Becoming a used car dealer in Santo Domingo

chico bill

Lobotomy Surgeon
May 6, 2016
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That is not an answer. Why couldnt I just move through someone else?
Because you will be robbed blind by your partner until he has cleaned you out then you'll be found in a pozo with a small caliber hole in your head.

I know a Canadian looking to retire trying to sell his lot in Puerto Plata, and he might help you get setup on the import and paperwork side, but unless you are fluent in Spanish then do not even bother as you won't be able to manage the shipping and aduanas.
 

william webster

Well-known member
Jan 16, 2009
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Markryan, I 'm replying to a 6 year old post in hopes that you are still interested. I'm here in Dr living in Santiago, used to export cars from Japan to other countries (not US). If you are interested and looking for someone, it would be a pleasure to work with you. I go back and forth to Miami atleast twice a month and purchase cars from Mannheim and Orlando auto auction. I will keep an eye on this post for any updates. looking forward to hear from you.
BNR34
I have an idea for you....
Once you get to 10 posts, private massaging kicks in...

Start typing !!!

haha
 

CaribeDigital

Active member
Sep 5, 2014
149
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Is it possible for someone to move to Santo Domingo and start a used car lot there. I am a car dealer who currently lives in Columbus Ohio and I plan to move in the next couple of months. Is it possible to import used cars from the US? If so can someone point me towards the right directions where i can find the correct information.
-Michael
Don't start alone as a newcomer. 95% chance of failure, and that's because I'm optimistic.
Instead, come over, walk into 10 or 20 dealerships and offer them US cars.
Prepare a list of questions to ask directly, and another list of questions you'd like to know indirectly.
If you really can listen you will gain valuable experience from the exercise.
And, who knows, maybe you'll become a US-exporter. But your chance is only in acting in partnership.
 

BNR34

New member
Mar 20, 2020
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Because you will be robbed blind by your partner until he has cleaned you out then you'll be found in a pozo with a small caliber hole in your head.

I know a Canadian looking to retire trying to sell his lot in Puerto Plata, and he might help you get setup on the import and paperwork side, but unless you are fluent in Spanish then do not even bother as you won't be able to manage the shipping and aduanas.
I'm interested, because I do have the support structure of my wife and brother-in-law her who both speak Spanish including myself. Beside that, I also export cars already from Japan and the Us to other countries. But now that I had move to here Santiago because of family reasons, I have to reinvent myself and strategy. So any information will be greatly appreciated. And would love to meet your guy in Puerta Plata. Please kindly advise me as to how we can make this happen. Thanks
 

el justo

Member
Mar 6, 2020
21
3
8
Carfax? We ain't got no Carfax. We don't need no Carfax. I don't have to show you any stinking Carfax.
Thats funny.

Between January and August of this year (2019), 77,653 motor vehicles entered the Dominican customs for a value of US $ 830.27 million, some 7,136 units more than what was registered in 2018 in the same period.

Safe to say for the year in total it hit 100,000 units were imported me guesses. There are so many cars sitting in so many car yards it would be ludicrous to go into this business. When buying a car bartering is virtually non-existent. I figure there is about 20% on average mark up on the cost of the import at retail price. Some dealers will haggle down to about 10% of the asking price but no more or they'll be just be providing a community service.

Interesting to note in the same article quoted above speculates approximately 70% of all cars sold are subject to finance in this country. Now if nobody is working due to covid19 and the first thing you can't eat is your car then its likely to be huge numbers of defaults and repossessions putting even more cars back into the car yards.

To the guy that started this thread - "Don't do it!" If you wish to do business here I recommend a good curry house that offers laksas with all the trimmings, raita, naan..... Then I would like you to build a drive in cinema so I can watch the latest movies on the big screen sufficiently distancing myself from the unwashed.. I have plenty of more business ideas, just ask me.
 

chico bill

Lobotomy Surgeon
May 6, 2016
6,573
511
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Maybe if you want to make $500 net on a car you might make it. Actually not cars, just SUVs. Import Honda CRVs, Hyundai Tucson & Santa Fe and Toyota Rav 4. All will clean title, make sure they can detail to "Like New, put new factory floor mats and a new name brand battery, make sure their are no check lights and real less than 120,000 miles and offer clean car fax reports.
Those are good selling gasoline powered vehicles. Add Nissan Rogue to that.

If you can do that and do expect to make no more than $500 - you might make a go of it.
 

user123

Member
Aug 16, 2017
178
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I'm interested, because I do have the support structure of my wife and brother-in-law her who both speak Spanish including myself...
I hope the brother-in-law is not Dominican, if he is then easier just hand him over your money right now and chalk it up as a loss.
 

johne

Well-known member
Jun 28, 2003
3,312
177
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Maybe if you want to make $500 net on a car you might make it

If you can do that and do expect to make no more than $500 - you might make a go of it.
Risk vs. reward factor: If the reward is $500 or less it doesn't seem to me that it's worth the risk. What am I missing here??
 

cobraboy

Pro-Bono Demolition Hobbyist
Jul 24, 2004
40,966
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Risk vs. reward factor: If the reward is $500 or less it doesn't seem to me that it's worth the risk. What am I missing here??
$500 is nothing for all the work you'd have to put into it, buying, shipping, aduanas, DGII, dealing with the port monkeys, etc.
 

RDKNIGHT

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2017
921
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Couldnt I just operate through someone that is already a resident? Someone I trust there?
you better really trust him... most are crooks... no such thing as a good deal here its 90 percent time a scam....
 

Tarheel

Active member
Dec 19, 2005
447
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38
Just an Idea...

I have flipped used cars in the states. I wonder if the concept will work in the DR.

Basically pick up a used car, with a clean body, needing high mileage repairs. So, as i am mechanically inclined, fix what is needed, like timing/waterpump, brakes, ball joints, full fluid change, whatever... after a quick buff and wax, re sale as mint, with advertised high mileage maintenance completed. These older Japanese cars with proven track record of reliability do sell themselves. honda, acura, toyota, nissan, 4 doors or jeepetas. I usually make $1500 to $2000 profit per car, for a weeks work. With the way the law works here in the US, I could sell a limit before I am considered a used car dealer, so I get over.

Would a concept work like this in the DR? Even if I were not mechanically inclined, what is the hourly rate of mechanics in DR?
This is a concept that can take off for the non pro car dealer. What can one expect to get for a "mint" 03 honda CRV or an acura rl with a fresh lease on life?
This a most interesting thread. I think you have a great idea but you live where parts are readily available so you can fix up a car that is ready to sale in a week as you have said above. Having to order parts from the US will slow you down. So to have an ongoing business in the DR you would have to have several cars in process to achieve a profit margin similar to what you get in the US. So more capital is required.
 

Tarheel

Active member
Dec 19, 2005
447
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38
This a most interesting thread. I think you have a great idea but you live where parts are readily available so you can fix up a car that is ready to sale in a week as you have said above. Having to order parts from the US will slow you down. So to have an ongoing business in the DR you would have to have several cars in process to achieve a profit margin similar to what you get in the US. So more capital is required.
Whoops! I just gave him advice on a 2015 post. Oh well maybe he's still mulling it over.
 

JDJones

Gold
Jan 7, 2016
1,983
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I'd never do it, but I have a Dominican friend who actually lives off of buying cars in the states and selling them here.

In his case, he does the entire process by himself, with the exception of a "spotter" of sorts who works the auctions.

So he goes to the auction, buys a car (but on a couple of occasions bought 2 due to finding a great deal), gets them to the dock for shipping, does the customs work here and many times has someone in line to purchase it.

He makes enough to pay for expenses and ends up with roughly USD1-2K a month.

Is he getting rich? Of course not. But he says it keeps him busy, and he gets to go to the states every month or so.

He knows dozens of other Dominicans who do the same thing.
 

RDKNIGHT

Well-known member
Mar 13, 2017
921
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good luck pal ...... let me know in a year how it all works out for you...
 

USA DOC

Active member
Feb 20, 2016
1,783
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I'd never do it, but I have a Dominican friend who actually lives off of buying cars in the states and selling them here.

In his case, he does the entire process by himself, with the exception of a "spotter" of sorts who works the auctions.

So he goes to the auction, buys a car (but on a couple of occasions bought 2 due to finding a great deal), gets them to the dock for shipping, does the customs work here and many times has someone in line to purchase it.

He makes enough to pay for expenses and ends up with roughly USD1-2K a month.

Is he getting rich? Of course not. But he says it keeps him busy, and he gets to go to the states every month or so.

He knows dozens of other Dominicans who do the same thing.
After many years in the auto business, and as a used car manager, you make the money when you buy the car not sell it..and if you are buying autos at a car auction you are getting cars that are mostly second rate and paying to much.. as a dealer we sold the bad used cars we couldn't sell at the dealership at the car auction.. in the USA the guy who flips a few cars is called a jockey, and there are many of those guys in the DR and they will work for almost nothing to sell a bad car.. after 24 years in that business my advise don't even try it here.....Doc...