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Old 25th October 2016, 13:07   #31
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by fazayal View Post
You are painting everyone with the same brush. Isn't it unfair?

The used car evaluator gives the price of the car considering many constraints like funds available, ready customer for a particular model, current stock situation etc.

If you like the price you can do the deal. If you don't like it you are free to reject it. There is no force. There are many used car dealers and now websites where you can sell your car. Customer can decide where he wants to go.

I have a degree in Mechanical Engineering btw. Does it matter?
Yes definitely matters because it's about technical details that you're getting into and explaining to the customer, i've bought 5 used cars in the last 7 years and all have been from private sellers, valuators under quote while buying and then go on to say it's certified so we'll charge a premium while selling.
What with a mahindra first choice guy trying to sell me a santro whose starter was not working by saying it's replaced, only for me to open the bonnet and see a cloth wrapped around the old one so that it doesn't make unusual noises
All this happened 15 minutes prior to delivery
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Old 25th October 2016, 13:08   #32
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Check how he's quoted the private seller's to be so rude and unadjusting, just go to any showroom and see these guys' attitude, you'll get my point, i'd rather not sell my car at all than sell to them
You need to read my post properly. You missed this paragraph I guess:

"Another thing. I believe most of the people in this world are good. This was taught to me by my Manager while I was working as a used car evaluator. He was correct. Most of my customers were very friendly and good natured people. Very cooperative and even ignoring your small mistakes at times. The above things are written about a very low minority of customer, but if you are not careful you would be in big trouble and lose your job and credibility."

I said a very low minority of customers were rude or unadjusting while most of them were friendly, good natured and co-operative. Peace!
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Old 25th October 2016, 13:13   #33
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by TD_GHY View Post
They are there for business, not for charity or goodwill. If they buy at high prices, how will they ever make money? Also one should take into consideration other things like holding costs which includes space it occupies till it gets sold, additional depreciation till the time it gets sold, additional part changes that might be required later, room for evaluation errors. They need to keep a wide margin gap because Indian sellers will negotiate anyway. For example, in your case he quoted 3.75 while a common man buyer might be buying it at 7.5 from you. Now if he would have given you even 6 or 6.5, you would have negotiated to bring it to 7 which leaves him with margin of 50k minus additional costs he will need to bear later. Now he will say 3.75 so that after negotiation it can be brought up to only about 4.5 or so so that he is remains in a comfortable zone. Rule of any business.

Agree with you. However what stops the evaluator or the dealer in telling the customer that the max I can sell the car is 7.5, of which i need to do repairs and other things worth so much and it will cost me so much more for this and that and then quote a realistic price to the customer. Quoting half of what something is worth is plain wrong. I get a quote like that, i would just give the person a disgusted look, laugh like he has made a joke and walk away. Bargaining comes into picture after you come across a figure you can deal with not when the variance is that much.
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Old 25th October 2016, 13:25   #34
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Agree with you. However what stops the evaluator or the dealer in telling the customer that the max I can sell the car is 7.5, of which i need to do repairs and other things worth so much and it will cost me so much more for this and that and then quote a realistic price to the customer. Quoting half of what something is worth is plain wrong. I get a quote like that, i would just give the person a disgusted look, laugh like he has made a joke and walk away. Bargaining comes into picture after you come across a figure you can deal with not when the variance is that much.
It happens because there are ample number of customers who do not know the true amount their cars will sell at. Not everyone is knowledgeable with cars and bikes. So chances are some will sell at such rates. I know of one of my neighbours who sold their 2 year old Figo at some 2.xx lakhs (buying cost was around 5.xx) just because they were also being given some exchange bonus and all on their new purchase. If they would have told me, I would have given 3+ on that car. So there is an information asymmetry that exists in the Indian car market and some will definitely want to benefit out of it if the opportunity arises.

EDIT: Also nowadays people want convenience. Not a lot of people would want to search for multiple buyers, go to multiple dealers or personal buyers, negotiate and then sell it. Some people just don't have that time to deal with such things and hence find selling to dealers convenient. Imagine one's daily income is 3000 and he spent 10 days on all this. He already lost 30k in the process indirectly even though he may have sold it at 50k more giving a net gain of 20k only. Just a hypothetical example.

Last edited by TD_GHY : 25th October 2016 at 13:28.
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Old 25th October 2016, 13:27   #35
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

One more thing regarding the thread OP post which say customers have a barrier to cars with 50000+ mileage, or 1 lakh. Well, that mind barrier has also been put up in place by the used cars dealers/evaluators only. You can always hear the cliched argument :

1. Its 5 yr old model sir (without looking at the actual car condition)
2. It has run more than 50000 sir (25000, 35000, 50000 and 1 lakh are all different barriers quoted by evaluators to steeply devaluate your car if you are a seller)
3. Driven by a doctor (if you are a buyer, they will charge a premium for a doctor driven car!!)
4. I have yet to come across any dealer who will honestly put up reasons (the real ones) on why the car is on sale (never been told about any accident etc). Standard reply - owner is moving abroad
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Old 25th October 2016, 13:35   #36
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Caveat Emptor is standard - buyer beware. Of course there are crooks in the used car business just as many as there are honest people. The middle ground would be people who drive a hard bargain while buying and who will extract the maximum possible profit out of the sale - but will sell a clean car with no dud parts, no lies about prior history etc.

This sort of blanket tarring of the used car dealers as crooks is similar to the stereotype that calls people from some communities with a long tradition of trade and business "greedy" or "kanjoos" because they drive hard bargains, and are frugal with their money.

You're going into a business transaction - so it pays to keep your eyes open and build awareness of your own, AND (not merely "or" unless you're like the late Behram Dhabhar or some other tbhp members) to hire some well informed mechanic to evaluate the car for you + carry out whatever tasks need to be done after you buy the vehicle (could be just tyres / battery / general service, could be far more extensive - you won't know unless someone you trust evaluates the car)
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Old 25th October 2016, 14:25   #37
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Caveat Emptor is standard - buyer beware. Of course there are crooks in the used car business just as many as there are honest people. The middle ground would be people who drive a hard bargain while buying and who will extract the maximum possible profit out of the sale - but will sell a clean car with no dud parts, no lies about prior history etc.

This sort of blanket tarring of the used car dealers as crooks is similar to the stereotype that calls people from some communities with a long tradition of trade and business "greedy" or "kanjoos" because they drive hard bargains, and are frugal with their money.

You're going into a business transaction - so it pays to keep your eyes open and build awareness of your own, AND (not merely "or" unless you're like the late Behram Dhabhar or some other tbhp members) to hire some well informed mechanic to evaluate the car for you + carry out whatever tasks need to be done after you buy the vehicle (could be just tyres / battery / general service, could be far more extensive - you won't know unless someone you trust evaluates the car)
I am in slight disagreement here. The "buyers beware" motto just means there is lack of trust and a lot of room for cheating. This is not how a business should be run. It does not provide a level playing field for buyers as well as sellers and tilted towards the brokers (the dealers), pretty similar to the agricultural markets (APMC markets, or "mandi" as called in Hindi).

Some people are stating that dealers carry a risk of non-moving inventory and stuck capital. But these risks are standard in any business. If you try to minimize risk by cutting corners or duping the customers, you will never be able to win trust and hence, never be able to scale up.

I can vouch for it - most of the first time car buyers (even while learning to drive) avoid 2nd hand cars market and buy a new one on loan, because they are vary of what kind of car they might end up getting. If I put this general perception into business language - dealers are just adding to the risk factor rather than minimizing it for the customers.
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Old 25th October 2016, 14:35   #38
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by Nav-i-gator View Post

I can vouch for it - most of the first time car buyers (even while learning to drive) avoid 2nd hand cars market and buy a new one on loan, because they are vary of what kind of car they might end up getting.
A report by Mahindra First Choice says otherwise. It says for 55% of families, used car is the first car in the family.

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/indian...st-choice.html (Interesting Report on the 'Used Car Market' by Mahindra First Choice)

P.S: I am only basing it on the report, can't authenticate the data.
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Old 25th October 2016, 16:31   #39
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All those who state that dealers are all crooks, think again.

Every business has crooks and honest people. Just because one has come across a crook, it's unfair to label them all as such.

Dealers have a business to run, which everyone is aware of. So if your car has a fair value (good or bad condition cars, both have fair value), the dealer will not give you the same value. He is not doing charity. He will try to buy it below fair value and sell it above fair value. And that's the margin he works in.

Hence it is unfair to go to the dealer to sell your car and expect fair market value for it. They provide us a convenience of immediate closure of the deal, albeit for lesser value. If you don't like the deal, walk away. There is no forcing anybody.
If you want fair market value, put in the effort to sell it yourself.

That's all there is to it.

Edit: that's the sellers side. When buying from a dealer, we know what needs to be checked before buying the car. Get it evaluated by an expert, get all service records from A. S. S and if satisfied, go ahead.
We do the same when buying privately. Private sellers can be crooks too, right?!

So whether you are buying from a dealer or privately, it's always buyers beware.

Last edited by vinit.merchant : 25th October 2016 at 16:42.
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Old 25th October 2016, 16:41   #40
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

It is actually simple logic that comes to my mind:

- if you have a great car and you think you can get 70-80 k more, decent time in hand - sell it yourself, maximize the resale value.
- if you have average car or really old model, and really don't think it is worth getting that extra 10-20k in the overall scheme of things - sell it off to a dealer, let him take care of all the headache.

Has worked brilliantly for me as a seller, multiple times.

But when i hunt for a second hand car or bike, i have almost always ended up with a direct deal, this is one way good, because i knew what i was really getting into. Dealer only if he gives me a great car at a decent price (which has happened only once, and that too while searching for a friend).
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Old 25th October 2016, 16:52   #41
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by GTO View Post
Honestly, it's the same everywhere else. Even in developed countries, buying or selling a used car can be a painful process if you don't know what you are doing.
GTO- The difference between developed countries and India is the lack of portals like Kelly's blue book (Indian blue book is not considered a standard yet in here). Kelly Blue Book whose pricing of used cars is generally accepted by both consumers and the automotive industry in the US.

Also, Buyers are better off in more regulated markets where insurance processes and credible certification leave a paper trail. Carfax, for example, provides vehicle history reports in the US and Canada.

In fact there are lot of startups who are trying to organize the chaotic car market (including garages). While a few of them are trying their way amidst chaos, there are few that could not make it. One such company is goZoomo. They did return the VC money back when they could not withstand anymore - link here. Some of the excerpts from the original article below.
  • In the US, three used cars are sold for every new car. In India, itís only one used car for every new car, although this is a more price-conscious market.
  • India is a relatively young market for cars. Buying a car became commonplace in urban India only about 15 years ago. So most of the people buying or selling used cars are doing it for the first time.
  • Gozoome was able to build a pricing engine for Bangalore and Mumbai, using feedback from customers, getting pricing from other platforms Ė but unless there is a golden standard, people donít believe it.
  • The delayed transactions due to going back and forth on the price was an
    irritant. But eventually, it became a festering sore that killed GoZoomo.

P.S - I am not even remotely associated to GoZoomo.
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Old 25th October 2016, 17:53   #42
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by Nav-i-gator View Post
3. Driven by a doctor (if you are a buyer, they will charge a premium for a doctor driven car!!)
I can vouch for this tactic personally.

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Originally Posted by hserus View Post
Caveat Emptor is standard - buyer beware.
Well, I would also add that if you are selling your car to a dealer then, Seller also beware.

So far I have not bought a used car but have had an opportunity to sell one of my own to a dealer. Here are the details:

I owned a Manza Oct 2010 top-end model, run for 60K+ kms and sold to a new Car dealer in Jul 2015. This car of mine had alloy wheels which I had bought and installed in the after-market (stock was steel wheels). It also had a kick-ass speaker set-up with 8 speakers, a sub-woofer and 2 amps. This was a year old and was worth an easy 75K.

I offered this car as exchange while buying my new car (you see, I was too lazy to scout around and negotiate with buyers on my own). The dealer sent his chap to evaluate the car. This chap was a cheery fellow and very polite. He properly checked out the documents of the car and absorbed silently whatever I told him of the car. The couple of negatives of the car I mentioned to him were that the key cover had broken (the replacement cover was also provided by me but not installed) and there were a couple of dents on the body.

Then came the process of negotiation on the price and after a lot of back and forth with the dealer the price settled on was 2.75L (while the IDV on the insurance was approx 4L+ IIRC). I was happy thinking that I got a good deal.

Couple of weeks down the line I get a call from one of the authorised TATA service centers saying that my car was ready for delivery. I had not given any car to be serviced and then it struck me that it could be my old car. So I asked them casually what all work has been done and what is the total cost. I get a reply that general servicing has been done and total cost is approx Rs. 15K.

After a month or so I get a call from a person introducing himself as the person who bought the car and enquiring if I have the duplicate key with me. On probing further I understand that the dealer had changed the broken key cover but not transplanted the immobiliser chip into the new cover. And without this, this key will not start the car. I also checked with him on the condition of the car and whether he is happy with it.

Here come the shockers:

The dealer removed all the 9 speakers and 2 amps in the car before selling
The dealer replaced the alloy wheels with steel wheels before selling
The dealer portrayed the owner (that is, me) as a doctor (This I understood when the new owner kept addressing me as "Doctor")
And here is the kicker, dealer sold the car at Rs. 4L (a cool profit of Rs. 1.5L after spending 20K at the most)

So after this experience of mine I have come to the conclusion that the used car dealers are an unscrupulous lot and if there are any good guys out there, then they are exceptions rather than the rule.
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Old 25th October 2016, 19:01   #43
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

It took me almost 10 months to finally pick the GV that I bought recently. I've lost track of the number of cars (Gypsies and GVs) I must have evaluated during this time. I don't think I can go through this process ever again, but the least I can say is that I totally understand how excruciating it would be to do this as a part of your job.

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Originally Posted by fazayal View Post
You are painting everyone with the same brush. Isn't it unfair?
There are definitely some used car dealers who are ethical for the most part. In my experience, I just came across just one dealer for whom I could say that this is true. And guess what, I didn't buy the car he was selling partly because of his 'honesty'. Sure, I would have eventually come across what broke the deal for me but I am thankful that he didn't waste my time. The point is, if they are all ethical and honest, their business just won't thrive as much as it does right now.

Not making any subjective judgements, this is just the nature of the game.


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Originally Posted by Ravi_chd View Post
Before selling the car, the seller has to get a 'road worthy certificate' from a garage that's approved by the government.
You see, this is the kind of stuff that cannot work in India. The room for corruption is way too high.

Last edited by Tanmay K : 25th October 2016 at 19:10.
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Old 25th October 2016, 19:28   #44
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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Originally Posted by dhruvritzed View Post
Check how he's quoted the private seller's to be so rude and unadjusting, just go to any showroom and see these guys' attitude, you'll get my point, i'd rather not sell my car at all than sell to them
You are making multiple generalizations in one argument. As far as not selling your car than selling to used car dealer is concerned, that's your right as much as it is not every used car evaluator's duty to match your expectations in price or terms.

I got a fairly good quote on my used car at two different places, ultimately I decided to sell it to a friend at a slightly higher price. Even though the quote wasn't what I had in mind (because I loved my car and cared for it), but I realized that someone who is looking at my car for 10 minutes and maybe driving a kilometer can never figure out the price of me getting all the servicing done in front of my eyes.
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Old 25th October 2016, 23:19   #45
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

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So after this experience of mine I have come to the conclusion that the used car dealers are an unscrupulous lot and if there are any good guys out there, then they are exceptions rather than the rule.
I didn't understand what makes you call this particular dealer as unscrupulous?

He quoted you a price. You agreed on it. He gave you the money. You gave him the car. Fair deal.

Now it is his prerogative how he sells the car or at what price.

He showed the car and quoted a price to the new customer. He agreed on the price. Paid money to the dealer. Fair deal again.

Any business would try to buy things at cheapest possible price and sell it at highest possible price. If he wants to put your car accessories in some other car and sell it, it is his choice isn't it?

Telling about the car belonging to a "Doctor" was wrong and I am against such cheap tricks. However, it was a "White lie" and didn't harm the customer in anyway. Most businesses do it if I am not wrong. "50% off, last 2 days! Hurry!" One can read such ads everywhere. Even if you go on third day, pretty sure you would get the same discount. If such a dealer is unscrupulous, trust me then you don't know what unscrupulous dealers are!

The dealer should have solved the key issue before giving it to the new customer as well.

Another thing I would like to point here is that in used car business there are "fast moving" and "slow moving" models. Some car models get sold very soon, while some take a long time in selling. There is not much variation in prices of fast moving models from dealer to dealer. Dealers have low margins on these cars. Reason being that since these cars sell easily in market dealers are ready to invest in them readily and ROI is much faster.

It would be surprising to many but slow moving models give a much better margin to a dealer. However, it is a risk as such cars might not sell easily for a long time. There is also huge price variations from dealer to dealer. A dealer having a ready customer for such a car would quote a high price. A dealer having no ready customer for that model and already having many other slow moving cars in his stock would quote very low price. At times ridiculously low so that customer doesn't sell that car to him!
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