How big of a rip off are "Buy here, pay here" car lots?


Another thing about dealing with lower end people is that they care more how something looks than if it actually works or runs well. It sounds like this dealer cashes in on this mentality.

I used to deal more with used computers than I do now. Someone had two laptops and wanted to keep one but trade one in. There was a better unit with some minor cosmetic damage and a cheapo that was mint without a scratch! I took the lesser one in on trade because it looked better and knew that the type of person who would buy one like this would prefer a better looking one than the other one that was actually a better laptop.


We have a new one in town called JD Byrider. This apparently is a chain but the name sounds shady in itself. It is a buy here, pay here car lot and the cars actually look decent from the road. There was one I was kinda interested in at one time but was told by someone that they wouldn’t even want to deal with me if I paid cash or financed it elsewhere.

Something I do hear on their radio ads is that the provide FREE routine maintenance until the car is paid off. This is a very good idea since many of these people would otherwise never change their oil and if the car is repoed, it will still be worth selling down the road if maintenance has been done. Of course the maintenance is included in the high monthly payment.


I bought a Walmart computer 8 years ago. It’s still my computer. The CD/DVD doesn’t write anymore (but I don’t need it) and I’ve replaced the keyboard twice, but otherwise it works as well as new.

I get 2% cash back on all purchases made with my credit card. I’ve always paid the bill in full on time, as about half of credit card users do. Of course my 2% is funded by the people who don’t pay.

PT Barnum said, ‘No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.’


I had colleagues–professoonal people with advanced degrees–who go to a new car dealer and buy a new car based on how much the monthly payments will be. I don’t see much difference between these colleagues and the people who shop at the “Buy Here Pay Here” lots. In fact, I think more highly of those people who are forced to buy at the “Buy Here Pay Here” lots because they need transportation. My colleagues could have purchased a good used car or kept their present car and done the necessary repairs and maintenance.
I drove the same car for 33 years. Some of my colleagues made fun of me, but it didn’t bother me. I said to them “Look how long Jack Benny drove his Maxwell”.


My experiences with the demographic that buys computers or other electronics from Wal-Mart is overall NOT GOOD. They are the type that buy on price alone and not if it is a good product that actually meets their needs and is a good value. My experience is that I usually can not repair these units for the price paid new so I consider them disposable. It have set the price structure of my business so that I tend to weed out those who buy this type of equipment. I do not like working on it due to the low-quality manufacture and the fact that serviceability is not considered at all during construction. Plus you may have the same exact model with a variety of component combinations inside. I could have two side by side that look the same with the same model number but they are significantly different inside. They are just making this stuff for the lowest price with whatever is cheapest at the time.

This type of person is always the one to be like " I need to know the exact price of the repair before I bring it to you." My attitude is “I can’t tell you the price until I see it and have it opened up.” Plus they basically want you to look up the cost of everything without any form of upfront payment. I have been burned enough times and now require an upfront deposit/diagnostics fee before even touching a piece of equipment. Again, that weeds out some of the nuts as well.

It is very rare for these types of units to last long. That is a combination of the cheap manufacture as well as the abuse by most owners of this cheaper equipment. Again, there is a reason the buy here, pay here places often include free oil changes for the life of the loan. WM systems lasting 8 years are around but they better quality parts must have been cheaper than the low quality ones that week! We all know they have house models of name brand tires. It is the same with computers.

The no-name TVs are disposable but so cheap it isn’t a big deal. I just wish all this crap would get recycled but it doesn’t. Vizio makes some nice TVs as well but the lower end ones are pretty much garbage. They have like 4 model series. Avoid the 2 cheapest ones.

I often tell people to spend a little more and get a better quality and better performing unit. They respond “I can’t afford anything more.” My response is "It is cheaper in the long run as it lasts longer and works better during that time as well. Now if you are going to let cigarette smoke, cockroaches, and urine get it it probably doesn’t matter… Again, contamination like this isn’t uncommon in equipment. Gamers are the WORST!

Basically I have priced myself out of repairing this lower end units and don’t see that as a bad thing. It just opens up more free time to service those who are actually willing to pay.

I like the PT Barnum Quote “No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American public.”


Here is a picture of the front of the new place that recently opened in town. WE FINANCE! is as large as the name of the place. The link makes no bones about it being a buy here, pay here dealer.

I get the feeling this may be as reputable of a place one of these can be based on the fact they inspect the cars and report to the credit agencies. I have seen some interesting cars there but would want to pay cash or use my own financing and I doubt they would want that.


Without a peep but most larger companies are demanding net 60 or longer!
I know some that are negotiating net 90 and sometimes they are still late :wink:


I have had a few of those but it is rare. Some are net 30. I recently did one that is net 60. I would rather deal with this than the “poor me” talk and people just looking for free stuff. At least I know they are going to pay. Yes, I do factor the delay into the bill and usually charge a tad more to cover the wait. I don’t tell them that though.

I had one of these that was a pain in the ass though. He always wanted a deal and was late on the bill. I continually had to figure this in and I think he gave up on me as my prices for him just kept going up the longer he waited to pay. Again, no big loss with this customer. They were using fly by night companies that employed illegal Mexicans that got deported before I came along. I suspect they returned to a similar arrangement when I wouldn’t drop my prices just for them.


The catch is that it’s an engineered scam. They intentionally sell to people with bad credit because it’s very likely that those people got bad credit by not paying their bills, which means it’s very likely that those people will miss a car payment. And that’s exactly what the dealership wants.

Say you’ve got a car that’s worth 5,000 bucks retail. You could sell it to me for $5,000 cash. Or you could sell it to my neighbor on a normal loan and make $5000 plus whatever interest rate they qualify for.

OR, you could take a $2,000 downpayment from someone with a room-temperature credit score, then take the first month or two’s worth of payments until they get in trouble and miss a payment. Then you repossess the car, run it through the car wash, and stick it back on the lot and take a $2,000 downpayment from the next sucker.
Do that three times and you’ve already made $1,000 more than the car is worth just by collecting downpayments on it. And some of those cars get flushed through that routine over and over again.

Wanna make 20 grand on a 1995 Chevy Cavalier? That’s how. Unfortunately it involves preying on people who aren’t good with money, which is morally bankrupt.

And btw if you or I are late paying our car note by a day or two because we forgot or the mailman didn’t pick up the envelope, it’s very likely nothing will happen to us, but if you’re late paying a buy-here-pay-here loan by even an hour, they’ll repossess because that’s how they make their money.


Most computers don’t come with a DVD or CD player. I haven’t used one in years.

The problem is…todays computers are easily 10 times faster then you PC. But if all you do is surf the web and post to forums. It’s probably fast enough. Most people use computers this way…and that’s why PC sales are declining and cheaper notepad sales are increasing.


Personally I can’t stand to watch Suzi. I think its the way she flops her hands around all the time or something. I liken both Suzi and Dave though to reformed alcoholics. They both got in deep deep financial trouble before seeing the light and reforming. At any rate they saw the abyss and recovered from it and can now share their wisdom. Jill on Money also just drives me nuts. The one I really liked was Bruce Williams who had some just very good common sense and hard nosed advice. The only thing I really disagreed with was his issue with not borrowing money at 5% to pay off 18% loans. He thought you should just knuckle under to pay off the 18%. Problem is, like I said, at 18% interest it is very hard to make any headway on principle. Not everyone can work two or three jobs to dig themselves out, or as Dave says to drive a $1000 car and sell the boat to get out of debt. Maybe the boat but a $1000 car in Minnesota is not realistic, especially for a mechanical neophyte.


Here is my confession about blowing money when I should have been saving: When I was still working, Mrs. Triedaq gave me $2.50 a week so I could join my senior colleagues for coffee each morning. We called ourselves the Geezers’ Club. Coffee on campus was 50¢ a cup. One of the Geezers who really understood high finance, discovered that we could get coffee for 25¢ a cup at McDonald’s with free refills. I would have been ahead had I saved the extra quarter each day. However, I would blow the $1.25 I was ahead each week to celebrate Friday with a cinnamon roll. Now that I am retired, I have to go to the Mission for s cup of coffee.
I contrast my tale of woe with a college student my family knew back in the late 1940s. He needed money, so he went to work at a small shoe store as a salesman. He was so successful selling shoes that he managed to buy the store. My parents took me there for shoes. He said his secret was to put aside a little money each day even if it was only 50¢. His business grew. He had a son that was born with club feet. He expanded his business into making and fitting prescription shoes. He ultimately retired and had a great retirement in Florida with plenty of money. He didn’t have to beg for a cup of coffee at the Mission as I do–but I just had to have my Friday cinnamon roll.


That sucks that they repo at the drop of the hat. Why not charge them a late fee and allow them to go on with life? I see nothing wrong with charging a higher rate for high risk buyers but this isn’t right. I thought there were laws about limiting this type of thing.

Yes, I have forgotten to make a payment a time or two. They call me and it is no big deal. I asked one if I needed to include a late fee with my payment. They were like “Don’t worry about it if you pay in the next couple days.” It was a local bank and I had always been on time. There was a slight error on their part or maybe it was mine. I had maybe paid too early once and it didn’t go on the month it was supposed to be so just went to principle and didn’t register on the next month’s payment. I thought I was a month ahead but wasn’t. You are right that me missing that payment was no big deal. I paid within a couple hours of getting that call as I was driving back to town and it was nothing to be worried about.

Basically if someone doesn’t intend to pay or won’t take care of their car, I don’t blame them for being hardcore. An honest mistake is another story.

As for the computers, I am typing this on a 2nd gen Intel Core i7 laptop. This is like a 9 year old system. It was junk left behind by someone. Besides me installing more RAM and an SSD, it is bone stock. This unit would pretty much clean the clock of most Wal-Mart computers these days with the exception of some high def video playback and encoding.

My main issue with the Wal-Mart units is that they are made as cheaply as they can be. All these companies prostitute themselves out to make junk so it can be sold at a low price at Wal-Mart. The same applies to Black Friday sales and such. That stuff is garbage. Most is all plastic and will not take any abuse. Much of it doesn’t cool properly which I think is done on purpose so it fails after a certain time and you have to buy a new one. I have just seen too many shortcuts to suggest these types of units to anyone except maybe someone with a kid that will destroy it anyway.

Apple is about the only company that doesn’t prostitute itself out to Wal-Mart. I have my issues with Apple as well but this isn’t one of them. Apples are generally very high quality and reliable but WATCH OUT if anything ever breaks as it is a BIG DEAL! It is rare but an “all your paycheck” event as I call it.

I agree that hardware has reached a point where more power isn’t always better. New tech can be used to make the devices lower power and run longer on battery instead of increased speed. That is why so many tablets are in use. Even phones are a supercomputer compared to anything a couple decades ago!

We have the ability to make the best stuff in all the history of mankind now. I feel it is a waste that we make junk designed to be thrown away so quickly.


I’m not sure , but I don’t think Mr.Watkin likes Walmart.


I don’t have the viewpoint you do, as I only use Apple products. The quality is great. My present 7 year old ibook has no problems except one flakey USB connector† and a worn out battery. Good for a few more years.

Come to think of it, all my various Apple products starting with the mac plus, I’ve only taken one back for repair… can’t remember what the problem was, but it only cost me about $100.

† the USB connector was a poor design. Can’t tell which way to insert it, and it has no positive detent to hold it in. I haven’t had a chance to check out USB3 yet.


@Triedaq Coffee at the mission? I dunno, I always wanted to make enough money so I could buy all the Fudgesicles I wanted. Now I don’t like them anymore.

I always muse about the circle of life though. Start out sweating at a dollar an hour or so, then to an itsy bitsy little dorm room with no privacy, then make some money and have a great place with all kinds of toys and travel. Then at the end, finding yourself in an itsy bitsy dorm room again at the nursing home. Then you can’t even remember all the stuff you had or what you did. I hope its not all a big joke. When I visit the nursing home, I try to keep in mind who these folks were 50 years ago and treat them accordingly. Coffees free though but not very good.


Walmart? I’m no longer technically up to date but I do know a little about business. I believe what Walmart does as well as other mass merchandisers, is buy the products assembled from all the left over bins of parts. So you really don’t know what parts have been used to build the product. Same thing with TVs and other appliances. If you talk to the actual legit merchants, they’ll tell you that the model numbers don’t match anything in their books so its a crap shoot. This may have subsided a little over the past few years since most all of the stuff is made up of parts that who knows where they came from.

My last computer though was a rebuilt HP. Its been a great machine. I think I paid about $350 for it at a real computer store. Then another $200 for computer Dave to set it all up. I think its been 2 or 3 years so the cost per year is not bad. My wife finally had to buy a new computer. It wouldn’t turn on. I got it going and told her don’t touch it but copy everything while its running but she didn’t listen and pushed the button. Even Computer Dave couldn’t get it going again and she lost everything. So she wanted a lap top and at the same store I think we paid $400 for a super duper lap top that she loves. Another couple hundred to Computer Dave to put everything on it. Only problem we’ve had is a recent issue with it talking to the printer. Dave made a house call for a couple hours for $75 and everything is fine. It was a nice day and I think he just wanted to get out of the shop and ride his cycle.


No, not really. Wal-Mart is convenient for some things but I try to avoid shopping there as much as I can. They tend to ruin the products sold there and even entire companies that are their vendors.

Tires are sold as special cheap models by otherwise name brands. Computers are done the same way as are TVs and other electronics. Mowers are done this way. Clothing is done this way.

They cater to the low-end market and offer nothing in regards to service. Amazon is now a better alternative if you ask me with them going to the self-checkouts and barely having anyone in the store. They are competing to the bottoms and don’t see how this is going to work out for them in the long term with the explosion in online commerce.

It also seems that their customers are always the ones who try to pull stuff with my business. The people who shop there just want cheap and don’t care about anything else. I guess that is what Wal-Mart is giving them!


If someone who’s been out of work some reason, low on money and no car, and just now found a job and needed a reliable car to get to work, that could be a valuable service. Even with high interest rate loans, less expensive than renting a car or taking a cab I’d guess. If you used this service you’d want to know how much it is going to cost you to repay the loan in full and get clear title once you start getting paid by your new job of course.

I think I heard mention here that when you buy a car from this sort of used car dealer you don’t actually get title. They retain title until you pay off the loan. And if you don’t make your payments on time they have a way to turn off the ignition system and will then come w/a tow truck and return the car to their lot.


If that’s the case then its like a contract for deed on a house or essentially rent to own. I guess it all depends on how “fair” the rates actually are. And what constitutes “making the payments”? A day late, week, miss a month or tow or three, etc. I guess all based on what kind of jerk you are dealing with. It should be a reasonable balance of the risk involved on both sides.

When my folks built a house, they sold the old one on a contract for deed. It was an older house and wasn’t a prime property, so the people that bought it needed a contract because they couldn’t qualify for a mortgage. I just don’t remember now but I think eventually they were able to qualify for a mortgage and pay the balloon payment off. Otherwise they would have lost it, but it was a risk on both side. My folks didn’t want to be bankers and the buyers didn’t want to lose what they had already paid.