Trader of cars, trucks, boats, military and heavy equipment, buses, tractors. Auction expert and all around good guy!
JEFF STERNS CONNECTED THROUGH CARS
1:17 And he was offered the opportunity to be the first auctioneer to sell military Humvees to the public. Okay. I went to that auction because he invited me and I thought they brought too much money. So I didn't buy a single one. And about a month and a half later, he says, Hey, we didn't sell enough of those Humvees and you wouldn't even sell enough. Well, the Marine Corps that wanted to be able to create enough dollars in the sale of these Humvees to acquire more equipment. And so I said, Okay, he's bottom line is we need to sell 300 more Humvees and I've been allowed to sell 100 at a time to three people do you want to buy 100 Humvees? I mean that my dad taught me I will tell you the driving force of me playing with specialty stuff you know offshore championship boats and cranes and bulldozers and buses and planes. He taught me a really simple process of valuing used assets and you would be shocked how often it works. And it's just is this this simple.
2:20 Anything that is like new and is serviceable is worth half of new to an end user. Okay, so what we would do or I, I took that on the next step, and I said, Okay, well if $100,000 brand new piece, according to his philosophy is worth 50,000 as long as you still buy parts and service it and it looks like new, then I need to buy it for less than 50. So this to be safe, the more obscure and weird it is, I'll just do half of half. So if I was buying $100,000 piece for 25 grand, it was like new and serviceable. I should be able to sell it for 50.
Scott Ales 3:08 Deborah, and I drove from Clinton, Iowa, to this little ramshackle house overlooking a lake. And I'm not kidding you, Jeff 20 or 30 of the coolest cars that you could have met pontoon Fender Ferraris Testarossa, like crazy cool cars.
Jeff Sterns 3:59 car dealer, truck driver, collector of every odd engine boat truck, this that special relationship with bring-a-trailer we'll have to talk about that involved with Mecum. You bought tha list and you bought my Flathead car. politician, banker, semi pastor or real one. Maybe you just come across that way. Are you official? Scott Ales 4:33 Yeah.
Jeff Sterns 5:16 Scott Ailes, no matter who I talked to about Scott Ailes, I could never get anyone to say, look, I could get him to say, I wish he paid me more for this. Or he'd beat me out on buying that, or they can get mad about that. But I never heard an integrity or character problem ever. And I think I've known your name. God, I'm not sure but at least 20 years, it might be 25.
Jeff Sterns 6:37 I don't know if our audience our car people. When you say, the wholesale car business, do you mind breaking that down a little bit?
Scott Ales 8:27 Yeah, I mean that consequences the key word, the phrase I heard years ago from someone else's. You can choose to do anything you want, but you cannot choose the consequences of your choices.
Jeff Sterns 8:42 Now this this Brooklands behind you on your screen there this is your favorite touring it is your favorite touring car.
Scott Ales 10:07 Yeah, it's the ultimate sleeper. I mean, it's just so big and heavy. It's a lumbering thing. And it just goes.
Jeff Sterns 10:14
They do what they're supposed to do.
Scott Ales 10:15 Yes, sir. Anyway, no, it wasn't the greatest time we started our bank. We got approval from the FDIC to open the bank in December 23 2008. You remember what was going on in
Scott Ales 14:09 It was Deborah my wife of 40 years said to me in 2010 and Dana Mecum the collector car auctioneer, who I met at his first auction.
Scott Ales 17:44 it's fun. I mean, that my dad taught me I will tell you the driving force of me playing with specialty stuff, you know, offshore championship boats and cranes and bulldozers and buses and planes.
Scott Ales 22:31 right? Yeah. What's going on here? And then it's a crop duster. Like, oh my gosh, he's gonna he sprayed poison on the military base and I'm sitting in the parking lot. It's anthrax. I'm in the wrong spot. And then over the radio, oh, FAA releases the ban on flying. So this guy is just out trying to make a living for the first time in months. Right? There's just elements of things you like, no, this is how I'm going to go. I'm gonna get cropped Dustin in the parking lot. Already. military base.
Jeff Sterns 23:40 for the for the non car dealer public…. Scott on top of someone who sells a lot online and in person. He's also what's known as a wholesaler. So when we in a dealership, get a car that we're not going to keep or don't we want to keep it but we don't know what it's worth. We'll call someone like Scott. And say I have this factory five Ford GT 40. I think of odd cars when I think of course, it could be any car. I've got this Buick. And either I can't sell it to you. But can you give me an idea what it's
Jeff Sterns 24:52 you talk about being only as good as your word.
Scott Ales 25:41
Yeah, it's cheesy. I like it. In 1988, a guy came in my office in Clinton, Iowa, he put an 86 speed processor computer on my desk, and plugged it into the telephone line and made crazy noises. And I was instantly connected to 65 other dealers like me in the country, and we started reputation trading back and forth.
Jeff Sterns 27:16
But what happens is, sometimes, and this is for, like, let's say the viewing public with zero car experience, this is where the consumer, sometimes the dealer, I'll ask you, if I give you enough for your trade, will you make a deal with me? And the consumer gets frustrated? Because they think, Why do I have to tell you, I'm gonna buy from you for you to give me your best price.
Jeff Sterns 31:20 you actually helped me on a deal through the list. I don't know if you remember, I had a Ferrari ordered for a customer, I want to say 360 Spyder, I want to say could have been the next one, I gave that dealer a $10,000 deposit for the customer that I was representing . In the end, they sold me out and gave my order slot probably to someone that would pay more, even though they've committed to me. And I actually called you directly in you advise before we got the list. Panel involved tribunal. Yeah. To go up against this DMV bond. You gave me that advice? Yeah. And I did make that phone call. And it did clear it up. Very quickly.
Scott Ales 33:36 You want to know what life is all about? The next birthday or Christmas? Christmas, especially. Everybody distribute the gifts that they're getting? Go into separate rooms, close the doors and open the gifts and tell me how much fun that is. Right? It's not fun because you don't get to see you're not giving you don't get to see the reaction when you are giving to someone else. That's the essence of fulfillment in life.
Jeff Sterns 34:07 we know that biblically, if you're ever down, just go help someone with something. Yeah. And you'll be up and then I'm a recovery guy. I've been sober 25 years. And you know, we we have a saying Call, call one, help two. So sometimes, like you think, oh, I don't want to be a pain and call the guy. But the guy taking your call and ministering advice or helping is helping himself to of course.
Scott Ales 35:29 I just love it and, and, you know, it's it. You're at the start. I mean, I had this ridiculous first I started mowing the grass at six years old on a six horsepower mower. I have a picture of me on the mower in the back here. I drove my first vehicle was a 74 Ford F 250 highboy, which is all the rage now. Right? My dad bought it. And I drove back in 1973. So I was 11. And then I drove my first semi Kenworth truck we had at 14 using a school permit.
Scott Ales 37:49 I had a years of hauling heavy equipment. I I lost one piece I had a crane I was loading one day that fell off the trailer while I was in it. That was exciting. do certain things and as the moment pass I'm like oh, that was really stupid. Oh my god. But yeah, so am I my dad. Oh, it's so cool. I mean, my dad was such a character. He bought two new Kenworth trucks in 1976. Right. Okay, so and they were polished out chrome black, white stripes and all this stuff. So they went to pick them up at the dealership, Quad City Kenworth in the Midwest, and he doesn't come home for a while. So my mom goes looking for him. Well, so he thought might be fun to go around bar hopping and you know, show off his new choice.
Scott Ales 40:38 my dad gave me the keys to a 74 mark for and let me go on a date. When I was in Hang on a second. seventh grade. how old you are in seventh grade?
Scott Ales 40:57 I didn't have my school permit yet. So I showed up at my then girlfriend's house. Got out of this black Lincoln mark for walked up to the door like this ain't gonna work. Yeah. You can be dead dad comes to door. Hey, how are you? Nice to meet you, Scott. I'm here to pick up your daughter Karen. Okay. looks out the car. And he didn't say a word
Jeff Sterns 41:32 1969 Lincoln Mark lll.
Scott Ales 42:02 he got his first Lincoln in 1970 of our town car coupe. And then he bought a mark in 73 or four and my dad was like a classic entrepreneur. He bought and sold cranes and bulldozers mostly cranes them and end loaders do but it was like this. It was like he'd be on top of the world. You know? The propane ran out for heat on the farmhouse, you know, we came home from dinner. Can no propane. The propane delivery guy use I'm not coming out. You didn't pay your bill last month. So guys, so what does my mom do? She goes in the closet and covers all the street kids up with her fur coats.
Scott Ales 44:17 I bought an XJ6 1977 coupe. . My dealer and I call, our trucking company went broke. And you know, I appreciate you selling me the car. I need a job And I did. I went up and trained and I was selling dotson's and jaguars and Mercedes within a week.
Scott Ales 46:46 The 97 offshore championship boat with triple 1500 horsepower, supercharged motors.
Scott Ales 49:43 I bought a one year old, Primo marathon .
Scott Ales 51:16 No, you know what, it's just you've seen the buy real estate, no money down. infomercials, right? Yes. Yeah. So that's what I did in 1987. I went to the Sheraton in, in Davenport, Iowa on the river. And I went to the mike and Irene Mullin, buy real estate, no money down seminar, I bought the package. I had no money, I use my credit card. I went home, I read the thing cover to cover. And one thing that clicked with me read the Wall Street Journal, for notices of distress assets. And the next day, I found an apartment complex in Clinton, Iowa being sold at sheriffs auctions and auction in two weeks. And so I got no money, no money, no job. My wife is cutting hair supporting us. And I call this attorney like, I'm a millionaire. Yeah, tell me about the property. You know, like, Can you send me a package? Yeah, sure. ever a hurricane, we should go buy those boats. So fast forward Three years later, the day before Hurricane Andrew hits, he calls me says, Hey, I got two tickets. Like I'm in the middle of my, you know, thought process about living in Iowa and managing of complex that we're both at what do you talk to? Where are we going? Florida? It's gonna be hurricane. We're gonna go buy some of those boats.
Scott Ales 59:58 it's a 17 foot century, beautiful.
Jeff Sterns 1:01:58 you bought my 31 Ford which was a nod to a 32 B model Ford highboy Flathead.
Scott Ales 1:03:41 But I love flatheads my first vehicle was off was a 42 Ford pickup that my dad gave me that he bought in North Dakota for 500 bucks.
Jeff Sterns 1:06:11 you met Dana Mecum 30 years before that. Yeah. How did you meet he said at his first auction.
Scott Ales 1:06:18 I consigned an 84 Corvette to his first auction.
Scott Ales 1:14:25 I think, for some people, they're so suspicious and concerned about being taken advantage of, if you go to an auction and resolve a value that you want to buy a vehicle for, or even more critically and difficult. Determine what you will sell your vehicle for. Like that's the hardest thing for people, right?
Jeff Sterns 1:18:37
I think where no reserve wins is it brings more competitors, it brings more people bidding against each other. They say to themselves, there's no way I'm gonna let this thing sell for 20 grand, I think it's worth 50 grand, it's at 20 grand. So I'm gonna start bidding on it. I'm gonna get involved.
Scott Ales 1:19:11 I am bought and sold a lot of vehicles at auction. And it's probably since the The first thing I ever bought at an auction was night teen 75 a set of bull horns at a farm auction, right. And whatever my heart rate was doing that day when I really wanted those and I got them for 20 bucks.
Jeff Sterns 1:29:30
bring a trailer is famous for not accepting. Yeah, every entry even when the seller is certain that they've got the coolest low mile interesting equipment.
Jeff Sterns 1:29:49
I haven't. I don't spend night and day analyzing but I haven't figured out their algorithm or is I've heard about some cars they turned down that surprised me.
Scott Ales 1:30:00 Yeah, well, it to their credit, I believe that one of the most valuable aspects of their business model is to Don't be predictable
Scott Ales 1:35:42
So like the first boat should have brought three or 4000 He goes, Okay boys, you know, what do you want to pay? You know, who paid $10,000 to pay? 5000? You know, he start high and they come down. How about How about $500? Guy raises his hand for $500? He goes so $500. And the crowds like… what??
Scott Ales 1:42:49… the most visceral car that I ever was behind the wheel of was a street rod built by Tom Coyote. It was a 14 150 horsepower. Alcohol injected Pontiac. ……
Jeff Sterns 1:52:04 And you have a cleaning process, Dryce dry ice. It's not making contact with the material, but turning into a gas that's cleaning, if I recall you explaining I've watched a few of your videos, but it removes everything that wasn't originally there and leave everything that was originally there, whether it be metal, leather, whatever.
Scott Ales 1:52:29 Yeah, the shortest version of explanation is this. can dry ice upon impact when accelerated against a substrate or surface converts from a solid to a gas. And that's a thermal reaction.
Scott Ales 1:54:19
Yeah. So the number one thing that I would say about buying at auction is seek and find someone that is experienced. And then just ask them to hold your hand a little bit. It's it doesn't have to be me. There's plenty of people that have been doing it for decades.
Scott Ales 2:01:02
I don't know when you love what you do. And you're passionate about it. And you like people and I do. You know, the only the only challenge for me has been being fair to my only child and my wife of 40 years. And, and to their credit, they have been an amazingly tolerant of, you know, my career path.
Jeff Sterns 2:02:08
Well, that's beautiful. And that's you know, a wonderful thing about you one of the things that make you legendary I mean you're you're putting you're dodging compliments, you're putting the credit where it belongs, you're honoring your wife, you're, you love your son, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And I want to thank you, man
Scott Ales 0:00
It was Deborah my wife of 40 years said to me in 2010 and Dana Meachem the collector car auctioneer, who I met at his first auction. He said they both said you think maybe you're doing a little too much. What are you talking about? You know, at that time I was involved with ironplanet in creating a subsequent to fail ironplanet Motors digital platform, the precursor to bring a trailer that that obviously wasn't as good as what I was consulting with Dan Meachem on his wooden the wooden boat
Jeff Sterns 0:41
division that we created was ironplanet a way to bond defy the background of cars not quite Carfax or my way off on the wrong track.
Scott Ales 0:49
That was that was a true frame. Okay, I don't plan it was I, I guess so. So here we go.
It's just like dominoes. So I had this option here in my lane in Orlando that sold cars for me stood next to me an option to buy cars in the closed private auction business. And he was offered the opportunity to be the first auctioneer to sell military Humvees to the public. Okay. I went to that auction because he invited me and I thought they brought too much money. So I didn't buy a single one. And about a month and a half later, he says, Hey, we didn't sell enough of those Humvees and you wouldn't even sell enough. Well, the Marine Corps that wanted to be able to create enough dollars in the sale of these Humvees to acquire more equipment. And so I said, Okay, he's bottom line is we need to sell 300 more Humvees and I've been allowed to sell 100 at a time to three people do you want to buy 100 Humvees? I mean that my dad taught me I will tell you the driving force of me playing with specialty stuff you know offshore championship boats and cranes and bulldozers and buses and planes. He taught me a really simple process of valuing used assets and you would be shocked how often it works. And it's just is this this simple. So I won't take credit for this is for my dad, okay. Anything that is like new and is serviceable is worth half of new to an end user. Okay, so what we would do or I, I took that on the next step, and I said, Okay, well if $100,000 brand new piece, according to his philosophy is worth 50,000 as long as you still buy parts and service it and it looks like new, then I need to buy it for less than 50. So this to be safe, the more obscure and weird it is, I'll just do half of half. So if I was buying $100,000 piece for 25 grand, it was like new and serviceable. I should be able to sell it for 50.
Jeff Sterns 3:06
Scott Ales 3:08
and it works. And so Deborah, and I drove from Clinton, Iowa, to this little ramshackle house overlooking a lake. And I'm not kidding you, Jeff 20 or 30 of the coolest cars that you could have met pontoon Fender Ferrari's mirror test arose, you know, just that, like the creme de la creme right? like crazy cool cars.
Unknown Speaker 3:40
Jeff Sterns connected through cars, if they're big wigs, we'll have them on the show. And yes, we'll talk about cars and everything else. This is Jeff Sterns connected through cars.
Jeff Sterns 3:59
car dealer, truck driver, collector of every odd engine boat truck, this that special relationship with bringing a trailer we'll have to talk about that involved with meachum. I was using the list before you bought the list and you have the list. And you bought my Flathead car. politician, banker, semi pastor or real one. Maybe you just come across that way. Are you official?
Scott Ales 4:33
It's not because I'm reading something on my phone. It's like, yeah, so I was I was introduced once at a political function. Women's League had me come talk. And they went through this similar bs kind of List of of my background. And I was like, gathered, I don't even I don't like this. I gotta come up with something. And it hit me. So I went up there. And I said, Well, thanks. For the introduction, but really no thanks. But let's let me just level the playing field, all that stuff that she just said. And you just said, just never mind all that. I'm just like you, I'm a sinner. That's all you need to know about me.
Jeff Sterns 5:16
But Scott Ailes, no matter who I talked to about Scott Ailes, I could never get anyone to say, look, I could get him to say, I wish he paid me more for this. Or he'd beat me out on buying that, or they can get mad about that. But I never heard an integrity or character problem ever. And I think I've known your name. God, I'm not sure but at least 20 years, it might be 25.
Scott Ales 5:45
Well, I can open up the treasure trove of mistakes and character flaws easily how many stories Do you want to hear? I mean, I got them and, and I wouldn't trade them for any amount of money. I mean, they build who I want to be. I actually drug one up from 25 years ago, just the other day, and I sort of taught a young guy lesson and it was it you know, it wasn't like I was going to show him it was like, that meant so much to me when I screwed up. I know this is going to hurt on when he goes through this process. But it's going to make him it's going to give them the opportunity to be a really, really great or better car guy. It made a difference to me. I basically, as a simple version is, you know, if you are familiar with the wholesale auction business, you know, you get those cars running across the block. And one day I had 25 cars
Jeff Sterns 6:37
I had, do you mind Scott, you said simplified version. But I don't know if our audience our car people. Okay, fine. When you say you know, the wholesale car business? Do you mind breaking that down a little bit? So
Scott Ales 6:48
let me let me, let me let me keep this story simple. In the car business, we refer to getting sold out, as I commit to buy a car from you, and you commit to sell to me, and then some other schmuck comes along and offers you $100 more and you sell to him, You sold me out. And I committed to you. So you can only take so much of that and you're like, Hey, is this relationship really worth long term value? Right? I sold a really amazing person out. I did. Over $1,000 like a guy that I did and still respect to the nines. Dale Harrison RVM. Atlanta. Okay. And and I the second that I did it, I was I had remorse. And I called him instantly. And he came up with some story about you know, all here, making up what I just said, Hey, flat out. I don't know why I did it. But I did. And I'm telling you, I sold you out because Scott, I can't do business with you again. And he did not ever and that that set the bar for me. I'm like that. That was an eight we'll get into this later. I hope experience that is an experience that I never wanted to have again.
Jeff Sterns 8:09
Right? And that's it's you, you want to explain that to your kids and yourself. I mean, there's the consequence that you don't want of how this guy sees you. And I'll never do business with you. I mean, that's the consequence. But really, it's how you feel about yourself and see yourself.
Scott Ales 8:27
Yeah, I mean that consequences the key word, the phrase I heard years ago from someone else's. You can choose to do anything you want, but you cannot choose the consequences of your choices. That's right.
Jeff Sterns 8:42
Now this this Brooklands behind you on your screen there this is your favorite touring it is your favorite touring car.
Scott Ales 8:51
It is this my third one and I just think it is the last great Bentley I really do it's it they are I think they're the lines are stunning. The only negative about the car and and there's a great video that one should should watch about the Brooklyn's being ripped around the track by Clarkson. You gotta watch that sometime. Ah, the only problem with the car is I'm six foot 172 75 pounds. a modest bill guy and I get in that car. I look like I'm 12 right? Even at six foot. I mean I raised the seat up you know I put this I do all this stuff that gives me a little stature but he's still in like a little a little kid and a big car. Giant coupe. And that's a 6.75 liter all the torque in the world. I think it's I met you're on 575 twin turbo, the 774 pound feet of torque. Yeah, you know, literally on that video tire shredding. You know bomber. awesome car.
Jeff Sterns 10:01
Yeah, no effort to accelerate from zero no drama, no rpm. No noise.
Scott Ales 10:07
Yeah, it's the ultimate sleeper. I mean, it's just so big and heavy. It's a lumbering thing. And it just goes, yeah.
Jeff Sterns 10:14
They do what they're supposed to do.
Scott Ales 10:15
Yes, sir. Anyway, no, it wasn't the greatest time we started our bank. We got approval from the FDIC to open the bank in December 23 2008. You remember what was going on in
Jeff Sterns 10:33
Scott Ales 10:35
and a few others, and MDM bankruptcy, Chrysler bankruptcy like this. Brooklyn's came out, you know, 350 Plus, in the middle of a, you know, horrible financial crisis, we started our bank that this was a scary part, I didn't know this, this is probably the biggest risk I took without knowing it until after the FDIC said, Okay, you guys got your charter. When you start a bank, and I didn't understand this, either you basically a community bank, you build the entire thing that he had the facility, you hire the people, you had the software yet, you are turnkey, ready to open. And then you wait for the state and the federal government to approve your charter? Well, in the middle of that moment, it was being discussed. Behind the scenes, they're not going to give charters anymore because of the meltdown. So we got our charter interviews like, oh, wow, great, yeah, we get to open the bank. And we did. And my friend, the CEO that invited me and talked me into to being on this board, which I was the black sheep of the board, I assure you, the crazy farmer trucker car guy. He said, You know, it's really good that we got our charter, because if we didn't all the money that we spent to get to this point, which was a lot, it comes out of the investment that the board members put in all the shareholders that committed they get their money back. I might. You mean, I could have lost all that? weight. So that that could be interesting. Like I had a friend that was on a board, he told me some great stories. And so you know, it was it. We had like 10 board members to start to founding shareholder director and you meet every month, and then you have a board meeting, and I was on loan committee every Tuesday. So certain loans I look at and I, my my goals were as an investment should work. And as an experience, I'm going to get an opportunity to see some really high level people and their entire investment portfolios and their personal financial statements, of course, can't express only that something else but it was incredibly enlightening. Just the process of the FDIC, like you never question whether you trust a guy or gal that's a board member of bank, don't worry about it. Because the FDIC digs through your past. I had to go back to the very first dollar I made, borrowed and sold into the 70s. Wow, before they would let me be a board member. So it's cool. But the bottom line is we started a bank called first Green Bank, it was a bank with an environmental mission. Number one, make money because we're profit bank. Number two, try to encourage environmentally responsible projects and real estate. So that was the impetus and it went well, we sold it It took about twice as long to sell, we sold the seacoast and it had about a third or fourth of the margin that we hope for but we didn't lose.
Jeff Sterns 13:48
Folks, it civilians not in the garbage and sometimes I didn't lose
Scott Ales 13:53
is a great thing is a win.
Jeff Sterns 13:56
I didn't lose is a win. So that was happening concurrent and simultaneous to a lot of things you had going on. I mean, you didn't drop out while you're involved in the bank.
Scott Ales 14:09
It was Deborah my wife of 40 years said to me in 2010 and Dana Meachem the collector car auctioneer, who I met at his first auction. He said they both said you think maybe you're doing a little too much. Now. What are you talking about? You know, at that time, I was involved with ironplanet in creating a subsequent to fail ironplanet Motors digital platform, precursor to bring a chip trailer that that obviously wasn't as good as what I was consulting with Dana meachum on his wooden the wooden boat division that we created was ironplanet a way to bond defy the background of cars not quite Carfax are my way off on the wrong track. Something that was a true frame. Okay, I didn't plan it was that I guess so. So here we go. It's just like dominoes. So I had this option here my lane in Orlando that sold cars for me stood next to me an option to buy cars in the closed private auction business. And he was offered the opportunity to be the first auctioneer to sell military Humvees to the public. Okay. I went to that auction because he invited me and I thought they brought too much money, so I didn't buy a single one. And about a month and a half later, he says, Hey, we didn't sell enough of those Humvees and we wouldn't even sell enough. Well, the Marine Corps that wanted to be able to create enough dollars in the sale of these Humvees to acquire more equipment. And so I said, Okay, he's bottom line is we need to sell 300 more Humvees and I've been allowed to sell 100 at a time to three people, do you want to buy 100 Humvees? I said, I want to buy them. I don't have the money to buy them all. But I will find the money never turned a deal down because of money. So I bought 106 military Humvees from United defense. And that created a business that rolled into me providing trade values on us construction equipment that the government owned on behalf of Caterpillar tractors federal defense Products Division. So here's Deborah and I have for about four or five years, we were the sole trading partners have every piece of equipment that the US government was trying to. And so all these big cat dealers, you know, doing their thing. So here's a little, you know, buying 150 and 200 pieces at a time. And so that just evolved into, you know, a more significant process. And you're having the chance to to acquire those in weird places, even Hawaii and Alaska. That was pretty interesting.
Jeff Sterns 17:19
So that's so not shocking, Scott, I mean, anyone who knows Scott Ailes, I mean, like, if I had to get rid of 100 Humvees as opposed to your normal wholesaler, buying a Camry, or you know, buying my Camry trade, my Cadillac, trade my Mercedes, you know, and I'm not saying guys can't be more diverse, but if you had to go somewhere, to get rid of something weird. I mean, you're the one I'd be thinking,
Scott Ales 17:44
it's fun. I mean, that my dad taught me I will tell you the driving force of me playing with specialty stuff, you know, offshore championship boats and cranes and bulldozers and buses and planes. He taught me a really simple process of valuing used assets, and you would be shocked how often it works. And it's just is this this simple? So I won't take credit for this for my dad, okay. Anything that is like new and is serviceable, is worth half of new to an end user. Okay, so what we would do, or I, I took that on the next step, and I said, Okay, well, if $100,000 brand new piece, according to his philosophy is worth 50,000. As long as you can still buy parts and service it and it looks like new, then I need to buy it for less than 50. So this to be safe, the more obscure and weird it is, I'll just do half of half. So if I was buying $100,000 piece for 25 grand, it was like new and serviceable, I should be able to sell it for 50. You think? And it works. It's shocking. I mean, it's it's like the baseline that I start with everything. And I you know, I had a discussion in the day with some folks with black book that value guide people and their competitors with nada and Kelley Blue Book. And I just a look and I I start from what stuff is selling for retail and back into it, where a lot of folks try to value from guides that took their data from actual wholesale transactions, which I think are a little behind the curve. So I've just always tried to be slightly ahead of the curve. Well, you like so you were ahead of the V auto philosophy? Yeah.
Jeff Sterns 19:37
They said work from what you can sell for. Yeah. Yeah, do you buy 100 did
Scott Ales 19:43
you buy 100 Humvees? Yeah, I did. Yeah. I couldn't afford them. So I I split them with a friend Pete Mankins Mercedes Benz in Texas. He was a friend and I said, Hey, I can't afford to buy all these. So I bought half and he bought half
Jeff Sterns 20:01
So when you're selling 50, Hummers, 50, military Humvees you're doing them one at a time you're selling them retail to the end. You may have wholesaled a few you may have sold a few to deal. No, none, you
Scott Ales 20:17
know, because that's a question. Everybody said,
Jeff Sterns 20:19
You retailed 50 Hummers. Okay,
Scott Ales 20:21
yes. If I buy to you give me a discount, like, No, I can't get anymore. So no, they're all secret.
Jeff Sterns 20:27
I'm not I can't do volume I can't write. Yeah, and they can't just keep replacing them can't replace.
Scott Ales 20:33
Because I put them at the local grass strip airport, I rented a piece of dirt with a little building and then I put the black. We met down first, you know, the commercial growers use. And then I bought a forklift to set each one of these up, because none of them ran here. They're all mothball. The other belts are often there. So I just with a string, literally with a string, lined up three rows of 52 Humvees, and these guys would come out. Which one should I buy? I said, Go pick one. I can't help you. I don't know. You can't start them at random. I don't want to tell you. Yeah, well, how am I gonna know like when you're not? So I mean, there's nowhere else to get them. We were the only ones that had them.
Jeff Sterns 21:18
What were they worth? What do you remember? What were they?
Scott Ales 21:21
I bought them. So they were selling for 10 to 15. at that first auction? I thought now they're probably worth 20 all running and fixed up. But yeah, there's a lot of them being put in the market maybe. So when he said buy 100 say, Well, if I buy 100 do I get a deal? You know, it's like, well just come look at and pick out the ones you want and then make us an offer. And so I remember the moment is a great moment because it was the day that they lifted the ban on flying after 911 Oh, so I was at the military base to look at these 2000 Humvees and to pick 100 or 2000. Oh, my dad, and I'm in the parking lot waiting for my contact to show up there, Dean Echols. And I'm just casually sitting there staying warm. And the radio is playing. And
coming right at me. Like Don bobbing toward me is this plane.
But wait a minute. This is supposed to be the planes in the air.
Jeff Sterns 22:29
Right? a black man,
Scott Ales 22:31
right? Yeah. What's going on here? And then it's a crop duster. Like, oh my gosh, he's gonna he sprayed poison on the military base and I'm sitting in the parking lot. It's anthrax. I'm in the wrong spot. And then over the radio, oh, FAA releases the ban on flying. So this guy is just out trying to make a living for the first time in months. Right? There's just elements of things you like, no, this is how I'm going to go. I'm gonna get cropped Dustin in the parking lot. Already. military base.
Jeff Sterns 23:09
So you didn't set these things up to be running?
Scott Ales 23:12
I did. Personally you did. Okay. Yeah. Where did I run with this little building? And like guys like you would be calling me this was early 2000 you'd be calling me want me to bid some Ferrari a Rolls Royce. And I would literally be on a creeper underneath a military Humvee you know, who can all the mechanical stuff up? And once in a while one of you guys would say what are you doing? Like
Jeff Sterns 23:40
for the for the non car dealer public. Scott on top of someone who sells a lot online and in person. He's also what's known as a wholesaler. So when we in a dealership, get a car that we're not going to keep or don't we want to keep it but we don't know what it's worth. We'll call someone like Scott. And say I have this factory five Ford GT 40. I think of odd cars when I think of course, it could be any car. I've got this Buick. And either I can't sell it to you. But can you give me an idea what it's worth and he might give me an idea out of relationship, but there's not a lot in it other than relationship for the guy in Scott shoes, just giving people valuation ideas, because for him to make his living he needs to buy something because he needs something to sell. And often it would be what will you pay for this and this is where he got into selling out. Because on both sides of a deal, I mean, it's really just a handshake.
Scott Ales 24:50
Not even that it's a
Jeff Sterns 24:52
verb. It's over the phone. It's verbal, but it's, you know, you talk about being only as good as your word. Whether you're on the buying and or selling, and if it's interesting because Scott's also been in the auction business, in the auction business, when you're the last person raising your hand that I'll pay 10,000 for that vase or 50,000 for that car or whatever you're buying, when it's all done, if you're the high bidder, you can't say I was just kidding.
Scott Ales 25:22
Right? Or, and that's really a good segue, Jeff into the list. You know, the list is a third grade acronym that I don't care for. But it was already a thing in the industry. So I didn't want to name but it was, it's an acronym tha the Highline automobile.
Jeff Sterns 25:40
I never knew that.
Scott Ales 25:41
Yeah, it's cheesy. I like it. In 1988, a guy came in my office in Clinton, Iowa, he put an 86 speed processor computer on my desk, and plugged it into the telephone line and made crazy noises. And I was instantly connected to 65 other dealers like me in the country, and we started reputation trading back and forth. When you when you said, Hey, I'll take that car that was as good as your best attorney, getting it in writing, and documenting it and notarizing it. I mean, it was that's the premise of our trading platform. Originally, I A ex International Auto exchange. And credit goes to Adam Smith as a as a passed away in 95. And Dan Hendricks is still around, they started the business in 1988. But they struggled with how to really make money with it. Nobody heard of s a s SAS service as a subscription that really didn't exist back in the 80s. But that's what they ultimately should have done. It failed by 95. And then the list started up again in 99 by one of the original members. And so it's like that Hair Club for men thing, you know, we signed up on all the services is in the list. And by 2004, we liked the company so much we bought it. Well,
Jeff Sterns 27:06
I'm going to just complete one thing, and I'm not offended that I knew we were gonna go off on tangents, and there is no way to get you on a ball and not have it go that way.
Scott Ales 27:15
Jeff Sterns 27:16
But what happens is, sometimes, and this is for, like, let's say the viewing public with zero car experience, this is where the consumer, sometimes the dealer, I'll ask you, if I give you enough for your trade, will you make a deal with me? And the consumer gets frustrated? Because they think, Why do I have to tell you, I'm gonna buy from you for you to give me your best price? Well, what's happening is if you've got this cement, gray suburban with 90,000 miles on it, and the dealer doesn't know how well that color will do. And is a little worried because it's got double the typical miles, etc. Yes, there's blue Kelley Blue Book and nada, but no one knows in the end, what somebody's gonna pay for something. They'll call a guy like Scott Ailes. Scott will say, if I give you enough for it, Can I have it? Yeah. Now again, the consumer, the non in the business consumer might say again, what is that? What? Why does Scott need to know if he can have it? For him to tell you what he thinks it's worth? Well, there's two numbers, there's one number is what he thinks it's worth, he can do that in two seconds while he's laying on a creeper underneath the Humvee. And then the other number is, is that he might have a customer for it, or a dealer with a customer for it that he's willing to call and willing to get that customer to commit to it subject to seeing and get a lot of people and a lot of moving parts but commitments. And this the fella they got mad at him over selling rightfully mad at them or disappointed with them. Or how about not even emotional just I can't do business with him anymore. About you sold me out is that he's making commitments to others in managing his business based on Scott's word and that he's going to get that car, Scott gets a higher bid or later sells it to the higher bidder. Now you might be thinking, Well, God, if I had my own car to sell, and I can get another 1000, I would do it well, that starts turning into your word versus money and also relationship. If you're a end user, if you're someone that's just selling your own car every three years, you're not worrying about any ongoing relationship, any ongoing relationship. And if you get someone that'll give you 1000 bucks more for your car 10,000 bucks more for your house, even though you already gave someone your word. You might say you know, what's the big deal it's only businesses only money and I'm not here to get judgmental on you. But in the end, it still is a little bit about or depending on who you are a lot about. You're only as good as your word. You're only as good as your handshake even if it's a stranger, but in Scotts position. This is someone that he's doing business with ongoing and for $1,000 he severed a relationship that he could have done another 10 deals with Another 1000 deals with Oh,
Scott Ales 30:01
yeah. What's it? We'll
Jeff Sterns 30:03
never know. No. Yeah. So on the list th Li st that you see on Scott shirt. This was a dealer community that was buying and selling cars to each other online, it was pretty much here's what I need. Here's what I'm looking for. Here's what I have for sale. Right? And it was all like, Oh, it's almost like old fashioned malware looking. You know, I can't describe it not. That's not the word, but look like code almost, you know, not pretty? Yeah, it was very, very basic. You know, it's almost, you know, not quite done, but like old fashioned website, old fashioned website. And in this, it was a bit I mean, we were all afraid. I mean, the young people today do everything online, Amazon, but we are all afraid to do business on the internet, initially. And when the list came out before Scott on it would be dealers, and there was an advisory board or, or a membership board. And if you got an A beef, like this guy, promise he'd sell it to me or this guy, promised he'd buy it from me or this guy rep that it had perfect tires, but it doesn't, you know, whatever, then you get this board of people involved. This
Scott Ales 31:16
arbitrary Yeah, there you go.
Jeff Sterns 31:20
Anyway, you actually helped me on a deal through the list. I don't know if you remember, I had a Ferrari ordered for a customer, I want to say 360 Spyder, I want to say could have been the next one, I gave that dealer a $10,000 deposit for the customer that I was representing. I remember that I was working at a boat show in Sarasota with a boat manufacturer, buddy of mine that just hired me for the weekend to meet customers and whatever. And whereas golf shirt like yours with the logo on it. And I remember in the middle of this that all of a sudden we couldn't get a chassis number. In the end, they sold me out and gave my order slot probably to someone that would pay more, even though they've committed to me. And I actually called you directly in you advise before we got the list. Panel involved tribunal. Yeah. To go up against this DMV bond. You gave me that advice? Yeah. And I did make that phone call. And it did clear it up. Very quickly.
Scott Ales 32:24
Yeah, that's it. Yeah. That one comment you said in there. worth more. That was probably Jeff and all the decades. Like, uh, I say this humbly. Because people trusted I one thing I would say about myself, I credit the people that invested in me through the years, they make me who I am sure I'm responsible for making the decisions to do the right thing. But I really credit the people that have influenced me. So that's anytime I say something that sounds boastful. Give it to them. They're the ones responsible. So but through the years, 40 years of trading and a quarter billion dollars worth of sales. The thing I heard the most is really kind of silly and ironic. You or someone like you would call and say what can you do to try to trade for this car? You know, we need what you say? Is that all it's worth? Right. And my immediate response once I kind of figured out a fair and diplomatic response was, Well, I hope not. Right?
Jeff Sterns 33:24
Scott Ales 33:25
Am I gonna make money if I it should be worth a little more. But it really it would catch people off guard is that well, it's worth No, I
Jeff Sterns 33:34
hope not. That was very Yep.
Scott Ales 33:36
That was very straightforward. You want to know what life is all about? The next birthday or Christmas? Christmas, especially. Everybody distribute the gifts that they're getting? Go into separate rooms, close the doors and open the gifts and tell me how much fun that is. Right? It's not fun because you don't get to see you're not giving you don't get to see the reaction when you are giving to someone else. That's the essence of fulfillment in life. Well, I
Jeff Sterns 34:07
mean, we know that biblically, if you're ever down, just go help someone with something. Yeah. And you'll be up and then I'm a recovery guy. I've been sober 25 years. And you know, we we have a saying Call, call one help, too. So sometimes, like you think, oh, I don't want to be a pain and call the guy. But the guy taking your call and ministering advice or helping is helping himself to of course. Yeah. So I think you're interesting. Let's go back to the beginning. I mean, over the years heard you express your life. It seems like there's this visceral component of some machine involved. It could be the the boat that I can't think of the name on now. That's that was in the barn up north.
Unknown Speaker 34:55
Yeah, there's there's
Jeff Sterns 34:56
truck flatbed tractors.
Scott Ales 35:00
I mean, it's definitely it does revolve around machinery. It doesn't have to necessarily be a moving vehicle, but it's right. I cost my parents the equivalent of a college education, taking things apart and not getting them back together at first. Right? My dad would come home, it's like, your bikes two months old. Why don't you take it apart? Like, well, I thought I could clean it better. Right?
Jeff Sterns 35:27
So I have a son like that.
Scott Ales 35:29
I just love it and, and, you know, it's it. You're at the start. I mean, I had this ridiculous first I started mowing the grass at six years old on a six horsepower mower. I have a picture of me on the mower in the back here. I drove my first vehicle was a 74 Ford F 250 highboy, which is all the rage now. Right? My dad bought it. And I drove back in 1973. So I was 11. And then I drove my first semi Kenworth truck we had at 14 using a school permit. So I was driving to school, in my 71 Mach one, the first car I bought off the street, it wasn't for sale, because I liked it from a house painter, but I was actually transporting things across state lines at 14 and 15 years old, I get pulled into a scale once and for those that don't know, you know, you see the trucks pull off, they get weighed in the Interstate, you know, so you'd have to pull in there, you can't just go by here I am with a literally no driver's license, but a school permit that allows me to drive to school back and forth, because I live seven miles out in the country. And sometimes the scale house operators will ask you to come and pull your truck around back, come in and present all of your documents, right, your permits and all this stuff. So I would just go in this helped me three times, I'd go in and I'd lay all this stuff out, we had all this stuff. And I had my school permit that look like a license, and they get around to my license and they'd be like, son, this is school permit, you know, and every time they slide everything in a pile, just get out of here. I don't want to see you too. You're 21 the proper age to be traveling across state lines with the truck. And that was when you could do it. You can't do that today. But that was in the 70s You know, it was no, I saw the whole country in front of your behind the windshield of a Kenworth truck that I that I stripped down and painted and I hold heavy equipment with lowboy trucks and trailers. And it was awesome. I I had a blast.
Jeff Sterns 37:47
You don't think that's interesting? Come on,
Scott Ales 37:49
you know, I had a years of hauling heavy equipment. I I lost one piece I had a crane I was loading one day that fell off the trailer while I was in it. That was exciting. I mean, I'm, I've had multiple near death experiences in and around machinery and, and most of them by myself, you know, in places where there was nobody around if something were to happen. I mean, I was I did 1000 acres of custom combining, because we had a problem. And we were going to lose the combine to the finance company because we weren't doing well on the farm. So I just started letting all my friends know Hey, can I come combine your fields and you can pay me so I made enough to pay off the combine that year. But in the process I was like pointed into a field once and oiling and getting the combine ready for that day. And I did something you shouldn't do. I swung myself around the front of the cab and almost fell into the feeder house while it was running. And I actually pushed myself off from that real thing in the front that goes like this, you know, grab the other mirror you know, and this is one of those moments. Instinctively you do certain things and as the moment pass I'm like oh, that was really stupid. Oh my god. But yeah, so am I my dad. Oh, it's so cool. I mean, my dad was such a character. He bought two new Kenworth trucks in 1976. Right. Okay, so and they were polished out chrome black, white stripes and all this stuff. So they went to pick them up at the dealership, Quad City Kenworth in the Midwest, and he doesn't come home for a while. So my mom goes looking for him. Well, so he thought might be fun to go around bar hopping and you know, show off his new choice.
Jeff Sterns 39:49
So make sense makes perfect sense.
Scott Ales 39:51
So my dad's bellied up to the bar somewhere in Moline, Illinois. And he's, you know, bragging about his trucks and blah blah blah and you know, Have a round of drinks for everybody. Yeah. And this guy says so so there's tricks out there and those are your trucks. Yeah, you just picked him up you know bottom just bought a brand new. So you're the you're the owner. Yes. Yeah, guess what? There's some woman out there and Mark five Lincoln slamming into the side one of them.
Unknown Speaker 40:20
So my mom is out in the parking lot. Ma'am, you know,
Jeff Sterns 40:24
oh my gosh,
Scott Ales 40:25
she's upset cuz he's out bar hopping in the new trucks didn't come home. She's driving his Lincoln Mark five plowed into the side. Which, by the way, what
Jeff Sterns 40:36
a beautiful car.
Scott Ales 40:38
Yeah, that's how I learned to drive. That's it. I mean, my dad gave me the keys to a 74 mark for and let me go on a date. When I was in Hang on a second. seventh grade. how old you are in seventh grade?
Jeff Sterns 40:55
Well, kindergarten is age 613.
Scott Ales 40:57
I didn't have my school permit yet. So I showed up at my then girlfriend's house. Got out of this black Lincoln mark for walked up to the door like this ain't gonna work. Yeah. You can be dead dad comes to door. Hey, how are you? Nice to meet you, Scott. I'm here to pick up your daughter Karen. Okay. looks out the car. And he didn't say a word. She came to the door. I say goodbye. Open the door. I'll let her in. We backed out. And wait. We went went to dinner.
Jeff Sterns 41:32
That's um, not a mark five. But you know, there's cars that if I could ever find and you know, obviously you were involved with, you know, Meyers, Manx dune buggy was on that list for me a long time. Yeah. But another car is 73 I'm sorry. 69. Mark three.
Scott Ales 41:47
Jeff Sterns 41:49
Another one my dad had. Yeah. Black with red. This was the car if you remember you look in the center rearview mirror and it had indicators in the top of the headliner facing forward from the bowtie.
Scott Ales 42:02
Yeah. There was so much cool about those cars. I mean, he had ltvs first and then he got he got his first Lincoln in 1970 of our town car coupe. And then he bought a mark in 73 or four and my dad was like a classic entrepreneur. He bought and sold cranes and bulldozers mostly cranes them and end loaders do but it was like this. It was like he'd be on top of the world. You know? Like we had I was like two acres 10 acre field with the equipment. And if he was like he had a down month or series a month it was in the 70s You know, there's a tough time so the propane ran out for heat on the the farmhouse, you know, we came home from dinner. Can no propane. The propane delivery guy use I'm not coming out. You didn't pay your bill last month. So guys, so what does my mom do? sell some? No, she goes in the closet and covers all the street kids up with her fur coats. All right.
Jeff Sterns 43:03
Get my propane cuz you didn't pay your bill. But you got four coats to stay warm. But that's the but that's a classic sales slash entrepreneurial personality. Yeah, celebrating and, you know, needing to withdraw. That's for sure. You know, God knows I've bought a lot of sandbags and tossed a lot of sandbags over the side.
Scott Ales 43:23
Yeah, I mean, it's that's how it started though. Jeff I, we had a trucking business and, and at 19 years old, the trucking business went broke for a lot of reasons. One truck and two trucks was great. My dad and I drove on each we did well. But we bought 18 more, and nobody else will work like you work. And so we failed. And so at 19, I was vice president of the trucking company that failed. So the first bit of business that I got to do and Deborah was with me at this time, is I got to negotiate my debt down. So the very first financial thing I ever did, as a taxpayer was take on a sizable debt that I had to pay off to preserve my credit. And I vowed that, that that's not ever going to happen again. So that was a hell of a lesson to learn at 19.
Jeff Sterns 44:12
Well, it's gotta happen. Yeah, you can get all the lectures you want, but it's real world right there.
Scott Ales 44:17
Yeah. When I went to I called I bought an Xj six c 77. Xj six CJ coupe. Yep. My dealer and I call this a listen, our trucking company went broke. And you know, I appreciate you selling me the car. I need a job. I'm gonna come in and sell cars on Monday. And my wife is in the background we get just made. No, you can't just tell him you're going to come work there. And he said, Okay, come on in. And I did. I went up and trained and I was selling dotson's and jaguars and Mercedes within a week.
Jeff Sterns 44:49
How did you do?
Scott Ales 44:51
So it was interesting by accident, because I'm a car nut. I became enamored with certain pieces. is the maximas I really thought was a great car, the new 86 and a half Nissan hardbody pickups, they just come out. Yeah. And I love the diesel Mercedes. So because I was so into those vehicles, I, I was constantly specking them out, like how I would want them, right and accidentally realize that I became the master salesperson for those.
Jeff Sterns 45:28
So sell a lot of cars to the spec that you would have.
Scott Ales 45:32
Yeah, I did. Because I was I was a believer. And so what i what i after about 20 years of being in the business, we I did that for a year and change. And I went off on my own so that I can do this on my own. And so I kind of realized after about 1520 years, I did gravitate toward things that I believed in. Sure. And so as I distinguish that, by Statistics, the cars I'm making the most money on or the equipment or the this or that or the things that I believed in Personally, I should probably try to focus on, you know, selling things that I believe in only. And so occasionally I get oddball or commodity piece, but I early on. I have always had a flair for non commodity assets.
Jeff Sterns 46:25
I'm glad you brought that up. Yeah. Because I would love to ask you, what are some of the odd that's how I think of you.
Scott Ales 46:37
Jeff Sterns 46:40
But like if I would get something in or need to know something's worth that. I couldn't ask it. Well, you'd be the one I go to ask.
Scott Ales 46:46
Right. And that word is had everything. So yeah, yeah, so the probably craziest stuff. The 97 offshore championship boat with triple 1500 horsepower, supercharged motors called INX s. Okay. I bought and sold that twice. It was sent to me on a lark, john Blackburn and Steve uillean, Carmel, Indiana uillean Blackburn, they had a dealership and, and they sent me this email like, haha, look at this crazy guy that wants to sell this boat. He's sending it to all these car dealers. And I laughed and said, How much is it? Right? And they're like, No, no, we just sent it for fun. They said, No, we need to buy this. And so I bought that boat and sold it at the wholesale auction. had a blast with it. I never put it in the water. I was definitely afraid of that thing. And then bought it back six months later, because the guy that ended up with it, the retail buyer ended up with it and Charlotte got caught with a mistress. And that was the only asset that his wife didn't know about. Okay, so he called me says listen, I got I gotta sell this thing. It's the only cash I can come up with it. That you know, I said Well, okay, so I bought it back and then resold that at the auction again. So from the voting side, either that or the midnight lace 44 foot boat that Deborah and I lived on in the 90s or certainly the Rebbe, super Aqua Rama the only one with twin 396 isn't. That was a really cool boat that we we felt like it was worth more than people realized. And it took two years for us to bring that to pass. But we we did set the record in the woodenboat category of the most expensive books. So the public auction, and then of course I got the Oh, you're so lucky speech from everybody. So we did it again. We sold it. Next year. We sold the last wooden Rebbe ever made for the son of one of the two founders of Sony electronics. On the car side, golly, the Aston Martin Vulcan was definitely a high point, you know, one of 24 cars built so that to a guy in Saudi Arabia, we took that to the track in Austin, Texas about 545 years ago. amazing experience. You know, if you don't know what Aston Martin volken is, there's a Chris Harris video. You Google Chris Harris volken you'll learn about what that is. If you can watch that video and not get excited. You're not a car person.
Jeff Sterns 49:40
Okay, that'll be the test. Yeah, so that's the car side there. There's
Scott Ales 49:43
been many and really interesting stuff. But that definitely is one. Gosh, the on the bus side, I bought a one year old, Primo marathon motorhome that had a little smoke damage. And a little smoke damage was in a building where there was a fire like 100 feet away. And so the guy turned it in for insurance and I ended up with it. And so we worked on that and cleaned it up and and we actually sold that at one of the first meachum collector car auctions at Kissimmee, Florida. And olark we Deborah broke her back on a snowmobile and oh, five we were the crazy kids from Florida, you know, I pull up to the trailhead in Michigan with my Florida license plates in an enclosed trailer and unload our four snowmobiles. snowmobile. But I was, instead of renting one, I would just buy one initially and sell it before I left I go to Michigan, we spend a place for a week and a half we rent a house on though Saba River. And then I'd go to the library in grayling, Michigan and I'd put the snowmobile I bought a brand new and put it on eBay and sell it before I left and I usually broke even or made a few 100. Amazing.
Jeff Sterns 51:12
Now I know people say the Scott ales locked but I mean, come on.
Scott Ales 51:16
No, you know what, it's just you've seen the buy real estate, no money down. infomercials, right? Yes. Yeah. So that's what I did in 1987. I went to the Sheraton in, in Davenport, Iowa on the river. And I went to the mike and Irene Mullin, buy real estate, no money down seminar, I bought the package. I had no money, I use my credit card. I went home, I read the thing cover to cover. And one thing that clicked with me read the Wall Street Journal, for notices of distress assets. And the next day, I found an apartment complex in Clinton, Iowa being sold at sheriffs auctions and auction in two weeks. And so I got no money, no money, no job. My wife is cutting hair supporting us. And I call this attorney like, I'm a millionaire. Yeah, tell me about the property. You know, like, Can you send me a package? Yeah, sure. He sends me the package. And this is a this is something that I'll try to convey to people. I grabbed the phone to call a guy that I met once, three times to call him to see if he'd be interested. And I hung it up the first two times. Okay. And the third time I just said, What do I have to lose? Hey, hey, we met at that my dad's house. Valentine's Day party. We talked for a few minutes. I know you do real estate, I think I might have found something. Oh, what is it? So two weeks later, fast forward. He calls me after we'd gone up and looked at it. 12 acres in Clinton, Iowa 206 apartments. It was an ex Army Hospital built out of brick masonry is beautiful facility. We go to the auction. He invites me to come with him. We go to the auction. And he buys this property for $210,000. Okay, 200 apartments, right. The TV's there, you know, blah, blah, that the day he goes, listen, I want to talk to TV. I'm not the kind of person you go talk to TV. Just tell them here's what we're gonna do blah, blah. So I still don't have a job. I said sure. So I'm the front I'm is front to the newspaper and the media. And later that it says hey, you want to manage this place and we'll turn it around? It was like 23% occupancy. So within a few years, we had it ramped up to 96% occupancy. Is that full time for you? That was full time I was an apartment manager. Most important principle I learned about renting or selling things in that time was if you are full as an apartment complex, you're not charging enough. Okay, never be full. Right? So in 1989, we watched an early cnn broadcast of Hurricane Hugo in the Carolinas I think I saw these boats laying around like oh, what do you do with those? So I call the guy that I sold the Mercedes to that was insurance guy. So what's the story with the boats like after the hurricane that I saw yesterday goes Oh, they just round up buyers and get rid of the stuff as soon as they can. And like that sounds like an opportunity. Right? I commit to my friend. We did this apartment complex together. It was his money. Of course. If there's ever a hurricane, we should go buy those boats. So fast forward Three years later, the day before Hurricane Andrew hits, he calls me says, Hey, I got two tickets. Like I'm in the middle of my, you know, thought process about living in Iowa and managing of complex that we're both at what do you talk to? Where are we going? Florida? It's gonna be hurricane. We're gonna go buy some of those boats remember we we agreed?
Jeff Sterns 55:26
Okay, so the Hurricanes on the way and he has the ticket
Scott Ales 55:29
tickets so we flew to Orlando The day after, and drove to Naples went across alligator alley, and we were right in the thick of Hurricane Andrew The day after. And we bought 46 boats from insurance companies. It was just it was it was a riot. I mean, we we created a company that didn't exist out eh, leasing equipment and handling Leo limited we just created and we would call the insurance companies Okay, what, what do you got selling today, and they basically would set up a catastrophe office in a hotel, and you go to the office, and they'd have a whiteboard, and they said, we're going to sell the rug room at Bloomingdale's at two, we got a marine supply store, we're going to sell it three. And we got these three boats at this Marina that we're going to take bids on and you go to, like we bought Hallmark card store, Sally Beauty Supply Store, we bought the whole contents, we've got a couple of rooms, you bid a percentage of the retail inventory at the time of the damage. So they say here's here's what was in the store. You know, x, we missed the rug room at Macy's by like, $1,000. Okay. And so we bought these boats, and then it's like, Okay, well, now we all have all these boats, I need a place to put them. So I cut a deal with a marina guy, and New River Marina in Fort Lauderdale. And we moved all the boats there. And we just started working on this. I spent six months there. And like, I spent winter of 1992 93. In Florida. I'm like what the hell, I want to go back there for no kids. And so yeah, one of the best stories that came from that is the day I after about two months of being around this Marina owner, Deborah and I walked in his office, and I had this whole skit plan. We acted like we were EPA agents that were undercover the whole time that we've walked in this office sat down. And I said, I won't say his name. So Mr. Marino owner, I'm sorry, this, my name is h I change my name. My name is agent Marsan. And this is agent Wilcox. And unfortunately, you've been under investigation for the last two months. And we're gonna have to present you with our findings. And, and just like the blood is draining out of the face, my God, he's just having a coronary right in front of because he's like doing stuff there that get you know, will pay on the ground and oil and gas and stuff. This went on for like 10 minutes. Oh, my terrible. I torture them. It was so. And then I finally told him He's like, Oh, I mean, it was just like, wax. But that's how we ended up in Florida. So once in Florida, a little bit of money, not much a little bit of money. I started letting my friends from x know, hey, you now have a set of eyes in Florida that you can trust. And I leverage those relationships. And so that's, you know, the key to any contentment in my business life, I would point toward those that invested in us. And when we responded and picked those things that we thought were admirable, and what they did. And then for us to serve other people in that same capacity. It's a recipe for success. I don't I don't you know, it hasn't made me a billionaire. But I'm content and comfortable. And I love what I do.
Jeff Sterns 59:02
So these boats, I'm curious, I'm got kind of stuck so you never bought boats before your partner buys these tickets.
Scott Ales 59:08
Oh, hold on a minute. That's not right.
Jeff Sterns 59:13
Scott Ales 59:15
my dad was a boat guy. I dad said there's two kinds of people in the world. Voters and non voters. Right. So we grew up on the Mississippi River had boats since I was five years old. Deborah and I actually had a wood 46 foot Chris craft constellation in our late teens, early 20s that we restored. So we were definitely boaters
Jeff Sterns 59:43
for sure. And there's a boat that I don't know I remember a story just in the last couple of years. about it. That was a boat that you grew up with and lost and got it back or show it and guess
Scott Ales 59:58
we have the house right Now, okay. Yeah, so it's a 17 foot century reorder, beautiful. And Deborah and I bought that from a father and son that used to do the boat drag racing. And so they had the motor turned around as a V drive, which wasn't proper for that boat. So when I bought it in the mid 80s, I restored it, turned it around, put him hogging the deck on it instead of vinyl. And I sold it to my dad, like in the early 90s. And then, so this is how classic My dad is. Early on, my sister is 10 years younger, my brother and I year parts, there's three of us at one holiday event, he says listen, gets, you need to understand, there's not going to be any will there's not going to be I mean, I'm spending all of it. Okay, to count on anything right? And God bless him he did. So much so that when we lost him about six years ago, remember, I'm a board member to bank so I understand how banks work. About a week after he passes, I get a phone call from the president of a bank in Andalusia, Illinois. He is the one to let you know that we had a relationship with your father and we're sorry to hear you pass and we thank you so nice of you to say so. We have this loan here that is outstanding. So thanks dad. He not only spent it all he borrowed all this stuff that he had, so we had to buy the stuff back. Beautiful. So I did negotiate with him and bought stuff and that's how we got the boat back. Yeah.
Jeff Sterns 1:01:51
That's a beautiful boat
Scott Ales 1:01:52
is fun. Yeah 17 foot with the 454 is probably a little bit crazy.
Jeff Sterns 1:01:58
Beautiful. Now, years ago, I don't remember how it came up but you bought my 31 Ford which was a fake 32 b model. Nobody 3031 Ford highboy Flathead. Yeah, and I don't know what you ended up doing with it but at the like truly like I'll find out now. But you were putting flatbeds and tractors if I'm not mistaken.
Scott Ales 1:02:29
Yeah, we had Ford I used to farm you know, we had a an EIGHT and a NINE end for as little four cylinder. We had a international 450 gas diesel use is an engine that you start on gas and you throw a lever and then it converts the same motor into a diesel so it's got a carburetor in this side of the block and a fuel injection pump on this side. That was a cool tractor anyway, and Minneapolis Moline 706 for arrive It was like this big locomotive, like my brother was a voted the biggest partier in his high school senior class because he had three keggers, the last week of school and in one of the one of the keg beer parties. Somebody came around, Hey, he's got Joe's down there beating the crap out of your tractor. I said which one to the Minneapolis.
Now he's not just beating his own knuckles is a cast iron front grille. You don't have to worry about that. Oh,
yeah, so the tractors that was probably the Ford VA tractors had three of those actually. And then I actually visited a guy in Michigan, that put a jet engine in a Ford tractor.
Jeff Sterns 1:03:40
Oh my goodness,
Scott Ales 1:03:41
and it just got donated the Ford museum. But I love flatheads my first vehicle was off was a 42 Ford pickup that my dad gave me that he bought in North Dakota for 500 bucks. And that's a rare truck because in 42, that's when you had to either had to have a farm or went to the military because you couldn't just buy a passenger vehicle from 42 to 45. They didn't make them like so. That was my first vehicle. So I was always a fan of flatbeds and I never had a flat street rod. So that's the main reason I bought yours. And if I didn't tell you the story, I will humbly share with you now and any listeners have three to five of them. I haven't lost him by now. That car sat in my building as a garage art for about four months, because I didn't have the intelligence to really figure out the reason it wasn't starting is because it didn't have enough gas.
Jeff Sterns 1:04:35
Oh my goodness. That thing ran perfect.
Scott Ales 1:04:40
And it was the classic like my dad at that time was alive. Are you sure you got it? Yeah, sure. Yes. Good gas in it. What are you talking about? No. No.
Jeff Sterns 1:04:52
Okay, like Mike suns still asked about it.
Scott Ales 1:04:55
I sold it in California. It went to I took it out to him. Macomb collector car auction in California and can't remember the people that bought it. But they called about six months later. love every minute of it, enjoyed it. And the other one was when I got it, I did a speaking engagement at Sardi's restaurant. Okay, they have the chowder club, I think is Walter Cronkite or somebody in the 60s started a car club at sarnies that meets every month. They call it the chowder club. And they have a speaker come in for 15 minutes. And and if he goes on too long, or she, they throw dinner rolls at them, okay? She said the upstairs, you know the Saris with the characters all over the wall, you know, in Manhattan, so I did the speaking engagement there. And it went well, I didn't get any dinner rolls thrown at me. But I was representing Mika Moxon at the time just trying to introduce you know how the auction business works. And we had a blast at that. I call it when the guy called me said, yeah, we get you booked for January. I'm like, Okay. I said, by the way, who's speaking this month? Who am I following? See? Oh, Henry Ford the second
Jeff Sterns 1:06:11
night, you met Dana. 30 years before that. Yeah. How did you meet he said at his first auction.
Scott Ales 1:06:18
I consigned an 84 Corvette to his first auction. And that auction? It was he his equipment for the auction fit in a six by six enclosed trailer. And it was he and Patti meachum, his wife then and now sitting behind the car table and chairs, checking people in and cars.
Unknown Speaker 1:06:47
Scott Ales 1:06:48
And there's I don't know anybody else if they see his shows and see what they do and see the volume and all the pageantry. And the I don't know. I mean, he's this, he really is an amazing car guy. And he's driven like very few I've ever seen. He has earned his place in the hobby and the industry as much as anybody that I know.
Jeff Sterns 1:07:15
Now, did you work with him and that auction?
Scott Ales 1:07:19
No, I sold a car at that auction. So no,
Jeff Sterns 1:07:22
I mean, I'm sorry. Forgive me when I say that awkward. I mean, in the Macomb auction. I mean, over time. Were you involved?
Scott Ales 1:07:28
Yeah. Well, what happened is, you know, that was cemented our relationship. And we talked about reputation. He sold that 84 Corvette for me. I'm just a kid. I was 24 years old. And he called me the next day said, Hey, I got a problem. The guy that bought that car at the options won't pay for it. Hmm. And I don't, I don't know what I'm doing. I said, Well, what does that mean to me? Yeah, what
Jeff Sterns 1:07:49
do you the collections department,
Scott Ales 1:07:50
I sold it. He goes, Well, let me spend some time on it and see if I can get it sold for you. And eight hours later, the end of the day says, Hey, I got the car sold. So I'm gonna send you your check. Now, he didn't know me from Adam, he could easily have said, tough luck, kid. You know, Come get your car. But that meant a lot to me. And so you know, we committed when we were going to do collector car auctions and sell cars or try to buy we would do it with him. And so that relationship grew over the years. And when I couldn't get any other auction company to consign my, you know, what I figured was a million dollar wooden riverboat, he agreed to let me be the headline for the Kissimmee auction for that piece. And I promoted it as best I can. And we sold that boat that the pundants and the experts felt it was worth four, maybe 500,000. We sold that boat for 825,000. And so my experience was I had that boat for sale for a year and a half and no one would even come look at it. So I said to him the day after if I'm having this experience, I can't sell my wood boat must be other people having the same experience. So we created that day. The wood boat auction platform for me COMM And we sold about 150 wood boats over the next year. You have reserve on that Reba, I did a reserve but I was cheating a little bit. I got the blessing phone call that you always hope for as a seller. The boat sold on a Saturday on Friday morning. I got a phone call. Hello. This is Captain ABC of the yacht blah, blah, blah. My owner has just told me about a boat that he would like me to buy on his behalf. How much is it? It's about to auction you have to come and bid Well, how much is the reserve? They said, well, the reserve I can't disclose his will just tell me how much it is what 750 Okay, well, he'll buy it for 750. So while he still has to come, you have to participate in the auction. Okay, we'll be there in the morning, what do I need to do? So we need to give the auction company a deposit. So they wired a deposit in an hour. Okay, a big deposit. So when he got there, I said, Look, let me explain what's going to happen. I have a 750 reserve on this boat, I'm not going to sell it for seven 725 747 50 is my number. So, you know, most people don't pay attention to the contract they sign when they are a bidder at an auction. But the Auction House has the right to bid on behalf of the owner. And I always tell people, Look, don't get offended by the fact that the auction company might be bidding against you. You're the only buyer. an auction is just a fast paced negotiation. That's all it is. Right? So you could say, Oh, it's not fair. I've been 600. Nobody else bid. And then the auction company raise the bid. So I had to pay 750? Well, it's a reserve auction, I'm not selling it less than 750. So you're not getting a six, you're not getting a seven, you're not getting a seven and 25. You got to pay 750 to own this. So I told the guy straight out, you have to bid 750. Before they will announce that the reserve is lifted.
Jeff Sterns 1:11:29
Right? And then you'll know you're getting it and I know it. So that's how it works. So that's what he did. So with an auction, let's talk about this for a minute. So with an auction house bidding, this is I mean, I know that and unethical situations that can happen, where you're bidding against the coke machine or whatever. But in properly done and acceptable, generally acceptable is when there's a reserve. Yeah. If you're not to reserve yet, and by the way, for the listening audience that doesn't know what a reserve is an absolute sale and no reserve auction means that whatever wherever the bidding stops, it stops in the seller's committed to sell. The auction house does not bid in that case, unless they want to be a buyer. Sure. Okay. And by the way, sometimes the Auction House is a buyer.
Scott Ales 1:12:19
Jeff Sterns 1:12:20
don't, yeah, they inventory or you know, or the owner wants it. Yeah. But in a reserve auction, if they're bidding. They're raising the bid, but they're only doing it until it hits reserve. And if they didn't, it's not selling anyway.
Scott Ales 1:12:36
Correct. There had been many times where, for instance, if you were selling an asset for 100,000, that you reserve, and my bid competitively, in the auction arena is 85,000, the auction company will work both me, the buyer and us the seller simultaneously. That's why you will see the seller on the auction block, in close conversation with what we call the grinder, the person that's grinding on them to lower their reserve. So again,
Jeff Sterns 1:13:16
they want a transaction, they want a transaction to happen, they're trying
Scott Ales 1:13:18
to talk to you know, two people together, if they can't get the buyer here. And they can't get the seller there. Maybe they can meet them both in the middle. So there have been many times where like, if, for instance, if I was high bidder at 70, you want 100. And I sense that, if I've been a little more, you might be encouraged and lower and meet me there. I might say, raise my bid, I'm gonna bid against myself. Because I know I'm not going to get it at 70. So I might say, Okay, put me in an ad. And then that gives the Auction House some ammunition to go to you the seller and say, Mr. Sterns, we just moved our only buyer from 70 to 80. Don't miss this opportunity. Well, it's a little bit of a grind. But it's true.
Jeff Sterns 1:14:11
So this can happen while the auction while the bidding is occurring, or it can happen after they announced no sale. And the car's gone. And they're still talking to you behind the scene. This Correct, correct.
Scott Ales 1:14:25
Yeah. So it's, you know, that I think, for some people, they're so suspicious and concerned about being taken advantage of, if you go to an auction and resolve a value that you want to buy a vehicle for, or even more critically and difficult. Determine what you will sell your vehicle for. Like that's the hardest thing for people, right? If you say you've dealt with it in the car business as a dealer. What do you want for your car? Well, what's the person first thing the highest Number they could possibly get right? What do you want for a car, you want to have a mental exercise that are really help you understand what your reserve or your selling price or the number you would accept on a trade. And here's this is from Dana meachum, 30 years ago, when you're trying to determine what you will pay for what you'll what your reserve is on a car you're selling, now think about this for a minute. If you didn't own it, okay, right. That's why you pay for it today. I mean, I've seen people like glaze over like, Oh, right. That's a
Jeff Sterns 1:15:44
different number. It's a different number when you don't own it.
Scott Ales 1:15:47
That's right. And so that's a real internal, don't have to talk about it to anybody. It's a really good way internally to decide, okay, if I sold like, I think my car's worth $50,000. And someone my neighbor wants it, and he buys it for $50,000. And I'm relieved, right? I got what I wanted, right? The next day, I should never done that, you know, no fault of yours is my mistake. I shouldn't have bought it. I want to get rid of it. I don't want to call anybody else. I'm embarrassed. What will you pay for it? That's the real number. That should be your reserve.
Jeff Sterns 1:16:24
Now, but you've been, unless I misunderstand. You've been a proponent of no reserve more often.
Scott Ales 1:16:32
Yep. And I talked to you. And that's, I think that that's worth that warrants an explanation? Because there's a lot of people that think isn't that risky? It is, it's risky. But you can manage risk in all aspects of life, right. So how I've managed risk on no reserve is volume. Because the law of averages will always work in your favor. If you take 10 or more collector cars to an event and sell them. Collectively, the amount of money that you get on gross will probably be right at your number. But you'll have swings within those 10 vehicles, one will be 20% high and one will be 20% low. And you'll never be able to figure out beforehand which one is going to go that way. The real risk of no reserve on a single piece, which is probably the most important part for you know, the average person, you have to be certain that the the people that would attend that platform, whether it's digital auctions, bring a trailer cars and bids things like that, or physical auctions. Are they known for that brand, Mark or make like if you're going to sell Porsche on bring a trailer. It's really crazy not to go no reserve because they bring the money. And you can count on it. And you're going to get market value for that car
at that time because they have the eyes. If you're going to sell a 57 Chevy, and you can sell it on Friday afternoon at a meachum auction. In the Kissimmee, the bigger venues, you're going to get what it's worth, because it's telling everybody that cars absolutely for sale, I can be the high bidder and owner.
Jeff Sterns 1:18:37
I think where no reserve wins is it brings more competitors, it brings more people bidding against each other. They say to themselves, there's no way I'm gonna let this thing sell for 20 grand, I think it's worth 50 grand, it's at 20 grand. So I'm gonna start bidding on it. I'm gonna get involved. Yeah, you know, a thing that I've noticed among bidders at auctions is if they don't make the first bid, they're rarely the high bidder.
Scott Ales 1:19:11
I am bought and sold a lot of vehicles at auction. And it's probably since the The first thing I ever bought at an auction was night teen 75 a set of bull horns at a farm auction, right. And whatever my heart rate was doing that day when I really wanted those and I got them for 20 bucks. Even today, at an auction or digitally, I promise you you put a little heart monitor thing on my finger. And and I'm in play and I'm high bidder and there's only 30 seconds left. I guarantee you My heart rate is the same as those very first bullhorns I bought 40 years ago. This is a big part of my career these days is trying to help people recognize a perspective I have about the difference between investing and having an experience. And you know, very few people, if you go and have a good vacation, and you come home, you don't say, Oh, geez, I lost my ass on that vacation. You know. And if you buy a good car that you want, it does what you wanted it to do, and you sell it, and you get 5000 less for it when you're done. You didn't lose your ass on that car. You paid $5,000 for a great experience the experience that you wanted. We I think unfortunately, too many people get caught up in the hierarchy of what matters in their experience of collector cars, and even day to day cars. He'll be sure to put experience at the top of the list. Because you can make money on a car that doesn't give you the experience you want, which is going to cause you to go try to find that experience again, because you didn't have it, you might have made money on it. There's a difference naturally between an investment and an experience, no doubt. Like if I found the black and red 69 Mark three.
Jeff Sterns 1:21:13
I don't want to say I pay anything. But as long as I could afford the expense anymore, the smell, the memory, the certain things that it did the sound I mean, you know, whatever it is that matters to me. I'm an absolute heaven. When I bought that 31 Ford that you ended up with, I bought it and sold it to you for around the same number but right after I bought it at Amelia Island at low oil pressure. Yeah. And I ended up putting it in Weldon Blackwell's shop in St. Petersburg that I found through the Flathead Club, which was an incredible guy. He was blind with Parkinson's. And we brought the motor in in the back of a pickup truck and he asked the technician who worked with me at Dimock, Cadillac, who is a Ford guy who drove it there. He says, he's feeling it with his bare hands, or he's feeling it with his hand with his eyes closed. And he's like mechanical or electric fuel pump. And Dave starts talking about push rod and whatever and it's up. And he ends up having the car for, well, the motor for about we bought the car later, for about a year. So I certainly had the one year and whatever cost to redo that motor and get a Lincoln crank and balance and blueprint and polish and you know, all that it was a great car when he was done with it. You know, it was a great.
Scott Ales 1:22:48
Yeah. I mean, it didn't serve a profit motive for me, but you were looking to do something with the funds that you could get from selling it. And so I felt like it was a service to you. And and you were you helped me? No, no
Jeff Sterns 1:23:04
doubt you helped me at the time. I think this was the AIG what era was that? What did you because I think that was the AIG GM bankruptcy Chrysler bankruptcy. I think I was in the car business and was softening up and I just needed some money, was it
Scott Ales 1:23:20
My dad was still alive. So it's like eight or nine years ago, it might have been in that. Oh, it
Jeff Sterns 1:23:24
was more than that. I was because I left the BMW store nine years ago and I was at BMW when I gave it to you. Okay. Oh, and it was in my dad's garage and he was alive and my dad died eight nine years ago.
Scott Ales 1:23:34
Okay, there you go. So I mean, I know I had it you didn't know this but I had parked next to a nine Ford Flathead. And, and next to that was I think it's a 1200 cubic inch, six cylinder gas engine. On an A two axle trailer that used to run a snowblower for an airport that was called a climax blue flame. The Pistons were like a foot in diameter in this engine so I had and we would start that up in the shop and it literally would put a two to three foot blue flame on the exhaust so I was start that engine first to show people and I start the Ford flathead and then I started here
Jeff Sterns 1:24:19
you bag I've seen your videos of the blue flame I've seen that but no The point is about your investment versus vacation versus whatever. And I didn't say oh god I paid this then I spent this on the engine after I bought it so therefore I'm too deep. I just wanted the experience of that car always wanted one I always loved the Flathead love the exhaust sound, love the experience. You can't you couldn't get gas or go anywhere without people asking you about it.
Scott Ales 1:24:46
Yeah, I mean I sleep at the two stories that come to my mind is in 1987 Cal Petersen was the vice president of john deere and Waterloo, Iowa. He's retired now To ADSL Mercedes is trading to me and offered him 25 grand for it. Oh, I couldn't possibly trade it for that. I'd have to have $30,000 I'd be losing $5,000. And I said no, just like this account. Seriously, you bought this car five years ago, you drove it two years in every rally. I'm in the Mercedes club with you. It's all you all. I mean, you put 15,000 miles on this car, then you oversaw the restoration here at the shop for 15 months, and you enjoyed that you were part of it. And then you went around one every show, you can win with it. And you thoroughly enjoyed it. And you just came home from Europe, you spent 10 grand and brag about how much fun you had. You had this car for five years. And you're worried about losing $5,000 that you spend on it. How can you even relate those two together? Any though? I guess so you think about it. And the other time was about two years ago, a really interesting guy sold a bunch of vehicles for he sends me two street rods and he had built from scratch. Literally, he actually had a book. Here's how I want them to look he engaged the builders and he was involved in the design process and they built them and he drove them and he had fun with them. And he said I want you to sell them for me. So okay, what do you want from your whatever they bring? And like, Whoa, okay, but like, give me an idea. This is no seriously. I don't say this pennies is a very, very cool guy. He's This is the best way I can explain it to you. My wife genuinely wanted us to rent a yacht in the Mediterranean for a week.
It costs $110,000. I felt it was the most boring week of my life.
These cars took me two to two and a half years to build. I enjoyed the building process. I enjoyed it for two years. They owe me nothing. I got everything I wanted out of them. Whatever they bring is, frankly immaterial. I just want you to do the best that you do and get the most whatever's they can bring. And that was his attitude. Right markets market. And they don't owe me anything. That's perfect. Earlier you mentioned Hey, if you have a Porsche, you know, you go to bring a trailer bring a trailer is a phenomena.
Jeff Sterns 1:27:16
Yeah. Really? And
cars and bigs? Yeah, I don't know how he I don't know how that's doing. And I
Scott Ales 1:27:28
find Yeah, I mean, I we've load all their data, right, both all the all the digital and, and so I track and follow them. You know, it's what we didn't do in 2010 with ironplanet Motors, what the mistake that we made that both bring a trailer and Doug demuro did well with they both built their community first. There you go. So bring a trailer people don't realize, some people don't realize Initially, it was a collaboration between Randy and his partner, the tech guy, Gentry Underwood. And Gentry is like, Look, you know, let me build you a platform where you can interact with car people, and you guys can post things that are interesting to each other. And so as they started having people send them, Hey, I saw this mgtv sitting on the side of the road with a for sale sign and then take a picture and send it Randy would post that in this platform. And then people could chat about it. And and the next thing you know, someone say, hey, that's a cool car. It's only 20 miles away from me, I'm gonna go look at it. And hey, I bought it look at that picture. Well, obviously, they built this community in it. And sometime in about 2014 15, they said we should probably offer a service to be able to let people sell cars in our space. And so I applaud them to the fullest, irrespective of the fact that they sold the hearse media and it's a phenomenon, it's gone great as well. They just deserve a lot of credit for being genuine and creating a car community. And Doug demuro in his own way, built a community just by saying, being who he is, you know, right this car you don't god bless him. I mean, you look at their, their track of how they got to where they are. And I think it's awesome. I think it's wonderful. It's
Jeff Sterns 1:29:30
bring a trailer is famous for not accepting. Yeah, every entry even when the seller is certain that they've got the coolest low mile interesting equipment.
Scott Ales 1:29:46
Yeah, whatever. Yeah,
Jeff Sterns 1:29:49
I haven't. I don't spend night and day analyzing but I haven't figured out their algorithm or is I've heard about some cars they turned down that surprised me.
Scott Ales 1:30:00
Yeah, well, it to their credit, I believe that one of the most valuable aspects of their business model is to Don't be predictable. I mean, they don't want, what if you were really or I was really good and built a relationship with Howard swig or, or hearse media, the new owners and or Randy and, and oh, guess what, Jeff, I know that algorithm? Well, that's not gonna work. You know. So I think that's really it's wisdom to be able to have a very tight control about what they choose and they don't choose and listen, they get you in credit, they win or lose, they succeed or fail based on their decisions. So and that's not any different than you might call RM or Gooding or or Bonhams and say I get this great car and I want to sell it. They might say, well, we're not taking it unless there's no reserve or we don't have room here already have one like that. It's not just one thing. It's not just three things. It's dozens of input points that cause them to decide, yes or no. And, and I don't think you can look at it as That's right, or that's wrong. It might be the seller. It could be the history, it could be the car, it could be the timing could be that they have two others that are stacked up and waiting, and they don't want to get too many in one genre. There's a myriad of reasons, I believe that they would turn somebody down. And the sad part is, I believe people take it too personally,
Jeff Sterns 1:31:48
you think the lack of predictability is a plus. And so I'm thinking about what you said. And then Does this mean that when I'm a sales manager in a dealership, I accept some deals that the salespeople think are too low. And I turned down some deals that the salespeople think are easy that I'm going to approve. And the reason that I did that is so that they always just ran everything by me without making their own decisions out on the floor. Now, let me explain this to the non, to the civilian to the non car. person. So when you're wondering where your salesman is running, when you make an offer, and you're like, why does he got to keep running to that guy or that gal? in that office? Well, broad stroke reason is you need one person making the checkbook decisions. Because if they're too heavy on inventory, they may, they may take a too low of an offer on something, not because it's good standalone, like they made a lot of profit. But they may do it from a cash flow standpoint, or a manufacturer incentive because they hit a certain number of cars standpoint or something, okay, but they need one person, not the people out on the floor dealing with customers. But one person making that decision, who's also not emotionally involved because the salesperson working with you, because the consumer out on the floor is now emotionally involved and really isn't competent to make a financial decision for the dealership. And by the way, even though I've had the largest business card in a dealership before, the biggest title, once I was out dealing with you on the floor, I would always even though I could make a decision, I would always go back to another manager who was not the one dealing with a customer because once I met you in person, I liked you. And I really wanted you to have the car or didn't like you and really didn't want you to have the art you know or something. Yeah. And I I was no longer competent, regardless of title. That is that what's going on at bat it bring it like they just want the public to not know so that they'll just continue submitting, submitting, submitting. So pre decide,
Scott Ales 1:33:57
go the other way, Jeff, what's the alternative? Here is the criteria that we publish to you. So you know what you can submit what you won't submit, that's not going to stop the flow of inventory is that they can only sell so many cards, no matter what they did. There's more desire of inventory to be on there than they can or will present. So it's there's no upside to them disclosing if there is a criteria per the moment like we did in 92. So we did the first boat auction deal. Boat salvage acquisitions in 92. At Hurricane Andrew by 2004 when the four storms came through Florida, I called the insurance companies like oh, wow, we're gonna get a lot of boats out of this, right? All those hurricanes. And they said immediately No, we're not going to sell to you anymore. Like oh, you know, what did I do wrong? Well, we don't want you to buy from us. We want you to sell our boats for us. We saw what you did with the boats every time you had hurricane. So we set up four different auctions. In Florida, temporary locations were moved all the books The first one was Fort Myers. So we advertised the auction everybody showed up and I told my auctioneer Dean Echols. I said, Dean Look, the first five boats, they're not particularly valuable. They're hurt pretty bad. You they should bring between five and 10 grand. But I want you to do something that we call in the industry. I want you to fast hammer them. I want you to drop the auction gavel fast early, like maybe even while someone's raising their arm, you sell it, there's like, yeah, there's
Jeff Sterns 1:35:39
another bitter, deeply involved, but sell it anyway.
Scott Ales 1:35:42
So like the first boat should have brought three or 4000 He goes, Okay boys, you know, what do you want to pay? You know, who paid $10,000 to pay? 5000? You know, he start high and they come down. How about How about $500? Guy raises his hand for $500? He goes so $500. And the crowds like what
Jeff Sterns 1:36:02
is usually it would begin there.
Scott Ales 1:36:04
What happened? And and their son? I mean, you can see it in their eyes. We got it on video, they're stuck. They don't know what to do. The next boat comes up. It's maybe 2500. All right, come on everybody. What are you paying $500 or $500 and 50 cent cent 50 sold? Oh, and you see the heads turning left and right. They're talking to each other? Like, what the hell just happened? Like? Well, I didn't get a chance to raise my hand. Well, so we did that five times. What do you think happened when we got to the sixth boat?
Jeff Sterns 1:36:35
Everybody was paying attention.
Scott Ales 1:36:38
When he said $500 starting bid, every single bitter person that was breathing had their right hand in the air.
Jeff Sterns 1:36:47
Right now they're in a fervor.
Scott Ales 1:36:50
That's second to none. So why is this relative to bring a trailer. So every platform or presentation, you know, they those people attending that day, could never have guessed that five guys, we're going to steal five boats. And we lost money on those five, we gave those away so that we could crush it on the back end on the big stuff. So if I just started with no Listen, boys, we're going to sell these absolute no reserve, which we did. And you better be quick, you know, make sure you get your hand in there. If I tried to encourage them, they would look at that as just a bunch of BS, there's no way that they can put up 1000 or 2000 cars and succeed, they have to grow the presentation volume with the attendance volume. Right. So if they started out which they did, and low numbers, you know, get to 100 150 200 200 from two to 250. They pushed past 250. Meaning any given time 250 cars on the platform. They struggled with that two to 250 for a long time, because they went up to 250. And you could see some challenges with, Oh, I missed that car, I didn't see that car, there weren't enough eyes, to pay attention to all 250 cars. And you don't want a car selling too cheap just because people didn't notice it. Right. So I personally believe that it's the right thing to do to manage the in flow volume with the attending volume. And of course, they're the only ones that have eyes on the back end of their technology to see how many people are actually watching. And when you say you're gathering when you're downloading everyone's data this is in the list. Yeah, well, I say that carefully. So I wouldn't say I'm downloading it because we don't technically download it. We manually load it in our system. That's the only way I can get it purely and not worry that down the road, I would have gaps or missed something or so that's that's the method that we chose seems arduous and ridiculous like mowing your grasp one blade at a time. But it actually it works better. So you know, since we have every car that's ever sold on bring a trailer in our database, we have every car that's sold internationally in the retail auction system since August of 2018. So like if you say to me, what's a 1988 Porsche coupe with 200,000 miles worth? That's a struggle for anybody. Even a car guys are like, ah, I know they're popular. I know it's a lot of miles. I know people will still buy it. But in 30 seconds, I can tell you what the last five of them is sold for more than 200,000 miles and it will instantly encourage you to know what the market is there's no question about what to do. And the list is.
Jeff Sterns 1:39:57
dealers dealer members, only so far. Okay.
Scott Ales 1:40:04
So we got a little thing coming out and experiences were like, Well, I mean, this piece seemed like it would be valuable to the anyone in the world dealer it is. And so that's the point. So we, we have, we have some opinions about. I'm not a sports guy, I can watch just about any sport and find pleasure in it. But I don't go out of my way to watch a football game of baseball game. I appreciate them all. I'm not a fantasy sports guy at all. But I'm definitely believing that there's a place for fantasy car collecting.
And yet, you can't.
The only way to help people understand values of fantasy cars is to give them the data, what the real cars have been selling for. So the teaser is we're gonna pick no reserved cars that are offered digitally and physically at different options. And, and the public is going to have the opportunity to say I think this car is going to sell for $42,000. So the first person that guesses the closest number, we'll get some fantasy value.
Jeff Sterns 1:41:21
I'm afraid to ask you like Adam, there may not even be an answer unless there's a quick answer. favorite car you've had? Or you wish you had. I mean, my god you so
Scott Ales 1:41:33
so I I remember in the 60s visiting my parents, grandparents, and Christmas and Thanksgiving and I remember as a you know, 5678 year old listening to the older folks at that time. Oh, you will surely still have my first car. Right. You know, there's nobody in the business or in the hobbyist not heard that conversation. So I just tuck that in the back. I said. All right. So by 1997, the year before my son was born, I owned my first bicycle still. Schwinn steering. My first car 71 Mach one. My first truck 42 Ford pickup, my first airplane, J five cub coupe. My first boat, the 19 unit. No, but this 119 37 hovercraft, the Flathead va 6010 side. I held those things a long time, Jeff. And I came to the conclusion
Unknown Speaker 1:42:42
Scott Ales 1:42:49
it's just a little easier to sell the real things and buy them. Okay. So I have lots of favorites. I have enjoyed very much. The there's there's so many cars when you're a dealer. I did both 50 cars a month as a wholesale auto dealer. And I did run a few stores. So many cars came through my experience of life. But I'd have to say that the cars that stand out the most visceral car that I ever was behind the wheel of was a street rod built by Tom Coyote. It was a 14 150 horsepower. Alcohol injected Pontiac St. Ryan. And after driving that car one day, I got out of it. And Deborah was videoing the I have the video somewhere and not from fear because I've been blessed and fortunate to be pretty. I mean, I'm not I'm not afraid of machinery. I'm not jumped in anything and I'll give it a shot. But I was so excited that she says look at your knees. I mean, it was just that car was hard to explain. I get chills thinking about it. It's not that I really liked the car that much. It was just a loud, visceral, you know, throbbing Incredible Machine. And so that was interesting that the Aston Martin Vulcan was equally extraordinary. I mean a car that literally throws flames out the pipes on the side. And the Aston Martin team that supports that a lot of people don't know about that program is phenomenal. It was 24 cars to celebrate the 24 hour law. So they only made 24 cars. And when you bought the car you what came with it was the care and transportation of that track only car to I think it was two or three events a year. So they basically, if you want to keep the car at your place you can otherwise they keep it in England. And then you fly to Austin track or Nurburgring, or wherever they're going to have the event. The cars would all be there, you'd have a driver to instruct you. You'd have two texts to care for the car. I mean, you basically felt like you had a race team. And these parents drove the car to the limit of your experience and their guidance on the track. I mean, it was very cool. Very, very cool. But for for day in, day out, you know, I've got cars that are special to me. I mean, the first really cool car I bought was the pan tear. I bought a 75 European pan tear that is the only one that had a sunroof from the factory. And that's the first car ever sold at auction. I actually sold it. And it was a great lesson for everybody. First auction they ever sold the car that was called Lou Lazarus April in Rockford, Illinois. That was the name of the auction. And I can sign that this is before meachum started. And I wanted 25,000 for it. Okay. At 20 grand, they had run out of bitters, right? So that grinder remember I referred to earlier the grinder is leaning on my shoulder con son, lift the reserve lift the reserve, it'll go crazy, then everybody will start bidding once they know it's for sale. Right? Right. I'm not kidding you because the auctioneer is watching me as I'm thinking about this. And as soon as I uttered the words to the ringman are the grinder, okay? Meaning go ahead and lift the reserve. I mean, the very second I said, Okay, bam, the hammer. They say hammered. It's only what just happened? What happened to the bidding going crazy. And so for those that don't know, or might not think about it, and what I learned that day was very simple. And Jeff knows. Once the Auction House knew that I would accept the $20,000 bid. They knew their commission was earned. Right? No sense beating a dead horse in getting the young man another 1000 or two because we're only going to get 10% of that. Let's move on. So that was a shell shock. I was like, okay, not making that mistake. Again. We've had some extraordinary experiences. I mean, that's probably one of the one of the some real colorful characters that we run across, like in 1987. I was reading
autoweek magazine. And I'm paging through because you know, we have the internet, you know, look for cars. I used to get out a week. So I'd go to the library on Sunday and read the the big city newspapers for classified ads. And then I do read auto week. And so I'm in auto week I see this Wisconsin phone number for 1988 750. I'll BMW that was a big deal. That car just come out the 750 B 12. And a What is this car doing? They just came out a month ago and get it so I call this guy His name is Eddie Wechsler, just outside of Milwaukee. And so Deborah and I drove from Clinton, Iowa, to this little ramshackle house overlooking a lake. And I'm not kidding you, Jeff. 20 or 30 of the coolest cars that you could have met pontoon Fender Ferrari's mirror, Testarossa, you know, just that, like the creme de la creme right? like crazy cool cars. And here's this guy. He his family sold their hops business in the 50s. For beer, right? Yep. And he never worked. And he just live by himself in this little house and had this amazing car collection. He bought that car drove it for 250 miles and he was done with it. He had enough. It was awesome. Yeah. And then we kept buying cars from him. He call us and he said, Hey, I got another car for you in 1990 twin turbo z x and Deborah I remember her on that car. She's at all I can't go with a you need to get somebody else on busiest. Oh, no, no, no. You're coming. I don't know why he's selling us these cars for this money, but I'm not going to disrupt the experience. I want to make sure that we both show up just like we did the first time. That's beautiful. People I think people if you take the stuff away the people have been absolutely more fun than relationships and getting to know people and learning from them. In some of their experiences good and bad as that's been extraordinarily rewarding, with all the business that you're in Scott, and as much as your phone rings, I'm sure of it.
Jeff Sterns 1:50:09
I don't even know how you manage it. I mean, I know you love the people and experiences.
Scott Ales 1:50:14
I don't know. Yeah. It's, it's, I mean, Deborah deserves a lot of credit for tolerating it. It definitely is peculiar. And I have friends, though, you're never going to retire. You know, you. You've alluded to, you know, we've got this a year and a half ago, we started this dry cleaning, you know, which is a whole nother animal. That's really we're excited about and, and I, I just, I don't know, I, I probably spent half of my time daily, trying to guide and help people in what it is they might be doing and make the decisions for themselves and what they're doing. And Deborah irritates too every once in a while she, she says, I tell you what, I wanted my headstone. I said, Okay, what's that? This is my wife I'm talking about she was never airlines, Deborah ales, what's my cut? She could see, here's the, she just here's the time that I invest with people. And, you know, I, you know, the summation for me about life is, I think this is a this is practice or college for eternity. And I want to try to be as prepared as I can to help people I don't, I don't expect that Eternity is going to be laying around doing nothing. And so it's been it's that's why I go back to that Christmas gift idea that, you know, the enjoying Christmas, we just experienced it yesterday, the joy of Christmas is watching. When you give somebody something, you know, that's, that's priceless. Well, you've been presenting things online, you've been creating presentations for God knows. Yeah, you're about the original online and probably before online, you know, magazine classified or, you know, who knows, presenter getting interest from long distance? Yeah.
Jeff Sterns 1:52:04
And you have a cleaning process, thrice ice dry ice. It's not making contact with the material, but turning into a gas that's cleaning, if I recall you explaining I've watched a few of your videos, but it removes everything that wasn't originally there and leave everything that was originally there, whether it be metal, leather, whatever.
Scott Ales 1:52:29
Yeah, the shortest version of explanation is this. can dry ice upon impact when accelerated against a substrate or surface converts from a solid to a gas. And that's a thermal reaction. It's like a miniature explosion. And if properly executed, with the right techniques and equipment and knowledge, it can it can without abrasion, and clean any surface almost any surface the only surface that you can't clean that it will destroy his phone. Okay, everything else is on the table. And so we've done your people are surprised Oh, yeah, they've been cleaning cars with dries for years. They have but not the way we are and not to the extent there's not a surface on the car save for foam. Not a surface that we can't clean and don't clean I mean, interiors, exteriors trim. So it's it definitely it you know, we go down, we spent hours talking about it. But the easiest thing is our our website is youngtimer. calm. And everything you want to know about, it's a good introduction to who we are what we do. And for those that don't know, we chose that because that's a Germanic term that refers to cars that are 20 to 30 years old. I youngtimer is a car that is 20 to 30 years old. And that's where we are spending our time these days.
Jeff Sterns 1:54:01
And if somebody needs their phone clean, don't call you.
Unknown Speaker 1:54:06
Scott Ales 1:54:10
We will not clean your phone.
Jeff Sterns 1:54:13
Got any tips for someone get a buy at auction?
Scott Ales 1:54:19
Yeah. So the number one thing that I would say about buying at auction is seek and find someone that is experienced. And then just ask them to hold your hand a little bit. It's it doesn't have to be me. There's plenty of people that have been doing it for decades. There's a lot going on in a very quick period of time. And Dana has shared this with me many times as well as other auction companies. You know, their desire is to educate people and have them confident and educated about what they're trying to accomplish. You know that the concept of Oh set your price and don't budge Beyond it, I don't buy into that, because you might be at $62,500. And that was your limit. And you can get it for $62,700. So you really gonna pass over $200. So I'm not, I'm not subscribing to that being the number one thing, you know, set your limit and don't get emotional about it, you know, you're not buying a collector car, because you don't want emotional experiences. Right? It's it is emotion. Yeah, it's part of the process. And so, I just would encourage you to, you know, seek out people that you see regularly on camera, or they're going to be happy to help you. And if they're not, you call me and I'll guide you, if I don't have the time or space. I mean, it's, it really is something that you can, when you understand a little bit about what's happening. It's like anything, you know, it's like, there's a lot of stuff that I don't know anything about, but I know this space really well, and I'm not alone, there's a lot of people you can turn to that'll, that'll kind of guide you through that process. And it's if they charge you we charge, you know, if you want a full blown, you know, consultant experience, and you want to know that you're having, you know, I charge for that, but just quick quips, you know, and just insights, you know, some of the stuff. It's like any industry, some stuff you just can't talk about publicly, you know, there are other things that go on at auctions that are just never going to be discussed. And, you know, they have to be done in private. And that's just the way the business is and I believe it always will be there's not going to be any whistleblower come out, you know, and go crazy. It's it's a very interesting industry. I've been a fan of auctions all my life, and they've been around for centuries, and they're not going anywhere.
Jeff Sterns 1:56:52
That is true. And I just lied to you and said we're wrapping up. But I'm looking at my notes. I mean, you're you're you're terrific man. I mean you can you're a great storyteller and you're and you're a great soul and you're serving soul When Scott says call him up if you need a quick piece of advice I actually know he'll I know he'll he means it but I forgot about you remember the latest phone call? You ever got it asking someone to put a value on a boat? And was it me? Yeah, I can't think of what it was oh, I was in the BMW showroom my salesperson. This was probably 15 years ago my salesperson says Hey boss, you know we're all closed up it's just you and I hear there's somebody out on the property Do you mind if I wait on them? Which by the way bothered me because that just meant the prior management to me used to give them grief about waiting on someone after closing I was right all and i i put my briefcase down and open the building up a million times. Yeah people yeah. So she went out and waited on him and as luck would have it when it's already nine o'clock and you're kind of ready to go. It was a couple wanting two cars. Now normally when you're selling things you're thrilled to sell two of them but in this case two car deals take longer than two one car deals often sure they try to balance they need their payments all to fall into this or you know and it's a husband and wife just moved down from upstate New York I said let's just do them one at a time. We complete deal number one now they're out picking out car number two it's 11 and change probably and they're ready to buy the second car they were beautiful people they're ready to buy the second car and they have a boat to trade and so I think of you and but I'm wondering Can I call you this hour?
Unknown Speaker 1:58:51
Jeff Sterns 1:58:53
the boat trading was at a marina in New York ring a bell or
don't ring a bell?
I want to know I I was thinking it was another one that was on the list in Sarasota Tampa but it's not a boat no and I've now I feel bad because I just think your world revolves around me. But I called you at picking number 11 o'clock at night 12 o'clock at night or when a couple phone calls you calls in between there but some people buying a new BMW trading in a boat sight unseen that's at a marina in upstate New York and based on description and based on you calling the guy at the Marina and you having to collect the boat Yeah, from this Marina in New York. You're actually
Scott Ales 1:59:39
killing me What was it?
Jeff Sterns 1:59:41
I don't know. Ah, I
I'll for sure find out
Scott Ales 1:59:46
find out yeah
Jeff Sterns 1:59:46
cuz Mary the salesperson Is she still there? She'll cuz whenever I go in there for service she sells is remember that couple they got another car they
Scott Ales 1:59:54
always ask that I was immediately thinking of a like a 26 foot Four or five year old boat that I bought in Tampa, my friend and I went over to get it. And the propellers were so following up with articles, articles, that it would go over six, seven knots. This is like a 23 foot boat. And we got stuck in a bay area, and the tide went out to jump in the water, and physically turn the nose around into the wind and drag the boat off.
Jeff Sterns 2:00:34
Well, it for those of you that you know wonder if our business is all sex appeal. not as sexy as it looked. This deal that Scott helped me with rebut the sight unseen boat traded in in upstate New York. I remember while I'm waiting for the finance department to finish these people's paperwork. I'm watching the Closing Music and credits for the tonight show.
I mean, I
Scott Ales 2:01:02
I don't know when you love what you do. And you're passionate about it. And you like people and I do. You know, the only the only challenge for me has been being fair to my only child and my wife of 40 years. And, and to their credit, they have been an amazingly tolerant of, you know, my career path. And you know, Deborah, my gosh, I have the probably the thing that I'll go to my grave, wishing I could do better is expressing to her the value that she is brought to my efforts. And I'm not just you know, trying to blow smoke up her skirt. I have, there's no way that we could have assisted people that we have through the years, if not a team, it's so much has been a team and we're those that were known as odd couples that we work in the same office together all our lives, and we still love each other.
Jeff Sterns 2:02:08
Well, that's beautiful. And that's you know, a wonderful thing about you one of the things that make you legendary I mean you're you're putting you're dodging compliments, you're putting the credit where it belongs, you're honoring your wife, you're, you love your son, there's absolutely nothing wrong with that. And I want to thank you, man, it's Saturday, it's three and change on a Saturday afternoon. It's nice out and you've neglected your family once again to talk to me. Well, it's my pleasure. Congratulations on the endeavor. It's gonna be awesome. I know you're gonna have a lot of fun with it. It's fun. I'm enjoying every minute of it as I neglect my family.
Unknown Speaker 2:02:50
This has been Jeff Sterns connected through cars
Dealer, auction partner, banker, politician, pastor, trader, picker, wholesaler, storyteller, online product presenter, dryce
Call me anytime! 407.257.5854
Presenting obscure specialty car data and the oldest dealer to dealer trading platform online.
* Beginning in 1988 and now operating the oldest Reputation Based digital dealer to dealer platform online. over 15 years of data and now detailed auction results loaded and available to review daily!
* Extensive experience in successful start-up businesses with unmatched service levels. Seeing opportunities to create value to all parties involved rather than taking from one entity to support another.
* Continuously on the cutting edge with technology and new methods serving old markets. Actually maintained inventory databases real time over telephone lines in 1988 before the internet was commercialized in 1995.
*Discovered, assisted in acquisition of, and managed 200+ unit apartment complex in Iowa.
* Managed a small fleet of over the road trucks from the early 1970s through early 1980s.
* Participated in a successful local political campaign being elected to the office of commissioner then mayor of Eustis, Fl.
* Provided a turn key service to the Insurance industry after extensive 2004 Hurricane season. Managed all aspects of marine salvage recovery and liquidity conversion.
* Served as a founding shareholder and Director for First Green Bank. From inception in 2008 to acquisition by Seacoast Bank in 2018.
Currently engaged with several projects and businesses.
* ThaList LLC, internet based membership of Highline and Exotic car dealers since 1988
* Scott Ales Inc., Tangible asset sales of all types since 1989
* Minister with the Community of Christ Church in Tavares, Fl.
Goals and Objectives today and in the future.
* Create new opportunities for others to utilize and grow their talents and experience. Ultimately establishing a legacy they can reflect back on with humility and pride.
* "Fix something that is not broke, or you will be."