Wheelerdealer1

Closing down my business, sad day

Recommended Posts

Hi all,

 
Well I've been quiet for a few months now so just popping in now to give an update on my own situation.
 
Which isn't all that great to be honest, which is why with a very very heavy heart I have made to decision to stop trading now. I sold the last of my stock today.
 
Unfortunately I can no longer compete with all the local driveway sellers working from home I have down here in West London and up and down the country, I prep my cars well and sell from a premises with a warranty, and these guys are under cutting me big time selling no prep cars, no warranty, and really no comeback from anyone so they don't really care what scrap heap car they sell. But the buyers buy as its price they care about not a quality product anymore.
 
My own thoughts are that the government really needs to step in and sort out all these rouge traders before it kills the used car business for small good indys. Maybe some sort of licenses or another system to stop any jack the lad setting himself up as a trader and flogging motors from his driveway on the pretext of being a trader with the benefits that brings for a buyer.
 
Anyway I will still be in the auto industry with my new venture so at least that's some comfort for myself!
 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So sorry to hear that you're closing doors on your business , must have been a very , very tough call. It is sad as you say so many people selling cars , un-registered dealers making a few bucks here and there but killing the genuine ,small independent dealers. Will the government bring a 'licencing' system to operate a car sales? repair business , I doubt it .

I wish you all the very best with your new venture.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Really sorry to hear you're news must be a very sad day for you. Good luck with your new venture when one door closes another one opens. The way the jobs going you never know it may be a blessing in disguise.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sadly, ever since 'Arthur Daley' ALL motor traders are viewed as 'spivs; or suspicious characters regardless of how whiter than white we are. Most people view us in the same way as estate agents or double glazing salesman. As such, nobody fights our corner.

Manheim Wimbledon won't be the same without you!;)

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Always sorry to see someone go who does the job right ,round my way ive weathered more storms than Francis Chichester but they still keep coming and going and even offering customers the world then disappear to end up trading from home with clapped out ford ka's etc,glad to hear your going into the new business of discount tax disc holders:lol::lol: anyway pecker up and all the best mate:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for the kind words all, I do hope some sort of debate is opened soon regarding these roadside delboys, I know traders don't like regulations but something really needs to be done done.

 

where as a few years ago you had a few known dodgy home dealers, now it's an epidemic, in my patch alone there's 10-15 known operations, I caught a few even trying to take there autotrader pictures outside my unit !

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

How was your first day out of the job? Did you miss it at all or was it like a weight lifted off your shoulders? 

These cars are on a busy main road on the Wirral who have a policy of no roadside sellers on a trade policy, all advertised as private sales, 5 cars off 2 mobile numbers and a forecourt only 400 yards down the road.  

WP_20150806_003- Copy.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear about your business but best of luck with the new venture! 

And i know what you all mean regarding 'driveway/layby' traders, there are lots near me too that trade illegaly, i.e. not insured as trade and advertising cars they collected as scrap that day! But heres the thing, I, by definition, am a driveway trader. I Sell cars from my home office, but store them at a yard on the other side of town, When i went self employed i decided on this approach as I couldn't get a pitch for love nor money! It seems every land owner has realised that asking a foreign dude to get 10 of his friends and a Jetwash together is a very easy way to make some serious cash so I just cant get a look in on anywhere remotely suitable. 

So this seemed like the ideal for me, as advertising online, ebay, facebook, motors.co.uk and word of mouth is where all my leads come from it just seems pointless paying over the odds just to have a pitch when i have a yard that costs £300 a month and i can put 20 cars there.

Perhaps what seperates me from 'them' is A. a sense of integrity! and B. i do things properly, I have a workshop at my yard, a mechanic, a trusted MOT tester, every vehicle is inspected, even a £££ cheapy, and if its crap, its either sold to a breaker or scrapped, I give warranties with my cars and actually do offer aftersales service, again, even on cheapys. 

I do feel looked down upon i guess by some indy chaps at the auctions, but then i think, ah well, my customers are happy, i operate 100% Legit and the kids are kept in shoes!

 

 

slight digression there.....do apologise!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

RandomJord there is a 'massive difference' in what you do .. you may be a a home trader with a unit ..but you have a 'proper business' unlike the ones we're all talking about who don't have a 'legit' car sales business but simply a 'extra income' , not forgetting they don't pay vat probably plus all the rent/rates and everything else associated with a proper business ! 

you have a business model that suits you , nothing wrong with that ! 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Coming back to my own situation, I wouldn't even get a driveway round here for £300 pm, the smallest unit is going to be at least £1200 plus rates and the rest, end of the day you add in all the other out goings, and you can quickly see that this business becomes one where margins are small, but effort is large.

before the started I did work full time, ok not a high paying job but a decent role, so I had a good comparison of where I could be and where I needed to be, add in the usual stuff, kids/wife/house, well then the writing was on the wall. The Hardest part for me anyway was admitting it really. But as a plus point I can go back to enjoying cars as a hobbie, and not seeing them as a pain in the arse !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole way car trading is done will be very different over the coming years, i am afraid to say but the day of the forecourt is dying. The business has now become an online market and so we will have to adapt to this. More and more traders will operate from home or cheap units/yards driving down the margins that can be made.

I can also imagine the supermarkets offering an online only sevice basically where you see the car you want online maybe with a walk round video, you buy the car online and it is delivered to your door. A bit like how online grocery shopping is going, in 20 years from now everything will be done online and nobody will go shopping at all...scary thought really.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Very true max, the nature of the beast is changing, however I think it's the supermarkets like, car giant, car people, to good to auction etc who will benefit , the reason is they have a proper environment where a buyer will be happy to part with cash online , I don't have a problem with driveway sellers like the ones you mention, but as you can see from the Phil H pic it's these guys who line them up on the streets, happy to sell you a cat D or C, they are not concerned with service history or comebacks , so as a result they under cut as badly, then you have the poor punter who once he realises he has been done over decides to tar all used car dealers with the same brush. That's what will eventually damage the reputation of all small indy operations especially those operations running from home 

How was your first day out of the job? Did you miss it at all or was it like a weight lifted off your shoulders? 

These cars are on a busy main road on the Wirral who have a policy of no roadside sellers on a trade policy, all advertised as private sales, 5 cars off 2 mobile numbers and a forecourt only 400 yards down the road.  

WP_20150806_003- Copy.jpg

im going to have a hol before I start , think I deserve it !

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole way car trading is done will be very different over the coming years, i am afraid to say but the day of the forecourt is dying. The business has now become an online market and so we will have to adapt to this. More and more traders will operate from home or cheap units/yards driving down the margins that can be made.

I can also imagine the supermarkets offering an online only sevice basically where you see the car you want online maybe with a walk round video, you buy the car online and it is delivered to your door. A bit like how online grocery shopping is going, in 20 years from now everything will be done online and nobody will go shopping at all...scary thought really.

.... and you have 30 days to decide if you want it

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The whole way car trading is done will be very different over the coming years, i am afraid to say but the day of the forecourt is dying. The business has now become an online market and so we will have to adapt to this. More and more traders will operate from home or cheap units/yards driving down the margins that can be made.

I can also imagine the supermarkets offering an online only sevice basically where you see the car you want online maybe with a walk round video, you buy the car online and it is delivered to your door. A bit like how online grocery shopping is going, in 20 years from now everything will be done online and nobody will go shopping at all...scary thought really.

I used to work for a huge independent dealer of commercials, i'd estimate 90% of my customers i never met, People would just ring up saying they'd seen a van on the website, then everything else done by phone/email, a driver delivers the van, job done!

But as a plus point I can go back to enjoying cars as a hobbie, and not seeing them as a pain in the arse !

Amen to that! My dear VW's have been somewhat neglected because my head is always full of Corsas, Vectras and other such sensible sellers!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Wheelerdealer1 sorry to hear that you are closing trading, best of luck with the next venture and as it's still in the motor trade you should be able to hit the ground running with industry knowledge/contacts already acquired.

Laws should definitely be put in place to prevent unlicensed trading, it wasn't until I left the spanners and started working in other aspects of the trade that I got an insight into how difficult being a trader actually is and how much costs are involved. Margins seem to be getting smaller and customers have the luxury to search the country without even leaving their home for their desired vehicle.

It seems a huge shame that customers are so price sensitive and can't see the added value that buying from a reputable dealer/trader brings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks Edward, I'm not saying this system is perfect but maybe our UK Gov can look into the USA traders licenses system 

 

link here

 

http://m.wikihow.com/Get-a-Car-Dealer-License-to-Sell-Cars

 

 

Even a step like following a process similar to the above could go some way to curbing the rouge traders.

 

At the moment the gov seem to be concentrated on tighting up SOGA, but in reality this will only effect us proper traders and do nothing to protect the average joe from the Del Boy home traders.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is terrible news Wheelerdealer1 - we'll miss you.

I've long thought about a campaign against these roadside sellers. I thought Car Dealer could run one that backs independents like you and franchised dealers alike. The dealers following the rules and paying VAT.

Would you guys back it? Something like Buy From A Trusted Trade. We could make stickers - like warning stickers - that proper dealers can stick on these roadside cars. 

'Buyer Beware: This Seller Pays No VAT, Offers No Warranty Or Comeback. Buy From Your Local Trusted Dealer Instead.'

Something along those lines. We could talk to the government on your behalf.

It's just a thought. What do you all think? 

  • Like 5

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James ! FANTASTIC IDEA ! Lets get the campaign on the road - get your appointment with the government body  - we legit dealers need all the support, especially the small independents as they say 'I'm IN ' 

Over to you James , I'm sure everyone on here will be behind this ! 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Everybody wants it cheap. Get a plumber in and it's "how much for cash".

Yes and when your house floods out you have no comebacks as it was a cash job...same as when you buy a car from the roadside you just dont know what your getting. Saving £200 today could end up costing you £2000 down the line.

James this is a very good idea.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Go for it James get GG as the official spokesman. I've got a set of domain names that you could use if you want it for your campaign "used car dealers you can trust"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps we need to temper our enthusiasm before "waking the sleeping giant". Historically the motor trade gets very little help from the council or Westminster that either makes things either more difficult and/or more  for honest traders! In my area of East London the local council have various weapons in their arsenal to deal with rogue traders already but for whatever reason choose not to use them? I'm not convinced that "even more" legislation is really going to help the small guys, other than produce more revenue streams for government, especially the classic knee jerk "licensing" thing thats often mentioned in these situations.

Be careful what you wish for, it may come true!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James that's and excellent suggestion and what a great way to get this ball rolling!

metcars I'm afraid the "I'm alright mate" attitude is just putting you head in the sand, and if your waiting for local gov then you know that local councils simply don't have the manpower and resources allocated to tackle this.

 

if this isn't tacked or brought to the attention of higher ups now them soon it will effect everyone at the bottom line whether your a big or small Indy, it's only going to get worse , and guess what your overheads aren't going to get lower!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

James, if you can talk to the government that would be great, maybe we should push for a minister to be give a role off overseen the 'motor trade'. Year after year we hear stories of how cars generate the most complaints to trading standards but we see very little action from government to help overcome this issue. The sale of goods act has so many grey areas which helps neither customers of dealers. 

 

I'm sure we have a cross section of dealers here selling from sub £2000 car upto maybe some main dealers and from different parts of the country. Even the roadside traders deserve to have a voice if only to try and offer education to them, everyone has to start somewhere. Acting like vigilantes and putting stickers on cars will achieve very little in the long term

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.