Six years ago I managed to make a $2000 profit on a car without it ever leaving the auction.
A few winks to the auctioneer. A few clicks on a digital camera. A few paragraphs on Ebay. Done. I had managed to purchase and remarket a 2001 Toyota Prius in mint condition with 113k miles. It was near factory clean inside and out. A spanking new hybrid battery. Brand new Michelin low resistance tires, and a maintenance history that showed it had been dealer maintained since day one.
In the car business we refer to these opportunities as an automatic slam dunk.
Every once in a very blue moon, I’ll go to a mini-warehouse auction.
The realities of this low-down clearance process is completely unlike the miracles and glories that come with episodes of Storage Wars. You want junky third world quality furniture? Or memoirs of the 1980′s and 1990′s left behind by your neighbors from their very last estate sale before they finally moved to a condominium? The local storage auctions are the place to go. 80% to 90% pure junk.
This is where I recently found this wrecked 2002 Toyota Solara SE with 140k miles. For $375, it was all mine.
I stole it.
What is luxury?
Back in 1999, that was an easy question to answer in the U S of A. Three Letters: S U V . When I first started in the auction business these mastodons absolutely dominated the marketplace. You could go to the nearest Ford factory auction and quite literally pick out your colors, trim, and options. Want running boards, all wheel drive and a trip computer? Sure. Want it in Black with the all too common grey interior? Absolutely! Want to get it all in a model exactly like the Ford Explorer but call it something different for the hell of it? Well, why not!
The 1999 Mercury Mountaineer rang up at $30k loaded when new. 12 years, $4 gas, and 180k miles later, I bought it at a public sale for $1200. Should I… (Read More…)
Back in November, NHTSA announced that it was investigating how long it took for rental cars to be repaired under recall, saying
NHTSA understands that there is presently a petition before the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) seeking to prohibit at least one rental car company from renting vehicles on which safety recall campaign remedies remain outstanding.
Because only vehicles made by the Detroit Three are under investigation, they are the only firms who have been asked to disclose how long it takes rental fleets to repair their vehicles. And, according to the Detroit News
GM and Chrysler told NHTSA this week that 30 days after a recall — 10 to 30 percent of vehicles sold to rental car companies had been repaired.
By 90 days, it had improved to about 30 percent and within a year, the number had improved to 50 percent or higher.
Ford did not make its data public, citing the fact that the release of the information could damage it is relationship with rental car companies and result in “decreased sales of motor vehicles to rental car fleets.”
Rental car companies are not legally required to complete recalls before they rent the cars to customers.