Would you buy a car that way?

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BogleMelon
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Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:03 pm

I am about to buy a used car for my wife. I have an anxiety dealing with the dealers and all their games and lies. Not saying they are all bad, but I assume the majority some of them (until I have a statistics if they are majorit or not- to not offend anyone) have no or little ethics. Anyways, I am looking now at a different business model. A flat fee (car finder), who are licensed to buy cars from "dealers-only" auctions, and show you the exact cost he pays, so you pay that plus a flat fee for him for his service (the flat fee I guess should eliminate the conflict of interest that most dealers salesmen have). He confirms that he exposes all information about the car, such as Carfax, third part inspection report (through Good Year)..etc

His business model works as follow, before he bids on a car that I may choose, I have to make a verbal commitment only, I won't pay a deposit or sign any contracts. I will be able to see the reports of the car and its pictures. If he wins the bidding, and brings the car in into his showroom, I commit to finalize the deal (at this point only I may test drive it, not before), and pay for the car (cost that he paid) + his fees + documents fees ($110 or something) + taxes.

This looks for me a fair enough deal. However, I need some reassurance or critics about it. Any feedback or personal experience will be appreciated. Thanks!

P.s: They are a family business, have almost no marketing, I couldn't find them with regular googling when I googled (auto broker) for example, however, they have a facebook page. I was referred to them by someone here. In their website they say that "you are here probably because you were refereed". It looks like they depend on the word of mouth not the ads. Also have good reviews on google maps and facebook.

Edit: He offers an extended warranty at extra cost.
Last edited by BogleMelon on Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:12 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

Jack FFR1846
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:10 pm

Does he provide any warranties with your purchase? Say you buy the car and on the way home, you blow a head gasket? Is it "too bad, I work on cost plus fee"?

Just go to Car Max if you're that concerned with dealers. You'll pay on the high side but their prices are set on their web site and they don't bargain. Big chain with warranties and if you don't like the car in 7 days, you can just return it.
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N10sive
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by N10sive » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:12 pm

The part where he buys it and brings it to his showroom, at that point are you obligated to purchase the vehicle? I would be wary just for that, unless you can test drive it and then decide.

From what I know most dealer auctions are from trade ins. For example carmax takes a trade in or purchases a vehicle from a seller. They deem its not suitable for sale on their lot. They then put it up for dealer auction. Reasons for it not being deemed sellable on their lot varies, too many aftermarket parts, mileage, age, condition, resale value, etc. You might find a gem, or you could get a lemon.

Does he offer a warranty for purchase? For the vehicle your interested in do you give him a max price you'll pay? You could possibly get a nice car for cheaper than buying private party and most likely buying from the dealer. If the broker sells a warranty, etc. this might be a good way to go.

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BogleMelon
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:13 pm

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Does he provide any warranties with your purchase? Say you buy the car and on the way home, you blow a head gasket?

He offers extended warranties at extra cost
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

N10sive
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by N10sive » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:13 pm

I would also pay more attention to a third party inspection report than a carfax. They are notoriously wrong or have misinformation.

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BogleMelon
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:17 pm

N10sive wrote:I would also pay more attention to a third party inspection report than a carfax. They are notoriously wrong or have misinformation.

Can you explain more please?
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

CorradoJr
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by CorradoJr » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:18 pm

I asked in another thread about the type of car you are buying? Are you looking for an exotic hard to find vehicle, or something more mainstream?

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by stoptothink » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:22 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
N10sive wrote:I would also pay more attention to a third party inspection report than a carfax. They are notoriously wrong or have misinformation.

Can you explain more please?


What's there to explain? A few months ago, while in the market, I saw a great (too good to be true) deal on a very lightly used Mazda 3. Looked up the vin on Carfax: nothing. I contacted the dealer, turns out they exclusively sell salvaged vehicles. This car was in an accident extensive enough for it to be salvaged by insurance and there was nothing on Carfax.

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BogleMelon
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:22 pm

CorradoJr wrote:I asked in another thread about the type of car you are buying? Are you looking for an exotic hard to find vehicle, or something more mainstream?

No, just regular sedan or hatchback car with not too much mileage/years and good safety records.
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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dm200
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by dm200 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:25 pm

Is this person licensed to do this business, as applicable, in your jurisdiction?

Who (or what) provides this warranty?

I would not buy a car that way.

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BogleMelon
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:26 pm

stoptothink wrote:
BogleMelon wrote:
N10sive wrote:I would also pay more attention to a third party inspection report than a carfax. They are notoriously wrong or have misinformation.

Can you explain more please?


What's there to explain?

English is my second language, I only didn't get the exact meaning of the phrase :happy

stoptothink wrote:This car was in an accident extensive enough for it to be salvaged by insurance and there was nothing on Carfax


So the title would show that anyways, if the carfax missed it, correct?
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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BogleMelon
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:29 pm

dm200 wrote:Is this person licensed to do this business, as applicable, in your jurisdiction?.

He is saying so, it is an LLC if that matters
dm200 wrote:Who (or what) provides this warranty?

I am not sure, probably a third party company.

dm200 wrote:I would not buy a car that way.


So you suggest that dealers are more safer? But aren't dealers buy from the same auctions doing almost the same thing except that marking up indefinite unknown margin? I am not trying to argue, I am honestly clueless and try to understand more.
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

bloom2708
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by bloom2708 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:35 pm

Buying from a car finder direct from auction will maybe guarantee you a low price, but it cannot guarantee a good car.

Cars go to auction for a variety of reasons. They aren't the right brand (for that dealer), they have too many in stock of that model, it has sat too long on their lot, it has an issue that they don't want to deal with.

Some dealers will bring a large chunk of their cars to auction just to see what will sell and what comes back. Good cars go to auction, not so good go to auction.

More than likely, if he buys it (using your criteria), then you are obligated to buy it. Do you have a carmax in your area? They might not be the lowest cost option, but it sounds like an "easy" car buying experience is what you are after with the hopes of a good price.
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dm200
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by dm200 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:38 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
dm200 wrote:Is this person licensed to do this business, as applicable, in your jurisdiction?.

He is saying so, it is an LLC if that matters
dm200 wrote:Who (or what) provides this warranty?

I am not sure, probably a third party company.
dm200 wrote:I would not buy a car that way.

So you suggest that dealers are more safer? But aren't dealers buy from the same auctions doing almost the same thing except that marking up indefinite unknown margin? I am not trying to argue, I am honestly clueless and try to understand more.


Doing it this way means that you only buy a car that comes through an "auction". Used cars from dealers come from different sources, including trade-ins.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:39 pm

An established, large dealer like Car Max is going to fix issues after the sale. It sounds like this guy doesn't have the money in the business to back up the cars he sells. You get to pay for an extended warranty? Isn't that nice......

I will agree to NEVER depend on any good seen on a carfax. I bought a Nissan 350Z from a similar type of dealer whose shop is literally in site of the auction facility. In my state, they cannot sell a car without a warranty. Carfax was absolutely clean. I could tell that the car had been partially repainted and the dealer even told me that the hood had been replaced. 2 years later when I went to sell it, an accident from before the auction showed up from another state. Carfax is worthless.
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imoapie
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by imoapie » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:45 pm

Why not go to the auction with him as a driver? I assume we are talking about Manheim dealer auctions. Dealers have been doing this to get easy revenue.

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Pajamas
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by Pajamas » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:46 pm

At least some of those auctions are not really auctions but just showcases as the seller is not obligated to sell at the closing bid. So it is a one-way game, where the seller is just seeing how much they can get for the vehicle with buyers competing against each other. Paying for someone to buy you a car at a dealer-only auction just adds another layer of cost to your purchase. You can't assume that the car will be a better deal than you would get elsewhere because it is at an auction for dealers.

The used vehicle market is notorious for asymmetrical information. The buyer has very little information compared to the seller. Not being able to test drive the car or have a mechanic check it out before buying it would be a deal-killer for me. The one time that I considered paying a substantial amount of money for a used car from a dealer (as opposed to a small amount from someone I knew), the mechanic I took it to for evaluation quickly determined that it had been in a minor front-end collision that the seller knew about but had not revealed.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by N10sive » Thu Mar 02, 2017 2:54 pm

BogleMelon wrote:
stoptothink wrote:
BogleMelon wrote:
N10sive wrote:I would also pay more attention to a third party inspection report than a carfax. They are notoriously wrong or have misinformation.

Can you explain more please?


What's there to explain?

English is my second language, I only didn't get the exact meaning of the phrase :happy

stoptothink wrote:This car was in an accident extensive enough for it to be salvaged by insurance and there was nothing on Carfax


So the title would show that anyways, if the carfax missed it, correct?


Carfax can also miss an accident completely maybe not making the vehicle a salvage title. But could inherently affect the drivability of the car. A good inspector can notice this.

For example one of my vehicles was in a front end accident, went to a shop to get it fixed where there was over 6k in damages. Carfax reported nothing.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by bottlecap » Thu Mar 02, 2017 3:02 pm

I have a good friend that bought his family's last two cars this way and he's been very happy.

I would be willing to try it.

JT

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deanbrew
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by deanbrew » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:17 pm

Buying from a car finder direct from auction will maybe guarantee you a low price, but it cannot guarantee a good car.

Cars go to auction for a variety of reasons. They aren't the right brand (for that dealer), they have too many in stock of that model, it has sat too long on their lot, it has an issue that they don't want to deal with.


I tend to agree with this sentiment. If you proceed with the strategy you are suggesting, you can buy a car at wholesale plus a fee. That will likely be less than you could buy it from a used car dealer. But used car dealers don't just buy cars at auction and then put them on their lot the next day. They typically have to do some work to the vehicles - clean them, change the oil, check the fluids, make minor repairs. Granted, if you are looking at vehicles under two years old, it shouldn't require much work, but there is some.

But the other aspect of this is that it is a numbers game for used car dealers. They buy dozens and dozens of cars this way, and they know that every once in awhile they are going to get a lemon that has defects that they didn't notice at the auction. I went to a car auction once, and it was far too fast for me. There isn't much time to go over the vehicles. So, a dealer gets stuck with a lemon once every X number of purchases. That should be built into his business model. But you, buying one car, don't want to get the lemon.

Which brings me to my third point. A used car dealer will non-emotionally try to get a good deal on every purchase, hoping to make some money after buying the used car at auction and doing some work to get it looking good. He will be looking at a variety of makes and models, and will likely only pay a wholesale price. If Toyota Camrys are getting bid up at today's auction and Ford Fusions are going cheap, he will buy a Fusion to get a deal on it. But if he's buying a car for you, and you've specified a Toyota Camry XLS in silver with a sunroof and leather seats, and one comes along, I suspect he will pay more for it than he would to put on his lot.

As for Carfax, I am also skeptical. I went looking for used cars a few years ago, and found one that had a clean Carfax record. When I got there, it was obvious even to me that the car had been in a wreck and repaired. The body panel gaps were crooked, the A-pillar cover was crooked, the doors didn't open and close properly, the dash and doors didn't line up. This was a car that was only two years old. I mentioned the issues to the (used car lot) seller. He shrugged and said "you might be right".
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by CorradoJr » Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:23 pm

You are going to have to "trust" someone or something along the way in buying a car.

You may have to trust a salesman, a Carfax report, Consumer's Reports, a mechanic, your gut, etc.

If you are uncomfortable buying a car due to your negotiating skills and/or English language skills, put the power back in your hands and do it on your own terms.

I prefer Ebay, as there is almost 0 human interaction involved, and no negotiating involved on fixed price auctions. Ebay also has a 3rd party "inspection" service.

So again, who are you willing to trust your own researching skills or negotiation skills?

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by prudent » Thu Mar 02, 2017 6:26 pm

I removed a few off-topic posts. Please keep the discussion focused on the OP's question and not opinions of car dealers as a group.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by rralex1 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:45 pm

No. Ask yourself "How does he make money?" His margin and profit are payed by the buyer. That is you. Seriously, he offers an extended warranty...are you kidding..Really?

Some thoughts to consider would be the following, and I am sure you will get lots of responses.. Above all, remember you are in control. Decide on the car that you want. Model, options, year, and mileage. Search Cargurus as well as other sites to educate yourself. Internet deals are typically visible and honored and are usually competitive at a minimum. They require the least amount of haggling because after comparison and validation they are often fair values. If not by the way, pass.

That's why they are internet specific offerings. I have purchased many cars and I bought my most recent wife's CPO car that way a year ago after taking time to compare offerings over a two month period. I knew what a fair deal was after research, and drove 150 miles to do the deal after discussions and it was seamless.

You are not on a clock. Take your time. You are in control and you have options.

Wishing you well.
Last edited by rralex1 on Thu Mar 02, 2017 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by rgs92 » Thu Mar 02, 2017 8:52 pm

I bought a certified Benz years ago from a dealer at a very good price with a warranty and it worked out fine. I wouldn't worry much at all when getting a CPO from a new car dealer, especially a luxury-car dealer. I think you are being a little paranoid.

Of course dealers are trying to get the best price, that's their job, but any educated consumer who familiarizes himself with the current price range of a particular vehicle model for a given age and mileage and equipment profile will surely get a decent price from some available dealership.
It's not rocket science. You will not end up with a flood car or something if it's certified.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:50 pm

rralex1 wrote:No. Ask yourself "How does he make money?" His margin and profit are payed by the buyer. That is you. Seriously, he offers an extended warranty...are you kidding..Really?

Some thoughts to consider would be the following, and I am sure you will get lots of responses.. Above all, remember you are in control. Decide on the car that you want. Model, options, year, and mileage. Search Cargurus as well as other sites to educate yourself. Internet deals are typically visible and honored and are usually competitive at a minimum. They require the least amount of haggling because after comparison and validation they are often fair values. If not by the way, pass.

That's why they are internet specific offerings. I have purchased many cars and I bought my most recent wife's CPO car that way a year ago after taking time to compare offerings over a two month period. I knew what a fair deal was after research, and drove 150 miles to do the deal after discussions and it was seamless.

You are not on a clock. Take your time. You are in control and you have options.

Wishing you well.

Thank you, but may you please explain why the above sentence is an issue (I underline and bold the sentence that I refer to)?
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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BogleMelon
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by BogleMelon » Thu Mar 02, 2017 11:51 pm

rgs92 wrote:I bought a certified Benz years ago from a dealer at a very good price with a warranty and it worked out fine. I wouldn't worry much at all when getting a CPO from a new car dealer, especially a luxury-car dealer. I think you are being a little paranoid.

Of course dealers are trying to get the best price, that's their job, but any educated consumer who familiarizes himself with the current price range of a particular vehicle model for a given age and mileage and equipment profile will surely get a decent price from some available dealership.
It's not rocket science. You will not end up with a flood car or something if it's certified.

Unfortunately I can not afford CPO :(
Excuse my English, it is my second language! | | "One of the funny things about stock market, every time one is buying another is selling, and both think they are astute" - William Feather

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Watty
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by Watty » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:22 am

The extended warranties that you can buy from other companies then the manufacture are notorious for not actually paying for repairs for the cars.

Jack FFR1846 wrote:Just go to Car Max if you're that concerned with dealers. You'll pay on the high side but their prices are set on their web site and they don't bargain. Big chain with warranties and if you don't like the car in 7 days, you can just return it.


Another alternative is to buy a car from a rental car company. I have had very good luck with a car I bought from Hertz and you can look at their inventory online. Often you can rent the car for a couple of days to try it out and if you decide to buy it the rental cost will go towards the purchase.

There have been threads about buying rental cars that you can look up and there are mixed opinions on that but if you buy a car at an auction you could be getting a rental car anyway, and that would be one that the rental car company did not consider to be good enough to sell themselves.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by TreeBeard » Fri Mar 03, 2017 12:29 am

I would not.

I would also recommend that you consider why you have such a jaded view of car salespeople. Is it objective and fact based, or is it a preconception biased by stereotypes that may influence your own interactions and thus become a self-fulfilling prophecy.

TLDR: car salespeople are just like the rest of us, some great, some not so great, most just average joes.

Best of luck with your new car!

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by HIinvestor » Fri Mar 03, 2017 1:59 am

No, I would never buy a car in the manner you propose I have purchased two new cars.

The first one, I researched online for the exact model and brand and details I wanted and printed out the price it would be to purchase the car and ship it to HI. I then went to the one dealer in our state that carried that car and told them exactly what I wanted to buy and asked them for the final, out the door price. They quoted me an inflated price that was significantly higher than the printed quote I had. I asked to speak to the manager and showed him the printout and told him I preferred to buy at that price from him than out of state but was perfectly ready to purchase out of state. He hemmed and hawed but finally gave me that price and exactly what I wanted.

I just told them I didn't want to hear anything. If they couldn't sell me what I wanted at the price I could already get it for, I was prepared to get it out of state. It was fairly painless.

The second car I bought from a dealer I just bought through fleet sales, even tho I only bought one vehicle. It was a decent price and we are still using that car 18 years later.

We bought one used car that was coming off a lease from one of H's friends -- it had very low mileage and was in excellent condition and a nice price.

Costco has a car buying assistance program for bew and used cars. My relatives have been happy buying used cars from Hertz. You can test drive it and they have no haggle pricing. You can take it to a mechanic to have it checked out.

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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by celia » Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:03 am

BogleMelon wrote:
N10sive wrote:I would also pay more attention to a third party inspection report than a carfax. They are notoriously wrong or have misinformation.

Can you explain more please?

Whenever we've bought a used car, we would first get permission to drive it to our long-time trusted mechanic for an evaluation. Of course, we would pay for his time, but he doesn't fix anything on it (yet). He just tells us what is wrong and what it will likely cost to repair. Then we decide if the car plus the repairs are worth the cost. This is a third party inspection--by someone who is not the buyer or paid for by the seller. That makes the "inspector" the third party. And from past experience I would not trust our local GoodYear for any inspection. They mainly sell tires.

There was also a question about the broker being licensed. That means, does he have an auto dealer license from the state? An LLC is not a state license. It is a specific business structure having to do with how the business was formed. LLC stands for Limited Liability Company. It enables the business to get a business tax identification number (like a person gets a Social Security Number) so it can open a bank account.

Before you buy an extended warranty from a third party, find out what company is offering it and call them up to verify that the dealer/buyer you want to use is authorized to sell their warranty. While on the phone, also ask them what is covered and what is not covered. We once bought an extended warranty from a mechanic who was "re-building" an engine. We didn't know anything about his company and it was going to cost several thousand dollars. But the idea of the warranty gave us reassurance in knowing that someone else would repair it if it wasn't done right. Well, the job was done terribly and after 6 or so trips back to that mechanic, we took the car to our trusted mechanic. He said he didn't accept that warranty and when I called the warranty company, they said the mechanic who rebuilt the engine wasn't authorized to sell it (and hadn't sent in my money to them). So my small claims suit covered not just faulty mechanical work, but also insurance fraud. (A rep from the insurance company was in court to testify and clear their name.) So we eventually had our trusted mechanic work on it but he had to start from scratch. It ended up costing more but was done correctly. (I got most of the original payment to the mechanic back by having the credit card company reverse the charges. Note: Use credit cards when paying for anything that might not end up working correctly.)


I would not buy a car using the method you are thinking about. May I suggest that you check out the used cars from Avis, Hertz, Budget. The car rental companies usually replace the cars every year or so and often still have manufacturer warranties left on them. The downside with former rental cars, obviously, is that they have been driven by people who have no incentive to take care of the car. The rental company needs to do that but if the drivers don't mention that there is a strange noise while driving it, how will the rental company know that it needs to be looked at?

rralex1
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by rralex1 » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:20 am

BogleMelon wrote:
rralex1 wrote:No. Ask yourself "How does he make money?" His margin and profit are payed by the buyer. That is you. Seriously, he offers an extended warranty...are you kidding..Really?

Some thoughts to consider would be the following, and I am sure you will get lots of responses.. Above all, remember you are in control. Decide on the car that you want. Model, options, year, and mileage. Search Cargurus as well as other sites to educate yourself. Internet deals are typically visible and honored and are usually competitive at a minimum. They require the least amount of haggling because after comparison and validation they are often fair values. If not by the way, pass.

That's why they are internet specific offerings. I have purchased many cars and I bought my most recent wife's CPO car that way a year ago after taking time to compare offerings over a two month period. I knew what a fair deal was after research, and drove 150 miles to do the deal after discussions and it was seamless.

You are not on a clock. Take your time. You are in control and you have options.

Wishing you well.

Thank you, but may you please explain why the above sentence is an issue (I underline and bold the sentence that I refer to)?


Hi BogleMelon. Not so much an issue but more an exclamatory observation. Extended warranty "at extra cost" was what struck me. That's consistent with the service provided overall, at least as I read it. "Extended warranty" can be purchased for just about anything today that is electronic or mechanical. That is because it provides sellers additional profit. It is a profit generator=additional cost to the buyer.

I understand the concerns that you describe. I really do. I actually sold cars at a dealership way back when in college and learned a great deal.. The service that you are referring to in my opinion is nothing more than a car dealer offering a creative way to sell to people who greatly dislike the standard process. They are however, cloaking that same process in sheep's clothing. There is no free lunch.

There are many great suggestions and opinions posted. Please consider mine as only one, and I wish you well in whatever route you choose.

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randomizer
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Re: Would you buy a car that way?

Post by randomizer » Fri Mar 03, 2017 9:44 am

All sounds a bit scary to me. I don't think I'd buy a car like this.

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