Car flipping increasing in used car market - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Car flipping increasing in used car market

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PHOENIX -

We've seen it done thousands of times with houses in the valleys: flipping.
     
Buy a house, fix it up and resell it a short time later for a profit.

Flippers are making a comeback, but we aren't talking about in housing.

You could say what this 23-year-old is doing is "flipping genius."

"If I make $500 or more then I'm happy," said Bakri Elomeri, a car flipper.

Happy flipping cars, or curbing, as some in the used car industry call it.

"I would say flipping because at the end of the day I'm looking for a profit," said Elomeri.

Recent ASU Business grad, Bakri Elomeri is looking to profit from a 2005 Chevy Impala he's flipping now.

"It's pretty standard, it has power everything," said Elomeri.

It has 141,000 miles and has an asking price of $4,400, but it's negotiable.  

You will find Elomeri's ad on Craig's List. Some vehicles are from students who are leaving the state and want to get rid of their car quickly, others he buys from Craig's List.

"I see vehicles that are decently priced and I try to get the best that I can, so I will give people offers, not necessarily low-balling, but people are in need of the money so they will take an offer that I will give them," said Elomeri.
     
Right now, the used car market in the valley is sizzling hot. There's a whole lot of flipping going on.

"You're seeing more of these flippers come in because they know they can pawn them in this economy we're having. So, as simple as that, people go for the cheaper car, they don't quite know what they're getting," said Mike Stanley, with Stanley Auto Center.

Here is where the car seller has you at a disadvantage. You may be able to look under the hood and things look okay to you, but what you can't do is look under the car.

"The consumer that bought this car had no way of getting under here and seeing any of this because this car is only eight inches off the ground. This is why you need, to take this to a mechanic and have the guy put it on a lift and look underneath it," said Stanley.

Stanley has seen many a flip become a flop for the person buying the used car.

His advise is to have a certified mechanic look it over; he charges $45.

"If it looks bad on the rack...I flat tell the customer don't touch this with a 10 foot pool. Take it back and tell the guy you don't want it. Deal done," said Stanley.

If solo Flippers are on the bottom of the food chain, one well-known car dealer in the valley is at the top.

Earnhardt Hyundai in Avondale is one of 13 dealerships owned by the Earnhardt's.

"I don't feel that people flipping cars is hurting us or benefiting us one way or another," said Adam Breen, with Earnhardt Hyundai.

Breen says an improving economy has set the used car market on fire and more people are buying, meaning more used cars are being traded in.

He advises against buying cars from flippers.

"The problem is you're going to buy a car for a certain amount, they'll put a little bit of work into it and then try to sell it for much more, when work is not work, but more of a cover up to the problem on the car," said Breen.

In short, putting lipstick on a pig?

'More than likely, buying something that's been covered up with a quick paint job or deodorizer, not to make it smell bad," said Breen.

Back to our young Flipper from Tempe. Elomeri says he's an entrepreneur and knows some car flippers get and deserve a bad reputation.

"I think if you're honest and you try to inform people about the car, all the imperfections and stuff, I don't think you'll make a bad name for yourself, but there's a lot of crooked people out there," said Elomeri.

He still has a good name, and a way to supplement his education. The most he's made on a flip is $5,000.

He says he consults with a mechanic and he doesn't want to sell any one a lemon.

"At the end of the day, it's a moral choice, I think, and I don't want anything like that to come back to me," said Elomeri.

No one wants bad flipping karma.

Breen at Earnhardt's says the used car market will heat up even more as we get towards the end of summer.

Students will be heading to college and looking for cheap reliable transportation, advice as always: buyer beware.

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