: Dealer or Private Seller?



Destroyer
01-21-08, 07:07 PM
Getting my dealers license hopefully within the next 2 weeks. Already got the required schooling now I need a location and a few other things. Real Estate market has been pretty bad for the last 2 years here in FL. and getting a dealers license has been something I've been wanting to do ever since I worked at dealerships when I was younger. I figure since I'm not a very active Realtor at the time being and I'm not out investing in R/E (took a real beating this year from bad investments), this would be a good time to scratch that itch. After all I have a true passion for cars (most dealers dont IMO) and I go through almost as many cars as Elias does anyway so why not make it into a legit business?. I'm not looking to be sitting at a car lot all day per se. Instead I plan on dealing in internet sales (i.e. Ebay and Craigslist) and show by appointment. I plan on dealing in classic cars, muscle cars (of all years and makes) and older luxury cars like certain Cadillacs, Lincolns and maybe the occasional Mercedes/BMW or Jaguar. Basically no cookie cutter cars, so no Corollas, Malibus, Camry's and the like. Florida is a great place to buy used cars cause they last a lot longer here and dont rust out plus many are senior owned and garage kept. I plan on selling Florida only cars and I think there is a good market for these clean older cars in states where the weather isn't as kind to cars. I personally have always preffered shopping from private parties vs. dealerships but I am a cash buyer and its just easier that way plus I never met a dealer I liked so I avoid them (kinda weird I'm becoming one huh?). When buying a used car do you guys prefer buying from dealers or from private sellers?. I hope this works out, it'll be more of a hobby but I do want to make some money out of it.

dkozloski
01-21-08, 07:49 PM
Selling cars is easy; getting paid is the problem. MIF(money in front) is the only way to go. Carrying paper is a real loser. Never sell a car to a friend because he'll soon be your enemy.

Destroyer
01-21-08, 08:20 PM
Selling cars is easy; getting paid is the problem. MIF(money in front) is the only way to go. Carrying paper is a real loser. Never sell a car to a friend because he'll soon be your enemy.I do not plan on doing the "buy here pay here" deal. I will however point people in the right direction if they are looking to finance a car I'm selling.

c5 rv
01-21-08, 08:31 PM
We have a couple local used car dealers that are reputable and well respected for having good cars at a good price. I can't say the same for some of the new car dealers in our area, though.

If you want to have a niche dealership, you may try to specialize in certain cars and brands that folks up north seek out, but we can't find up here due to rust. Examples include older pickups and SUVs (especially 4WD), El Caminos, 1980s Mercedes (especially pre-86 diesels), older luxury cars, etc. Often the kind of cars retirees in FL would be selling. You could search the many forums for these vehicles and determine if there is a market. You may be able to start a search service like vettehounds.

I can envision an online and bricks-and-morter dealership that has lots of pics and videos online. You develop relationships with independent car inspectors, car transporters, limo service, rental car, and an airline that serves your area to be able to offer discounted inspections and visits. It would be nice if you could work a deal with an airline for your customers to be able to buy a roundtrip discount ticket to check out a car and allow them to get a refund for their return flight if they buy a car and drive home. A buddy of mine flew around the country last year looking for a late 60s GTO. Some dealerships had two strikes against them before he even walked into the door because it was a PITA for him to get there.

ted tcb
01-21-08, 09:59 PM
Most of the 46 or so cars I've purchased have come from dealers ... some new, most were late model used cars.
I think you nailed it Destroyer when you cited a lack of enthusiasm for their very own product.
Most dealers put forth the same lack of enthusiasm when retailing either a used Corolla or a used Lexus.
They might as well be selling widgets ... they buy a car at auction, and try to flip it for a quick $3k.
If you're buying a used STS from these guys and you ask about the regularity of coolant changes, they'll look at
you like you've got a 3rd eye.
I've often thought about doing what you propose for myself. There is a niche to be filled here.
Retailing fun used cars in a knowledgeable way to other car nuts.
C5 rv nailed it when he focused on sweating the details. Lots of high res pics/video, and links to car inspectors/shipping agencies, etc.
I would also add a thorough description on the car's service/ownership history whenever possible.
It looks like a good time in your life to give it a shot.
Good luck.

dkozloski
01-21-08, 10:42 PM
I do not plan on doing the "buy here pay here" deal. I will however point people in the right direction if they are looking to finance a car I'm selling.
The problem is that if you steer too many losers toward the financiers they'll come after you for recourse money. Anybody you direct would automatically get turned down unless you're willing to absorb some of the risk.

Playdrv4me
01-22-08, 01:09 AM
Be well insured, well bonded and prepared to deal with alot of BS. The liability can be very high. The overhead can also be high, but some of that is absorbed by dealing on the internet and also with your real estate connections you should be able to score a warehouse cheaply. Make sure it is in a commercially zoned area.

dkozloski
01-22-08, 01:13 AM
A bulletproof vest and a good hideout might serve you well.

TexasCadillac
01-22-08, 02:46 AM
A lot of people here have a hard time finding a good used economy car for their kids first car, there are plenty of gas drinkers for sale. And the other good seller here are the big trucks. A 400 pound man said the reason he bought a Dodge truck is because that is the only one he could fit in. good luck selling cars.

JC316
01-22-08, 04:40 AM
Well, I used to say that I would only buy from an individual, but since Texas has put this ass rapage, Blue book based transfer fee on the title, I think I would rather go to a dealer, if he is the right kind.

My friends bought an Explorer from Ewing Chevorlet and I have to say that they were complete *******s there. They sent it out with no gas, broken door locks, a bad o2 sensor, no dealer plates, plus it took them a good 2 hours just to get the paperwork ready and required a background check for a cash deal, they also wouldn't budge even a penny for cash. It was so low on gas that it barely made it across the road to the gas station.

In contrast, my Mom got my Dad a 98 ram from a small independent place. They fully detailed it, changed the brakes and rotors, got it inspected, changed all fluids and filters, tuned it up, put half a tank of gas in it, put new floor mats in and knocked off $300 for cash.

So my advice is to treat the customer right and you will do good.

Cadillacboy
01-22-08, 12:11 PM
Dealer but if I know him/her or my friends know that seller then I can change my direction

Jesda
01-22-08, 12:21 PM
I buy private, usually, and I prefer a stack of records.

c5 rv
01-22-08, 07:26 PM
A lot of people here have a hard time finding a good used economy car for their kids first car...

I've bought / helped buy cars for 5 of my 6 kids. This is a need but one that is very hard for a dealer to meet due to the lack of margin on good cars in this price range. The magic number for a lot of parents is $5K for a first car. From a private party, this is usually an OK midsize or fullsize domestic cars with about 70-100K miles. From a dealer, this is often a small car with over 100K miles due to their legitimate need to cover their expenses and make a profit.

My mechanic (who also has a used car lot, rental cars, rental trucks, race team, etc.) tries to stock a few cars for new drivers. He buys some cars from government fleets. They are usually a bit older (2000 or older), but have low mileage and have been well-maintained. Here is his site and you can search his under $5K cars - mainly older Neons.

http://www.conelyauto.com/