The 1999 Honda Civic CX has been sold. I really liked the little car. It reminded me of how much fun these cars can be. I would’ve kept it, but a four car household is not a deal I made with my wife. She’s been very accommodating of my car hobby. Although when I sold the Honda, she did say “Well, that’s one down.” The Cougar in the corner is probably feeling a little less secure in its place. Regardless, here’s what my first flip netted me.

First, let me say it’s been a while since I’ve dealt with selling a car on Craigslist. I was instantly reminded of how not fun it is. Between instant cash offers at 1/3 asking price, offers of shipping (haha), and text message tire kickers, it got old quick. Keep in mind, I sold the car within 36 hours of it posting on Craigslist. All communication was via text. I didn’t receive a single email or phone call.

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The first person to look at the car was a retired gentleman, who disclosed while inspecting the car that he had a 1991 CRX at home with 124k on it. He was the original owner. I could instantly tell that he wasn’t going to be the buyer. After looking it over and driving around the grocery store parking lot we had agreed to meet at, we parted ways with him mumbling about thinking it over and giving me a call later. Potential buyer number one drives away.

The second person to look at the car pulled up in a beat up Civic sedan with a front fender bondo job that was quite, umm, shitty. Anyway, prior to arriving, his texts basically asked for more information than I was willing to type out. “Come look at it.” I said. So he did. He asked if we could jack the car up so he could inspect underneath. “The oil pan is wet, you’ve got a bad leak”. I look underneath. “Um, that’s the paint. It appears to be semi gloss black”. The inspection went along that path, and I could tell he wasn’t going to be a buyer either. He closed by mentioning he looked up KBB value and I was way over book. He offered about half my asking price and said he’d watch the ad on CL. See ya! I had a queue about 10 deep wanting to see the car on Saturday.

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Friday night I a text that simply said “Will you take $1700?” My simple response was no. About 30 minutes later, a follow up text. Can he come look at it in the morning, 9 AM. Sure, I said. I anticipated another craigslist flake. I had 4 no shows on Friday night. To make a long story short, he came over, after poking around, offered asking price. We exchanged money and title, and he was on his way.

Here are the financials of the flip.

•Purchase price: $900

•New tires: $260

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•Junkyard seats: $50

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•Title, registration: $160

•Insurance: $10

•New key when son locked the set in the car: $5

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Total dollars put into car:

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•$1385

Total hours out into car:

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•30 minute trip to the DMV and back. It did take almost two months for the title to finally arrive in the mail.

•1 hour for tire installation

•45 minutes for the junkyard run

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•90 minutes cleaning and detailing. Most of that spent on the interior. I was able to minimize the smoke smell as best as I could.

•1 hour in total for marketing (taking pictures, writing ad), responding to texts, and showing the car.

Total hours:

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•4 hours, 45 minutes.

Initially, I had intended to set the asking price at $1800, until I determined I wouldn’t feel good selling it with the tires it had. That upped it in my mind to $2000 after replacing the tires. A quick perusal of Craigslist indicated I should ask a bit more. I figured I’d undercut other cars listed, in worse shape, to get a quick sale. I listed and sold the car for $2500, for a net profit of $1,115. I also got to enjoy it driving around, and letting my son play in it for hours. I can’t tell you how many bad guys he “chased”, or how many robberies where he “got away”. But it was a great playhouse for two months.

I’m quite pleased with the results, as this was my first pure flip. I’m unsure if I’ll do another. My wife was ready to not have four cars at the house, and the DMV delay was not anticipated. I had to call the state and found out there was a simple clerical error preventing the printing of the title. She printed it while we were on the phone, and I had the title two days later. My county does not make it easy to flip vehicles. That said, if I find another steal of a vehicle that can offer a quick payday, I may jump on it. Without having a dealer’s license, I can legally sell 3 cars per year. Car number one is in the books, time will tell if I’ll find another to flip. I’ll miss this little car.

PS, silver cars hide a lot of flaws in pictures. While rust free, it was not dent, scratch, or free of peeling paint.