How did we get into the Used Car Buying Business?
It all started back in 2003 when my then husband, Paul & I were looking for ways to supplement our income. He worked construction & I was working at a health food store, and together we brought in around $50k/yr. We started going to local auction houses where pallets of computers, office equipment, and all sorts of stuff were being sold off at deeply discounted prices. This is when eBay was still pretty new and we were seeing if we could figure out what to sell on it to make some extra cash. The problem was we didn’t know what to do with older computer stuff, how to tell if it was any good, or if it was really that valuable of a product to resell. Then we saw a couple of old cop cars sitting there, including an impounded car that had been obviously stripped searched for something. This gave us an idea! Paul and I used to scour the junk yards in England when we lived there, always looking for bits to improve his ’94 Ford Cosworth Scorpio, so we both knew we were pretty proficient with cars and their parts. We came up with the idea to find a car auction & see what we can buy to resell. We didn’t have to look far.
As we left the pallet auction compound, we saw a public car auction conveniently located across the street, and it started when the auction we were at ended. We walked across the street to observe it up close. As we watched the scene unfold, we noticed the same people bidding up the “no-reserve price” cars and “buying” the car when no body out-bid them. We returned the next week with some cash, but we didn’t spend it there. It was then that we realized this as a “FAKE” auction, for we would see those same cars back, and it would all start over again… same guy, same price.
We finally found a REAL public auction and I remember seeing a red convertible mustang with low miles and I said to Paul, “There is no way we are buying THIS car! It’s just too obvious.” I am not really sure even what I meant, saying that, but I felt it at the time. We checked it out anyway, along with about the 20 other cars there. As the auction started, we found ourselves outbid every time on the Nissans, Hondas & Toyotas, which is what we wanted to buy, due to their track record of reliability. I would get a knot in my stomach when we were bidding on a car & would actually experience relief when we were outbid, even though I wanted that car! Oh well…. But when it came time to bid on the Mustang, nobody was was really biting on it. I think it started out at $1250 and we ended up buying it at $1750. We were now the proud owner of a 10 year old Shiny Red Mustang Convertible with only 77k on the odometer! What had we done? I couldn’t believe it, and now I was a really scared. We had saved up around $2000 to buy a car, and THIS was IT? Hummm…. We left a deposit and came back the next afternoon to retrieve it, costing us $1970-something after the taxes were paid.
Paul drove it home, and when we met up at the house, he said there was something going on with the transmission, as it seemed to slip in and out of overdrive. I remember feeling a flush of despair come over me. But then he had an idea about what it was, seeing that overdrive systems were electronic, and simply climbed underneath it and found that the wire for the overdrive directly attached to the transmission was frayed. He went to the store, bought a bit of the same wire, replaced it and the car drove perfectly! It was that simple, for him, as he is a genius when it comes to mechanical stuff. We soon sold it on and basically double our money. That first experience got us hooked, and soon we were buying a car here & there, repairing it and selling them on to new happy owners. We replaced even had to replace an engine in one car, and that was before we were professionals…
We both applied for our car wholesaler’s license, including the $20k bond, and that year I began going to the dealer wholesale auctions, while Paul continued to work construction to keep a roof over our heads. I made friends at a few dealerships, particularly the ones that seemed to hire good people with ethical morals, like Larry Miller Toyota in Peoria, and soon I was buying off their back lot, BEFORE the cars went to auction. In the meantime, I was one of the founders the BNI Biltmore Chapter in Phoenix, AZ, and remained their Car Broker for three years until I left the chapter and the car business to make this DVD.
Paul and I made these products to help people make smart decisions when buying their own cars, at the urging by many of my clientele. My women clients in particular would coin me as their “personal car shopper”, and I would be referred clients in such a way, that they knew they could trust me to buy them a car before they even met me. Many of these new clients would meet me for the first time, with a check in hand, to pay me for the car that I had already purchased for them at auction, based on what they had told me they wanted. Many of these cars were newer BMW’s, LandRovers, Mercedes and Lexus, still under full manufacturer warranty, as well as Toyotas, Hondas & Nissans. I specialized in imports; it was my niche, you could say. A couple of the cars that you see on the Photo Gallery Page are these very cars, but most are not, for I did not need to photograph them, as they were already sold.
It was a fun business and I had created a great reputation for myself, and worked very hard for it. Many dealers said I was too nice of a person to be in the car business. Ultimately, they were right.
I winded down my business in 07-08 to take a year off and make this DVD, finishing it right when the bottom fell out of the entire housing market in the country, and in PHoenix, it took most of the car business with it. We no longer had anyone to buy and sell cars too, much less anyone else to sell a DVD about How to Buy a Used Car. We lost everything. Our our house, our business, our own cars & even our marriage. ALL Gone.
I went through a great transformation during 2009 through 2011, and am currently living in Hawaii. I am currently writing a book about these last couple years of my life, but I will always take the time to mail anything off that you purchase. When my book is finished, I will announce it here on my site. Thank you for taking the time to read about who we are.
Be Well & Be Blessed in every endeavor you take on.
Be the CHANGE you wish to SEE in the WORLD!
A little bit more about Paul: He eventually was able to leave construction in 2006 and worked the commercial side of our business, buying and selling big trucks, dump trucks, fleets of vans and so on… During our time as auto brokers, he figured out an easy way to repair the manufacturer defect in 1993-2003 5 and 7 Series BMW seats; funnily enough, one that causes them to twist soon after they come out of warranty. We sell that video here as well on the BMW Seat Repair.
He currently has a successful Power Window Repair business in Phoenix and is possibly looking to expand into other states in the near future. He continues his commitment in helping people save their money on their cars by once again providing them with affordable alternatives that really work, especially when compared to what many dealer charge for those repairs.
Together, we created National Consumer Advocate to bring our many combined years of auto buying knowledge and experience to the public at large. We took that fateful year off from the auto business and we, generally speaking, stepped lightly off one of the many sinking ships in the US economy, with an entirely new focus. This is how we created our DVD especially for the discerning used car buyer, “How to Buy A Used Car Without Getting Ripped off!”. We made it along with the help many good friends and professionals in the used car market, who are really GOOD people, and they happily provided their wisdom and sound advice to us along the way.
You will find in our videos, we explain to you in detail everything you really do need to know when it comes to Buying a Used Car or Truck or Van or 4×4 or AWD, and manual or automatic transmissions are both covered. Ok, we might of missed some things, but you will be hard proved to find it. Go ahead, we love the feedback! I’m even thinking about creating a blog where people can share this missed info with other used car buyers. Feel free to remind me about that project if you want. Nonetheless, keep an eye out for it, in case you might want to contribute to it, especially if you know a lot about buying used cars yourself.
Now, I gotta warn ya… you might actually have a little fun watching our videos, but you will ALSO have to think a bit. This DVD is something that would not be fun to watch with say, for instance, a hangover or jet-lag, nor do I think it should replace the Saturday night movie either; but watching it more like somewhere in the middle, where you can pay good attention to what we are showing you, as there is a lot that we cover in this little DVD “How to Buy A Used Car Without Getting Ripped off!”.
We tell you what you would need to know, so that you can absorb as much as you want, and have a good idea about what it takes when it comes to inspecting your next used car, before you buy it.
We could have put all this in a book, but we thought a DVD would be more fun and engaging, given the nature of content, and it is best available for instant download as well as ordering the DVD in its entirety. Yet, for those that would want something in a book format, we created our own e-Book about another, just as important subject called, “How to Negotiate a Used Car Deal.” You can only win with our information, or at least have a better understanding of how you may have lost out on some car deals in the past.
Well, there ya have it. I just want you to know that I did all this so that I could make sure that YOU… whoever you are, wherever you are… will have a much more effortless, easy, confident and relaxed experience (especially if you remember to do some deep breathing) the next time you need to buy a used car.
Co-creator of “How to Buy a Used Car Without Getting Ripped Off!”