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GreenGiant

Ranty Friday 7 August

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I too am sad to hear that Wheelerdealer1 is leaving the Trade - he cannot compete with the fly-by-night home traders that are sucking the lifeblood out of the industry.

His story here

It is, indeed, a sorry situation when any old bandit can pretend to be a Motor Dealer, buy a snotter out of the auction, stick a few hundred sovs over the bonnet and 'retail' it, without any consideration as to Warranty, VAT etc And yet they get away with it because there is no Official Registry of Bona Fide Motor Traders. No Licensed Motor Retailers and Repairers. No Society of Proper Blokes Selling Proper Cars. You get the drift.

Am I in favour of having Official Licensed Traders? Well, I'm not so sure. For one it would be difficult to police, as there are so many levels within our business from Super Duper Franchised Megastores to the One Man Band and who would do the policing? As long as all Traders do the job properly, we should all be able to co-exist and earn a living. There will always be the chancers who see it as an easy way to make a few quid, but this has always been the case. So I'm not sure that having Licensed Traders would change anything. We can do a bit about it by making it difficult for them to get cars, although I don't expect any help from the Auction Houses on that score. I had one of these 'Home Traders' pop in this week (like most weeks, tbh) seeing if there were any 'choppers' he could buy to sell on. I asked for his VAT No. He didn't seem to have one. We had a brief chat about the moral and legal responsibilities of running a business these days and then he left. That was 10 minutes of my life I'm not going to get back, but it won't stop him.

You see, I don't think the problem lies with us.

It's the punters. As Wheelerdealer1 says, there are vast numbers of people who don't care about the quality, they just want it cheap. They have the VoucherCode mentality and for them profit is a 4 letter word (especially if they spell it prft). They're the ones you dread when their first question is "what's your best price?" before they've even seen the car. They don't care that you've prepped it properly, because you don't want them to die screaming in a ball of flame on the way home. They don't care that the Warranty you give will actually cover the parts it says it will, for longer than an Australian innings. They certainly couldn't give a monkey's willy about your overheads. They want your car, for the same price as the deathtrap they saw down the road, or they're going to buy that one. And they do.

Maybe we need 2 separate categories of businesses and customers. The properly-run, legitimate ones can only deal with reasonable, sensible people and the greedy, scuzzy numpties can all just bugger off together.

 

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I remember a few years ago one of these consumer protection TV shows showing some can of a poor punter who had been fleeced by a fly by night. The car in question was a Mondeo Ghia TDCi Estate with (cough cough) about 70k on the clock. A book car if ever there was one. Poor Johnny Punter then got his violin out and described how what he though was a bargain in terms of price from a 'repuatable' dealer  had indeed turned out to be a lemon. Dominic or whoever it was then jumped in to the rescue to save the day and all was well in the world for Johnny Punter.

 

It was as this point that of an idea for a new TV programme for people like Johnny Punter and the best price brigade simply titled ' You bought it, tough shit!'. I'm convinced, that hosted by GreenGiant, this would be a winner.

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A few years ago my Dealer Portal was hacked and cars were put on priced at £5-6k under what they should have been with photos with an email address stamped on them. (I'm sure we have all seen the type of adverts I mean).

Now it looked like a scam and the cars weren't just cheap but TOO CHEAP. I spent a morning answering phone calls about these cars or replying to emails which said 'I've tried to email you on the email in the photo but had no response". People seemed to genuinely believe they could buy £12k BMW's for £6k etc. I'm sure with a bit of sales talk these people would of sent me a deposit via PayPal or other means. It seems some people just don't have a clue. 

Lots of the advice on buying cars seems to be focused around getting a 'Good Deal' or 'How to Haggle' which is all well and good but maybe they should include advice on 'How not to get screwed over' within their poorly written articles too.  

Edited by Gavin@Rousdon

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A few years ago my Dealer Portal was hacked and cars were put on priced at £5-6k under what they should have been with photos with an email address stamped on them. (I'm sure we have all seen the type of adverts I mean).

Now it looked like a scam and the cars weren't just cheap but TOO CHEAP. I spent a morning answering phone calls about these cars or replying to emails which said 'I've tried to email you on the email in the photo but had no response". People seemed to genuinely believe they could buy £12k BMW's for £6k etc. I'm sure with a bit of sales talk these people would of sent me a deposit via PayPal or other means. It seems some people just don't have a clue. 

Lots of the advice on buying cars seems to be focused around getting a 'Good Deal' or 'How to Haggle' which is all well and good but maybe they should include advice on 'How not to get screwed over' within their poorly written articles too.  

I had this twice before, both times the office manager that worked for me gave the autotrader password to a false/scam email, and both times the same happened and the level of enquiries on 30k BMW x5s priced at £6990 was absolutely ridiculous.

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It was as this point that of an idea for a new TV programme for people like Johnny Punter and the best price brigade simply titled ' You bought it, tough shit!'. I'm convinced, that hosted by GreenGiant, this would be a winner.

Hmmmm.

*twiddles ends of handlebar moustache*

 

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Maybe we need 2 separate categories of businesses and customers. The properly-run, legitimate ones can only deal with reasonable, sensible people and the greedy, scuzzy numpties can all just bugger off together.

 

GG you've been reading my mind, get in touch I've got something to show you that I think you'll like. 

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Thanks GG, as always you put it in to words far better then I do, can the mag editors please give GG his own column ! 

Back the thread I would say that I disagree, I really think the gov need to step in here and put a stop sharpish to these home traders, it will be harsh at first as we know some home traders are actually ok and trying to do right, but I'm sorry if that what it takes to sort out this mess then so be it, in the long we proper used car traders will be better off, and our industry will be protected 

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It was as this point that of an idea for a new TV programme for people like Johnny Punter and the best price brigade simply titled ' You bought it, tough shit!'. I'm convinced, that hosted by GreenGiant, this would be a winner.

May I suggest my learned friends obtain a copy of the film 'Suckers' from their local DVD/video emporium. Highly amusing up until a poor ending (jeez, I'm even doing film reviews now!), but some excellent tips on dealing with problem customers and quite a few familiar scenarios for some of us to reminisce about from days gone by.

favourite quote:

Manager to customer trying to cancel...

"Is this your signature?"

"Err yes"

"£*#k off, you're an owner"

Maybe not wholly suitable for those in a customer services type environment, but bloody funny.

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