Shifty Dealers


akboss
01-22-2010, 08:42 AM
I went to look at a car on Wednesday night that was posted at a great price on our autotrader - looked to be a few thousand less than similar cars were welling for. But when I got to the dealer, I was a little surprised - let me paint a picture, and see if you guys would trust this sale...

OK so I pull up to the place in a sort of 'other side of the tracks' part of town. It has a small brick frontage, no cars out front, it's in a strip mall kind of place, but there are car dealers all around. I walk inside and there are two Russian guys in a small open office - very little furniture (2 desks, 2 computers, that's it). Behind their desks is a glass wall and a door, opening up to a massive indoor showroom - like a warehouse, but all late model, premium cars at decent prices. There are a few people mulling around the vehicles, getting in/out, starting them, checking them out.

So first off I don't trust this place - why do they have no office furniture, and why are their prices so good? I ask him - he says they buy off-lease at auctions and get their cars from all over. Everything they sell is provided with a CarFax report, and it appears that they have been in business for a decent amount of time.

So my question is - the prices are good, I sat in the car and fiddled around, it seemed fine, started okay, etc. So what are the possible downfalls if I go through with a deal with these guys? Is there any way I can be burnt after the sale? I realize there is no implied warranty on a used car sale if the vehicle is out of manufacturers warranty, I get that. So if it checks out on CarFax and the title is clear, am I safe?

The dealer has no admin or licensing fees - just pay the tax on the purchase price. They say their prices are so low because they are a volume seller, more cars going out the door at cheaper prices.

What do you guys think?

MagicRat
01-22-2010, 10:51 AM
OK so I pull up to the place in a sort of 'other side of the tracks' part of town.

Well, the rest of us call that place "Brampton".

First of all, all legit dealers need to be licensed by the province by law, but there are some fly-by-night operations that aren't. You could call the appropriate Ministry and see if they are licenced. I did come across a special phone number for this, but I cannot remeber it. Possibly the Toronto Automobile Dealers Association may be able to help.

I have come across this in the past, and, imo there is good reason to be suspicious. Such places do not want people looking too closely at these cars, so the prices are let pretty low.

Some may be salvaged. Auto body shops buy repairable late model wrecks at auction all the time, for repair. It's a good way for auto body shops to moderate their workflow. If they run out of customer cars to work on, the shop works on the salvaged cars, so employees are kept productive all the time. However, such shops often do not want to sell the salvaged cars to the public- it's too suspicious - so they let some dealers do it for them.

Usually these cars can be repaired as good as new, but this takes time, effort and money. So some of these cars may not have been repaired properly and are dangerous or defective. And in Ontario, ownership records do not always show the "salvaged" nature of such vehicles.

Some of these cars may be stolen, often from out-of-province- and receive the VIN numbers of wrecked Ontario cars.

These kinds of dealers sometimes rely on organized crime to operate. Now, I have great respect for the Russian people, but my Russian friends tell me that Russian organized crime is quite active in Canada, and scams like this are typical of their operations.

So, imo stay away. Imo it's best to buy from a genuine owner the a used car, and noty a dealer. You can aviod paying the GST by buying a car this way, (until June, anyways).

akboss
01-22-2010, 11:19 AM
Some good pointers there - and in no way was I intending to sound condescending to Russians, it just happens to be that both people in the office were of that nationality. Funny you should say Brampton, it was actually in Scarberia/North York, Keele and Finch. There are dozens of auto body shops there, and dozens of used car dealers...a little mysterious perhaps.

As far as buying from the owner I agree with you - then you get to meet the person, talk face to face with a (hopefully) honest owner, and get a feel for what the car is like. But I've always had this question for private sales (because I intend to sell a car privately in the next few months) - how does a test drive work? How do you ensure that the guy isn't just going to drive away with your car, and you have no idea who he is?

akboss
01-22-2010, 11:47 AM
I just looked on their website - apparently they are UCDA members (Used Car Dealers Association of Ontario) and all of their records and searches through the UCDA (for liens, etc.) are available to the buyer. I realize this doesn't guarantee there has been no damage or bodywork done to the car, but they wouldn't be in business if it was a sham, would they? I mean, you'd think there would be reviews online or legal action against them or something...

MagicRat
01-22-2010, 01:22 PM
I do not think that Ontario court records are available on line, except to law firms and paralegals who pay a fee for access. The public must request information in person at the appropriate court buildings. So a name search would not turn up much legal info.

Bad news about them would most likely turn up on places like ripoffreport.com, but it is surprising how few ripped-off consumers actually complain on-line.

Also, shady businesses have a tendency to change names often when things start getting bad. As for the association membership, that is a positive sign, but no assurance of quality, just that they pay their fee and register with the organization.

Another thing I did not mention - rolled-back odometers. I hear it is very easy to do with modern electronic odos. Often, shady dealers do not actually do the rolling back personally, but they have another person do it for them, usually for $100 - $300 cash, so the dealers have some deniability if they are caught. I have seen this service advertised to the general public on Craigslist Toronto.

IMO the place could be worse.... it may well be legit, just be careful.

akboss
01-22-2010, 01:45 PM
Thanks for the advice - appreciate it!
Cheers

Ray paulsen
01-23-2010, 01:40 AM
akboss, when it comes to performance knowleadge and specks you're ahead of me as it's not my expertise nor being interested, but buying and selling is.
I really thought you were more advanced than the average consumer having learned some steps in the buying process, but it appears not with some of your following entry's. which I will reply to over the weekend, as we happen to be on the same turf tell me the name of the dealership ? the only one I know quite well in that area is Import Motors ?

Shpuker
01-23-2010, 02:06 AM
Theres thousands of ways a dealer could rip you off, most won't but its easy to get mixed up in a crooked deal.

ex. Lady bought a car from a local dealer, where my dad bought his truck (basically a good dealer that for some reason went south), and was having trouble getting the dealer to push through the financing. I don't know the details but the lady had the can for about 7 weeks and it was stolen. they found it a few days later and returned it to the dealer, since technically she didn't own the car. She gets a call the next day, from the dealer, saying the car has been found and returned to them...... ohh and surprise surprise your financing just got approved.The car was completely trashed and now shes in some big legal battle that she'll probably lose. :P

So basically, look into the dealer a little and get the car checked by a local mechanic that you trust. If all checks out then I can't think of any real reason not to get it :P But more often than not your first impression is the right one, good luck :D

RahX
01-23-2010, 04:45 AM
Another problem is that they gain access to your personal information if you buy a car from them. Steal your identity and all that good stuff. Then comes a random sunny day, you're walking down the street then 'bap' over the head and you wake up in some eastern European country addicted to heroin and forced to work as a prostitute :(

Ray paulsen
01-23-2010, 06:26 AM
akboss,,, you got my curiosity on this one for several reasons, one being the dealership show Carfax when 99% of other Canadian dealers use only UCDA and Car Proof because Carfax is not as reliable for Canadian registered vehicle's.
Don't bother posting the name of the dealer, post the vin #, I will go the extra mile this once , that is if you are considering purchase.

akboss
01-23-2010, 12:24 PM
Hey Ray thanks for the offer but I'm not that serious yet and I'm not out to waste anybody's time. We are not at the purchasing stage yet but I am serious enough that I am walking into dealers and looking at cars, so just wondering if I should avoid that type of mass-volume, low-cost dealer completely. In your previous post you said Import Motors, I think I saw that one when I was in the area. I don't want to mention the place by name, wouldn't want to give them a bad rep without any indication of whether my assumptions are true or false. The amount of body shops in the area freaks me out though.

So the place is apparently a UCDA member, but apparently there is a new organization coming out called OMVIC - know anything about them? Apparently it's a fairly through search where dealers are actually 'investigated' and approved, not just pay an annual due and slap a sticker on your window like the UCDA (from what I've been told).

So, I'm in a tough spot like because any one of us I want a reliable car at a fair price, but if that price seems 'too' fair, should I walk away? I just want to know there is some recourse if the deal goes sour. I'm an honest guy, looking to do business with someone of the same integrity that isn't trying to run a sham - turning back odo's, bodywork, etc.

RahX
01-23-2010, 01:14 PM
Well if you're worried about accident repair just look at the car thoroughly. Look at the door hinges for new paint/damage. Look inside the front grille-wheel wells anywhere you can look in that might hide obvious repair. New plastic parts are a good sign too. Make sure the orange peel in the paint is consistent all over too.

Ray paulsen
01-23-2010, 02:32 PM
Hey Ray thanks for the offer but I'm not that serious yet and I'm not out to waste anybody's time. We are not at the purchasing stage yet but I am serious enough that I am walking into dealers and looking at cars, so just wondering if I should avoid that type of mass-volume, low-cost dealer completely. In your previous post you said Import Motors, I think I saw that one when I was in the area. I don't want to mention the place by name, wouldn't want to give them a bad rep without any indication of whether my assumptions are true or false. The amount of body shops in the area freaks me out though.

So the place is apparently a UCDA member, but apparently there is a new organization coming out called OMVIC - know anything about them? Apparently it's a fairly through search where dealers are actually 'investigated' and approved, not just pay an annual due and slap a sticker on your window like the UCDA (from what I've been told).

So, I'm in a tough spot like because any one of us I want a reliable car at a fair price, but if that price seems 'too' fair, should I walk away? I just want to know there is some recourse if the deal goes sour. I'm an honest guy, looking to do business with someone of the same integrity that isn't trying to run a sham - turning back odo's, bodywork, etc.

OMVIC is not new, I been licenced with them for over 20 years, and still am,,, lol,,, OMVIC just made it law this year that any vehicle advertised must have adm fees included, that is a big bonus for the consumer.

Since we are on the same turf, email me a phone # when you find something you like.

akboss
01-23-2010, 05:49 PM
OMVIC is not new, I been licenced with them for over 20 years, and still am,,, lol,,, OMVIC just made it law this year that any vehicle advertised must have adm fees included, that is a big bonus for the consumer.

Since we are on the same turf, email me a phone # when you find something you like.

Will do, thanks. Do you have a dealership in the area? I'm wondering if auctions are an option, but other than public days at the North Toronto Auction, dealers are the only ones that can buy...we know what kind of car we want, just waiting for a few months until some of our financial goals are met and it gives us time to find the perfect model.

Ray paulsen
01-23-2010, 10:41 PM
Another problem is that they gain access to your personal information if you buy a car from them. Steal your identity and all that good stuff. Then comes a random sunny day, you're walking down the street then 'bap' over the head and you wake up in some eastern European country addicted to heroin and forced to work as a prostitute :(

I have read your 2 excellent posts in this thread, and I am just wondering if the name WAFREDERICK rings a bell with you, like are you related ?

Shpuker
01-24-2010, 12:13 AM
I have read your 2 excellent posts in this thread, and I am just wondering if the name WAFREDERICK rings a bell with you, like are you related ?

Naw they can't be, this dude uses spaces :rofl:

Kimadam
06-20-2012, 11:55 AM
When trying to find a respected coin dealer, it's a good concept to do your homework.
Here are just a number of warning signs to look for:

* He has many coins graded MS75 to MS160
* He calls "slabs" those clear, coin owner thing-a-ma-bobs
* He works out of the back of a 57' Chevy section wagon.
* He says he learned to grade coins by watching HSN.
* He makes his own slabs out of Crisco hardened in a kiln.
* His name is Shifty Two-Face and used to be a lawyer.
* He has authentic St. Gaudens Double Eagles starting at twenty cents.
* He sells Washington error dollars with a rim, but no coin.
* He makes his own slabs out of Crisco hardened in a kiln.
* He refers to the "Red Book" as that over-rated guide he never reads.
* He has a plaque that says he completed from The New Mismatist School
* He has proof sets where the coins are enclosed in saran wrap.
* He already has all the Presidential dollar coins, such as Franklin.
* He has some rare Roman coins that say 250 B.C.
* He uses a certifying company called the ALTCC (Acme Looney Tunes Coin Corporation)
* He can smokes a cigar the whole time he's showing you his useful silver certificates.
* He only allows cash and that's with a lot of I.D.
* He has a no comes back, no refunds, no guarantee, and an "I've-never-seen-you-before" policy.

Add your comment to this topic!