I’d like to talk a little bit about cars. One of the sources I have for my business now is Sean Sloane who is developing my website which is mikecarguyoc.com I’ve been able to post some of the cars I have in Stock and on consignment on that site. It explains the process in which I work in buying new and used cars. If you have any clients that are looking for a car and aren’t sure how it works, send them to that site and they can learn a lot about the process. I do new and used cars. When you go to buy a new car, it’s a very intimidating procedure when you have to go deal with a salesman. These guys are wound up tighter than a banjo string. When you come in the driveway, you get turned over, they want a credit app before you test drive the car. What I do is get the price before you get in the dealership. I go down there with you, we drive the car and we leave. Then, if you want to do the deal, the car is delivered to my office or your door. We sign the paperwork and it takes about a half an hour and you’re down the road. So you know the price before you go to the dealership. When you go to a dealership, there are so many games that they play that if you want to avoid that, that’s my forte. Some people enjoy it! There are people who actually like the hustle. To them I may actually take some of the fun out of it. For most people that has not been the case.
Trade-ins. I do take trade-ins. Don’t wait to long. If you have a car approaching 100,000 miles –you wait just a little too long it could cost you a lot of money. Number one, the value of the car drops substantially after 100,000 miles and if you have anything mechanically that’s a little on the shaky side, you don’t want to have to fix a car to trade it in. So planning is everything in most businesses, but in the car industry, it really helps.
We use all the factory programs. If there’re any factory incentives, financing, lease programs. We use everything that the dealer has. There is no disadvantage to using me versus the car dealer on new. There are some great programs out there. Honda has been very, very aggressive. They have a new product now. After the tsunami thing finally did it’s course they are finally in production now and there are some good models there. Some of the companies were really making out when some of the Japanese companies couldn’t get cars. Now Honda’s more aggressive, there’s almost no difference in cost between a Honda and a Hyundai so why would you want to buy a wannabe when you could buy the original. So that’s the way I see it. Hyundai’s a great car. No problem there but when you talk Honda that’s a real quality piece of equipment there. We do German stuff; Mercedes, BMWs all of that. If you want to go in the higher end we have Lexus. If you want to sell your old car there are a couple of ways I can do it. I can put it on a consignment basis on the website and sell it for you. The advantage there is that nobody comes to your house and cases it for later. You get them checked out. I handle the whole transaction. You don’t have any time involved. Selling a used car is not easy; especially in this market. You’ll get five tire-kickers for every good customer. That’s something I will deal with and take that off of your hands.
As far as used cars, I work the dealer auctions. I also have a number of other sources I look to when I go to buy inventory. When you come to me and say, “Hey Mike, I want this. I want a Mercedes E350 and it has to have Navigation, leather I want a certain color.” What I do is I put that on the Manheim website, which is the dealer-only auctions. I will find every car in the Western United States that meets those criteria. Before I buy that car, I go out and personally inspect that car, make sure it’s in good shape. Then, I set a number that is our maximum bid number. I do all of this by email so you’ll see pictures, descriptions, I’ll tell you what is the most that we would pay. I inspect the car. Once I buy the car, it goes to Mike Vals. They do a complete inspection on it. That includes seatbelts, lights, all of the little things that have to work. They check air in the tires. That’s a great thing. You leave there and you’ve got air in your tires. That’s not always the case. Then I deliver the car. Doing this, you will basically buy the car wholesale Blue Book in most cases. Sometimes you do a little better than that. It depends on the miles you’re looking at. Some people think that an older car with less miles is not of value, but mileage is everything. You can buy a car that is a few years older and if it has less miles it’ll be a good car for years to come. Be a little open as far as what you’re looking for and you’ll get a better deal. If you’re really precise on a specific year, specific miles, I can still help you and save you money but it may not be as good as something else in a little older model. If you have to finance a used car go to a credit union. Get a credit union involved because right now nobody can touch them as far as their rates and their terms. They’re just superb. I would highly recommend using a credit union for any used car purchase you’re going to finance. With that I’d like to throw it out there to see if there are any questions.
“Any recommendations for a first car for a sixteen year old?”
I have one in stock. Go to my website. I have one now it’s got 45,000 miles it’s a Maxima and it’s in good condition. Reliable. There’re a lot of good cars out there. Just find something reliable that has the least amount of miles. If you’re limited on your budget, that gives you the best bang for your buck.
“Can you..If you were to go to an auction and find a car that’s less than a year old but has some miles on it, can you lease those cars through…”
I haven’t yet. Usually leasing is due to factory programs. If you go to a credit union and get the good rate you’re almost better off because you’re buying the car at a lower number.
“Mike, on your website are you putting up your inventory as you’re getting it?”
I don’t stock a lot. Sometimes it’s consignment. Things that I have in stock you can see pictures and descriptions. I kind of do what the auction did. I emulate it. So it’s really a comprehensive report on each car that I have. You can see it, refer it.
“We love our new car mike…My husband drives it like its his old Corvette. It’s so powerful.. I love driving it.”
Well, he bought a Mercedes and I like Mercedes. Any more questions?
“Yeah, can you explain a little how you get paid.”
Okay. On a new car, my fee typically, with a lot of dealers, is covered by their flooring costs. That’s the same way they pay their salesmen. On used cars, I factor in my fee to the price, which is typically $500. If I have to travel or transport I might change a little bit if there’s distance involved, but that’s pretty much what I work on.
“Do you get any classics?
There are quite a few classics out at auction. If you get varying forms of restoration. They’re out there and I also have sources other than that. I can get you what you want. Thank you.