One of my favorite things about auction flipping is it’s almost impossible to lose money if you buy right. This broken $300 golf cart is the perfect example as it was in bad shape. All four tires were flat with the 2 rear tires completely off the rims. Also, it was missing a bed and had no keys. Still, the seats were in good shape and it had an engine, that’s really all you need.
READ THE FINE PRINT
Even after all these years of auction flipping I still make mistakes. In this case, my mistake was not realizing the only payment options were in person at the auction office or via wire transfer which comes with a $60 fee. This was extremely frustrating as the office was about 30 mins away from where I had to pickup the golf cart and I wasn’t about to blow $60 on a $300 item. I guess it worked out for the best, but it was an annoying surprise.
PICKING UP THE GOLF CART
This auction was kind of a mess from start to finish. I went in thinking I’d win 10 golf carts at this auction and ended up only winning one. Since the auction was almost an hour away I was annoyed I’d have to drive all that way for just a single cart. The next issue, this was a municipal auction and I went to pickup the cart on a state holiday, the lot was closed! This was infuriating since I called the auction office to confirm I could come and pay in person. I drove over an hour to pay my invoice towing my trailer only to find out the lot was closed and I couldn’t pickup today.
Luckily, after a few phone calls, I was connected with the gentleman who worked the lot and said he had to stop by the lot anyway. After 30 mins of waiting I was let into the lot.
If you’re going to get into flipping golf carts, tractors, or anything similar you’ll need a winch. Trying to push a golf cart onto a trailer with flat tires is pretty much impossible. A winch makes easy work of loading in minutes. I recommend one with a remote control rather than a wire controller, it makes life much easier as you walk around to make sure nothing is getting snagged and that the cable is spooling evenly. Please be careful, a winch cable can snap and be very dangerous, putting a weighted blanket or heavy jacket over the cable will help stop it from snapping back if it were to break. Just be mindful of what you're doing, don't use a 2,000lb winch to pull a forklift. I use a 5,000lb winch on my 7,500lb trailer.
FLIPPING THE CART
My hope, as with all non-running items I win, is that I’ll hook up a battery and it’ll just work. After purchasing a $5 replacement key and hooking up a battery I found that I was out of luck. The large electric starter motor was shot. I did take 20 mins to remove it, open and clean the brushes and put it all back together. This was enough to get the motor to turn and the engine to run on a little starter fluid, but it wasn’t a running machine.
The good news, as I stated at the beginning, it’s almost impossible to lose money. So I listed the cart as-is and had a buyer the very next day. The gentleman works on golf carts and had the parts needed to get it up and running. Because I do a lot of these types of flips I had a set of good golf cart tires sitting around, I put those on the cart and we pushed it right up and onto his trailer. Another $400 profit for doing pretty much nothing. Had the cart been running I probably would have built a little wooden flat bed for it and asked about $1,500. Still, being paid $400 to drive 2 hours and winch a broken $300 golf cart onto a trailer isn’t bad money.