I started working in a garage cleaning cars at weekend and helping out with showroom duties when I was 12, and 49 years later I am still in the Motortrade.
I have had a great time, and am still enjoying it. I’ve worked for some of the best companies, and some of the worst, although I did’nt stay long at the latter ones, In fact I only lasted 3 hours at one 🙂
Mostly I have been lucky enough to be involved in Managment (Sales) but I have also taken a step back a couple of times, and once I worked for a local Dealership selling, Ferraris, Lamborghini’s, Maseratis and other exotica, this I have to say was an eye opener and completely changed my approach to selling cars.
I opened my own business in 2001 Barrie Crampton Car Sales and faced a number of trials and tribulations (not the legal type) in fact I am too honest for my own good.
I think I can say without boasting that I was way ahead of my time, and I was probably the first garage to start using motion on my website, and then graduating to videos, and trying to use technology to sell my cars.
I even fitted an interactive web cam to the lampost on my pitch, which customers could use to browse the cars on my forecourt from the comfort of their own home. This brought me to the attention of the “Big Hitters” in the Motor Trade and a Job Offer from “Beverly Hills Porsche” came after they had zoomed in on my Cabin and emailed me to come to the door and give them a wave.
After a fantastic holiday and Road Trip from San Fransisco To Beverly Hills, I decided that the job wasn’t for me, it was too much like living the dream, but I still look back on it with fondness.
Shortly after introducing videos of my sales cars to my website I decided to go a step further, and include “Virtual Video Test Drives” over the years they have sold me many cars, and we have had people buy from all over the World, to put this into perspective we are a small garage, in the little known town of Walton le Dale Preston England.
I used a new video website called “Youtube” to host my videos on as at the time hosting charges were phenomomnally expensive, this has worked in my favour as I now have a World Wide following and millions and millions of views, with 10,000 subscribers and counting.
With the increase in popularity of Social Media, and the confines of our garage space and our bank balance, we have met with a conundrum, we sell between 20 to 30 cars a month, but have thousands of viewers to our website, and hundreds of thousands of viewers to youtube and we wanted to be able to repay our Social Media “supporters” or at least provide them with some sort of service as a thank you!
This is when I came up with the idea of an Affiliate Website, where we would try to gather all the suppliers and services that a Car Owner/Buyer needs, from the moment of researching a vehicle to buy, to making sure that you are buying a good vehicle, and are getting a fair part exchange price, to maintaining it and keeping it serviced and in a good state of repair during their ownership.
This is when we introduced “The Pit Stop Shop” and hope that in some small way it serves as a thank you, to the people who watch our videos, and browse our website.