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Let's talk about our vehicles, after all, you are buying a Nicer, Newer car! Again, we know most of you are on budget and it's our mission to give you the most value for your dollar. That means we have to give you the best vehicle for the best price, down payment and/or monthly payment.
Cars have been changing in recent years, which is both good news and bad news. The good news is they are more reliable and they are lasting longer with less problems than ever before. The bad news is when they hit that age or mileage and they start having problems, it has gotten MUCH MORE EXPENSIVE to fix them. For that reason, most of our inventory is made up of Nicer, Newer cars that are only a few years old and have lower miles. That way you enjoy the RELIABLE part of the car and you re further away from those VERY expensive repairs. There's no magic, easy formula to finding the best vehicles, it just takes a lot of work. In order to give you the best value, we have to find the best vehicles at the best prices. And where those vehicles are, is always changing. With our high demand for vehicles, in addition to scouring the State of Texas, we now have to search Nationwide to find pockets of nice vehicles at the best prices. Basically you have to kiss a lot of frogs to find that Prince!
We have 2 full time vehicle buyers with decades of experience that are focused on finding vehicles that meet our strict criteria. In order to get the selection we need, we mainly buy at auctions and directly from fleet/lease companies around the country. I know some people are apprehensive about "Auction" vehicles and have a negative perception about a vehicle that goes through the auction. But this is really unfounded. The truth is the auctions are kind of a clearing house for wholesale vehicles. For instance, if a Chevy dealer takes a 5-year-old BMW with 60,000 miles in on trade, they probably will not sell that retail as it doesn't fit their model. Many of the new car dealerships are now owned by large Corporate groups who mandate that all trade-ins MUST be sold through auctions. They do this to eliminate "kick-back's" and other "under the table" arrangements on the sale of their wholesale vehicles. The truth is that most wholesale vehicles are sold through a dealer auction whether they are quality vehicles or problem vehicles. It's the Buyers responsibility to identify the good apples and avoid the bad apples. The trick is thoroughly inspecting the vehicles before purchasing in order to make sure you only buy the good ones. This is time consuming and it is why we have 2 buyers to buy 15-20 vehicles per week.
Every Monday, we review all the auction listings in Dallas, Houston, San Antonio and Austin for that week. Based on that, we schedule our Buyer's travel for the week. Generally, there are 5,000 vehicles that we review. We narrow this down to about 200 vehicles. We travel to the auctions and personally inspect the 200 selected vehicles before the auction. This narrows the 200 down to vehicles that meet our condition criteria. We thoroughly inspect the following items prior to bidding or purchasing:
Our inspections usually reduce the 200 selected vehicles to around 75 that meet our criteria. Next we review average auction sale prices and book values to determine our maximum bid. Out of these 75, we will usually end up buying 15 to 20 vehicles. That's how we buy 50 or more of the nicest vehicles at the lowest price every week. That's a lot of work!
It's no wonder most dealers don't do it that way. They generally only go to one or two auctions and or work with a few other dealers to get their trade-ins. The problem with this approach is it limits the dealer's selection and they end up buying vehicles that aren't really what their customers want either in terms of make/model, condition or price.
I hope this helps give some understanding about where used cars come from and "Auction" vehicles. Just remember, the vehicles that we pass over, end up at other dealers and many times are listed right next to ours on Autotrader, Cars.com and Craig's List.