Tim Turner, left, and his wife, Rachelle, holding their 7-month-old daughter, Abigail, look at a sports utility vehicle during a vehicle tent sale Tuesday in the Kmart parking lot. The sale features used vehicles from Grand Valley Auto in Grand Junction. Local dealers say organizers of such events have no accountability to customers once they’ve made a sale.

Photo by Shawn McHugh

Tim Turner, left, and his wife, Rachelle, holding their 7-month-old daughter, Abigail, look at a sports utility vehicle during a vehicle tent sale Tuesday in the Kmart parking lot. The sale features used vehicles from Grand Valley Auto in Grand Junction. Local dealers say organizers of such events have no accountability to customers once they’ve made a sale.

Craig dealers unhappy about auto tent event

photo

Travis Day, of Meeker, left, looks at the engine of a Ford Ranger with sales associate Jerry Young during a vehicle sale Wednesday in the Kmart parking lot. The Ohio-based G&A Marketing brought about 70 vehicles to Craig for the event.

Craig resident Danny Wells was at looking for a Toyota 4Runner at a tent sale at the Kmart parking lot Wednesday.

Wells said he received a flier in the mail about the sale, and wanted to “come see what they had.”

As he browsed the car selection, Wells said he is loyal to the Toyota brand, but sometimes has to shop in Glenwood Springs or Denver to find cars made by the company.

“I will pay more to shop locally,” he said. “I have a real loyalty toward shopping locally.”

But, Wells said the local auto dealerships — Cook Chevrolet and Subaru, Craig Ford, and Victory Motors of Craig — might not be happy with the tent sale setting up shop in Craig.

“They’re not going to like it,” he said. “I can’t imagine why they would.

“The customers might be pretty happy about it.”

Jerry Thompson, co-owner of Craig Ford, said he wasn’t pleased about a tent sale coming to town.

“(The salesmen) use extremely high-pressure tactics,” he said. “There is just a lot of people that, once they get them under their wing, that aren’t firm enough to stand up and say, ‘No.’

“And they’ll just put people in vehicles and just bury them, and they have no conscious at all.”

There are about 70 used vehicles for sale at the event, which started Tuesday and will continue through Saturday, said Todd Montgomery, owner of the Ohio-based G&A Marketing, which organized the event. About 20 vehicles had been sold as of Wednesday afternoon, he said.

Montgomery said this is the company’s first time coming to Craig to sell cars from Grand Valley Auto of Grand Junction.

“We want to help the people to get in a car that they can afford,” he said.

Kevin Fleek, a sales associate from Seattle who was working the tent event, contends the car dealers in Craig don’t have “a lot of used car inventory.”

“That is what I have been hearing from a lot of the customers that I have talked to, that it is nice to have someone come in and bring in some used vehicles,” he said.

Thompson disagreed, citing local dealerships’ access to used cars from other locations.

“Between the three of us as dealers, if we don’t have a new or used car on the ground that people are looking for right at the time, within a two-day period we can generally come up with it from some place,” he said.

Fleek said the event was about “trying to keep the economy moving.”

“They think that we are in their area and it’s hurting them,” Fleek said of local car dealerships. “But, it kind of helps them because it is actually bringing people out, is what is happening.”

Scott Cook, co-owner of Cook Chevrolet and Subaru, said the event is “an exact opposite” of an economic boost.

“How would that be an economic boost, if someone from outside our area comes in and sells something to someone and leaves?” he said.

Cook contends tent sales like the one currently in Craig “create a lot of problems with local people.”

“Those people will be here for four or five days, and those people will never be back in Craig again,” he said. “They are not going to bump into their customers at the grocery store or at the soccer game or anything like that, so they have no accountability for anything they say or do.”

Thompson agrees.

“As local dealers, if we have to see people every day, we want to make sure they come back, and (the tent sale people) don’t worry too much about that,” he said. “They basically give our business a bad name.”

Thompson said would rather not have similar events come back to the area.

“With they way they operate, I’d prefer they never come back,” he said. “You can’t stop them from coming back, but they sure aren’t good for anybody’s business.”

Comments

GreyStone 3 years, 8 months ago

These local car dealers might think a little more about improving the customer relations part of their business plan, then these ,ANNUAL, auto tent sales may not be such a threat to their business.

A little competition might prompt these guys to work a little harder.

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dogfan 3 years, 8 months ago

Not good for business when you can drive a hundred miles and save a few thousand dollars. Don't bother me to spend a few dollars on gas to save a couple thousand.

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obamablows 3 years, 8 months ago

grand valley motors are the biggest crooks in the the car dealear buisness. This is the same company that came in here last year and screwed everybody my daughter included and didnt charge county tax I had to call and file a complaint with the state for them to send checks to everyone to cover there taxes when they went to buy plates so if this is the company you want to save a couple thousand dollars with and get customer care from all the while their taking you for all your worth i know the car my daughter got serviced so well on she is 4500.00 upside on so buyer beware

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GreyStone 3 years, 8 months ago

Does not say much for the Craig car dealers, if the tent car dealers are so bad and are taking business away from Craig dealers, what does that say about the Craig car dealers ????????

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Chuck Malley 3 years, 8 months ago

The local dealerships have service departments that service what they sell. They provide jobs to locals. Combined, the three local dealerships have been in business over 100 years in CRAIG. You won't stay in business if you treat customers poorly. Yes, people are going to have bad experiences at car dealerships, grocery stores, and other retailers regardless of location. All I know is this: I wouldn't spend a few thousand dollars with a company that will be gone after the weekend. A salesman from Seattle flew in for this sale? What should that tell you...buyer beware!

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Melody Villard 3 years, 8 months ago

Do these annual tent event dealers support your child's little league events? Community events? School programs? Do they give any of their own time to mentor or coach our youth? I'm pretty sure you won't see any banners for Grand Valley Auto or G&A Marketing at the First Annual Moffat County Balloon Festival this weekend...or at Sheep Wagon Days in September or even at the 93rd Annual Moffat County Fair. The local dealers are our neighbors. Is everyone going to like ALL of them? No, but luckily you have a choice! You may even choose to buy from a dealer from another town...when you do...be sure to ask them if they would like to sponsor a saddle for Little Britches or partner with our Special Olympics, Grand Olde West Days, or Whittle the Wood!

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wellwell 3 years, 8 months ago

After viewing the car tent I went to the three other car dealerships. I found that the hometown dealerships had better prepared cars in better shape and they had quite good variety.

All of these dealerships have repair and care shops that maintain our vehicles. This is carried out by our friends and residents of the area. If the work isn't finished or up to par they are right here to return it.

Now what about all that competition from the "tent"? The dealers need to COMPETE! How about setting up right on their front porch. When the circular hits set up in the same closest location. All three of the carlots have done it in the past.

The dealers need to COOPERATE! All three need to set up at once for a "GRAND EVENT". This would make the "tent" pale in comparision.

You'd cooperatively send fliers in the mail and paper, get KRAI to do a remote, fly ballons high and many, have some small prizes available by filling out a form with the info needed to find their possible trade vechicle. The local dealers sure would be nicer than " circus performers from the tent"

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als362 3 years, 7 months ago

I wonder where all the people that bought cars at the tent sale, which the Craig city leaders should have never allowed to take place to begin with, are going to get service on the vehicle when needed. It is easy to cut the price of something when you have no overhead costs like employees, a builging payment, utility costs, and site maintenance. The city leaders that allowed this to take place should be crucified. It is obvious that their loyality is not to Craig and its tax payers and businesses, but to some fly by night outfit.

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GreyStone 3 years, 7 months ago

Asking local government officials to step in and put limits on outside business competition is a veiled attempt to Socialize the auto dealer business cartel in Craig.

Competition is good for business… it can prompt a business to try a little harder and not become fat and lazy, like the local car dealers in Craig.

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T066J 3 years, 7 months ago

@als362 - - I do believe that any automobile dealership service department in Craig that refused to service a car that was not purchased from that dealership would be cutting their own throat (from a business standpoint). The backlash from something like that would be tremendous.

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native_craig_guy 3 years, 7 months ago

I refuse to make big purchases in Moffat County. The reason is because the businesses here are gouging the prices on everything that is brought into our community. I was in Fort Collins this weekend and paid 2.54 for gasoline and every item in the grocery store was on average a little more than a buck cheaper. The stores in our community know that we are held hostage and we are forced to pay their over-inflated prices. People will tell you, "oh it is because of shipping costs, or we are a low volume distributor". That is simply not the truth. Take a tanker of gasoline for example. A typical tanker holds @ 9,000 gallons of gasoline. With gas being .42 cents more in Craig than in Denver we are paying $3,780 more per tanker. Shipping costs should not be $3,780 dollars, that would be $17.18 per mile from Denver to here. There is no way that it costs that much to ship the gas. Businesses, especially large corporations like Safeway, Kum and Go and Loaf & Jug, enter into blanket purchasing contracts with their suppliers and pay a fixed cost for each item. Basically they pay the same unit cost for all gas or bread purchased, the difference is that they can charge more in a captive market. You may not see out of town businesses support local events, but the local companies owe it to us to give back to the community. They are making good money unjustly off the backs of hard working Craig Citizens. I have no sympathy for local businesses who whine about people shopping out of town.

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David Moore 3 years, 7 months ago

I agree with the native_craig_guy as I also shop out of town for major purchases. I try to find what I need and want locally but availability, price and sometimes customer service force me to do my shopping elsewhere. Here's my most recent dilema: I am looking for a small mountain bike for my kid for her birthday. I refuse to purchase bikes at the local discount stores because the price is not the only thing that is cheap. I want something durable that will outlast the punishment she will dole out to it, something made by a reputable company. Anywhere locally (including Steamboat) I have looked is either asking for an arm, or a leg, or they just don't have the selection to choose from. My next venture will be Junction and I am confident I will find what I want for the price I am willing to pay chosen from a large variety of decent brands. I'd rather shop here, I hate going to Denver or Junction, but given the choices we have to deal with locally, what is one to do?

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als362 3 years, 7 months ago

To native craig guy and David Moore: Both of you should move to Grand Jct. or Ft. Collins.

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David Moore 3 years, 7 months ago

Impressive. I like it here and would never live in either place, to much chaos. Might shop there, but not to live. I give up 90% of my earnings right here in town(food, fuel, living expenses, school fees, B&G club, medical care, hardware, lumber, etc....), I happen to like having a large selection of big dollar goods to choose from at a significantly lower price in some instances, like cars...bikes...TV's...clothes...shoes. Things you either can't find here or that cost way over what you pay somewhere else, like GJ. Is there some issue with seeking lower prices, better service, and bigger selection? Is 90% of ones salary spent locally not good enough? Do you have a suggestion where I can buy a QUALITY built bike, locally? I'd be glad to if I could find the right one...I'm picky about certain things and like a wide variety to choose from. Personal choice is a freedom I enjoy, I spend enough of my money in this town and I choose to go elsewhere when I don't find what I want here, you want to shop all your money in town, that is your personal choice. Last time I checked it was still a free country.

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Exres 3 years, 7 months ago

While I haven't lived in Craig for a while, I think DavidMoore has some valid points. Several years ago, I wanted a new vehicle. The local dealership's salesman played games and the asking price was a joke. I found a straight-up deal down the hill, and was happy with it in every respect. Later I heard the local dealer was unhappy I bought my vehicle out of town. The bottom line was that I would have paid more to support a local business, but not to the point of being ripped off. If the locals are earning your business, these fly-by-night tent sales shouldn't be much competition.

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dogfan 3 years, 7 months ago

Question for als362. Where do you buy your vehicles?

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native_craig_guy 3 years, 7 months ago

ALS, I have said nothing against the town of Craig. Simply the merchants that are located here. I enjoy my life in Craig and I decided to settle down here amongst numerous other possible selections because of the life that it offers. Do not get offended that I dislike getting ripped off by greedy companies. Craig is still a nice place to live. Surely you do not enjoy spending more money than you have to.

P.S.- As I was writing this comment I noticed that the advertisement at the bottom of the page is from Emich Volkswagen in Denver CO. Even the paper is soliciting money from companies over in Denver that are competing with our precious local car dealers. Interesting.

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justthefacts 3 years, 7 months ago

Fact: Commissioner Mathers does not support the local economy by buying his vehicles here either.

Fact: Commissioner Mathers celebrated his victory by purchasing a brand new Mercedes Benz!!!! ( Can I have a ride?)

Fact: We could all buy that type of car if the tax payers would support us, by paying us not to grow crops on our land, and by geting paid full time, when we do our job part time.

Congratulations Commissioner Mathers, we support you. ( Even though you don't support us.)

Just The Facts, of how some thrive in a poor economy. ( They use your money!!!!)

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native_craig_guy 3 years, 7 months ago

Just The Facts: I too am not a fan of Mr. Mathers but he also owns a successful business in town and has done so for years. I am sure that he is more than able to afford a Mercedes Benz with his pay from the Bar err I mean Club. You can get a Mercedes for 50k, about the same price as a King Ranch Ford F-350. What is wrong with people being successful? I know people who have boats that are more expensive than the car that Mathers bought. To each his/her own.

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