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Limes & Lemons A Zesty Taste of All Things Cars

About Daniel J. Cohen: A King of Copy and Master of Messaging, Daniel J. Cohen has served as copywriter extraordinaire at numerous advertising agencies. Throughout his storied career, Cohen has cultivated copywriting strategies that stir interest, stimulate action and sell products.

5 Warning Signs When Buying a Used Car If you’re anything like me, you’ve bought a used car or two. It’s not that people like you or me don’t appreciate a luxury ride or a sporty vehicle with the capability to zip steadily along the highway. It’s just that, as a practical matter, a 1990s vehicle with an excellent Consumer Reports rating, great gas mileage and durable, easy-to-find parts serves

our needs better than a Jaguar or Ferrari. On the other hand, buying used can be tricky. Cars are one of the few really important items we are willing to purchase secondhand… mainly because they’re expensive. But if you’re going to buy a used car, save yourself some time and money: beware of these five warning signs.

“Is the world tilted to the left, or is the air in my front left tire

just a bit too low?”

The Seller Won’t Let You Get It Checked Out by a Third Party Before you buy something as important as a car, you need someone to check the thing out. And getting your car checked out by your own mechanic is ABSOLUTELY pivotal. Unfortunately, not everyone in the world is entirely trustworthy, so a third party is the only way to balance the interests of the buyer and seller.

If someone won’t let you take the thing out of the driveway—or won’t go with you to a mechanic as a compromise—take a pass. Used cars are abundant. Don’t take a blind swing.

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March 3, 2012 ● thegreensheet.com● (713) 371-3500


The Seller Wants to Give You a Last-Minute Warranty on a Shaky Part

Don’t accept a last-minute warranty from this guy.

The transmission, water pump, alternator, starter and brakes should all be in good shape when you buy the car, or the price tag should be lower to account for potential issues regarding those parts. If a visit to the mechanic reveals that one of these parts is in less than stellar shape and the seller wants you to take a warranty on it, DON’T BUY THE CAR. This is dishonest business practice and also throws up a red flag regarding other potential issues.

“A Carfax tells you the comprehensive, truthful history of the vehicle, so you aren’t blindsided by any potential problems”

No Car Fax is Provided You may know Carfax from its famous slogan: “Show me the Carfax.” Or better yet, from its mascot, the Car Fox. A Carfax tells you the comprehensive, truthful history of the vehicle, so you aren’t blindsided by any potential problems. Thoroughly research the history of an automobile before you buy it.

The Check Engine Light is On Selling a used car with an illuminated check engine warning light is reckless and irresponsible, two character traits you wouldn’t want to find in a seller. Besides, who would want a used car with new problems? Or even old, lingering problems?

“Who would want a used car with new problems?”

Rudeness from the Seller

Stay away from sellers who treat you like this,

Used car sellers are just like any other kind of seller. And you are just like any other kind of buyer. So you deserve real service; rudeness just doesn’t cut it. Defensiveness, rudeness or any other undesirable behavior toward you is warrant to end the potential transaction.

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March 29, 2012 ● thegreensheet.com ● (713) 371-3500


5 Tips for Used Car Buyers