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Folks Of Interest Fear & Loathing The Classic Car Dealer: Part 2

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Ryan, Dec 30, 2016.

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  1. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,393

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Ryan submitted a new blog post:

    Fear & Loathing The Classic Car Dealer: Part 2

    [​IMG]

    Continue reading the Original Blog Post
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  2. tb33anda3rd
    Joined: Oct 8, 2010
    Posts: 10,748

    tb33anda3rd
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    1. Connecticut HAMB'ers

    i have been buying high and selling low all my life.
     
  3. While I have a visceral feeling of agreement with you, I also realize that people will make money in a capitalist system any way they can. Just like we dislike the inundation of cheap ass Chinese parts sold, there will always be someone doing it because there will always be someone buying them.
     
  4. theHIGHLANDER
    Joined: Jun 3, 2005
    Posts: 6,688

    theHIGHLANDER
    Member

    I'd raise right hand anywhere on the planet and state that no matter how you rationalize your disdain for dealers, the greedy bastards aside, there's not now and never will be a logical black and white view to the trading end of this shit. At the core of what you wrote there's an issue with someone's lucky find, that being the purchase of that car for $15K (which I have a hard time accepting). That even if the car's worth an honest retail/market/insurance value of, let's say $28K, somehow as a dealer you're a prick for selling it at retail because no meat was left on the bone for the "industry". So I have to ask for total and true disclosure, what would YOU do if you found a car at near 1/2 it's value? Pay more to the seller? add a meager 10% and pass the great deal on to someone else? Sell it only for cost + gas and lodging expenses to get it home? Why is it sinister to make a profit? Why is it wrong to get full price for parts or cars? What do you or anyone else OWE this industry you mention? Nothing. You owe yourself and your family. You owe your mortgage and utility bills. You owe your client base an honest product or service. This is a good place to say "you" as referenced here applies to everyone reading. I can say with zero shame that were I to find something at 1/2 it's value knowing I can flip it for twice what I paid in a matter of days, hell maybe hours, I'm going to do EXACTLY that. I'm not a full time dealer or broker. I know folks who want cars, who want to sell cars, who have collections and are simply tired of the expense and labor involved keeping them up. Some of them call on me to be the one who does the leg work and I get paid for that. I ask for 5% of the sale price and do whatever I need to do to make sure I have happy folks at both ends of the deal. Any expenses incurred in marketing is on the seller, any transport is on the buyer. Both parties know what I'm doing and for how much. Yes, I buy as well now and then, I've had some awesome deals where I made over 200% return on my initial investment and still offered a great car at a really fair price. I also have a standard answer when asked "...but how much did you pay for it?" My answer? "Oh I didn't pay anything. In fact I got paid to remove it from the property." If that prospect gets pissed and leaves, happy days man. Anyone who feels that an honest profit is something I don't deserve, well in plain shop talk, fuck em. I'll go back to a point from above, I don't owe a buyer anything. I owe myself, I owe maintaining a fair an honest reputation. I owe prospective buyers the absolute truth as to condition, history, anything I know about what I'm selling. At my age, and having done this as an aside since I was a teen, I can honestly say nobody will ever declare I "fucked" them on anything. Sometimes that's a tough row to hoe yet I find it easy more often than not. The easiest thing to remember is the truth. Is there mud in that fender? Does the engine hold good oil pressure? Does it run hot, stop straight, steer right? If it's a project, what's missing? It's so easy to make good money in this "industry". To me good money is the kind you make that keeps your head on the pillow all night. Are all dealers crooks and thieves? Of course not. They do provide a real value. They have inventory that you don't have to search high and low for. The best have a reputation for always having the "good stuff" even if it's priced at full retail. I'll stop now and see where it goes from here. I don't think a new 2017 shit storm was the goal and I don't want to be the 1st to throw the wet turds in the fan. I do think there's some real and serious value to the sales end of the game.
     
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  5. It's not only the Classic Car Dealers.....
     
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  6. choffman41
    Joined: Oct 30, 2012
    Posts: 1,395

    choffman41
    Member

    It appears to me from perusing some of the dealer websites, that they generally price the vehicles far higher than the asking price of private sellers. Seems like this in itself would have a similar effect to that of couch potatoes watching "reality" TV and coming to the conclusion that the rust bucket in their back yard is worth approximately the same amount as the restored car that just sold at a BJ auction. Maybe that's why a lot of cars in the HAMB classified ads seem way overpriced.
     
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  7. Jeez Ryan, have you turned into some kind of communist?

    Disreputable car dealers are a fact of life, whether they just sell used late models or are 'specialty' dealers. If you manage to find a truly honest one, treasure him for the extremely rare jewel he is. And given the state of business ethics in general, why is any of this surprising? And as you pointed out, these guys target buyers who aren't usually the 'true' car guys but somebody who wants quick entry into the hobby.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
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  8. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,393

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Unless I have a buddy that really wants it, I'd sell it for as much as I could get for it. However, I don't do it for a living.

    I owe this industry a shit ton... It's done a shit ton for me. However, I'm not a socialist. I believe in free markets. I also believe in educating the consumer.

    No. I mentioned this in both my articles.

    A simple search on the internet gives the buyer access to a much larger inventory than any dealer. In fact, I've found as far as dealers go that the larger the inventory, the more likely they are a dealer that I want nothing to do with.

    This really hits to the basis of my argument. Before the internet, dealers provided a kind of "finders" service and they made much more sense in the market. They provided value.

    With the internet and as we approach the availability of perfect information, the idea of a dealer becomes less and less relevant. We don't need a finder's service anymore. We have google. We have eBay. We have the HAMB. We have countless other ways for a buyer to sell to the seller WITHOUT a middleman.

    Middlemen are inefficient to economies. In my opinion, we should be looking for anyway to get rid of them and dealers should be looking for ways not to be one... They should be looking to add value to the market - not just take it. It's smart capitalism for the long run.

    I don't know that I've ever heard anyone say, "Hey man, go buy that '32 roadster from So-and-so dealer. They have a great reputation, so you know the experience will be great."

    I have, however, heard this a shit ton of times - "I found what looks to be a pretty nice car. However, a dealer is offering it... So I have to be really careful with the deal."
     
  9. teejay99
    Joined: Sep 26, 2009
    Posts: 357

    teejay99
    Member

    There are scams everywhere , every day of the year ....money market ( can you say Ponzi scheme ? ) mortgages and real estate , sports memorabilia , dating sites ( hookers ) and yes classic autos .....hell ANY autos, new and used . They play on suckers who are born every minute it seems . Face it , there are stupid people in the world and they are taken advantage of .
    Smarten up , ask questions , ask opinions , use some logic , look for comparisons , and you will probably buy things without getting screwed .....if you get screwed once , LEARN FROM IT !! Don't fall for it again .
    I was in the car business for 25 years and yes there were some scum people in the business . I can say with all honesty there were an equal number of slimy customers . It happens .
     
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  10. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,393

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    No. Not to get political (and please don't guys), but I'm the exact opposite of a communist by definition.
     
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  11. Deuced Up!
    Joined: Feb 8, 2008
    Posts: 2,056

    Deuced Up!
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

  12. I know one particular "classic car dealer" who actually buys and takes possession of his inventory. He typically has between 80 and 100 cars on hand at any given time. I feel his prices are what the current market dictates and not out of line at least most of the time. The people who really piss me off are the "dealers" that only sell cars on a consignment basis and price the vehicles way above the reasonable market simply because they're working on a commission. These people might be in Florida or Indiana or wherever but a particular car they are selling could be in California or Arizona. These are the unsavory, greedy ones in my mind, not necessarily the aforementioned guy who already has a financial interest tied up in the car. He's actually buying cars at a price based on his judgement that he can make a profit on. Sometimes he might hit a home-run, other times not so much.
     
  13. That's utopia speaking. If every business was run the same way and/or every seller was aware of all possible ways to reach the buyer, that might possibly work, but they're not. For an example of a middleman helping, check out the whine-fest thread about CE shipping. And you're assuming in this scenario that the buyers/sellers are all honest or at least well-informed, which may or may not be the case.

    I always remember selling a VW bus my 2nd X owned when we got married. I told her that had to go, I didn't consider it safe. So an ad was placed, and some chick showed up to buy it. I offered to show her whatever she wanted to see in an effort to be as honest as possible (pull the drums to look at the brakes, etc; I didn't 'know' the vehicle and the X was vague about it) but she wasn't having any. She insisted on a 'pro' inspection (at her expense), so I met her at the VW dealer. They passed it with flying colors, she bought it. Three weeks later the buyer showed up complaining that the brakes were bad and some other nit-picking stuff and wanted a refund. I'll give you one guess what my answer was...
     
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  14. bobwop
    Joined: Jan 13, 2008
    Posts: 5,879

    bobwop
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    boy could I tell you a few stories!
     
  15. abe lugo
    Joined: Nov 8, 2002
    Posts: 1,857

    abe lugo
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    another great topic, Im in the midst of selling and buying something soon. Great wake up call cause I keep seeing things like these posted here, then see the dealer add on craiglist.

    If you look up the original posted of the ads, you can see he really take time to contribute to the forum.... buy putting ads for cars..


    BTW Ryan, I noticed a trend on other forums, consolidation of ads into one post. Maybe something to think about for car sales. That way it would be obvious if the seller is a dealer.

    That was quick, hope you locked out his IP address as well, good riddens!!
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2016
  16. Rand Man
    Joined: Aug 23, 2004
    Posts: 3,111

    Rand Man
    Member

    I wish I knew the answer to this. I know of a car right now, that I could have bought for $500. The current owner may have given it a crappy re-paint. Now he's asking $12,500. Seems like whenever I try to sell something, I can't get an offer to cover my cost.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  17. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 260

    cfmvw
    Member

    Sort of related, but I went to a GM dealer once to get a part for my car, and a salesman tried to hustle me into a brand-new Olds 442 with the Quad 4. I played along until we got to the test drive; I think I took ten years off his life span - I sure had fun! When we got back, I told him to NEVER try to hustle me or anyone else again.
     
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  18. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,896

    williebill
    Member

    Every post on this thread made me think of a rebuttal, except maybe Highlander and Bobwop.
    Middlemen are inefficient? That money should be left on the table so the buyer has more money to buy new stuff, and more stuff?
    And the internet makes it all so easy that dealers aren't necessary?
    I don't see that. What I see in my business ( NOT the car biz ) is thanks to the internet, I have to spend way too much time explaining and teaching shit to counteract the raving, over the top, inaccurate complete bullshit that the internet is full of. To people who want to know, but don't understand that honesty is optional on the Holy Grail internet.
    When you buy a gallon of milk at the grocery store, do you dislike and resent the middleman? Would there be more money for bologna if you could skip the store and go straight to the dairy farm?
    Sorry for the inane post. I'm at work, being the middleman, and I don't have time to think it through. I'm too busy fixing shit for my customer's own good and well being. Some of them need me, and if all goes well, I make a little money, too.
     
  19. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,393

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    Yes... I believe that the internet is making "perfect information" almost obtainable and as a result, makes the classic car dealer obsolete.

    Yes, that's not an opinion. That's a fact of economic mathematics as presented by Adam Smith - the father of free market economics. In a free economy, middle men are driven out when not needed and driven in when needed. Why? Because of their very nature, middlemen are inefficient... until they are not.

    Absolutely not, because generally speaking the middleman is really important to the agricultural world. Farmers Farm. Distributors distribute. And Retailers sell.

    ***

    Like I said, it used to be that classic car dealers found the cars for people. That was their value add. These days, the internet lets people do that themselves. So...

    What, exactly, do classic car dealers do that a reasonably informed consumer can't?
     
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  20. LOL, and I thought I was the only one that couldn't afford a bus ride back home, after my BIG sale.
     
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  21. Muttley
    Joined: Nov 30, 2003
    Posts: 17,829

    Muttley
    Member

    There's a lot of consumers who aren't reasonably informed..................and they end up screwing themselves because of it. BTW, please answer my PM when you get a chance.
     
  22. williebill
    Joined: Mar 1, 2004
    Posts: 1,896

    williebill
    Member

    I wasn't supporting the dishonest car dealer, I was taking issue with your ideas about middlemen.
    There will always be a need for "experts" with the knowledge needed to assist those with the desire, but not the ability to make proper decisions about their shit.
    My perspective may be a little skewed, dealing daily with folks who went it alone, and now need me to fix their messes.
    They NEED a middleman.
    I'll shut up now.
     
  23. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,393

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    So, you as a middleman are efficient. Your market calls for it. You add value to the process of selling goods in your market.

    ***

    When I ran part 1 five years ago, a lot of people missed my point. That's happening again I think... There's a classic car dealer on the HAMB that I greatly respect. He doesn't want to be called out, so I won't... But he finds interesting cars, goes over them, fixes em up a bit, and then sells them at a reasonable price. In my opinion, he's found a way NOT to be a middleman. He's adding value to the system.

    What I have a problem with are the guys that are purely dealers. They find a car, talk it up by way of marketing, mark it up by way of pricing, and get it out the door. They add nothing. They provide no value to the system and only drive the prices up of the things we love.
     
  24. BrandonB
    Joined: Feb 24, 2006
    Posts: 2,665

    BrandonB
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from nor cal

    I had been looking for a 40 Ford awhile back. I saw one for sale here on the HAMB. Was an old hotrod from California that had ended up on the east coast. Inquired about it and ended up doing a google search of the sellers name. Turned out the guy was a dealer. I don't have anything against dealers except I wouldn't buy a classic car or hot rod from one. I don't know how to describe it, but it seems like a dealer removes the heart and soul of the vehicle. It seems like it is than cleansed of any charactor that it might have had and is turned into a sterile commodity. I don't know if that makes any sense.
    The car was eventually sold to a party a couple of states away than popped right back up on the HAMB again for sale at about the same price. Now that even turned me off more because I ask myself why would somebody buy a vehicle, I don't really know what it sold for, and then put it back up for sale at around the original asking price of the original seller.:confused:
     
  25. 4wd1936
    Joined: Mar 16, 2009
    Posts: 377

    4wd1936
    Member
    from NY

    As long as you don't lie or otherwise misrepresent the car you are selling I think you are entitled to all the money it will bring. There are those situations where a major problem is not obvious but that is rare. I have bought a few cars from dealers and most have been open and honest about the car. In truth the most obvious misrepresentation has been done by individual owners, some HAMB members I'm sad to say. For example: The clown who said "sure the speedometer works fine" which turned out to be a mechanical speedo in a car with an S10 5-speed with electronic speed generator. That required pulling the transmission to change the shaft and gear. Then there was the classic: "e-brake works well and is tight". E-brake lever with cables bolted solid to the crossmember but no connection to the rear. There are more but I think you get the point. Maybe I am too honest if that is possible as I have advertised a couple of cars as "dangerous when parked". They are not all bad, the ones that are sure leave a lasting memory. Sonny Barger has a couple of excellent quotes in this regard. Look them up.
     
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  26. Jalopy Joker
    Joined: Sep 3, 2006
    Posts: 16,947

    Jalopy Joker
    Member

    many buyers are not reasonably informed when it comes to buying classic cars, etc. they have a love for classics but, do not know what it takes to build/repair one. look at some of the questions posed on this site. so, very basic yet overwhelming to the novice. plus, as with the '36 in question, how to really know the true history/condition. some here ask what is the value of this or that ride without sharing much info. most times they will be told to go see it in person, or have a reasonably trustworthy individual look at in person. even then it is a gamble because you might/might not be willing to accept certain stuff that the guy looking might/might not. as stated, there are no simple answers. some have gone through all of the right steps only to later find problems with their new ride that they never could have foreseen. when I was a teenager I was suckered by a simple statement by a car dealer - " there was another young guy just here and went home to get his Dad to buy it". bought the '57 Chevy on the spot with that. did not even make it to my house under 10 miles away. on top all of this is the guys that steal an ad, whether current or not, and modify it with their contact info like they actually have the ride/parts and try to get someone to send them money -then disappear. Yikes - it is a hard cold world out there. but, then are sanctuaries like the H.A.M.B. that helps us all navigate our way through all of it. Have a Happy & Safe 2017.
     
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  27. wicarnut
    Joined: Oct 29, 2009
    Posts: 1,517

    wicarnut
    Member

    My 2¢ on this subject is, BUYER BEWARE ! Anybody that makes their living selling you a service, product, etc. Educate yourself on what you are buying so you can "Read between the lines and Mountains of BS" The Automotive and Construction industry have the biggest percentage of crook's, period. There are good honest business people out there, BUT IMO, you have to search them out and when you find them, keep them in business, as again IMO, they are few and far in between. I have met many good people in business and life and don't want to sound jaded, but this opinion is from my life's experiences.
     
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  28. Ryan
    Joined: Jan 2, 1995
    Posts: 17,393

    Ryan
    ADMINISTRATOR
    from Austin, TX
    Staff Member

    So some dealers help people avoid the pitfalls of owning an old car. That's their value ad. How do they do this exactly? Do they give them their money back if something goes wrong with the car? Do they warranty it? Do classic car dealers have warranties? I've never heard of that.
     
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  29. .............Holy shit! Don't get me started about the so-called "experts" in the "classic car dealer" game. So many of them don't know a Coupe from a Roadster from a Cabriolet from a Phaeton, a Model A from a '32 Ford. Check out some of their ads. Their descriptions alone would send me looking for someone that actually knew what they were talking about.
     
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  30. joeycarpunk
    Joined: Jun 21, 2004
    Posts: 4,276

    joeycarpunk
    Member
    from MN,USA

    Dealers in my opinion do serve a function for lazy sellers and lazy buyers that can't or don't want to the leg work involved to do both. You have honest people and crooks on both sides of the coin.
     
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