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Do Bed Liners Have Terrible Resale Value? | Tundra Headquarters Blog

Do Bedliners Really Help Resale Value?

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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.

Bed Liner Resale Value

Spray-in bed liners look great, last a long time, and aren’t exactly cheap…why don’t they boost resale values more than $50-$100?

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.

Bed liners fade

A lot of the old bed liners people have gradually fade to dark gray. While it’s not hideous, it’s not what people want.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
Color match liner wearing down

While some color match liners are better than others, it’s not unheard of for a high-dollar color matched liner to wear down over time.

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.

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  1. Randy says:

    It has been my experience that essentially “all” options bring only a fraction back of their original purchase price. So I think it is very common to only get from $50 to $200 for the bedliner on a used truck. And like you mentioned on a new (used) truck when the liner still looks “new” so it can bring up to $200.

    For me spray in bedliners do their job. They assist in preventing scraps through the paint and cushion a little against dents. The drop in liners always cause rust in humid climates; so most have learned it is a no go. On new trucks of all brands I think the spray in liners account for about 90% of the liners in the Gulf Coast area for that reason alone?

    There are two types of bedliners: Those that last the life of the truck and those that far outlast the life of the truck.

  2. Larry says:

    I thought the purpose of a Bed liner was to protect the steel, remove the slick surface so loads don’t slide around. Who puts a liner on thinking it will be good for resale? I guess if we are concerned that it will fade, using the truck to haul trash to the dump will be totally out of the question if the truck might get scratched or dirty.

    As for function. I use roll on products with UV protection agents for around 100 dollars a gallon. They stick like crazy and are very hard to scratch. That’s the point they are tougher then paint and prevent the steel from being exposed to the air/water/salt.

    Seems like what is most important with anything these days is,,,,, Is it pretty. We buy a tough 4WD truck, pay 1000 for a LineX spray in liner then only drive to an office. Keep working on me, one day I might get it.

    You will love this idea. I might consider an aluminum body F150 if I could get it without the paint. Aluminum oxide is all the coating it needs. Scratch it and it will heal it’s self.

  3. GoBig says:

    I have a Rhino lining in my old Toy. I sure didn’t get it for resale value. I haul a lot of stuff including rocks and gravel.

    If you scratch off the paint, it’s a place for rust to start. The lining helped in that area. Mine is 12 years old and still holding up just fine.

  4. Aaron says:

    Toyota really needs to stop putting those crap plastic bedliners in their trucks. Plastic bedliners are good for two things: letting your load slide around and causing rust underneath as crap collects beneath the liner. You can’t even tailgate with a plastic liner because if you set a portable grill on it, it will warp. Totally useless.

  5. mk says:

    for me, the best is a plastic aftermarket bedliner for 200-250 bucks or so and put my rubber mat over the top to keep things from sliding, works great and can swap it from tundra to tundra for years and years not out a dime but 250 bucks over 7 years is a steal of a deal.

  6. Mickey says:

    Tim my thought was strictly for bed protection only not resale. If it does increase the resale at $100 I break even on my roll in bedliner. I will be painting other parts so I did order enough paint to spray a coat after a little prep to the bedliner.

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