Hillbillies who buy cars

November 23, 2009

Following is an email I received from a vAuto customer and good friend, along with my response.

Dale, for whatever it is worth, there are a couple of guys that are good honest buyers that can buy cars for any one who needs to work auctions in this part of the country. Before you lecture me, I know this is not our model or vAuto’s. This would only be good for a dealer that can just tell them what they need and know that they are dealing with honesty and integrity. One has worked for us and the other works for a competitor. They both have been on a 50-50 split on what they bought and re-wholesaled. Due to this year’s market that party is over. If you know of a need or have any ideas, let me know. I want be very clear they are just old school car guys, not computer literate at all. I was just curious if there was a need for vAuto clients that know vAuto but not cars. Please don’t scold me too bad. I guess it was the way I came up – there is a soft spot in my heart for the guys in the street.

Gary, I’m not sure if you really have a soft spot for the guys on the street, or a soft spot for hillbillies that buy cars, but you’re offer is well taken.

I think that there’s a temporary moment where guys are generally feeling all right about the level of their inventory, because they bought so vociferously and then the bubble broke in October and sales slowed down. I’m confident, however, that buyers will be back in force early next year after they’ve sold down inventory through the holiday season.

I’ve written extensively in the past about the need to step up buying discipline and processes. It’s going to take more this coming year to source the right inventory for the right money than it has ever taken in the past. Although I don’t think that a bunch of old car guys without software is the best answer, it may be better than just standing around on the lot at a local auction waiting for “the right ones to come rolling”.


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