Robert Beck, president, Stop ‘N Drive Motors, San Antonio, Texas:
“We have one location and we opened up in 2005.
“We usually stock about 40 to 50 cars. We have relationships with local new-car dealers that have on-site auctions. So we go to their place and try to outbid everyone else.
“We also buy at regular auction – Manheim auctions. When we go to the auction, we try to only buy new-car trade-ins.
“Over the course of the year, we sell an average of 15 a month.
“We are 100 percent buy-here, pay-here. Down payments vary. During tax season, people have more of a down payment than they do now. Over the course of the year, I’d say it’s about $2,000.
“Average retail price is about $13,900.
“It used to be, when we opened up, we’d try to keep term lengths at 36 months. Now that’s crept up, probably, to 42 or 44. But cars have gotten more expensive since we opened up. I remember our plan was to buy a $4,500 car. You can’t get much for $4,500 now.
“The average year is probably a 2007, maybe a 2008.
“Average mileage is going to be anywhere between 100,000 and 120,000.
“My partner’s a good buyer. He has to shake the bushes, but he always comes up with some good pieces.
“We’d always like to get more trucks. Right now, we only have one truck, but that’s because we recently sold a few. Normally, we’d like to have four or five trucks.
“Our niche is mainly trucks and SUVs. We have some sedans, because some customers will want a rig with good gas mileage. But guys who work need the pickup truck to work or they need the SUV to carry their kids in.
“We’re mainly domestic. We’ll pick up a few imports if we come across a good deal.
“Average reconditioning is about $500. We do it ourselves.
“We do very little advertising. We do some on Facebook and Google. We also have our website.
“Repeat and referral is a big part of our business. We have a CRM tool that we developed years and years ago in-house. We contact customers on a regular basis.
“We recently sold a 2008 Chrysler Aspen. It had 127,000 miles and we sold it for $14,900.”