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 Flipping tractors… is it worth it?

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Rustbucket Garage
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PostSubject: Flipping tractors… is it worth it?   Flipping tractors… is it worth it? Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2022, 5:45 pm

I’m currently debating this notion, however I’m running into several snags.

1. My area doesn’t have much $50 or free tractors, or at least not that I see. Not sure if making an ad on craigslist for “I pay cash for old mowers” would help.

2. I don’t know if starting in July would really work. Is there enough demand this time of year to make a profit?

3. I have no clue what most people profit on average “per flip.” Do most tractors just need a carb, air filter, spark plugs, fuel filter/line, etc? What should I expect to invest into an individual tractor?

4. If a machine needs too much, is it better to part it out on e-bay or craigslist, or just keep everything that’s usable and scrap the rest?

5. It seems that more people are doing this than there were pre-covid. Should I anticipate heavy competition?

6. Do people still use craigslist, or will I need to get on the dreaded facegook?

Any thoughts are greatly appreciated! Smile
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MightyRaze
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PostSubject: Re: Flipping tractors… is it worth it?   Flipping tractors… is it worth it? Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2022, 6:52 pm

I'm sure @Murraymountain does a bit of this.  I know in my area; it is HEAVY competition.  Also, FB marketplace is used more now than craigslist.  I would also recommend, keep an eye out and if you see an old tractor sitting for a while, maybe inquire about it.

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Brianator
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PostSubject: Re: Flipping tractors… is it worth it?   Flipping tractors… is it worth it? Icon_minitimeJune 29th 2022, 8:34 pm

A friend of mine does flipping and repairs, he seems to make more $/hr doing repairs than selling tractors and tends to have to sit on alot of them for awhile but with the way things are going way up in price the used market for everything is getting much stronger so it should be profitable if you can find decent tractors for cheap and freshen em up!

I personally rarely replace carburetors I almost always successfully rebuild them except for the blasted Briggs updraft carbs they're a pain! The fuel "nozzle" is almost always seized and damages the threads in the body if you manage to actually remove it and then there's also the fact the 2 halves of the body like to warp and won't seal properly.

If you find a decent example of a mower you should be able to throw up to a couple hundred bucks at it and hopefully make $2-300 profit. Fuel and air filter, fuel line, belts, blades and a good carb cleaning (at least) are what I would consider the essentials.

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Murraymountain
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PostSubject: Re: Flipping tractors… is it worth it?   Flipping tractors… is it worth it? Icon_minitimeJune 30th 2022, 12:28 pm

Yup, been doing this for 4 years now. Personally, my short and sweet version is, yes, there is profit to be made, but not nearly enough to do it full time.

Now I’ll try to answer your questions one at a time.

1, putting an ad out on whatever site you’re on that says I will buy cheap or free mowers does help. I got a free Craftsman LT100 and a JD L111 from that ad. You’ll get junk half the time but every once in a while you’ll have a little diamond drop into your hands. You won’t get much interest on the ad, but it’s worth it. As for the fact that everything is apparently over $100 there, whether it’s worth picking them or not depends on resale value and the condition they are in. For instance, if I find a Murray LT that’s been sitting for 8 years, I will not pay more than $100 for it because I know I can’t get more than $400 for it here on a good day. However, let’s say I find a John Deere L130 that’s been sitting for the same amount of time and is in the same condition that Murray is. I’ll pay up to $300 for it because I know I can get close to $1200 for it here when it’s in perfect working order. One rule I live by, is if the price of the tractor is close to or more than what you can get out of it in parts, that’s an automatic no. You just never know what all a tractor will need.

2, yes, there is enough demand to start small.. that being 1 or 2 tractors to flip. The heavy demand comes in March-May here. The time when everyone goes to start their mower and it breaks, and they decide to dump it and get a new/used one. That’s when the heavy demand is. I’ve sold several overnight in those months. (These months are also a good time to keep a close eye on FB for people dumping their old mowers. Can snag some good deals around that time) A smart thing to do is to collect a few in the fall and work on them over the winter and then come spring they’re ready to go and you can just pop em right on the market.

However, this year sales of GTs and even bigger LTs have been really bad. We haven’t been able to sell a single one even with like 50% price cut. The LTs are where it’s at this year. I think it’s people cutting back on gas hogs, but I can’t say for sure. All I know is it definitely had not been the best year for flipping.

3 is a hard question. There’s a LOT of factors that come into play. LTs and GTs have a much different profit margin. LTs are typically for me around 2-300 bucks profit per flip. That of course depends on how much you put into it and buy it for. I get a lot of free ones so the profit might be a little less for you. GTs usually bring in closer to 5-700 profit depending on the deal. My 2017 Troy Bilt GT would have been at 1300 in profit if this year wasn’t wack. And that’s only because I scored it for way under what it’s worth.

As far as what to expect to put into a tractor… that depends as well. Usually they need something special plus all the regular tune up stuff. There’s always a reason it was put out to pasture and that’s what you have to keep in mind. The ones where they ‘don’t know anything about it’ are gambles. The trans could be dead or deck rusted or motor knocking for all you know. So I can say, always expect the unexpected. It always happens.

As for 4, both ways are good ways to go. It really depends. In my area, if I had for example a Snapper LT16 (like my brother) that needed too much, I would either Sell it slightly underpriced so someone else can have a go at it and if I need the room or Part it out like you said. For an LT16, Id end up selling most of the parts because it’s not likely that I’ll run across another LT16 needing those parts anytime soon. However, let’s say I have a Craftsman LT1000. I would strip it and keep every single part because I know I’ll go through them quickly. It really depends on what tractors are filtering through your shop the most. Those are the parts you want to keep.

5, in my area competition isn’t a big problem. The few of us that there are just kind of do our thing. I like to see other people sell their stuff because it shows me which tractors are selling fast and what they’re going for. Most of us don’t see each other as enemies. We kinda help each other out when possible. We’re all just guys who like to tinker and are trying to make some cash with it. I don’t know what the competition looks like in your area, but down here it is of no concern.

6, the only simple answer of them all… Yes, yes you very much will need to hop on the ol’ Marketplace. Not only to sell your stuff but also to find good deals to flip.


Hope that helps. If I think of anything else Ill throw that up too.

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PostSubject: Re: Flipping tractors… is it worth it?   Flipping tractors… is it worth it? Icon_minitime

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