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Old 23rd October 2016, 19:19   #1
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Default Re: Smoke & oil from tailpipe after Nexa showroom test-drives my Verna

The other side of the story has not been heard of as pointed by many people.

I have worked in the past as a used car evaluator and I can probably give you some part of the other side story with my experience in that job.

The work of a used car evaluator is very difficult and risky. You don't have to sell something standard but buy things. Every used car is different from the other.

When you give your well run car for service at a service centre, they take atleast 2-3 hours and opening the car parts to arrive at the repair estimate. They have support of spare parts department to tell exact price of spare parts and there is support of others like technicians, floor supervisors, testers, works managers, other Service Advisors etc. Then too at times you all would have noticed that the final bill comes way more than the estimate.

A used car evaluator has none of above support and got hardly 15 minutes to check the car and arrive at the estimate. At times there is so much of traffic that you could hardly take the car in third gear while testing. Plus a service centre just services one brand of cars. Used car evaluator has to evaluate cars of all brands. It requires a very high level of skill and guess work.

The repair estimate has to be accurate. You over estimate and you lose the deal as the customer would sell it somewhere else. You under estimate and you would have a car with a high repair cost and will not sell easily at even cost price. Then a car which doesn't sell blocks the working capital as well. I know of dealerships who make the evaluator pay for the losses made on such cars.

Also, paperwork has to be checked thoroughly (stolen cars, hypothecation not removed from RC, insurance comprehensive but very low IDV). Tampered odometers are seen everyday by evaluators. I have seen good looking decent customers bringing cars with tampered odometers. (You can't even say that to them on their face as they are customers). Cars with major accident and structural damages, colour of one panel not matching with the other, flooded cars, rusted cars, etc. etc. All these things have to be checked thoroughly along with mechanical or physical condition of the car. You could lose your job or be called corrupt if you miss out on even one of the above in a car and it lands up with you.

With so much competition and pressure from new car sales team, one has to buy cars at a price where the margins would be very low. No problem with that. I would say more power to the customers!

At times it is noticed that the car when given after deal is finalised is not in the same condition as it was when evaluated. Some more dents or scratches are seen. Some more rattling. You don't argue with the customer and accept the car. Some customers also remove accessories like music system, rear parking sensors (imagine getting a car with holes on bumpers, you would have to put new sensors as no customer would buy it like that) etc, even after committing that they would not remove any accessory. At times they ask you to pick the car from their home or office and the car has not even a drop of fuel inside.

Some customers make you run for the paperwork like anything. You cannot sell a car hypothecated to bank, so from the price of car agreed on, you pay the bank the remaining amount of loan and rest to the customer. Obviously, visiting bank and standing in line to close the loan is to be done by you. Form 35 and NOC is received at the customers place. Some customers forget about it. Don't even inform when it comes to them. Some customers stop responding to your calls after selling the car to you. You cannot sell the car without removing hypothecation and have to be at their mercy to receive the Form 35 and NOC. A necessary practice is to hold some amount of money say 10k-20k and give it to customer only after he gives the Form 35 and NOC from bank. However, at times to close the deal you have to take that risk as customer becomes adamant. Some don't care for the 10k-20k and stop responding anyway.

I have known of cases where some customers had taken top up loan on the car loan and sold the car saying there is only normal car loan going on. The bank refuses to give form 35 and NOC. You have to be at mercy of the customer and run around him.

Some customers after selling the car cancel the insurance and take the refund without informing you. Imagine if such a car meets accident or is stolen!

Coming back to this case. 60,000 km is a mental block in mind of used car buyers in India. Any car run more than that is difficult to sell. 1 lakh km is another barrier. Still more difficult to sell such cars. If a car is having a high mileage on odometer, it has to be checked more thoroughly by the evaluator. The chances of things failing is pretty high at this mileage. Engine and related components have to be checked very thoroughly as there can be an engine overhaul anytime after 1 lakh kms even for a well maintained car. Very few car OEMs give warranty of cars run beyond 1 lakh km. A diesel or CNG/LPG car (this reminds me of the rounds of RTO which was outside the city limits I had to do when a customer sold me a CNG car without endorsement on RC book!) needs more thorough check up. You need to revv the engine hard to see whether there is life in the engine or everything is working properly. Even if we theoretically assume that the evaluator here revved the engine to its limit continuously for 15 minutes and the turbo went bust, it would have still happened if customer had not given the car for evaluation maybe within 1000kms at max. Just imagine, if the evaluator had not revved the engine and bought the car only to see the turbo failing after a short while! The dealership would have made him pay from his pocket most probably.

I was pained to see someone accusing people working at dealerships as "miserable louts" and what not. Agreed, some bad apples are there. They are there in every industry and such people should be taught a lesson. More than 2 lakh cars are sold every month in India. If everyone working in dealerships were "miserable louts", this industry would have collapsed. These are very hard working people who put very high working hours and work under high stress and pressure. They never get to even celebrate festivals with their family as they have to serve customers. While everyone of us have long holidays for Diwali, these folks work overtime for customers.

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.

Sorry for the long post but I thought it was necessary. I hope the gentleman here gets a solution to his problems.
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Old 24th October 2016, 10:23   #2
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Fazayal, many thanks for sharing! I've copied your post to a new thread as it warrants an independent discussion.

Here's a link to the old thread where it originated - link.

Last edited by GTO : 24th October 2016 at 15:33.
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Old 24th October 2016, 10:36   #3
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

May be a good process in future would be to share the tests that will be done with the customer and if the customer is not happy he could walk away from it. A simple "no objection to testing" could also be given by customers after reviewing the tests to be done so it clears you of possible damages and at the same time gives a chance to the customer about what will be done to his car. Also, it could be made mandatory for the customer to be with his car so he knows if the car was really abused or just died with just a slight pressure beyond normal. All this process would go a long way to educate both sides.
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Old 24th October 2016, 10:42   #4
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Brilliant post indeed. .

Quite heartening and spine chilling at the same time for me.

Heartening to read about the other side. As customers, we anyways tend to demand more from dealerships. Case in point, I had started a thread discussing why automobile dealerships are not concentrating on Sunday sales, whereas it's a big day for many other retail channels. Was happy to read some enlightening posts from a few members who had previously worked in car dealerships. Was able to understand that the actual disconnect lies in the way these dealerships are run by the management.

In a way, the same applies to this scenario of used car evaluations I feel. In this particular scenario where the Verna Turbo failed during the evaluation process, I believe it's not the fault of the evaluator and had mentioned the same in the thread as well. I doubt there is anything an evaluator could have done to kill a turbo the way it happened, and more so it would only have been a coincidence that it failed - or may be it would a failed a bit earlier as compared to the normal failure which could have happened few days down the line anyways. I suspect the poor chap will be made to pay up now.

If the evaluator does a good job, the dealership is benefitted. If he doesn't, his job is at stake. Pretty tough situation to be in!

But your post also reminds me of the tough situation I'm in - Wrong brand, 1.3x lakh kilometres, another state registration. Should be an evaluator's and customer's nightmare when I finally decide to let go of my car.

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 24th October 2016 at 10:47.
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Old 24th October 2016, 11:23   #5
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

The entire problem with humans is that when they have to shell out money they feel they are being cheated.

I am sure they don't feel the same way when they make a living at their office/shopfloor/workplace collecting money at the end of day/week/month/quarter/year.

Last edited by alpha1 : 24th October 2016 at 11:52.
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Old 24th October 2016, 11:24   #6
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Nice write up fazayal.

Having worked as a evaluator myself i agree with statements made by you.
Although a lurky dark side also exists in the used car segment. Dont know if it would be right to discuss the same here.
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Old 24th October 2016, 11:35   #7
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Very interesting reality post there. But who is to be blamed for all this? The customer, the dealer or the process?

Having read fazayal post it is very clear that the used car market in India is very chaotic, and they seem to have very little process in place, to do a fair job with evaluation of the vehicle. No wonder most of us prefer to sell direct and get better price there. But is this situation so difficult and complex, that it cannot be fixed? Used car is a business that runs world over and working brilliantly.

The whole issue seems to be the cut throat nature of the business and people looking to make a fast buck (dealer and customer), that it becomes a gamble.
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Old 24th October 2016, 11:41   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpian View Post
Nice write up fazayal.

Having worked as a evaluator myself i agree with statements made by you.
Although a lurky dark side also exists in the used car segment. Dont know if it would be right to discuss the same here.
There is a dark side but I never got involved in it. You can make an honest living as a used car evaluator if you don't succumb to temptations, do your work properly and have a supportive manager. I know of evaluators/brokers who don't even drive the car while evaluating. Very high probability of getting a lemon which would then be sold to an unsuspecting customer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Very interesting reality post there. But who is to be blamed for all this? The customer, the dealer or the process?

Having read fazayal post it is very clear that the used car market in India is very chaotic, and they seem to have very little process in place, to do a fair job with evaluation of the vehicle. No wonder most of us prefer to sell direct and get better price there. But is this situation so difficult and complex, that it cannot be fixed? Used car is a business that runs world over and working brilliantly.

The whole issue seems to be the cut throat nature of the business and people looking to make a fast buck (dealer and customer), that it becomes a gamble.
As stated by me in the original post, the overwhelming majority of the customers are honest people and prefer dealing with honest people. It is a small minority which try to act smart but if you don't be careful you would be in a big trouble. There is a well defined process but how many follow it properly is the question. If you follow the proper process you would be fine in most cases.

Last edited by manson : 24th October 2016 at 15:20. Reason: Mod Note : Please use the EDIT or MULTI-QUOTE buttons instead of typing one post after another on the SAME THREAD!
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Old 24th October 2016, 11:47   #9
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpian View Post
Although a lurky dark side also exists in the used car segment. Dont know if it would be right to discuss the same here.
Please share details. All of us would learn from them.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jaggu View Post
Having read fazayal post it is very clear that the used car market in India is very chaotic
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.
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Old 24th October 2016, 11:51   #10
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Quote:
Originally Posted by scorpian View Post
Nice write up fazayal.

Having worked as a evaluator myself i agree with statements made by you.
Although a lurky dark side also exists in the used car segment. Dont know if it would be right to discuss the same here.
i would request you to please discuss it so that consumers can get both sides of the picture and make informed decisions. After all, transparency and empowering car lovers is the USP of Team BHP.
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Old 24th October 2016, 12:03   #11
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Excellent thread fayazal. Many thanks for sharing!
Really takes us to the other side.

One thing which I should mention that there are many people who sell their car just because there is some on going mechanical fault or the car is showing symptoms of some big expense coming. Now I doubt if anyone discloses the same to the evaluator.
It's the onus of the person evaluating to take the correct decision in the given time.
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Old 24th October 2016, 12:08   #12
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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 Sherlocked View Post
One thing which I should mention that there are many people who sell their car just because there is some on going mechanical fault or the car is showing symptoms of some big expense coming..
Very true. This phenomenon is discussed in detail here:

http://www.team-bhp.com/forum/techni...ink-again.html (Want to sell your car because of repairs? Think again!)

@ fazayal - Thanks for the enlightening post. However, I don't agree when you say that you HAVE to rev the engine hard to see how much life is left in it. If it were that easy, every Tom, Dick and Harry could forecast engine life. What if you rev away to glory and then don't buy the car? That's why when & if I sell my vehicle, I would make it very clear that the test drive needs to simulate how the car would be driven everyday, and not during a joyride by a teenager. The deal would be off pronto, if there is any ridiculous revving involved just for the heck of it.

In any transaction, if there is a sense of reasonableness shown by both parties, it will be a win - win for all; I guess the used car market is no different

Cheers,
Vikram

Last edited by comfortablynumb : 24th October 2016 at 12:23.
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Old 24th October 2016, 12:42   #13
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

Nice article, can totally understand how difficult it is selling used cars.

I guess the issue also lies in the processes involved. Car re-registrations and loan transfers are a big headache especially when you are relocating to other states, and people now-a-days don't prefer running pillar to post to get things done as managing time out of busy schedules is too difficult.

If I were to give my example, my wife bought a car in Bengaluru, took a loan from SBI.
When we wanted to relocate to Pune, we went to the bank to secure an NOC but the request was turned down rather rudely. "Repay all the loan amount and take your car wherever you want " was the precise reply we got at SBI BLR head branch near MG Road. (No pressure as my wife gave him a mouthful in front of everyone as well, the employee developed a speech impediment ) We asked the manager if she can help transfer the loan to Pune branch, the Bank Manager refused politely. We had to drive the car to Pune, keeping the plans of re-registering on a back burner. Add to this, we did not get any break in our work and other stuff (marriage plans, new home etc). This happened in 2014.
In order to close the loan, we need to be physically present at the bank where it was taken. So, we managed to squeeze a break of 2 working days where we decided to re-pay the loan by going to Bengaluru. My wife is mostly busy with work related travel abroad so getting a 4 day break (weekend added) and wasting it on closing car loan was disappointing (not to mention but the cost of travel also is steep). We got a certificate from bank which we need to show the RTO (BLR) to remove hypothecation from the Smart-card but it needs Bengaluru address (which was present at the time of purchase). Now since the car has been driven in Pune since Jan 2014 (we relocated then), we dont have any address in Bengaluru to which the card can be delivered, change of address would mean giving address proofs and all. We would have to do some 'jugaad' with some friends/relatives in Bengaluru to get it done. Short on time, we decided to leave the matter as it is and came back.

The way things stand, When I had time (but no money) back in 2014, SBI refused to give NOC, thereby disallowing me to re-register the car in Pune. Now, when we close the loan (which could have easily done from Pune without going to BLR) we cannot get the hypothecation removed without having a valid Bengaluru address proof. The only way out is I pay tax for Maharashtra and keep the car driving with KA registration. Not that I want to sell the car off, but when the time comes, I will have to sell it in KA and spend some more time getting RTO formalities done (possibly form RTO agents to speed up things) and lose out on precious personal/family time that is so hard to get. Who is responsible for this mess ? I am yet to find an answer to this.
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Old 24th October 2016, 12:44   #14
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Default Re: The other side of the story: A used car evaluator's perspective

A very good Post Fazayal. Thanks much for sharing!.. From your post, we understand how difficult and risky it is to be a used car evaluator. I agree with each and every aspect you mentioned here, but I would not agree revving the engine's rpm to red to test its life. I personally will not allow an evaluator to do this to my car when & if I sell my car. I also don't think any other car owner would like to have their car engine tested this way.

Last edited by ravivarmav : 24th October 2016 at 12:52.
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Old 24th October 2016, 14:58   #15
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Default Re: Smoke & oil from tailpipe after Nexa showroom test-drives my Verna

Thanks for sharing this, very interesting information from the other side. I agree with you that some bad apples give entire industry a bad name, but then we go by our own experiences. The problem is more with the process and the hurry that everyone is in, right from the dealer to the purchaser.

When I was trying to have a discussion with Honda for a Brio, the evaluator suggested a very low valuation for my Santro, I asked him the reason and he said it was because the car came with very less features. My car had, a rear wash-wipe, power windows and a CD player, I told him the Honda car I am trying to buy didn't have 2 of these features (strangely it still doesn't) and I should get discount. The look on his face was worth looking. Anyways I didn't buy Brio and didn't go back to the dealer.

What puts me off is that the evaluator treats every customer the same assuming the the customer has very little technical knowledge about the cars.

Hardships of evaluator's job are evident, but these are occupational hazards and every fields has its share.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fazayal View Post
You need to revv the engine hard to see whether there is life in the engine or everything is working properly. Even if we theoretically assume that the evaluator here revved the engine to its limit continuously for 15 minutes and the turbo went bust, it would have still happened if customer had not given the car for evaluation maybe within 1000kms at max. Just imagine, if the evaluator had not revved the engine and bought the car only to see the turbo failing after a short while!
I am not sure what you mean here, or may be the reference is to some earlier post. But I don't think revving the engine to redline, forget holding to there for 15 mins is good idea for evaluation. I would definitely not allow anyone to do that to my car. Mechanically revving it for 15 mins at redline is not same as 1000 kms of running, nowhere close.
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