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Everything posted by Christian

  1. I've been trading for nearly two years and put through 90 cars with 22x 5* reviews and 1x 4* review, is that anywhere near enough? Also how detailed does the 'regulatory business plan' need to be? These plans seem to require a lot of in depth information about customers, market research, marketing strategies, competitor analysis, sales forecast, etc...
  2. Hi everyone, Since my saga with the 7 series I've went back into (temporary) part time employment to gather more funds and start working on a more sustainable way to sell cars. This week I applied for a BCA traders account and I also plan to get the ball rolling on an FCA application. At a glimpse through online articles, the process looks far too complicated for a novice like me to apply for on my own, so I contacted a company who assists with the authorisation and was told their fee is £1495 +VAT for the setup! Using the connect system online I can apply for a limited license but its asking for a 'regulatory business plan' which certainly do not have! Is this something I could do myself?
  3. Thought I'd update given its VERY good news...Got the car back today and have it re-adverised for sale within 2 hours - PCV diaghram is ripped right open! Updated the listing for the car as available on facebook and got a very quick 'wat do u mean?' response from the to say he's shocked
  4. Refund has been authorised for £4800 and I'm actually happy with that outcome, have already arranged to have the car lifted and dropped to a local garage here that has overhauled several V8 engines before. I definitely did not want to to be dealing with the customer again so the sooner we close contact the better. If I'm able to sell it for anything close to what I sold it for, I'll only have lost several hundred...I'll live! Thanks for everyones advice, I'll march onwards a bit farther without warranties, less 4.8L's and more sellable/reliable cars!
  5. Ok, so change that from a buy back to refund and a refund of maybe £4800 (6k minus fair wear and tear)?
  6. Its a mechanical version of Cat C/D - Different bodywork, but in this case, different engine! Not a bad thing really just depends on peoples perspective..
  7. Thanks for this information. I know it all feels very different here, but not in a good way! The car was registered in Northern Ireland and was MOT'd here before listing for sale, probably around a month before I sold it to the customer. Sold to local buyer half an hour down the road. I've drawn up a plan on what to offer the customer later today when I told him I would make a decision... Simple - I'm going to fix the car for him and if he's not happy with that, offer to buy the car back at £4k which I think, given the car will cost over £2k to fix, is very reasonable! At least he has until the car is fixed to decide!
  8. Im from Northern Ireland by the way! If I asked ryanair nicely would they hoist a 7 series on board? So Ill be spending the majority of my morning trying to find a reputable outfit that will tackle this job and see if I can get some options for repair. I love the reaction here to me being in Ireland, maybe you guys wouldnt last over here! Its as you say and much much worse, infact it feels like people are getting stupider!
  9. It's nearly impossible to find fair middle ground based on all the advice I've been given but I definitely really appreciate the advice Ive been given here. Most of my friend's and family are telling me to hard ball it but clearly I have to accept my responsiblity as a business and come to a reasonable solution. I have been able to confirm that the customer has done just over 2k miles since purchase so I'm thinking of deducting about £1200 off the £6k refund or offering the customer a repair (which has already been rejected because he said he'd be worried about something else going wrong). Hopefully I'm able to find an engine specialist in Ireland that would be willing to fix this shipwreck!
  10. The car had 129k and I didnt do a PDI, Ive only been in business a year and a half with minimal capital so I would barely classify myself as a proper dealer with the current setup. Most cars sell in and around the £3k mark. Ive since done away with the warranty altogether and now just sell with no Guarantees. The customer in question can barely spell in messages, a new message coming every couple of hours and a random phone call last night at 11pm!!! He expects the full 6000 refunded and to be honest given his attitude so far Id say if I offered him any less than that he would be taking me straight to court. So the question is then what do I offerhim? Ive already contacted a BMW specialist here and they told me they wouldnt strip a 4.8l V8, so Id be ringing around before I could get it fixed. My solicitor told me yesterday that Im not responisible at all and hes happy to take part in what he believes would be a straightforward case. I think it would be if I was clearly a very small independant sole trader selling 10-15 year old cars as opposed to a large dealership selling fresher stuff with more experience.
  11. Spoke to the mechanic there who didn't tell me much more than I already knew from the customer - The car pumps out white smoke with a very strong smell of oil and the oil level drops very quickly. Thankfully it still idles perfectly fine so its unlikely that there is any internal engine damage but the mechanic suspects valve seals or piston rings (without checking crankcase ventilation...?). So now I have a good idea of what happened and am content in two things - that the fault genuinely only developed yesterday and that the engine still runs!!! Can I call trading standards for legal advice regarding this? Im still trying to find the mileage and will at least be deducting 50p per mile if that is standard.
  12. I knew it was a better idea to come here first, thanks everyone for your advice. The customer told me yesterday that it all happened in a matter of seconds yesterday - very loud rattling noises from the engine and plumes of white smoke out of the back of the car. I haven't been able to get a hold of the mechanic yet, but I will try again tomorrow and update.
  13. And it had to be a 4.8L 7 series! 10 years old with 128k miles and a car I sold with my own 1 month warranty (very clearly stated and unerstood) but the car blew up just yesterday and now the customer has pushed me to give him a full refund. To put this into context I normally sell cars in around £4k and this was actually the most expensive car I had sold in 2 years of trading as a used car dealer. Once Im able to recover the customers £6k I will be giving this losing battle up and going back to a permanent day job because this is definitly the final nail in the coffin for me! I would be lucky to get £2k selling it as spares or repairs and £4k is alot of money for me to lose, nearly the first half of the years profit actually. I've accepted my fate but just wanted to get some opinions on here before I commit to a full refund incase I would have any fighting chance because some people around me are telling me to seek legal advice.
  14. No word from him since the day before yesterday so not sure what he meant by 'see you tomorrow'... No news is good news to me!
  15. Ive since done away with my warranty completely given the experience Ive had with very niggly people that expect a 10 year old car to perform like new. Appreciate your advice BHM Its worth reminding people of there statutory rights instead of the warranty. I spoke to a great guy yesterday from a local garage who was very willing to take on any work the car needed and he told me that this particular car has issues with the coolant and oil mixing from the water pump and too many people assume head gasket. I wasnt able to get a hold of the customer yesterday, only a text from him saying 'see you tomorrow' which is quite sinister given we had no arrangements. Nearly expecting some kind of confrontation on site today. Not excited.
  16. Sorry guys, didnt get any emails so I thought this thread hadnt any replies! Appreciate everyones input! Its a 2008 Astra 1.4 Petrol with 61k when sold and it has done 3k miles because I was told it has 64k now. Sold at £1700. My two options are to either pay at least half of the cost of repair or offer the customer the money back but surely not a full refund, I was hoping to maybe offer a buy back at £1500? His mechanic told him it needs a new engine...most mechanics seem too quick to say that if they either cant be bothered or cant work out whats wrong.
  17. I sold a car with a 30 day warranty (which I know isn't much but I'm only getting started and its better than nothing!) and the customer has come back 3 months after buying to tell me the head gasket is blown. I know that the head gasket was replaced by my mechanic before selling. Technical details of why it has failed again aside, I'm not sure what I should do in this situation as the customer is obviously not happy but is clearly hoping I will take it back for a refund out of goodwill. Has anyone any similar experience or can give me any advice on where I stand or what I should do?
  18. Hi, Me again, back with another noobish, exploratory question. Just want to know what your experience is with advertising platforms out there such as Autotrader and Gumtree. I've always stuck to advertising in 3 places - Gumtree, UsedcarsNI and Facebook, UsedcarsNI being the big one in Northern Ireland where I'm based. Tonight I decided to advertise 2 of my cars on Autotrader just to test the water there. I know it statistically has the largest audience but is it the most effective? Where do you guys advertise your cars and where do you draw the line in advertising expenditure? I have a trade account with UsedCarsNI and would love to have accounts with Autotrader and Gumtree but my monthly bill would be astronomical!
  19. Ok then I'll drop it completely, I'm not fully aware of what consumers statutory rights are, I've done a lot of research but wasn't aware that they had 30 days to reject the car and get a full deposit!
  20. Ok guys I think I get it! I'm entering this bright eyed and bushy tailed with excitment and hope so we'll see how that goes downhill over the next few years if I make it that far! My limited experience with 20 odd customers since I started from home last August has been fairly good. I know that out of the 3 cars I had returned, I deserved to have returned due to unforeseen faults and those three cars had all had money spent on them in the short amount of time owned by the customer, so I didn't really lose out. The rest of my customers left happy and haven't heard from them since so no news is good news...I think I still want to offer a 7 day change your mind period but claim a 5% deposit that is non-refundable? surely that would sieve out the free riders.
  21. Thanks for the advice! Means alot, especially from people on the inside I did make up my own 45-point check which covers pretty much everything inside and out so I'll have a stockpile of them for the cars going through, that makes me feel abit better and more organised. I take them on a 30 mile drive as part of that check monitoring the fluids when cold. At 23 years of age I've been informed that its practically impossible to get a motor trade quote so I'm in the process of getting my dad a motor trade insurance policy so that he can be my guinea pig and drive the cars I want to be sure of or have doubts about. Another quick question for you guys, I currently offer a 7 day change your mind period. Good idea or not? I have it with the intentions of giving customers piece of mind that can definitly influence a sale, having been in different sales roles, I've seen a change your mind period policy make people happier to take the plunge! However, it basically failed with a customer last week who brought a jeep back because it was thirstier than he thought!
  22. Thats reassuring to hear! Although since moving in last month I've already had a real shocker - the one car out of 9 so far that I trusted more than any let me down - I was driving it for 2 weeks, done around 300 miles and put it up for sale, knowing it was absolutely perfect. Sold it within 24 hours at a price myself and the buyer was very happy about. Buyer was very keen after the test drive but phoned me less than 60 seconds after leaving in the car saying it randomely decided to stop using a cylinder and the dash lit up like a christmas tree. He was right, and my humblest of appoigies seemed to have worked in that hes actually still happy to take the car tomorrow night after I get the weekend to make sure its ok all over again. The sheer coincidence of the car failing at the absolute worst time like that will hunt me for along time! Clearly no matter how long you drive the car, you can never be assured that it will behave with the customer. Suppose thats just the way cars are though!
  23. Hi all, knew of Car Dealer magazine but only stumbled across the forums so I thought I'd sign up! I think being part of a car dealer community sounds quite reassuring to me given Im completely new to the industry. Dont want to give you my life story here but basically Ive been buying and selling cars from home for about 6 months and I moved out into my own premises last month with a substantial workshop and forecourt with office, washing facilities, etc. Everything I need to do what Ive been wanting to do - go proffesional. Things went well at home, otherwise I wouldnt have made the plunge into starting a car dealership. This past month I thought things were going well, having sold 4 cars until 2 of them came back this week for mechanical issues (one lossing coolant with a leak at a thermostat and another with coilpack issues). Things went so well at home because I bought the cars at auction and insured them to drive them so that I knew over say a couple of hundred miles whether they were solid and reliable and could sell them on with peace of mind. However, car dealers dont work like how do dealerships test cars purchased from auctions or elsewhere? Im currently doing the usual x-point inspection and road tests but this isnt enough to monitor fluid levels and general reliability? Might be a stupid question, but if anyone could give me some advice Id appreciate it!