LIMA — Each year millions of individuals purchase used cars but are unaware of all the the work that is done by dealerships to acquire those vehicles and the effort it takes to operate their business.
Much like potential used car buyers, owners of used car shops dedicate time to researching to ensure that they find the perfect cars to put on their lot. They find car-leasing companies, trade-ins, other car dealerships and online databases such as Kelly Blue Book.
“The advent of the technology has really taken a lot of the artwork out of car shopping so to speak,” said Josh Bloomfield, owner of Lima Motor Company, a used car business at 2062 N. Cable Road, Lima. “Technology has leveled the playing field from the largest dealerships down to the little guys.”
Aside from finding cars from online databases and from other dealerships, dealers also find and buy vehicles from car auction sites, such as Lima’s Springbrook Auto Auction, 4060 N. West St., Lima.
Every Monday at 6 p.m. car dealers throughout Ohio and other states attend Springbrook’s weekly auction. To participate, each dealer is required to pay a $100 fee, which is refundable if a dealer does not purchase a car. Springbrook typically has 50 to 100 vehicles available.
“It’s a good deal,” said Charlene Meyer, co-owner of Springbrook. “A lot of people come out here because it brings what it probably should bring. Fees are lower than the bigger places, and we have to do that because that’s how we bring in our customers.”
Once dealers have made won their bid, they will automatically get the $100 entry fee deducted from the price of the car. From there, they are required to pay the remaining balance by Tuesday.
On Tuesdays, Charlene and her husband, Chris, usually finish up the deals from Monday and deliver cars to dealerships, such as Auto Connection Lima, at 757 E Robb Ave., Lima.
Once Auto Connection Lima receives the car, it may fix it up in house or have it sent to a mechanic to perform maintenance on the car.
Sometimes dealerships get the car back in less than a day. Hwever, if the car is going in the shop for reconditioning (tires checked, brakes checked, and receiving a detail), the car could take up to a week to get back, according Bloomfield said.
After a dealership receives the reconditioned car, it goes on the lot and is ready to be sold. While Auto Connection Lima relies on word of mouth to market its cars, Lima Motor Company markets its cars through various services, such as social media, websites, radio and commercials.
However, one similarity between the two companies is they do not have a specific demographic when it comes to its customers.
“I work with everyone, and that’s one thing I really loved when I got into car sales,” Bloomfield said. “In the same day I can talk to a CEO or somebody that just lost their job or a single mother, who someone who works two jobs. You have to be able to connect and communicate with people who come from all walks of life.”
Lima Motor Company’s clientele consists of first-time buyers who are looking for a vehicle that is reliable and can get that individual to a destination safely. Auto Connection Lima has a similar clientele.
“Our market consists of people who are having trouble buying cars and don’t have the credit to buy a car,” said Brent Hunter, of Auto Connection Lima.
In order to get the ideal car for the right price, Hunter suggests potential buyers check with the Better Business Bureau, check the online website and consider the feedback the company received from the public.
Bloomfield suggests potential car buyers save up a couple of hundred dollars for a down payment, at least 10 percent of the loan of the car. They should find a dealership that is up front and thoroughly goes over the details of the car, conduct research on the value of the car, and more importantly protect their credit score.
“It does not take much to build things and get positive momentum with your credit,” Bloomfield said. “Building your credit will definitely give you more options.”
Reach Camri Nelson at 567-242-0456 or on Twitter @CamriNews