Ask A Car Dealer Podcast, Episode 2: What is “Subprime” & a “Buy Here Pay Here” Dealership?

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Hardly anyone pays cash for a new or used car, truck, van, or SUV. The vast majority of vehicle transactions involve financing and probably a trade-in.

Now some folks walk into a dealership with near-perfect credit, a cashier’s check for a twenty percent down payment, and a paid-off trade, freshly detailed. For some reason, those people are almost always wearing white New Balance sneakers.

Most car deals don’t happen quite like that.

Todd Gentry, the General Sales Manager at Gary Crossley Ford in Kansas City says that a subprime car deal is one that a dealer’s team has to work a little harder to get done.

Maybe they have to submit applications to multiple banks to get a loan approved. Maybe they have to help the customer find ways to raise cash for the required down payment.

Subprime car deals can be a lot more work, but the rewards are huge.

“Those deals are some of the most fun to work because they’re the most challenging,” says Gentry.”

The truth is a reliable automobile isn’t a luxury a Kansas City. It’s one of life’s requirements. You’ve got to have a car. It’s scary to think about not being able to provide reliable transportation for yourself and your family because of past circumstances or because you don’t really have any savings. You’ve just been barely getting by and now your ride tanks.

It’s a great relief to actually find someone who both cares and can help.

“The amount of appreciation that you get. It’s just a rewarding part of the job.”

Todd Gentry, General Sales Manager at Gary Crossley Ford

And the goal isn’t just to make a car deal. Gary Crossley Ford wants every customer, prime or subprime, to get a good reliable car with a good dependable warranty, and a good affordable interest rate.

That’s the difference from an unregulated buy here pay here car lot that doesn’t use outside financing and often doesn’t report to the credit bureaus. A buy here pay here car lot can prove valuable if you have exhausted all other resources, but it’s a last resort to use only after every other option has failed.

The team at Gary Crossley Ford has done some crazy deals to help customers raise down payment cash. They’ve traded for grain, motorcycles, boats, and RV’s. Land and houses. Even bicycles.

The old saying is that car dealers will trade for anything that doesn’t eat. But that’s just not true. Gary Crossley Ford has traded for cattle, even pets.

The dealership has over 150 employees and if your pet pig is super cute, there’s a good chance that someone at the store could be interested in buying it.

Marketing Director Joey Little says if you’re worried about down payment money, go ahead and load up the trunk on your way in grab a lawnmower, bicycles, jewelry. If it has value, Garry Crossley Ford can help you use it to help get your auto loan approved.

People assume that car dealers and salespeople are making a ton of money on every car they sell, and that’s the only reason they work so hard, but that’s not necessarily the case.

Customers assume that automotive salespeople are making 20% commission – thousands and thousands of dollars on every vehicle sold when the truth is dramatically lower.

Todd Gentry says the real money comes from giving every customer a buying experience so satisfying that they go home and tell their friends and their family.

Then the customers will come back again to buy another vehicle and their friends come back and then their friends’ friends come back then their friends’ families come back.

That chain of events only happens when you treat every customer regardless of their past credit history the way you’d like your family treated –  you know, the part of your family you actually like.

If you’ve got questions about the car business, about financing options, about the Liberty High School Football Team. We’ve got answers Email us.

In fact, go ahead and ask Joey or Todd anything you’d like. Ask about the car business, about life in Kansas City, or even about Dozer, Gary Crossley Ford’s Barketing Intern.

The Ask a Car Dealer podcast can be found on your preferred podcast listening platform including:

Google Podcasts

Apple Podcasts


Ask A Car Dealer is hosted by Joey Little and Todd Gentry. Any views or opinions expressed are our own and not those of our employers, our sponsors, our friends, relatives, or that cashier we talk to sometimes at the gas stations when we’re buying snacks. 



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