Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Why Should I Sell My Car on Consignment?

Everyone has had the experience of selling their car to a private party.  The process is simple enough.  Simply create an ad on Craigslist, stuff it with lots of pictures and provide your contact information (phone, email, or both) and wait for calls.  I agree the process is not difficult and in a perfect world, this is the best way to sell your car to a private party.

Image result for car for sale pictures

The problem is that the Internet world is changing rapidly, and I am sorry to say that the number of scams is increasing at a terrific rate.  Crooks can scan Craigslist and get your phone number and email and then contact you with any number of scams.  For example, see the previous email for the "Car Title Check" scam. 

More importantly, potential buyers will come to your home to see the car.  Do you want strangers to know where you live?  A quick tip:  if you are selling a car always meet at a public place like a shopping center and bring a second person with you.  One last scam is a fake cashier check.  Read this article to learn how to spot a fake cashier's check.

How can I avoid all this risk?

The answer is a consignment sale.  A Consignment Sale is a contract between you and a licensed car dealer.  In the contract, you specify the selling price, the commission fee (flat rate or percentage) and the time period of the agreement.  The car dealer will professionally advertise your car and advertise it in the leading car selling websites (e.g. CarGurus, AutoTrader, Cars.com, Craigslist) and social media sites e.g. (Facebook, Instagram, YouTube, Letgo).  The dealer will manage the interaction with potential buyers. They will show the car and complete the sales transaction.  Once payment is received, they will deliver the sales proceeds to you, less the contract fee.

A consignment usually costs between 5-10% of the sales amount.  Is this cost worth the money?  This depends if you have the time to sell the car and if you are ok dealing directly with strangers.  If you do not have the time and you do not want to meet with strangers then consider a Consignment Sale. 

Ask your local dealer if he will sell you car on consignment.  Discuss with him what advertising he will do and how much he will charge.  Discuss the length and terms of the agreement.  What happens if you find a buyer first?  What happens if after the contract period expires the car does not sell? 

Once you understand the terms of the agreement, you can be confident that you are entering a good agreement.  Always work with licensed dealers in your local community that you can trust.

Monday, July 15, 2019

BEWARE!! Don't Fall Victim to a Car Buyer Scam

As an independent car dealer in California, I use Social Media (Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, others) as part of my advertising and I expect to receive lots of "junk" mail. But last week, something happened that raised the bar so-to-speak and I thought I would share my story with you.....

Image result for scam fraud pictures













I received an email for one of my cars.  Simple enough, she said that her Uncle was interested in my car and if it was still available, she would have him contact me.  Sure enough, a day later I get an email from a guy named "Nick" who asked me questions about the car like its ownership, pictures, last service, etc.  After answering his questions, his next email caught me by surprise.  Here is the email:

Thanks for the answer! I will buy for sure your vehicle if everything is as you said! I am taking a personal loan and to get the money I need to share with my loan officer the vehicle history report from https://www.titlecheckcar.com . I don't want to get it by myself because if it's bad then I just wasted my money, but you can still use it however it turns out to be. Before closing the deal with cash in hands I will be there for a test drive. I will appreciate if we can go further. I hope to hear from you soon. 

The email looks harmless enough, but a couple of things should raise the alarm.  First, I have never heard of Title Check Car.  The national service to check a car's title is NMVTIS.  Second, when I did a Google search for Title Check Car, the website did not appear.  Next, I searched "Title Check Car Scams" and I found an article that identified this as a new scam, coming out of Great Britain.  The link takes you to a page where it asks for a credit card to pay for the title report.  The amount is $24.95.  The scam is that they collect your credit card number and they never send you a report.

In the car business, we are always on the lookout for scams.  This is the first time I have heard of this scam and I hope by posting this blog, other car sellers will not be caught.  

Thursday, June 6, 2019

The Rising Popularity of SUVs

Have you ever wanted to get away with your whole family for a weekend, but didn’t have enough room in your little car for everyone and their stuff? Have you ever got stuck in a flood during rainy season? These and other problems are easy to solve when you choose an SUV as your personal transportation. 

And an increasing number of customers are doing just that – choosing SUVs as their family vehicle. SUV sales are up more than 7 percent since 2011 compared to a 4-percent drop in passenger car sales during the same period.
So, what’s driving the trend? For one thing, the selection of SUVs is expanding faster than regular cars. 
According to recent market research conducted by Chevrolet, customers are flocking to the SUV segment for several reasons ranging from interior spaciousness to rugged exterior styling. Trailblazer customers mostly have families of four or more who do things together, such as sports and travel. Moreover, they are willing to spend more to get good quality.   
“This SUV is worth every cent spent on it. It provides good performance and safety and has a roomy cabin that allows you to carry a lot of things. You can also take your SUV on an adventurous trip and go off-road. My vehicle can take my family and me almost everywhere, safely.” said Mr. Nitipan Chuenchob, Chevrolet Trailblazer owner.

Sunday, December 16, 2018

The Car Buying Sweet Spot Video

Everyone wants to get a good quality car at a good price.  The trick to good car buying is to balance the high cost of a new car purchase with the high repair costs of an older car.

In this video the speaker explains this buying strategy perfectly.

The car buying "sweet spot" as shown in this video matches the car buying strategy we recommend at IW Auto Sales.

At IW Auto Sales we believe that the best time to buy a car is when it is less than 4 years old with less than 50,000 miles.  A vehicle this age is available on the market as a "lease return".  A typical car lease runs 2-3 years with a limit of 24,000 to 36,000 miles.  Car repairs are done by the manufacturer under warranty and some manufacturers offer car maintenance (oil, filters, wipers).  So when the lease vehicle is returned, the car is normally in very good condition.

At IW Auto Sales, we avoid cars older than 4 years with more than 50,000 miles.  We find that cars past 4 years and/or 50,000 miles have increased repair cost risk due to the wear and tear on the car and are without any warranty protection.  Cars with 60,000 to 90,000 miles can begin to show major repair costs (steering, transmission, brakes, tires, battery, water pump, etc.) that can cost you thousands.  The money you save on the purchase price may be quickly taken up by high cost repairs.

Visit www.iwautosales.com and see our selection of late model cars with low miles, young age and factory warranty.  These cars are the best value in our opinion.




Thursday, December 13, 2018

2018 Kia Soul - #1 Compact Car

Thanks in part to its upscale cabin, abundance of cargo space, and outstanding predicted reliability rating, the 2018 Kia Soul rates a #1 in the US News compact car rankings. The base model is a great value, and higher trims are playful and nicely equipped.

The 2018 Kia Soul stands out from nearly all other compact cars for a number of reasons, including one of the longest warranties in the class. A few downsides include an underwhelming base engine and low fuel economy. Beyond that, it has a high-grade cabin, ample interior space, poised driving dynamics, and a perfect five-out-of-five predicted reliability score. 



Whether you're looking for a compact car, a hatchback, or a small crossover, the Soul stacks up well against its rivals. It has the lowest price tag in the compact car class, and it’s cheaper than some subcompact SUVs like the Honda HR-V and Mazda CX-3. The Soul also offers more total cargo room than these crossovers, making it a good bang for your buck. The Soul is an even better buy if you move above the base trim and add amenities like a turbocharged engine, an infotainment system, and driver assistance features. 

Pros & Cons

  • Comfortable, roomy cabin
  • Considerable cargo space
  • Upscale interior
  • Energetic turbocharged engine available
  • Outstanding warranty and predicted reliability rating

Read More

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

MINI Safety Reports

It is smart to research the safety of a any vehicle you are considering for purchase.  A recent customer ask about the safety of the newer MINI Cooper models.  Some research on the Internet turned up two key reports that detail the safety of the MINI.  

Here are the links:

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety:


US News:

The Insurance Institute report is very detailed and I encourage you to take a look.  Overall the MINI was rated to have very good safety.  Here is a list of its key safety features:

  • Driver Air Bag
  • Passenger Air Bag
  • Front Head Air Bag
  • Rear Head Air Bag
  • Front Side Air Bag
  • 4-Wheel ABS
  • 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
  • Brake Assist
  • Electronic Stability Control
  • Daytime Running Lights
  • Traction Control
  • Auto-Leveling Headlights

3 Tips to Smart Car Buying


Car buying can be a very fun experience, unless of course you make one of 3 key mistakes. Here is a quick description of each mistake and how to avoid.
1. Use the Internet to find the car of your dreams. In other words, do your research before you go physically shopping at a car dealer. Narrow down the make and model and also the year. Manufacturers make major and minor changes to models and you need to understand how this impacts your decision (and budget). US News Car Reports (https://cars.usnews.com/cars-trucks) is an excellent website to learn about different makes and models and how they compare.


2. Go and physically see the car. There is no better way to determine the condition of the car without a physical visit and test drive. Check the exterior for scratches and dents. Review the CARFAX report for any history of accidents or damage. Do not necessarily decline a car because it was in a accident or rear end "bump". Have your local mechanic inspect the car to make sure any past issues were properly repaired. Check the interior for any odors, tears or stains. Do all the windows, locks, radio, etc. work? Electronics and upholstery are expensive to repair, so beware.
3. Beware of high mileage cars. No dealer can guarantee that your car will not have a problem "down the road". Cars with high mileage, say more than 60,000 miles, are more prone to having major problems with tires, brakes, battery, engine, suspension, steering, transmission, etc. Repairs like this cost 100's of dollars to fix. If your budget is limited, then focus your search on lower cost makes (e.g. Toyota, Honda, Hyundai, Kia) where you can afford a more recent year model. An excellent strategy is to target "lease return" vehicles from all leading manufacturers. These cars return after 2 or 3 years with less than 36,000 miles. They are well maintained and often still have factory warranty remaining. Save 40-50% over the price of New when you buy a 2-3 year old lease return from BMW, Honda, MINI, MBZ, Lexus and more.
Follow these three simple steps and your cars shopping experience will be both fun and rewarding.