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Avoiding the Wrong Type of Used Car Dealership

Thank you for coming back to the Big City Blog. I am Cameron the Car Man and I know it may seem strange and a little self-serving for a used car dealership to be writing a blog about what types of used car dealerships to avoid, but I’ve heard from several people asking what the difference is between the vastly varied used car dealerships that seem to be all over the place. In this blog, we’re going to look at the different types of used car dealerships and weigh in on what you as the customer should be on the lookout for. 

Let’s start off with the Used Car Division of a Name Brand New Car Dealership. Nearly all the big name dealerships have one, and it’s where they sell their trade-in inventory. Because of the size of these dealerships, and the financial backing available, these vehicles are often put through a thorough reconditioning and often labeled “certified” before going on the lot for sale to the public. This certification is essentially a built-in limited warranty to cover the vehicle against the repairs made by the dealership. While this may seem like you’re getting a better used vehicle, the prices can often be a fair bit higher than a smaller independent dealership that also reconditions their vehicles but offers the extended warranty as an option. If the dealership you’re shopping from doesn’t offer extended service contracts at all, that could be a giant red flag for you as the customer. 

Outside of the name brand dealerships, there are the Independent Used Car Dealerships, and these can be found in a wide range of lot sizes, inventory quantity, and overall quality of service. There are several red flags you should look at when checking out used car lots. In this industry, size does matter. Be wary of the really small lots that seem to just pop up at old former gas stations. Ask yourself this, “If my car has issues six months down the line, will this dealership even still be here?” If you’re not certain of their long-term stability, it’s probably best to avoid them. Now there are, of course, exceptions to that. There are small lots that are a part of a larger dealership group. These lots often have access to a much larger quantity of vehicles than their lot can hold and can get them delivered within a short time. They also tend to have access to a certified Service Department that can recondition, repair, and maintain the vehicles they sell. The smaller pop-ups often do not. 

Read their reviews. You as a customer know that reviews are given for two main reasons; a really good experience, or a really bad experience. Make sure they’re quality reviews you’re reading. If Dealership A is rated 5 stars with only 20 reviews, and Dealership B is rated 4.8 stars with over 250 reviews, then Dealership B may be the one to shop. There is far more quality information at your disposal with the higher number of reviews available, even though their rating is slightly lower. Negative reviews are also very helpful to look at. Don’t stop reading at what the reviewer had to say, but rather focus on how the dealership responded. If they respond quickly and are offering a way to correct the situation, then that shows that they are actively trying to put the customer (you) first. Often the reviewer will be satisfied with the response and subsequently change their negative review into a positive one, or simply delete it altogether. If you see a negative review that the dealer has responded to, but no further response from the customer, look at what the dealer was trying to do to make the situation better and ask yourself if that would have satisfied you in if you were that customer. If the answer is yes, you may want to shop at that dealership. 

When shopping for a quality used car, focus on the dealers that have an inventory that stays consistently over 150 vehicles. Make sure they maintain a variety of makes and models so they have what you’re looking for. Make sure they have a service department that employs ASE certified mechanics that can perform quality work on the vehicles they sell. Make sure they’ve been around for a few years, or are at the very least, part of a group of locations that have been around. Watch and follow their social media and see if they’re involved in their own community. In this day and age, shopping local is a big draw for Mr. & Mrs. Joe Q. Customer, and finding a dealership that is involved in their community is huge. A quality used car dealership will be actively involved in their community through various charities, events, programs, and even giveaways to their customers just to show their appreciation. Ask yourself if you’d be more willing to buy a car from a company that gave you free playoff tickets to your favorite local sports team just because you follow their social media page. 

Well, that does it for this edition of the Big City Blog. I hope this gave you some insight into the world of used cars and as always, feel free to leave me your feedback. Until next time, this is Cameron the Car Man reminding you to drive safe.

Introduction

Hello, and welcome to the brand new Big City Blog. I’m Cameron the Car Man and I will be the primary
author here. Now before you start to think this is going to be another boring business blog that only
promoted themselves and their products in an effort to drive sales, let me tell you what my goal for this
blog really is. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t hope that this would increase sales, but my primary goal is to
increase awareness.

I’ll be taking some of my topics from you. What do you want to know about the car industry? What tips
and tricks do you want to know about? I’ll be sharing easy ways to maintain your vehicle throughout the
year. But it won’t all be about cars, we can talk about community events, youth sports, charities and
benefits, and so much more.

For this post, I’d like to give you a little history of our company. I know I said this blog wasn’t going to be
all about promoting ourselves, but I feel giving a little background about our beginnings is a good start.

About Us

The Auto Brokers and Big City Cars are family owned and operated. The Auto Brokers opened its doors
to the Fort Wayne community in 2013. Big City Cars began to be developed in 2014 and the building
construction began in 2015. In early 2016, Big City Cars opened its doors.

Mission Statement

We at Auto Brokers and Big City Cars are committed to providing a car buying experience that exceeds
all expectations. We are dedicated to earning customer satisfaction and loyalty by providing a unique
buying experience that focuses on honesty, integrity, and respect.

We at The Auto Brokers and Big City Cars are committed to providing THE car buying experience that
exceeds all expectations. We are dedicated to earning employee, business partner, and customer
satisfaction and loyalty by providing a culture that promotes honesty, integrity, and respect. We believe
that strength and growth in our business stems from adherence to strong family and ethical values.

Our Story

The Auto Brokers and Big City Cars are owned and operated by Bobby Bolen, Nadia Boyer, and Timothy
Duncan. Bolen, Boyer, and Duncan came together in late 2014 with a vision that would challenge the
current image of used car dealerships. The combined but varying experiences, skills, and abilities of the
owners allowed for a well-balanced team to work towards this vision. They set out to design and
develop a new kind of dealership in the Lima Road Auto Mall.

The Auto Brokers was established in 2013 by Bob Bolen and Nadia Boyer. Tim Duncan previously owned
GBNC Auto Sales until it was consolidated into the new partnership to support the business
development plan in early 2016. When trying to determine the location for Big City Cars, the business
partners were presented with an opportunity that reinforced their vision of creating a family centered
business. The building’s location is where Fort Wayne Foundry stood from 1945 to 2009. Fort Wayne
Foundry was a family owned and operated business and has close connections with one of Big City Cars’ 
owners. Because of the relationship they had with the previous family, the idea of revitalizing the
property and stimulating the area’s economy appealed to all three owners. Pieces of the old foundry can
be found at Big City as a tribute to this family and their positive impact on the greater Fort Wayne area.
Big City Cars is two doors down from The Auto Brokers, which provided another strong pull to
developing the property. They chose the name Big City Cars in reference to the city of Fort Wayne and
the northeast Indiana region, which is where the dealership is located.

Timeline

2013: The Auto Brokers opens its doors to the Fort Wayne community
2014: Business Development of Big City Cars begins
2015: Construction of Big City Cars begins
2016: Big City Cars opens its doors
2017: The Auto Brokers 2 Opens in Kendallville, IN

Values

Our values are the foundation for our business operations that support our mission statement. They
guide our actions and provide accountability for our team members. They also outline what our business
partners and customers can expect from The Auto Brokers and Big City Cars. These core values are
central to our day to day operations and to how we present ourselves to our community.

FAMILY: The driving value behind The Auto Brokers and Big City Cars is family. The business plan was
developed with the intent to make all employees, business partners, and customers feel welcomed,
valued, and respected. We believe in treating all friends of The Auto Brokers and Big City Cars as though
they are family by offering friendly service from a committed team.

QUALITY: We are dedicated to high standards in customer and automotive services. To support our
continued efforts in quality of service, we offer complete reconditioning services for all vehicles, bank
partnerships to secure approvals for all credit histories, and a dedicated and genuine team of
professionals to meet every need.

PROFESSIONALISM: Our team consists of individuals who are committed, knowledgeable, and efficient.
We expect the best of each and every one of our team members and strive to inspire friendly, accurate,
and timely service.

INTEGRITY: We make every effort to disclose all pertinent information to all customers and business
partners. Our steadfast commitment to honesty allows for customers and partners to feel valued and
confident. We conduct our business utilizing fair and ethical business practices.

GROWTH: We believe in continuous improvement and employee development, both personally and
professionally. We make a constant effort to grow and develop the way we conduct business. We 
welcome feedback that allows us to analyze and refine our processes so we may effectively meet the
needs of our partners and customers. We make every effort to provide our employees with necessary
training opportunities so they may better serve the community.

COMMUNITY: We are committed to supporting the local community and make every effort to establish
partnerships with local businesses. We are dedicated to community outreach and believe in supporting
local organizations who are working toward bettering the local community. We are constantly seeking
out opportunities to support the greater Fort Wayne area in any way we can.

CUSTOMER SATISFACTION: Customer and partner satisfaction is of the utmost importance to The Auto
Brokers and Big City Cars. We believe that loyalty and confidence are earned through professional
service, quality vehicles, and continuous improvement and we are committed to this effort.

Notable Banks and Community Partners
Banks:
1st Source Bank
AFS Acceptance LLC
American Credit Corporation
Automotive Credit Corporation
Bippus State Bank
CPS
Cambell and Fetter Bank
Community Link Federal Credit Union
Communitywide Federal Credit Union
Credit Acceptance Corporation
Crossroads Bank
Dealer Funding LLC
East Allen Federal Credit Union
Farm Bureau Bank FBS
Farmers and Merchant Bank
Fifth Third Bank
Fire Police City County FCU
Fort Financial Credit Union
Fortress FCU
Friendly Finance Corp
General Credit Union
GFC Lending LLC
Garrett State Bank
Gateway Financial Solutions
Gateway One Lending and Finance
Heritage Acceptance Corp
Honor Finance LLC
Huntington County FCU
ITT Employees Federal Credit Union
Interra Credit Union
JP Morning Chase Bank, NA
Keybank National Association
Kitch Acceptance Corp
Lake City Bank
Landmark Acceptance Corporation
MarkOne Financial LLC
Midwest America FCU
Mountain America FCU
NATCO
Natco Credit Union
Nationwide Cassel LLC
Navy Federal Credit Union
Nicholas Financial Inc
PNC Bank
Pacesetter Financial
Pelican Auto Finance LLC
Peoples Federal Saving Bank
Power One FCU
Profed Federal Credit Union
Professional Credit Union
Professional Financial Services
Public Service Credit Union
Reliable Auto Finance
SECU
Santander Consumer USA Inc
Security Auto Loans
Sierra Auto Finance LLC
South Bend Post Office Credit Union
Springleaf Financial
Springleaf Financial Services
State Farm Bank
The Auto Brokers
Towpath Credit Union
Truliant Federal Credit Union
Tebo Financial Services
Three Rivers FCU
Turner Acceptance
USAA Federal Savings Bank
United Auto Credit Corporation
Wells Fargo Dealer Services
Westlake Financial Services

Community Partners:
Nextgear
Indiana Auto Auction
Fort Wayne Auto and Truck Auction
Fort Wayne Newspapers
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