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How to Flip Cars for a Profit in Ohio

Updated: Dec 21, 2023

This Side-Hustle Can Easily Boost Income for Ohioans

How to Flip Cars in Ohio Made Easy

How to Flip Cars in Ohio

Flipping cars is a great way to make some extra money on the side. It may sound intimidating, but it's actually pretty straightforward. With the right knowledge, anyone can become an expert car flipper in Ohio. Let’s break down how to get started flipping cars in the Buckeye State.


Is Flipping Cars Legal in Ohio?

Requirements to Sell Cars in Ohio

Flipping cars, or buying and reselling vehicles for a profit, is legal in Ohio. However, it is important to note that certain regulations and laws must be followed in order to operate as a car dealer, such as obtaining a dealer license and adhering to truth-in-advertising laws. Additionally, it is illegal to sell a vehicle that is not in safe operating condition or to misrepresent a vehicle's history or condition.

Generally, you can sell no more than four vehicles per year without obtaining special licensure.

Is Flippin Cars Legal in Ohio?

You Can sell four (4) cars per year for profit in Ohio without a dealer's license.

Do You Need a Dealer's License to Flip Cars in Ohio?

Step 1: Know Your Market

How to find cars to flip in Ohio- Side-Hustles

Before you start flipping cars, it’s important that you know your market. Understand which types of cars are popular and what features people are looking for when they shop for used vehicles in Ohio. Visit dealerships and attend car auctions to get a better understanding of what’s selling and what isn’t. Also, don't forget to keep up with current trends by reading online forums and industry publications. Knowing your market is key to flipping cars successfully in Ohio.

Research is the most important step. Do not pay too much attention to the cars for sale. Look at the cars that have SOLD and for how much. You have to be sure before you invest that you are purchasing a vehicle that is meeting the demands of the market.

Step 2: Find Your Source

Once you have a good understanding of the Ohio auto market, it's time to find your source for used vehicles. There are several different options depending on your budget and level of expertise when it comes to vehicles: online classified websites like Craigslist and eBay Motors, local dealerships, auctions, or even private sellers from word-of-mouth sources or social media posts. You can even look into salvage auctions or junk yards if you want to try your hand at restoring a car from its damaged state. Don't forget about private auctions—there are plenty of government auctions throughout Ohio that often offer great deals on cars that need some work but could turn out great flips.

Buying Cars Privately

Buying cars directly from the owner on an online marketplace is the most common way to sell vehicles for profit. However, you can't just buy a car from your neighbor and turn around and re-list it for a profit! Not only will this piss off your neighbor but If the vehicle was worth that much then it would have fetched that price for the original sellers.

One method other than repairing cars is to purchase cars out of state where the market is lower. For example, those in Ohio can often find vehicles in certain areas of Michigan and Kentucky that are 20-30% cheaper than in an Ohio metro area.

Buying Cars at Auction

Other than repairing vehicles and plying the market there is one other way to increase your profit margin: buying cheap. Ohio auto auctions are often easily accessible and offer the best prices on used vehicles out there. However, there are some pitfalls and regulations to be aware of. See our full guide on Ohio auto auctions here.

Step 3: Do Your Homework & Inspect Thoroughly

Make easy profit in Ohio by flipping cars

Before making any purchases, always do your homework! Research the history behind each vehicle before buying it so that you know exactly what type of condition it’s in—whether there were any major accidents or recalls associated with it—and also be sure to check out its safety ratings online as well as its Kelley Blue Book value so that you know you're getting a good deal.

Once you have found a few prospective cars it's time for inspection and negotiation. You'll want to closely examine each car for any signs of damage or mechanical issues before making an offer. Also, take into account any repair costs you may need to factor into your budget such as new tires or brake pads if needed.

Once you've settled on an offer price be sure to negotiate any additional discounts such as free delivery or warranty coverage if available! When negotiating prices always remember that cash talks; try offering payment upfront if possible since this can often yield better deals from sellers who need quick money or are motivated by their own financial constraints.

Step 4: Negotiation & Purchase

Negotiation is a critical step in the car flipping process in Ohio, or anywhere else for that matter. Mastering the art of negotiation can mean the difference between a modest profit and a substantial one. Here's how you can navigate this step effectively:

Before diving into negotiation, it's essential to understand why the seller is parting with their vehicle. Are they looking for a quick sale? Is there an urgent need for cash? Knowing this can give you leverage during the negotiation.

From the outset, you should know the highest price you're willing to pay. This should be based on your market research, the car's condition, and your budget. Remember, the goal is to buy low and sell high, so stick to your maximum offer to maintain a healthy profit margin.

Begin the negotiation with an offer that's lower than your maximum. This gives you room to maneuver and meet somewhere in the middle, which is often expected in negotiations. Be respectful and reasonable with your offer to keep the conversation open.

Highlight the Car's Flaws: If there are any issues with the car, bring them up during the negotiation. This can justify your lower offer and can sometimes lead the seller to reduce their price without much prompting.

Be Ready to Walk Away: Sometimes, the best negotiation tactic is to be willing to walk away. If the seller is firm on a price that's above your limit, don't be afraid to walk. There will be other opportunities, and it's important not to get caught up in a bad deal.

Close the Deal: If you've reached an agreement, it's time to close the deal. Make sure all the paperwork is in order, including the title and any required disclosures. In Ohio, ensure you're adhering to all state regulations regarding the sale and transfer of vehicles.

Whether you're buying from an auction, a private seller, or a dealer, building a good relationship can lead to better deals in the future. People are more likely to negotiate favorably with someone they trust and like.

Negotiation is both a science and an art. It requires preparation, knowledge, courage, and sometimes a bit of psychology. By following these guidelines, you'll be able to negotiate more effectively and increase your chances of a successful flip with a healthy profit in Ohio's car market.

Step 5: Finding a Buyer

Once you've successfully negotiated and purchased a vehicle, the next step in the car flipping process is finding a buyer. This step is just as crucial as the acquisition, as it involves marketing, showcasing, and ultimately selling the car for a profit. Here's how to approach this phase strategically:

Before listing the car for sale, ensure it's in its best possible condition. Clean it thoroughly inside and out, perform any necessary minor repairs, and consider having it detailed. First impressions count, and a clean, well-maintained vehicle is far more likely to attract buyers.

Craft a compelling advertisement that highlights the car's best features. Use high-quality photos taken from different angles and in good lighting. Be honest and transparent about the condition of the car and include all relevant details such as mileage, maintenance history, and any recent repairs.

Setting the right price can be the key to a quick sale. Research the current market value of the vehicle and set a competitive price that will attract buyers but still leave you with a good profit margin. Be open to negotiation, but know your bottom line.

Listing For Sale

To reach a broader audience, list your car on various platforms. Online marketplaces, local classifieds, social media groups, and automotive forums are all excellent places to start. Remember, the more exposure you get, the higher the chances of finding a buyer quickly.

Best Places to Sell a Car Online

As inquiries come in, screen potential buyers to ensure they're serious and have the financial means to complete the purchase. Ask pre-qualifying questions before arranging viewings to save time and focus on genuine buyers.

Finalize the Sale

When a potential buyer wants to see the car, arrange a test drive in a safe, public location. Accompany the buyer during the test drive while maintaining a balance between giving them space and being available to answer any questions they may have.

Once you have a committed buyer, prepare for the transaction. In Ohio, make sure you follow all legal requirements for transferring ownership, including signing over the title, providing a bill of sale, and removing your license plates. Always accept payment in a form that's secure and verifiable.

Finding a buyer is a multi-step process that requires attention to detail, good marketing skills, and patience. By properly preparing the vehicle for sale, pricing it right, advertising effectively, and dealing professionally with potential buyers, you can sell your flipped cars quickly and for a good profit in Ohio.

10 Pro Tips For Flipping in Ohio

1. Start by acquiring cars at a low cost: Look for cars that are being sold at a discount, such as those at auctions, repossessions, or through private sellers.

2. Invest in cars that are in high demand: Look for cars that are popular and in demand, such as classic cars, luxury cars, and newer models with low miles.

3. Do your research: Research the car's history, including accident reports, service records, and market trends. This will help you to determine the car's value and potential resale price.

4. Invest in repairs and upgrades: Invest in repairs and upgrades that will increase the car's value and make it more attractive to buyers.

5. Take high-quality photos and videos: High-quality photos and videos can help you to showcase the car's best features and attract more buyers.

6. Utilize different platforms to sell your car: Use multiple platforms to sell your car, such as online marketplaces, social media, and classifieds.

7. Price it right: Price the car competitively, but be sure to factor in your costs and the amount of profit you want to make.

8. Network and build relationships: Building relationships with other car sellers and buyers can help you to find new deals and expand your customer base.

9. Be honest and transparent: Be upfront about the car's condition and any repairs or upgrades that have been made. This will help to build trust with buyers and avoid potential problems later on.

10. Be patient: Flipping cars can take time, so be prepared to hold onto a car for a while before finding the right buyer. Don't rush to make a quick sale at the expense of losing profit.


Flipping cars can be an exciting business venture if done correctly. It takes some dedication but with the right knowledge about the auto market in Ohio and thorough research before making any purchases, anyone can become an expert car flipper in no time! Keep these tips in mind when starting out flipping cars—know your market, find your source for used vehicles, do your homework and inspect each car thoroughly —and soon enough you'll join other successful hustlers who have turned their passion into profitable businesses by flipping cars! Good luck!

Flipping cars in Ohio can be a profitable endeavor if done correctly – but only if you do your research beforehand! Start by investigating the types of vehicles that are popular in your area, then use online listings or local dealerships and private sellers as sources for finding prospective cars at good prices. Inspect each vehicle carefully before making an offer, then negotiate additional discounts such as free delivery or warranty coverage where applicable. With patience and diligence flipping cars can be very lucrative – so get out there and start finding those flips!



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