MM Podcast Episode 023: Getting Your Car Dealer License With Steven Lang (transcript)

This is a transcript of MM Podcast Episode 023: Getting Your Car Dealer License With Steven Lang.

Welcome to Episode 23 of the Motorcar Marketing podcast.  This episode’s main segment I’m gonna be talking with Steven Lang.  In the interview, Steven Lang discuss how somehow gets their dealer of license and when the right the time to actually get the license is.  If you’re considering getting your dealer license or wondering how to get it, you’re not gonna want to miss this episode, so stay tuned for that.

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Couple of quick notes, any websites or links that I mentioned in the podcast can be found on the website in the Show Notes. I also publish a transcript for every episode in case you’d rather read the show or look at something later on.  You can find all the podcast Show Notes at and then just look for episode number 23.

We recently put together a great free guide for car dealers called the Quick Start Auto Dealer Marketing Guide.  You can get it by going to  It’s completely free, you just put in your email address and the lessons will be emailed to you over the course of the next few days.  We’ve tried to concentrate on the high leverage thing to condue with each marketing channels so you can get the maximum results in the shortest amount of time.  We’ll be adding more lessons to this guide in the future but to start out, we’ll show you how to increase your ROI and sell more cars on Craigslist.  How to quickly set up a Google pay-per-click campaign and how to begin generating leads from local search engine optimization and how to effectively use email marketing to generate leads and correspond with your past customers.  Again, this guide is completely free, just go to

So now let’s get it into the main segment.  Today I’m talking with Steven Lang about getting your dealer license.  Here is the interview:

Ashley:  Welcome, Steven, to the Motorcar Marketing podcast.  I really appreciate you coming on the show today.

Steven: Thank you very much for having me.

Ashley:  So start out, I wonder if you can give us a quick overview of your career and how you got in to the auto-moto business.

Steven:  Well, in terms of my starting a business, it happened while I was in Graduate School.  I was 25 years old, pretty close to broke.  And I needed some opportunity to make some extra money.  So, I ended up really going from here and there.  I worked from a gas station, I worked at a supermarket and it was enough to pay my bills and my other 2 rooms in my house rented out so I was kinda living that [?] lifestyle.  There is a star by the name of Henry Winkler who actually teaches my direction for probably my entire career.  I was at the Language Federation and he had this hundreds of followers and admirers and I had my 2 or 3 friends and he was a key note speaker at the event.  He had bunch of people surrounding him and me and my friends were hanging out on the side.  And somehow our eyes met and he said something like, ‘Hey there, I’m Henry Winkler’, and I said, ‘Yeah, I know, I’m Steven Lang, nice to meet you’.  And he said, ‘What is it you do?’ and I said, ‘I’m in graduate school, I was a financial analyst’, and he was like, ‘You know what?  I can never imagine myself doing that for a living’. And I said, ‘Yeah, you’re right.  That’s kind of why I left’ and he said, ‘What it is you wanna do?’and I was willing to tell him the real truth which is hard to do when you’re in your mid 20s, and I said ‘I wanna be an auctioneer’ and he looked at me and he said ‘a Jewish auctioneer in Georgia, that’s pretty interesting!’

So, from there on, and he was giving the key note speech, he once quote “if you’re willing, it is not just a dream”.  The moment you actually pursue what it is you wanna do with your life, you’re actually living the dream.  The struggle for achieving those things that you wanna do is part of that dream – part of that journey.  And for that guy who has such a blind pointless lectures about things that I’ve really didn’t care about, that was pretty revelatory to hear it from somebody who you admired when you were a kid.

Ashley:  Just to clear it up though, Henry Winkler, you’re talking about the Fonz, correct?

Steven:  Yes, it is the Fonz.

Ashley:  Just for our audience, he played the Fonz in Happy Days.  Yeah I just wanna make sure I didn’t get that wrong.  Okay, great.

Steven:  More or less Arthur Fonz has really changed my life.  And so the next day, I cold-call a bunch of auctions and one of them was worse enough to call in and say, ‘come on in, you’ll be a driver, they’ll love to have you’ and I ended up being a driver at a public auction that was 10 miles away from home.  They saw that I was pretty personable; I was pretty nice so they had me be in-charged of registration.  What I would do was every time I would give somebody a number I would tell them something about that number.  For example, ‘Number 42 here, the meaning of life.  Number 49, San Francisco 49ers, here you are, you will drive to Montana tonight’.  And they eventually found out that I could also speak Spanish.  Conversational Spanish, not fluent but in North Georgia I may as well have influence.  At the public auctions about a third of clients were Latino.  You would have 3 or 4 immigrants come together, buy a car together, use it together and they’d be small groups at the auction.  So eventually they brought me up to be a ring man.  What a ring man does is he hoops, hollers and helps the auctioneer create the urgency to buy.  So my job, an undergraduate degree soon-to-be graduate degree was to point at somebody who was bidding and go, ‘Yup!’ and after doing that for a matter of 3 to 4 weeks, I became pretty good at saying ‘Yup!’  And because I can speak Spanish pretty well, they said, ‘Why don’t you go on to Auctioneering School.  There’s an Auction School in Missouri, you’ll be pretty good’.  And the guy who is the auctioneer at that time, he helped me get in to a bunch of other auctions eventually.  And that was within a 3-month period.

Few years later, I was working in 5 different auctions and pretty never looked back.  I went to Auctioneering School 2 weeks before I got married.  Once I got married enjoyed the honeymoon in Jamaica, I actually did auction when I was there but my wife had to tolerate me mumbling gibberish for half the time.  I got to tell you right now she’s the most understanding wife you can ever imagine.

Ashley:  So now, why did you wanna be an auctioneer?  Where did that come from?

Steven:  For me it was kinda like of a combination being a businessman and entertainer at the same time.  And you didn’t have to be good-looking to actually be good at it.  It was also the fact that you can actually create a market out of thin air.  And you could use your powers of persuasion to change people’s minds and creating urgency to buy.  For somebody in their mid 20s to be able to have that ability… you know when you’re in your mid 20, it was revelatory.

First thing that I ever auctioned was a porcelain frog, nothing special but the second thing that I auctioned was 15 years worth of Playboy magazines.  This was before porn and the internet went full filth.  When I start bidding that at Missouri Auction School, I went to the auction and bid the biding, and before you know it I was actually there for about a half hour when I was supposed to only do 3 items.  I ended up doing 30 minutes worth of bid-calling and the only that they cut me off is because they had to go through other people they had to try being auctioneers.  That’s when I realized that I was actually good at it.

Ashley:  So when did this circle back to being an auctioneer for the car dealers?

Steven:  What ended up happening was, at a public I came as a full-pledged auctioneer, at the dealer auctions I kinda have to bide my time and be a ring man.  I was very good at it, I travelled to 3 different States every single weeks, do anywhere between 5 to 7 auctions and it was fantastic.  I worked maybe 2 or 3 hours for that period of time, I was being athletic, I was being in the moment and when everything was done I didn’t have any homework.  I didn’t have all these papers to grade or all these spreadsheets to take home.  It wasn’t exactly advance work but the pay was fantastic for what you did.  And so I ended up doing that for about 2 and a half to 3 years.

Ashley:  Okay.  So then, when did you start to shift more towards selling cars?

Steven:  During that point of time, I wanted to make every single dollar possible.  But it took me a while to actually have the courage to buy vehicle.  Between my first auction and my first vehicle I bought, it was approximately close to a year.  And the first vehicle I bought was actually at a public auction, I still remember it was 1986 Honda Civic.  There was a 13-year old vinyl seats, 4-speed manual transmission and I bought this thing for $500 and I sold it on eBay to a Polish student from my Alma matter for $1575.  When I got that profit, I said to myself, ‘I could get doing this’.  Because that amount was about what I actually got for all those auctions for a week’s worth of work.  I started getting more courage.  I started moving up money-wise.  Instead of $500 car I went to a thousand dollar car and a $1500 car and then I ended up buying 2 cars that combine worth of $1500 and this was at a time when the economy was really booming.  You could actually get a very cheap car at a very reasonable price.  It also helped that I was the one who was selling the vehicles for the dealers.  They won’t even give me a shitty car – pardon my French.

The fact of the matter was that I had a nice well advantage there and I used it to my fullest of abilities.  I would do my actions during the week and during the weekend I would put my vehicles online.  My mom actually introduced me to Craigslist – a 72-year old mom and she does stuff.  This aspiring auctioneer and aspiring car dealer to Craigslist and back then there was a lot of very professional people – very well educated folks and it was a pleasure having them go to my house to test drive the vehicles and give a deal right there.  For the first 5 years of my work I permanently use my own home.  Then a few of my friends who were my buyers actually helped me sold the car sometime still.  So, I had to make the most of my space because I really didn’t start with much money.  I was able to build it up through experience and learning curve as well and that everything was a home-run but I had some competitive advantage compare to most folks who are trying to get in to this industry.

Ashley:  Now, at this point you were buying multiple cars, so how many cars were you selling in a year and did you start to think ‘maybe I should become a licensed dealer’ at this point?

Steven:  I kinda did the usual thing that a lot of people do.  And that is you put 5 vehicles, in state of Georgia it has to be 5 vehicles before you can sell it under your name, and then you can put it on somebody else’s name.  I had the fortune of having a wife who has 5 siblings.  The truth of the matter is back then, I didn’t have for a while but then I found out the real truth which was the State actually keep track of these things.  And so that helped me quite a bit.  I started buying around 1999 that I started to consider being a full-time dealer.  And I shouldn’t even say full-time.  More of a dealer I was during that time.  I decided to be pretty much of the front-ener.   So I got my dealers in all 3, still using a mailbox in my driveway no real car lot.

But then fate intervened again.  A company called Capital One, they said. ‘We want you to be in- charged of liquidating our vehicles all over the country.  So I became responsible for liquidating over 10,000 vehicles a year for them.  What I would literally do is I would fly from one place to another place and auction off the vehicles.  I inspect them first for other types of repairs it would need, reconditioning that would most benefit them.  I would structure the sale so that it would make sense for the dealer as to what should be at the beginning, what should be at the middle, what should be at the end.  I was somebody who was selling vehicles on the side and being an auctioneer at that point.  It really was a unique environment.  What I would do is I would actually go to car max.  Buy their trade-ins on Monday; send it to a friend of mine who would do the work.  I would fly often there and I would go to 3 different cities and I would go one week to Baltimore, Boston, New Jersey; next week it would be another.  I really cover the entire United States.  And it ended up that after  that time of Thursday, afternoon to evening that I was close enough to home, I would fly or drive back home and from Friday to Sunday I would do auctions on the side and I would also sell used vehicles.  I think one year I ended up signing a little over 150 vehicles on the side.  I became really good at it, really skilled.  It kinda duck-tailed from there.  For me, it was what I always wanted to do.  I may not know exactly what it was when I was a teenager I was always reading a car magazine and ignoring everything else. That was me.  So, I just took what it was a passion in my life.

Ashley:  So then, where are you now today with your car selling?

Steven:  Well, now I actually have a dealership that’s only 3 miles away from my home. I retail vehicles there. I also get vehicles for other dealerships as well. That takes up quite a bit of my time. I also write for yahoo. I have developed a lot of other automotive related tools and perspectives.  They are probably pretty unique given the fact that I’m one of the few writers who actually spends his life whole time buying and selling; and fixing and repairing financing vehicles all day long.

Ashley:  So, I found you, after reading a couple of your articles; one of them was yahoo on fact that explained how to become a licensed car dealer and that’s how I kind of contacted you.  I get people finding my podcast; finding my blog and saying what are the steps.  So, I thought this would be an interesting conversation for us today.  So, let’s kinda start out there.  You know, you kind of covered it I guess with your own story but, let’s for a moment forget about the logistics of doing this and doing that and sort of talk about who you see as a good candidate to actually take that next step and become a licensed car dealer.  I think that’s good because I think probably there are a lot of people listening to this who are in that position that they are probably doing what you’re saying selling some cars on a weekend.  And how do you know when is the time to take the next step.

Steven:  That’s a very good question.  The first thing I would consider doing, is being honest with yourself.  Are you doing this because cars are truly your passion, your interest, your means of being happy?  Because if you’re just doing it for the sake of an easy flip; or an easy profit.  And this business is probably about 9 times more treacherous than the real estate. There are far more bad vehicles at the auctions than there are good vehicles.  And there are far more dishonest people in the used car business than there are honest people.  So, if you’re gonna gat a start in this business, what I would encourage anyone to do is to start out small; specialize in a particular car or maybe even; if you have a mechanical background or if there’s very particular mechanical repair you can do that other people in the industry aren’t as well knowledgeable about, you can actually gain a nice little edge from there.  One of the things that I used to always do is take a Volvo that need to have their electronic issues dealt with and I’ll buy them for dirt-cheap at the auctions.  Because what happens is they would actually going to use the second hand and Volvo for whatever reasons wasn’t really good in plumbing people of this particular issues so they will end up turning them into Car Match or another car dealership and I’ll be able to get them for very cheap because they’ll be sold as is.

If you can’t find something or have a passion – a really deep passion for this business and you’re willing to get what we call an ‘education’.  In other words, you have to pay, you have to learn your mistakes and you have to pay for those mistakes.  If you’re willing to do that over the course, over the long run, it starts low and gather speed, gather expertise and knowledge, you will eventually get there.  But if you just wanna do it to make a quick buck, it’s probably the worse business you can imagine.

Ashley:  Yeah.  That’s a good advice in sort of the entrepreneurial world.  It’s your unfair advantage as what they call.  It’s leveraging some of your current knowledge.  I think that’s a great tip for people to really really consider what they can do well and try and leverage that into the kind of cars that they’re buying.

So, let’s talk about some of the actual logistics of becoming a licensed dealer.  Because I think there are some confusion.  I know there’s a lot of services out there that will kind of help you through this process but maybe we can at least give people a nice sort of foundation on what those steps are.  One of your articles kind of covered that so maybe we can kinda go over to some of those points.  The first thing I think was the location.  I’d be curious to hear your situation ‘cause it sounds like you got your dealer license before you actually had a physical lot.  So, let’s talk about actually getting the physical lot and what that means to getting your dealership license.

Steven:  If somebody is going to start off with getting a physical lot, my own deeply held perspective on this is to strip the cost in the beginning.  Find other people maybe even have another dealership if they have another entrance.  Technically you can actually use a separate entrance that can go to certain office and that can actually be a ‘separate dealership’.  I would minimize my cost as much as humanly possible.  I even went to the degree of… I was very lucky in the sense of when I first became a dealer, they oftentimes didn’t even inspect the properties to make sure that they were what they were; this was in good old days of the early 2000s.  What I would do is I would get, or even for some, get a cheap piece of real estate somewhere in the rural outskirts that can technically to be a dealership, to sell vehicles.  All you need is an office and a phone.  Find out what is the absolute minimum requirement and don’t go for the system that is having a nice little place in a 10×10 for 550 a month, I wouldn’t even deal that.  I would say ‘what is the least expensive way of doing it and establishing it’.  In every State in the country you can buy and sell a few cars.  First is that and once you do that, then you can actually talk about investing in a physical property.

Ashley:  For sure.  Let’s talk about the legal requirements in terms of surety bonds and liability insurance.  Maybe you can talk about that even just rough cost of what people are looking for and are they legally required… you know just to cover that stuff.

Steven:  Sure.  Surety bonds basically will range everywhere from $25,000 to $100,000 depending on where you’re from.  A surety bond is more or less designed so that if you end up taking advantage of somebody and not giving them the title and doing some type of criminal act, that surety bond is there so that the person who is victimized by your behavior can get their money.  Because even if they had a solo judgment against you, actually getting that money from you can be rather difficult especially if you decide to be an LLC or a Corporation.  That’s what a surety bond is for.

Ashley:  Can you tell us the cost?  When you mentioned that the price, that’s the amount you’re covered for, right?  That’s not the actual out of pocket cost?

Steven:  No.  It’s what you’re covered for.  With surety bonds, it very much depends in your credit.  If you maintain strong a strong credit, it’s only gonna be $200 a year.  If you have very bad credit, it will be thousands.

Ashley:  Okay.  That’s good to know.  Okay, so let’s talk about liability insurance for a minute.

Steven: Liability insurance is funny when it comes to cars because if you get into an accident, this is one of those insurance for 2 things, for your vehicles while your customers test-drive them and for your property as well.  Let me add a third, it’s also for in most case you can actually drive the vehicle that you own with a dealer tag.  So, if you are a dealer in most States actually, you can get insurance that will cover yourself and your employees and in most cases your spouse.  It’s good in a sense that you no longer need to get your own car insurance.  The bad news is it’s two fold; the first thing is that if you get into an accident you’re not going to be covered for whatever damage you have done to your vehicle.  You’re only covered to the damage that has done to your vehicle that hits you or you hit.  There’s also a medical liability related to that.  In some States, the amount that they have is a minimum requirement, minimum would be $25,000.  If you hit an expensive vehicle in total you’re still going to be out of pocket.  You got to be really careful about letting anybody drive one of your vehicles.

Ashley:  And what is something like that cost?  Again just ballpark.

Steven:  It’s about a little bit over a thousand a year if you have perfect history like I do.  But if you a very checkered history it can be several times of that amount as well.

Ashley:  Now, just again, without endorsing a specific company, how do people find these companies that would give them the surety bonds or the liability insurance?

Steven:  You can course through your internet searches and such and they’ll help you to unlimited degree.  Believe it or not, you may have an insurance agent who may be familiar with this industry one way or another or who knows somebody within the insurance office that would be familiar with them.  And also you can ask other dealers, ‘What type of insurance do you use?’ and 9 times out of 10 they will tell you straight out who they use and what they typically cost.

Ashley:  Good tip.  And just to clarify too, in most States or maybe all States, the surety bond the liability insurance – those are legally required as part of getting your license, correct?

Steven:  Yes they are hundred percent legally required however, if you decide to drop them some States will let you get away with it, some States you can’t.  Or rather not be the outlaw, but if you decide to become one that’s your decision.

Ashley:  Okay, so let’s talk about some of the paperwork, what’s needed and how difficult that is.  What kind paper do you file in the government and how difficult is it and how long does that take?

Steven:  I thankfully have a created electronic version of what most of what I file at this point and I keep the physical papers off site so let’s say the average transaction.  You sell a 2005 Chevy Malibu to Jim and James Smith.  You’re gonna have your bills sell and you’re bill sell is going to be whatever legal document is used within your State.  Every State has a few peculiar priorities related to that and you’re also going to have a Disclosure Statement.  If you’re gonna be financing a vehicle, you’re gonna probably have something related to interest rate.  You’re gonna also have a repossession statement of sort in some instances if you self-finance.  You’re gonna of course have your nice little guide that you put on the side of the vehicle that says as whether it’s being sold as is versus being sold with a warranty.  Remember those white stickers at some cars whenever you visit dealership?  You’re gonna need one of those as well.  You also have certain disclosures that have to go to the side of the government, not directly, but more or less just create a record of them.  You’re gonna have certain forms.  You don’t have to keep up with everything per se if you use a software program that automatically generates all this information.  If you have a certain software program that uses all the tools and all of them pretty much still, it will automatically generate all that stuff for you.

Ashley:  So, tell me… maybe you’re not exactly sure of this but… from States to States, if someone wants to get their license how different are the requirements?  Are there any States that are unusually difficult to get a dealer license versus some States that are easier to get a dealer license in?

Steven:  It depends on where you live.  I mean, if you live in a rural area where a home can have a business and there really isn’t much of a zoning related issues where you live, it’s relatively easy.  If you live in a major metropolitan area that’s designed to minimize the amount of car dealerships in their given space.  What they’ll do is they would say you need to have at least half acre or ¾ of an acre or even a full acre and you have to have it paged.  And a lot of folks are not willing to spend $400,000 on that type of property starting off.  It’s not a matter of States making it difficult.  It’s more the counties.  And even in some cases, county officials.  That’s why I advice that folks go off and get a place that’s a little bit remote and doesn’t cost very much and actually meets all the legal requirements.  And there’s plenty out there in nearly every State in the country.

Ashley:  I had a friend a couple of years ago who was looking in to getting his dealer license and he had hooked up with some company.  And it sounded just a little bit of a strange thing, I think he was in California and this company is in Indiana but don’t quote me on that, but they were gonna give them a wholesale license and what they were telling him to basically do was find a local dealer – ‘cause he wanted to sell.  He was already basically doing what you’re describing; selling a few cars on the weekend and he was hitting that ceiling of whatever in California, 5 or 8 cars.  And so he was looking into this.  They were telling him get the wholesale license and find a local dealer and you can kinda piggy back off of their retail license if you want to but this wholesale license will get him to the auctions.  Is a lot easier to get?  I mean, what’s your sort of impression of that?  And is it a lot easier to get a wholesale license versus retail license in that way they were telling him to do this?

Steven:  Well, one important part that they didn’t tell him is that there’s actually a limit as to how many vehicles you can buy with a wholesale license.  And that’s a major issue.  Indiana actually is very… they’re probably the strongest promoters of this particular way.  What happens with the wholesale license; you can’t retail the vehicle.  You have to go through a dealer or eventually sell it as an auction.  One of the two.  And you’re very constrained in terms of everything that the retail was.  The good news is you have access to the auctions; the bad news is the auctions aren’t really the great deal as other people make them out to be.  A lot of dealers buy at auctions not necessarily just to get the killer deal.  Which is where, especially now, they do it so they get 15, 20, 25 vehicles, fix them, recondition them, some will be good, some will be bad.  And they will retail from there and may have look what they retail now is finance.  To gain has become much much different.  Especially over the last 5 years.  So, those who are going for a wholesale license are probably okay doing that if they just wanna be hobbyist but not seriously dealers in terms of making it their lives’ worth.  But even so it’s a curse because if you’re not willing to make it your full time deal you can get burned very easily in this business.  The people who are selling vehicles at the auctions are oftentimes polishing a torque, so that somebody who doesn’t know any better can buy that torque and try to make it their own.

Ashley:  Yeah.  And obviously, you’re not a lawyer but what are the penalties? ‘Cause the scenario that I just described with my friend, it didn’t solve his fundamental problem which was he was selling too many cars to individuals and he wanted try and get above board.  What is the penalties if you get caught selling too many cars to individuals over the course of a year without your license?

Steven:  Here’s the real deal: nobody cares.  If they catch you, they catch you.  They may try to make you get any back taxes you may owe or whatever I frankly have never found a single human being that’s ever been charged with anything serious.  Think about it, people really aren’t gonna go after you for trying to make a living.  If you do it near another dealer, what they may do is they may call the used-car licensing board and they may say you’re not a dealer, shut this down or we’re gonna get the police down here right now.  That does happen.  But in terms of a special functionary called the used-car police, it doesn’t exist.  All they really want in the end is their money.  In many States now, they situate so that you do have to pay whatever tax is owed on a vehicle anyhow.  That typically gets collected even a private transaction, they’re gonna get the money from the guy buying it from you.

So, I think that for most folks, it’s best to start with how many vehicles you can do under your name or other person’s name; friends, relatives, cousins, what have you.  Do that, get experience, get knowledge, get your learning curve and gear, get some type of competitor advantage in the marketplace.  And once you do that, then you can say, ‘Now I’m willing to spend more than $10,000 on this’.  But if you don’t get to that point, and 90% of people in this world don’t ever get near that point, just be the hobbyist – just buy and sell.  Public auctions can be treacherous but if you’re willing to not be so easily manipulated; if you learn to cross your arm or something, if you learn to be a good observer and listener you’ll certainly know these things concerning behaviors that are being done in this people’s minds and you will be a much better seller and buyer of vehicles.

Ashley: Sure.  Before the interview, we were talking about one of your current projects this Long Term Reliability index; let’s just touch on that for a second.  Can you kind of explain it?  I thought it sounded really interesting and I think a lot of my listeners could get something out of it.  Maybe you can discuss that for us.

Steven:  Sure.  The Long Term Quality Index is the first study in the entire auto industry that allows mechanics and industry professionals to assess the condition, age of vehicles all over the country.  And at this point we have over 600,000 samples, that’s 600,000 data samples from New Jersey to California.  What we’re doing is we’re trying to evaluate the long term reliability of used-cars.  And this tool that we developed has really transformed the industry.  In fact, yesterday it was number 4 on Yahoo and the study has been featured there several times and it’s also been in NPR.  This is the first study that is assessing the long term reliability of a vehicle beyond the first owner using folks who do this in terms of inspecting and appraising.  They do this all day, that’s all they do.  So it’s not reliant on somebody’s Uncle Ben that is filling in a nice little checklist.  There’s no owner-bias involved.

We all wanna be right and oftentimes we won’t admit to other people that we were wrong, which is one of the issues that a lot of these customer satisfaction industries have.  Oftentimes you can’t actually figure out whether their transmission shifting properly or not, or whether their engine has upper engine oils.  Most are mechanics.  And so what the study is doing is removing the owner bias and it is creating a completely objective landscape where people have no stake in that actual car.  Inspecting it, affirming it, what is the condition of the car, what’s the mileage of it, why was it traded in and at this point we should cover million data samples.  Unlike a lot of other space in the industry, a lot of reliability study right now usually form a couple or five years.  This is for the entire life cycle of the vehicle.

Ashley:  And the idea, correct me if I’m wrong, is this will be available to consumers not just dealers so that they can better gauge what used car they should be buying.

Steven:  Exactly.  This information is gonna be available for free forever.

Ashley:  Great.  And can you just mention the website where it’s at so people can maybe go and check it out?

Steven:  Absolutely.  It’s called  That’s the preliminary name we have for this study at this point.  I want it to be called with the next week or two but this has been in motion now for a little bit over 2 years and we have a very wide assortment independent dealerships that are contributing their man-powered forces and their people and it’s really helping us helping the industry better understand what vehicles out there are truly satisfying their owners.  ‘Cause if you think about it, there’s one instance when somebody is truly unhappy about their vehicle and that’s when they’re willing to trade their retail vehicle for a local sell price.  So, the difference let’s say between a Volkswagen that has engine issues that are expensive, 60-80,000 miles into it versus a Toyota Land Cruiser which has 250,000 and no engine problems.  The difference in satisfaction is quite faster.  And that’s we’re trying to measure.

Ashley:  Okay.  And maybe you can just tell us too how can people find you and keep up with what you’re doing?  Do you have a Twitter account or a blog or something like that?

Steven:  Simply do ‘Steven Lang and Cars’ or ‘Steven Lang in Yahoo’ or every Friday feel free to see my name floating around hopefully somewhere near the front page of Yahoo and you will probably find me there.  I’d probably written over a thousand articles about the business at this point in terms of being an auctioneer, in terms of being a car dealer, marketing manager, someone who self-finances over a hundred people at this particular point in life.  So I’ve had a lot of experience.  It’s pretty much has been my whole life’s work.

Ashley:  I will link to some of that.  I’ll find those from the  I’ll get those when the podcast goes live, I’ll make sure I have the update.  I’ll link to that through the Show Notes to make sure people can get there and I’ll link to some of your articles.  Maybe these 2 articles that I found, I’ll definitely link to those as well on Yahoo.

Well, Steven, you’ve been very generous with your time.  It’s been a great interview.  I know this will answer a lot of questions for some people who are looking and thinking about getting their dealer license.

Steven:  Perfect.  Thank you very much for giving me an opportunity to share my life and if they have any questions, they can always email me.  I’m at a very simple address;

Ashley:  Perfect.  And I will put that in the Show Notes too so people can get it directly there.  Well, Steven, than you very much.  I really do appreciate it.

Steven:  You have an awesome evening.


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Hopefully this episode was helpful.  I know I’ve gotten a lot of questions recently about how to become a licensed car dealer so hopefully we’ve answered some of those questions here today.  Anyway, that’s our show.  I hope you got some value out of it and we can help you grow your business.  Thank you for listening.





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