Thursday, June 28, 2012

I'm brand new!

I'm new. I've just been licensed to be an "auto dealer" by the state of Washington. Next up, register for the auctions and learn the ropes. Went to 3 to 4 auctions and stood around taking in the seemingly endless rows of cars making their way through the "lanes". Each has an auctioneer, from start to finish; each car is done in about 90 seconds. Yes, the auctioneer is a cliché, I understood perhaps every 5th word and lots and lots of turkey warble, imagine a confident Ralph Cramdon, "hmmm n aaaa, hmmm n naaaa, hmmm, n naaaa, greeeaat leather interior and SOLD"... and even worse, 6 - 10 lanes are going simultaneously. I really had to position myself to screen out the noise, warble from adjacent lanes is chaotic. It's not for everyone!  

Then I took the leap, I raised my hand on a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited, high mileage but what great condition, leather, moon roof, tow package and power everything! The bidding was at around $3,000 and it didn't last long. I made a mistake. In my haste to get in the game I didn't notice that the "red light" was on. The red light means the condition of the vehicle cannot be guaranteed, there's no "arbitration" option available. Normally, when this is available, you can pay a small fee for a mechanic at auction, post sale, to inspect and issue a report on the car's major functions. This both, guarantees the condition of the car when purchased and, if there is a major problem, has you able to work it out with the seller. Either they'll take the vehicle back or reduce the purchase price.  However, 'red light', that's it, you're taking your purchase "as is" with no guarantee of anything. 

I'd sworn I wouldn't buy 'red light' without a lot more experience and here I was owner of a 'red light' Jeep Grand Cherokee discovered post facto. With apprehension and excitement running through my veins, I reassured myself it would work out and made arrangements for the Jeep to be driven to my mechanic for my own post-sale inspection.  It never made it. I got the phone call in the afternoon and, because it had overheated a couple of times, they would tow it to my mechanic the next day. Uh-Oh, could be minor and it could be major, time would tell and time, when your dollars are locked up in inventory, is important. It would all work out. 

My mechanic, John, was sanguine about it, not a big deal for him and so I stayed calm. The next day John called me and said he had bad news and good news; the bad news is, a blown head gasket. He'd say the retail cost for the repair was close to 2K and he'd be willing to fix it for a little more than half to get our business relationship started and sensitive to my "virgin status, would be gentle", thank you John. Then, he said the words, "my friend Derrick has been looking for a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited for a long time, he came and looked at it yesterday and he likes it".  I couldn't believe my ears. Since he's able to fix it himself, he'd rather have a price without repairs. I wouldn't have to fix it, advertise it or worry about it! Through John we settled on something fair and, the next conversation went something like this, "Well, my friend Derrick is a base jumper, he just jumped off a high torsion power structure and the wind blew him back in to it. He dropped about 50 feet and he's in the hospital with 2 broken ribs and a punctured lung". I heard myself shout out, "OMG, is he OK"? And John replied matter of fact; "He's still interested he just has to get out of the hospital to work out the logistics". So I waited. And, not surprisingly, after a few days, John reported that Derrick's wife cancelled their upcoming vacation and facing medical bills, declared Derrick insane and forbade him from buying the Jeep. This business is going to be exciting!

John is fixing the Jeep and after repair it's gonna' rock since it's really solid in all other areas, some lucky person will get a great price on a great vehicle. So let me know if you know someone in the market for some base-jumping equipment or a 2004 Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited?