You can use Gumtree for both selling and sourcing vans and light commercial vehicles. In a similar way to Craigslist you’ll find a lot of vehicles that just aren’t worth going to see, but you’ll also find some hidden gems with van flipping potential.
You just need to search for vans that have been underpriced, poorly presented, or misdescribed. These vans can then be valeted, photographed properly and resold at a higher price.
Let me give you an example.
I bought a Suzuki Super carry on Craigslist Last year. The car was poorly photographed and the advert didn’t mentioned the mileage or year, but the advert described the van as being in good condition. The van looked good value so I decided to call the seller. It turned out the carry had low mileage and good service history, so I arranged to view it. When I turned up the van was actually in really good condition. The owner had just not cleaned it before taking the photographs and knew almost nothing about vans. I negotiated the pice down a bit and bought it on the spot. A few days later I had cleaned it up and taken some good photos and had it backup for sale. It sold the next day and I made a good profit for only a few hours work.
You wont find these opportunities every day but they are there if you take the time to look.
So here’s what you need to do to flip a van on Gumtree.
- Find your flip Spend a little time searching Gumtree until you have an idea of what you want to buy.You can flip any kind of van but I always advice sticking to small vans with low running costs and insurance, retailing between two and three thousand pounds.
- Determine the Value Once you’ve found an underpriced van, Research the values of similar vans carefully. You can search on Autotrader or use a van buyers guide to figure out a retail value. If the retail pice is much higher than the posted price, then you may have found your flip.
- Negotiating a good price Even if the item is well priced there is aways a little room for movement. So you can probably get an even better deal.
- Adding value This step is always necessary. Some vans can be in very good condition, but a good pro valet can add a huge value. You should do any small smart repairs the vehicle needs, and replace worn mats etc. Good photographs can go really help increasing a vans worth.
- Post It—Now you just post the item back to Gumtree.
How to list a car on Gumtree
Posting a car to Gumtree is pretty simple. You can do this via your computer or phone, they also have a useful app.
Assuming the van is road registered you simply enter the registration and the car details are added automatically. You can then add up to 9 pictures. If you need help on learning to photograph a van properly you can find a quick guide I’ve written – How to photograph a van with a smartphone. Then you are asked to ad a title and add a description on the van listing the options etc. Again if you want to learn how to write a perfect van advert you can find my guide – How to create an effective used van advert. Then you are asked to enter a price and choose wether you want to be contacted via phone, email or both. I recommend via phone it keeps the questions to minimum and I find you get less time wasters.
Gumtree then offers you the option posting your van for free or paying for extras. The options to list a vehicle are –
Urgent – lets people know you want to sell quickly.
Featured – lets your advert appear at the top of the category for a set number of days.
Spotlight – allows you’re advert to appear on the Gumtree homepage.
You also have the option to pay for a link to a website and connect a Youtube video.
Then you simply press post my ad and the advert will be live.
Viewings, payment and paperwork
We cover this in detail in other parts of the site. But always follow the basic rules when showing someone a car. If you want to know more or want to learn how to handle a test drive find my more detailed guide Selling a van in 5 simple steps. But put simply whenever you have viewing or test-drive always make sure the van clean inside and out. You need to have checked all the pressures and levels etc, and never leave the buyer alone with the van keys. You will also need to make sure you have all the relevant paperwork and service history ready for inspection.
I only except bank transfer and would advice you to do the same. Its simple effective and there really is no reason to accept any other form of payment.
Once the van is sold, you still have a few things to do. Its important to put the deal down in writing and include the following details:
1. The date
3. Make and model
4. Registration number
5. Vin number
6. The names and addresses of the buyer and seller
Make two copies – one for you and one for the buyer – and make sure all parties sign both receipts. You then fill in the tear-off at the bottom of the V5C registration document and send it to the DVLA. Give the top part of the V5C to the new owner.
I deploy this simple strategy across lots of different websites and it can be really successful. I think Gumtree is a bit of a sleeper in the van flipping world. It may not be the best or the most obvious option.
But the platform is well thought out and easy to use. It also has the volume and reach to help you shift a car if you haven’t had any luck using the other platforms. So why not give it a go before everyone else catches on.