/scammers/casual sellers and filtering out the people that really need to sell- that's where your folks can help out.

 

The way I do it is eliminating certain listings. Then what I'm left with is a about 20% of the daily listings. From there, I can read each one in detail to find desperation. That's something that you'll just have to learn how to do, as I doubt that your folks can read between the lines to find. You might lose a few gems, but it would be nice to have 80% less listings to browse.

 

To put it another way, they might be able to help with the "X's" but they won't be able to help with the red circles.

 

 

 

cl_ss.jpg

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Interesting thread Joe, This script wouldn't be too hard to write in a web language and search it self every hour with alerts. But it would take a bit of time to code it nicley. It actually would be kind of cool as a phone app but that would take far too much time, rather make a web app with a mobile interface.

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First car flip was a grand success. 2002 Dodge Stratus SE 151k. No engine noise at cold start, no smoke. My sniffer said everything was good on the test drive and all the fluids were in perfect condition. Was really dusty/dirty in the jambs, engine bay, everywhere from living in central Oregon. Single family owner since new. Grandma pulled part of the front bumper cover off on a parking barrier. Bought for $1500, ordered new painted front bumper cover from eBay for $244 shipped, paid $100 to have a friend do the throw-me-down detail in/out, spent ~$50 on front emblem and fasteners for the bumper cover. Sold it Saturday in the middle of a move for $3750. Damn near doubled my money and invested maybe 3-4 hours of my time. Thanks for giving me the motivation and guidance to make it happen Joe!

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First car flip was a grand success. 2002 Dodge Stratus SE 151k. No engine noise at cold start, no smoke. My sniffer said everything was good on the test drive and all the fluids were in perfect condition. Was really dusty/dirty in the jambs, engine bay, everywhere from living in central Oregon. Single family owner since new. Grandma pulled part of the front bumper cover off on a parking barrier. Bought for $1500, ordered new painted front bumper cover from eBay for $244 shipped, paid $100 to have a friend do the throw-me-down detail in/out, spent ~$50 on front emblem and fasteners for the bumper cover. Sold it Saturday in the middle of a move for $3750. Damn near doubled my money and invested maybe 3-4 hours of my time. Thanks for giving me the motivation and guidance to make it happen Joe!

 

Very good to hear. This is about "right" for a safe flip. Your sniffer did you well! Congrats!

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I think I'm just kind of out of the loop on some of this stuff. I can't image people buying a 1992 car for $2000. It just seems like such a rip off considering what $2K could get you with $2K down on something like 10 years newer.

 

Hard to imagine there are buyers out there for cars of this age.

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I think I'm just kind of out of the loop on some of this stuff. I can't image people buying a 1992 car for $2000. It just seems like such a rip off considering what $2K could get you with $2K down on something like 10 years newer.

 

Hard to imagine there are buyers out there for cars of this age.

 

Being able to pay cash and own a car outright and being able to put a downpayment and have a car payment for 3-4-5 years are 2 completely different things for most people. There will always be buyers for the bottom of the car market as there will always be people hurting for money, people that have NO money, people that cant get a loan of any kind, etc. In all honesty out of ALL the used cars I have had over the last 10 years (almost 20), the "cheap" ones (retired daily drivers/ex-commuters, "spare" vehicles, etc.) are the easiest ones to resell, requiring very little time and effort. A quick classified ad and they are sold within a week. Trying to resell $20k car can take more time to move, unless you price it incredibly low (not that they are hard either, but the more expensive the car, the more narrow the market).

 

In my experience once cars get under that $3000-4000 price range, the number of owners can start increasing rapidly as they change hands alot. It sounds laughable on a Lamborghini board (lol), but the truth is, for the "average" non-exotic seeking American, there are plenty of "decent" reliable cars that will get the job done for most people in the $3000 or less range (used Honda Civics/Toyota Corollas/Ford Focuses/etc that will go 200k + miles on the stock drivetrain, and so forth). Are they as reliable as a $12,000 pre-owned Honda Civic with a warranty? Of course not. But there are plenty of people who will risk having to call Triple AAA once a year for a tow if their old car breaks down, in order to own their car outright and have the title in hand.

 

Just my .02.

 

 

 

 

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People have finally started to realize that having all of their household income spent before the check arrives is a bad idea. I always wondered what those people did if there was any kind of unforeseen expense...

 

 

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In my experience once cars get under that $3000-4000 price range, the number of owners can start increasing rapidly as they change hands alot. It sounds laughable on a Lamborghini board (lol), but the truth is, for the "average" non-exotic seeking American, there are plenty of "decent" reliable cars that will get the job done for most people in the $3000 or less range (used Honda Civics/Toyota Corollas/Ford Focuses/etc that will go 200k + miles on the stock drivetrain, and so forth). Are they as reliable as a $12,000 pre-owned Honda Civic with a warranty? Of course not. But there are plenty of people who will risk having to call Triple AAA once a year for a tow if their old car breaks down, in order to own their car outright and have the title in hand.

 

Just my .02.

 

There is some credibility to the concept of depreciation to zero. However...

 

Most cars made since 1980 have a bottom value. Either the engine is 800 pounds of aluminum, or the parts are rare, or there are expensive electronics... The salvage value of a car- it is VERY hard to have a car be worth less than $500. Even scrap value is above $500. Generally, if it runs, people are willing and capable of paying another $500. For a running, operational car- you're looking at a floor of around $1000.

 

So, a $2000 car is VERY nice compared to a $1000 car. Accordingly, those are the fastest cars to sell- those in the $2000 to $5000 range. Above that, and there are some budget restrictions.

 

You can sell 10 $2000 cars in the time it takes to sell 1 $20,000 car. That's an overgeneralization, of course, but the point is the same.

 

$500 Scrap Value at a junkyard

$1000 if it runs

$+500 with air conditioning and heater

 

Beyond that, it's a function of desire and condition. If you buy a running, decent condition car for less than $1000 you're very likely to make money. That simple.

 

 

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  • 3 weeks later...

For those of you who have been following the search tools for geo-targeting, the URL for the regional searching is:

 

http://www.searchtempest.com/

 

It will just be a matter of time until CL shuts it down- but they might figure out how to P2P the system. I think the big fear is that CL would rather grudgingly support one of these well organized filters, instead of having to chase down 5000 of them running the same scripts on different sites.

 

 

 

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For those of you who have been following the search tools for geo-targeting, the URL for the regional searching is:

 

http://www.searchtempest.com/

 

It will just be a matter of time until CL shuts it down- but they might figure out how to P2P the system. I think the big fear is that CL would rather grudgingly support one of these well organized filters, instead of having to chase down 5000 of them running the same scripts on different sites.

 

 

Searchtempest has been around for ahwhile so they probably arent going anywhere anytime soon. allofcraigs has been around for a bit too. I think there are a certain few sites who have followed guidelines and not make more of a hassle for CL that they are not forced to shut down.

 

How has things been with this lately Joe? still finding good deals? getting to comfortable? any changes?

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Searchtempest has been around for ahwhile so they probably arent going anywhere anytime soon. allofcraigs has been around for a bit too. I think there are a certain few sites who have followed guidelines and not make more of a hassle for CL that they are not forced to shut down.

 

How has things been with this lately Joe? still finding good deals? getting to comfortable? any changes?

 

Oh sorry, what I didn't make clear was that we are getting our application and script to work with Searchtempest. My bad.

 

WRT business, you know I'll say this. I think it's important to look at yourself and assess weaknesses honestly. I have a very bad habit as an entrepreneur. I can pretty easily get a fledgling business up and going pretty quick. I can conceptualize, organize and execute by myself or with a very small team.

 

To be candid, I can usually get to a point where a business concept or idea can be profitable within 2 to 3 months. I know right away if something is going to cash flow, and where the weak points are.

 

On this project I helped 4 people directly. One is making $25K a month. Two are making $8-$10K and one is just as dumb as a box of rocks, and I just cannot get him to generate any money- and he takes 60% of my time. I don't charge people anything to do it, as they were my guinea pigs. But between my team, they are generating about $50K a month pretty consistently. Not setting the world on fire, but certainly a decent living.

 

So, I've reached a point where it just not interesting to me on this level- I'm getting complacent and frankly bored. I found a group of folks (they found me, actually) that want to turn this into a real business and I'm entertaining the idea.

 

But I've never had a "home run" business and I'm sure it's my own internal failings. And I'm really hungry for a big deal, something that changes peoples life and makes me and my family a lot of money. But mostly, I want to make life better for people on a grand scale. Something meaningful. Something that's a tool to dig people out of poverty, depression or hopelessness. To date, I've only had one real good 7-figure liquidity event and I'm hopeful that this one might be a winner. We have our eye on an orphanage in Haiti that we give to now, but we'd really like to set them up for long term adoption success. It takes so, so very little to make enormous change in that environment.

 

Sorry for the moment of inflection, I didn't want to re-direct the conversation, but you asked! :-D

 

-joe

 

 

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Oh sorry, what I didn't make clear was that we are getting our application and script to work with Searchtempest. My bad.

 

WRT business, you know I'll say this. I think it's important to look at yourself and assess weaknesses honestly. I have a very bad habit as an entrepreneur. I can pretty easily get a fledgling business up and going pretty quick. I can conceptualize, organize and execute by myself or with a very small team.

 

To be candid, I can usually get to a point where a business concept or idea can be profitable within 2 to 3 months. I know right away if something is going to cash flow, and where the weak points are.

 

On this project I helped 4 people directly. One is making $25K a month. Two are making $8-$10K and one is just as dumb as a box of rocks, and I just cannot get him to generate any money- and he takes 60% of my time. I don't charge people anything to do it, as they were my guinea pigs. But between my team, they are generating about $50K a month pretty consistently. Not setting the world on fire, but certainly a decent living.

 

So, I've reached a point where it just not interesting to me on this level- I'm getting complacent and frankly bored. I found a group of folks (they found me, actually) that want to turn this into a real business and I'm entertaining the idea.

 

But I've never had a "home run" business and I'm sure it's my own internal failings. And I'm really hungry for a big deal, something that changes peoples life and makes me and my family a lot of money. But mostly, I want to make life better for people on a grand scale. Something meaningful. Something that's a tool to dig people out of poverty, depression or hopelessness. To date, I've only had one real good 7-figure liquidity event and I'm hopeful that this one might be a winner. We have our eye on an orphanage in Haiti that we give to now, but we'd really like to set them up for long term adoption success. It takes so, so very little to make enormous change in that environment.

 

Sorry for the moment of inflection, I didn't want to re-direct the conversation, but you asked! :-D

 

-joe

 

I certainly get your point. I figured at somepoint this was going to seem like there is no scale or no leverage in the market. You can make a great living at it, if you want a job. I can't see this being turned into an actual company, that isn't the point. I find it funny when you get people that just want to turn everything into a ,Inc. Somethings like this rely on people and sweat. This is a great way to learn the art of the deal and make good money in the process. Otherwise you are just re-inventing "the ebay store" trying to turn it into a company.

 

Joe, there is plenty of oppurtunity to hit it big and help the world, you know this! You've already helped a few people out of a hole, and in fact probably many more as this thread has been spread around several other forums. Your findings have already probably helped hundreds of people turn $200 into this and several motnhs forward rent and food money, you just dont always get to hear about it.

 

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Oh sorry, what I didn't make clear was that we are getting our application and script to work with Searchtempest. My bad.

 

WRT business, you know I'll say this. I think it's important to look at yourself and assess weaknesses honestly. I have a very bad habit as an entrepreneur. I can pretty easily get a fledgling business up and going pretty quick. I can conceptualize, organize and execute by myself or with a very small team.

 

To be candid, I can usually get to a point where a business concept or idea can be profitable within 2 to 3 months. I know right away if something is going to cash flow, and where the weak points are.

 

On this project I helped 4 people directly. One is making $25K a month. Two are making $8-$10K and one is just as dumb as a box of rocks, and I just cannot get him to generate any money- and he takes 60% of my time. I don't charge people anything to do it, as they were my guinea pigs. But between my team, they are generating about $50K a month pretty consistently. Not setting the world on fire, but certainly a decent living.

 

So, I've reached a point where it just not interesting to me on this level- I'm getting complacent and frankly bored. I found a group of folks (they found me, actually) that want to turn this into a real business and I'm entertaining the idea.

 

But I've never had a "home run" business and I'm sure it's my own internal failings. And I'm really hungry for a big deal, something that changes peoples life and makes me and my family a lot of money. But mostly, I want to make life better for people on a grand scale. Something meaningful. Something that's a tool to dig people out of poverty, depression or hopelessness. To date, I've only had one real good 7-figure liquidity event and I'm hopeful that this one might be a winner. We have our eye on an orphanage in Haiti that we give to now, but we'd really like to set them up for long term adoption success. It takes so, so very little to make enormous change in that environment.

 

Sorry for the moment of inflection, I didn't want to re-direct the conversation, but you asked! :-D

 

-joe

 

 

I want to be a guinea pig. :icon_thumleft:

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  • 2 weeks later...

Hey guys,

with the permission of a few of the ladies and gentlemen that I’m mentoring, I’d like to share some of the progress they’ve been making.

 

Essentially, I’ve got a group of 5 people that I either work directly with or am in pretty consistent contact.

 

So here’s what we’ve got after three months of trial and error:

 

Guinea Pig #1

JD

Focusing primarily on computers, tablets and digital cameras.

We started him off looking at CL>Austin and CL>San Antonio. Was buying 2 or 3 laptops a day. Moved to just Austin, since the margins are pretty slim on those. Focuses only on Austin computers as a category now.

 

September : Purchased 35 laptops. Average profit per laptop was pretty slim at $50.

October: Moved to laptops and tablets. Purchased over 100. Average profit per item jumped substantially to $120 per item- almost exclusively due to iPads.

November: Lost a lot of tractions and only bought about 100 units and average per item dropped to $90.

December: Haven’t seen him except once. I suspect in January we'll hear from him.

 

Guinea Pig #2.

ER

Exclusively buying iPads. The man is a road warrior. He’ll drive to Houston to buy an iPad and make $50. Literally driving 5000+ miles a month.

Started in November. Purchased 250 iPads in November and December. Sold every last one of them. Average profit : $110. Self-sustaining now, needs no new $$$

He logged over 360 HOURS on his iPhone in November.

 

 

Guinea Pig #3

CF

Focuses on Motorcycles, quads, ATVs, jet skiis stuff like that.

September: 0 units

October: 15 units, average profit was $950 per unit

November: 25 units, average profit was $800 per unit

December so far: Has pretty much stopped buying stuff in December, can’t find any deals.

 

Guinea Pig #4

AR

Focusing exclusively on gift cards and event tickets.

Started in September working next to me, at my desk. Buying from Austin/San Antonio/Waco/Houston/DFW

Average per-item profit is about $40. She was uncomfortable telling people how many she does. I’ll say this: thousands. She never holds on to anything longer than 72 hours, or she lets it go for what she paid for it. Very good strategy, and she doesn’t really need my help at all except to fund bigger buys of group tickets. Her phone rings 24 hours a day and she has three people driving around DFW, Houston and Austin for her picking up stuff, already. She is going to be a millionaire within a year. Guarantee it. She’s a natural, she works 20 hours a day and is driven by something beyond money. My phone rings at 4:15AM and I LOVE it because I know she found a whopper and can't wait till 8AM to tell me about it.

 

Guinea Pig #5

TB

This was my original project, the family member that needed help. Focused on generators, heavy equipment, motorcycles, and tools.

He’s done okay, but honestly think he’s back looking for a cubicle job. I think that the stress of not knowing where his next deal was coming from is just too much for him to handle. He made a lot of money month one and the next month and continued to do okay, I thought. Think that this business just isn’t in his DNA. He's a Cube Sheep, and happy to be one.

 

Take it for what it's worth. I suspect that in the New Year we'll run into a lot more people looking to supplement their income, so January should be very interesting.

 

97% of what I do is encouraging people to just get up and DO IT. Sounds crazy, but I'm not really doing anything except telling people "that's a good deal" or "that's not a good deal" or "Turn off the Xbox, get your fat ass off the couch and go make some money." Sounds simple, and I guess it is. Just to hear "yes, you can do it." seems to be the primary motivator. My knowledge base (though probably a little bit better than your average Joe's) is far inferior to having access to the online global marketplaces like fleabay, with their real-time data.

 

I think the real NAME OF THE GAME here is turn rate. Buy it cheap, clean it, sell it within a very short period of time. The people turning the stuff quickly, even if at a substantially lower margin are doing well. Holding out for every single dollar just doesn't seem to work in this business model. Unless you just have a ton of cash and pride.

 

In one word: MOMENTUM.

 

I'm working on building a business plan around the concept right now. It's certainly in it's formative stages, but our initial feedback has been good enough to believe that there is something to this as a long-term sustainable business model. How do we sell it, how do we market it? What do we offer that is a real competitive advantage or barrier to entry?

 

---joe

 

 

 

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  • 1 month later...

Any updates guys? How are things going for everyone? I've had a LOT of other stuff going on so I'm just now getting some more time to invest in this. I went and looked at a Saab last night but am just not sure how well that would sell even though the "buy" would be half of the potential "sell" based on comps. Not enough experience under my belt to be confident in going Swedish yet I think. My goal is to get to 2-3 solid car deals done per month so I'm going to have to get after it!

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  • 1 year later...

I'm going to go at it with full force! I'm on the LA/Orange county border and from the sounds of toughness in the LA market, I'ill be focusing on the OC area. The traffic's better out that way too.

 

I'm going to start with laptops/tablets and expand my targets as I grow comfortable with valuation and haggling. Will keep you guys posted :) (and feel free to show me anything you think I should pounce on--I'm willing to take risks)

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  • 1 month later...
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