Paul Cowland

Paul Cowland



BLOG: My Top ‘Picking’ Tips

2 Feb , 2015  

Since the old show came out on the telly box, I have had quite a few people and journos ask me to outline a few hints and tips for making a few quid either out of stuff you already have, or random old tat that you might find out and about on your travels. While this is by no means a definitive guide, it is short, easy to remember and hopefully contains a couple gems to get you going.

So here are a few Top Picking Tips to get you started!
Get in and amongst it!
The first tip is to actually start having a look at what you have. It’s amazing what you can find tucked away, and it’s never going to make you any money stuck where it is. You need to get your hands dirty and get in the thick of it. If you’re picking on someone else’s property, it’s always good to get permission and be respectful of the other property that’s there. If you break it – you’ve bought it!




Read and Research
Knowledge is power – and power is profit! If you’re not sure what you’ve got, do some internet research, if it’s marque specific, try contacting a few owner’s clubs, or if you have found some intriguing artefact or memorabilia, consider investing in a book or two before you go to sell it on. The more you know about your car or item, the better sales job you can do.



Useable is Valuable
Whether it’s an old illuminated sign, a vintage temperature gauge, or even a full car, whatever it is, it’s going to be worth more money if it’s in full working order. You don’t necessarily need to fully restore whatever it is that you’re flipping, but if you can say, take a scrapyard car through to MoT standard, you will add considerable value – and profit – along the way. Often full restoration can eat too much profit, too, so know when to add just enough value and then move it on…



Clean and Presentable
Keeping the previous tip in mind, it’s always good to make sure your item is presented in its best light. If it’s a car, clean and polish it. If it’s a tool kit, wipe and sort it. Not every punter has a great imagination, so if it looks like it’s ‘ready to go’ then it will command more money than something that is perceived to need lots of work to finish.



Pitch Your Stall
Finally, think about where you are selling. Here’s where your research pays off. Auction sites like Ebay are easy, but not always the best places to fetch top dollar for rare or unusual items. Also, smaller items don’t need to be limited to domestic sales. Think big, list internationally, and target your items at an audience that knows and understands it if you really want to make the best money. Visit classic car events and auto-jumbles to get a feel for the market if you think you might have something special – and don’t discount selling it to a dealer. Even though they will want to make a margin, their network of contacts may still mean you can both make a few quid and go home happy!




Buy With Your Heart AND Head

Buy the things you like as well as always trying to make a few quid. That way, if you end up being stuck with it for a while, you’re going to enjoy it anyway! Not every car or artefact is going to make a massive increase in value overnight, so buy the things you can use, display and get value from along the way. Then, who cares if it makes money or not? You’ve already had your money’s worth and everything else is a bonus!




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