We do not sell New Cars – we do not sell nearly New Cars – In fact we don’t sell very many nearly – nearly New Cars.
Our primary market ranges between £1000 - £3000. This invariably means cars will mainly be around the 7 – 12 years old age group.
As such it is likely they will have some “age” related blemishes – in other words, they may have the odd scuffs – scratches and even the odd dink. It would be disingenuous to “pretend” any different.
We do our best to make all our cars as presentable as possible – jet washing, waxing and polishing and if needed buffing and touching up paintwork. Wherever we can we look to avoid cars having to visit the body-shop other than for minor work. Some of you will have discovered for yourselves bodywork can be eye wateringly expensive. How many times after a slight bump has occurred have you heard those immortal words “I do not want to put this through insurance – I will pay for the bodywork myself” – then on seeing the Estimate have a change of heart!
It is worthwhile pointing out that bodywork damage is a key factor in my buying criteria and I have had to reject many a good car because the cost to repair was uneconomic relative to age and value. I would also make clear I will not bu [...]
A few weeks ago we decided to take a couple of days break in a very nice hotel in St. Anne’s. Whilst sat in the bar overlooking the sea a fellow guest was keen to point out to us that the bar prices were not as cheap as Wetherspoons – Now I am sure he was right – but he seemed to have missed one important fact – we were not in Wetherspoons.
I mention this as I cannot help but feel that for a growing number of consumers the price has become more important than the overall quality of the product. That’s fine but some things cannot or should not be judged on price alone.
I receive numerous emails from potential buyers making me offers on a cars that they have never even seen – let alone driven. None have ever asked – is it any good? The one that really winds me up
I realise this may come as a shock to some of you but I am well into my 60s! Yes, I realise this does not appear obvious from my youthful looks although some people have commented I seemed much taller when I was younger – people can be very cruel.
Having worked pretty well non-stop over the last 53 years it is only in the last year or so that working 6 days a week has started to catch up with me – so much so that I have decided to cut back to only 5 and close the garage and take the weekends off. This will give me more time to build dens and castles with my grandchildren usin [...]
I am not sure what FACTOR it is - the Brexit Factor – the Weather Factor – the Krypton Factor or Max Factor – but something is going on.
I have virtually run out of cars to sell!
Of course, it’s a great situation to have – BUT – I have hit a real problem I cannot overcome – ME!
As always there are thousands of cars for sale – sadly there are very few I want to buy. I cannot change or compromise on this – the acid test remains the same – would I buy this for my family?
In the vast majority of cases, the answer is No.So, for now, all I can do is cast my net further, work harder and burn more midnight oil to find those LITTLE-BELTERS!
Dave Woolf ALFB
New York – Paris – Rome – Berlin AND Stockport
PS A true story – I had become to think I am the only one losing it – yesterday whilst on a train to the Lake District to collect a car – the guard completely lost it! He announced to everyone the Railways were rubbish BUT added – everything was rubbish – NHS – Police – Councils – Education – Government!
Needless to say, my fellow passengers and I gave him a round of applause. I now have a new friend!
I am frequently asked “which are the best cars?” – my response is always the same – the one that meets your needs the best!
My point is this – before you can make a purchase you have to be clear on what you “need” – then hopefully you can have what you want.
In my usual clumsy fashion what I am attempting to explain is this – my role is not just to sell cars of equal if not even greater importance is to provide advice. Now for those customers who know exactly what the want (and they rarely do) then fine my experience and knowledge is not needed.
However - for those who are not so certain – I am here to make my views known and I can only give these by establishing individual needs.Not surprisingly most buying decisions are influenced by price – I do not recall many customer saying they wanted the very best and did not care how much it cost – even if they did I would struggle to believe them. There are times when I have to make it clear that what they are looking for does not exist – even though others may maintain it does.
What has this to do with anything?
Let me make clear buying a car is easy – take a look on Autotrader there are over 400,000 to choose from – BUT – buying the right car – now that is a different ma [...]
I have just got back from visiting my eldest daughter in London – the highlight of which was us both going to see A CHRISTMAS CAROL at the Old Vic Theatre. When you consider Charles Dickens wrote this over 170 years ago its message is still as poignant today. Wonderful – wonderful – wonderful!
So in the words of Tiny Tim…
“A MERRY CHRISTMAS TO US ALL; GOD BLESS US, EVERY ONE!”
Recently it was my granddaughters 8th birthday. As she lives some way away from the rest of the family she received money as gifts. Shortly after whilst watching Children in Need she decided without prompting or encouragement that she did not need all of it and donated £20. Like any grandparent, I felt immensely proud of her. Her selfless act of kindness was a reminder of what the really important things in life are. (My grandson also donated part of his pocket money)
So what has this to do with selling cars?
I am always curious about how consumers think and act. Over recent weeks I have been specifically studying how people look at and inspect cars. Now bearing in mind my chosen market could be described as the Aldi rather than the Waitrose price sector I was keen to see exactly what potential buyers actually look at before arriving at a decision – either
I have not been purchasing Diesel cars from Main Dealers for almost a year. My reason being I could see how things were likely to develop in the Diesel sector and the impact this would have on prices. My fears were well founded and prices have really suffered – it would be fair to say there is now a glut of Diesel cars on the market as “distressed” sellers look to mitigate their losses. NOW – I learned many years ago in my stock-market days that “fire sale markets” bring with them great buying opportunities. One of the basic lessons in any market is – if you can GET IN 5% off the bottom you are doing very well! Neither I nor anyone else can be certain we have reached that point – however, I believe we are much closer to it than 6 months ago and now is the time to take
Having been established for a while it would seem our reputation for providing great cars is growing. It is lovely to see our long standing “garage” customers coming to us to buy their next car AND often trading in their existing one. In addition, we are seeing a steady flow of new customers who are coming to us on a recommendation from those who have already bought from us.
This is a great position for any business to be in- however, it is having a knock on effect. Buying the right stock is never easy – hence why we travel FAR AND WIDE to get them. More and more we are selling cars before we can even get them on our website or even having put them through the LITTLE – BELTERS MAKE OVER! Customers who