Do Bedliners Really Help Resale Value?
I was reading an article on an after-market company blog and it got me wondering…do bed liners REALLY help with resale? Here’s the section of text that got me wondering:
Checking on Edmunds.com, KBB.com, and checking [various truck] models on the NADAGuides.com website, most bedliners only seem to add $50-$100 in resale value.
When I first read this, I said “No way!” $50-100 for a bedliner? That seems absurdly low, especially when you consider that spray-in bed liners are so expensive and essentially last forever.
However, I did a little digging and found that most of the time, a bed liner is only a $50-$100 “add” when you look at trade-in or private party value online. I checked used Rams, Fords, and Tundras on KBB.com, Edmunds, and NADAguides.com…and they always came back in that range. Even on trucks that were relatively new.
The next question in my mind – why so little? For the answer, I called a couple of friends in the car business.
“Old Bed Liners Are Usually Ugly”
When I asked my friend “Dave” (a local dealership manager I’ve known for years who isn’t able to go on record) about bed liners and resale value, he told me that “old bed liners are usually ugly.” Whether it’s a fancy spray-in from Line-X or Rhino, a cheaper do-it-yourself “roll-on” bed liner, or a plastic drop-in, the problems are always the same.
- All (or almost all) liners fade. Spray-in liners are essentially plastic liners applied with a spray gun…and all plastic parts fade and degrade in sunlight. Unless you invest in a UV protected coating, your spray-in (or roll-on) bed liner is going to fade. If the fading is noticeable, it’s not a selling feature and therefore doesn’t bring a lot of value.
- A lot of liners are stained. Whether it’s a plastic drop-in or a spray-in or a roll-on or whatever, stains are common. Dave tells me that gasoline, oil, deer/animal blood (a hunter’s truck), acid rain, and even food can stain a bed liner. Water spots are particularly common.
- Some bed liners are terrible. Regardless of brand, a poorly applied spray-in bed liner (or a very cheap plastic drop-in) won’t stand the test of time. They’ll peel, crack, or bubble up over time if they’re not installed correctly.
Dave did state, however, that a truck with a very nice bed liner was more valuable, especially if the truck was relatively new. Perhaps as much as $200 more valuable than a truck without a liner.
Is A Bed Liner A Good Investment?
Let’s recap what we know:
- The pricing guides and websites only add $50-$100 if a used truck has a bed liner
- A “cheap” spray-in bed liner costs $400-$500. The “premium” spray-ins can cost upwards of $1,000
- You can get a plastic drop-in liner for $200, a rubber mat for $100, or you can get a rubber/plastic hybrid from DualLiner for about $400
While most of the people I know tend to turn their nose up at plastic drop-in liners or rubber mats, these liners are removable. If you bought a new Tundra in 2007, your plastic bed liner or rubber mat is going to fit in a new 2014 because the beds are the same! That’s a huge benefit.
Thus, buying a plastic liner, DualLiner, rubber mat, etc. makes more sense (at least financially), because you can often re-use them.
Does this mean you’re a fool to buy a spray-in liner? Not at all. If you spend the money, spray-in liners can look amazing, and a lot of folks love the way they feel. However, if you decide to buy a spray-in liner, you need to understand that the resale value on your spray-in is going to suck. You better plan on keeping your truck forever, as that’s the only way you’ll get your money out of your spray-in.
Filed Under: Tundra Bed Liner