How do I find out if a business is legit?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips, Advice and Discussion (archive)' started by Abstract, Feb 28, 2005.

  1. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #1
    http://www.carbroker.com.au/

    That's their website. I wanted to buy a Hyundai Getz, which would normally cost around AUD $18800 after all costs. Since I suck at negotiating (its my 1st time), I figured it would be possible for me to negotiate down to a price of $18000. However, www.carbroker.com.au got me a price of $16750. They go and negotiate the price of the car for you. If you like the price they get you, then you can go through with the deal. If you don't like the price, then reject their offer and go do it yourself. Sounds too good to be true. :rolleyes:


    Reasons I think they're legit:

    - Their site is enormous. It would be a pretty difficult site to make just to steal money, especially if they were closed down by the authorities. But they're still around, so maybe they're legit.
    - I've googled for A1 Car Broker and Carbroker.com.au to try to hopefully find some dirt on them, and I found nothing. Maybe I didn't look hard enough? I also searched for the name of the car broker, Chris Wilson, and found no dirt on him either. He also appears to be the owner of www.findcars.com.au.
    - My father has a co-worker in Canada (not Australia) who has gone through a car broker, and he negotiated the price of the car on his own as well. The car broker beat his price by $3000, and it was legit. However, the car was $80000 CAD, or around $60000 USD. I'm about to save around $1000 USD on a car that's only $15000 USD.


    Reasons I'm worried about dealing with them:

    - Seems too good to be true. I only paid them $55 AUD, and they're going to get me a price that's around $1300 better than what I could get? Doesn't even sound like the dealer is making much of a profit, which is why it doesn't seem logical to me.

    - No other website or news agency (or any car-related board or whatever) has info on www.carbroker.com.au (A1 Car Broker) and says that people should go through them to buy their car. Not a single site on the internet I have seen has recommended them or had a story to tell.

    - The name Chris Wilson seems like one of the most common names in the universe, which may be exactly what he wants, as it would be hard to Google his name and get HIS exact info. And there's the name of a musician named Chris Wilson, so most hits point to the musician.

    --------------------------------------------

    Can someone help me by going to the link and somehow figuring out a way to see if the business is legit, or if their website and mailing address is all registered to a legitimate business? I don't know about this stuff very well. :eek:
     
  2. stubeeef macrumors 68030

    stubeeef

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2004
    #2
    Because you say you are not a good negotiator, maybe that price isn't that great after all? Who knows if 7% is a true discount, in the states it is ok on some models great on others, poor on some. Also the dealer may have it marked up through the roof to make it look like you got a big discount. Hard to tell.
    You are doing the right thing investigating it, does the Aussies have a Better Business Bureau? That is where I would start. Link
    Good luck, and if you think you're getting too good a deal, send me the extra $$$ :p
     
  3. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #3
    Here in the states we call people/companies like that Buying Services. The legit ones can be found through Credit Unions and some banks.

    If you know what province/state they hold business interest in, the local attorney generals office (maybe solicitor for you) may be of some help.
     
  4. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #4
    Well, the online price is $15800, and generally you pay approximately $3000 AUD on top of that (exact fee depends on the car). Prices all include tax, so the fee pays for things that are basically mandatory. That's $18800

    I've been told by a Mazda dealer who used to work at Hyundai that the cost of a Getz is around $18500 AUD, so lets use that price. Well, the "buying service" I'm using can get the car for $16700. That's a big savings....around 10%. I used a savings of $1300 in my example assuming I could bargain down to a nice round $18000, which I haven't done yet.

    Thanks for the help. I can't seem to find a BBB for Australia, so I'll just have to keep looking I guess. :confused:
     
  5. Cybernanga macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Location:
    Essex, United Kingdom
    #5
    BBB is an americanism

    Office of Fair Trading is a more British version, and from a quick google, I discovered that Australian's are still more Brit than American.

    There are different sites for the different Aus States, so Google for "Australia Office of Fair Trading"
     
  6. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #6
    Maybe someone Down Under could steer you to the likes of Edmunds.com that we have in the US. It shows what the dealers pay before any "specials". Generally this is a good starting point to evaluate the deal.
     
  7. Abstract thread starter macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

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    #7
    Well from what I now know:

    They have an ABN. A1 Car Broker is just a business name. They're not a company and don't have a company name. However, I believe a "company" in this case is equivalent to a "corporation" in North America, so it basically just means that they're not a corporation (I believe).

    There have been no prosecutions against A1 Car Broker, and they have been a registered business for 3 years, so that's good. However, they're not allowed to tell me if there have been any complaints against them because they haven't been found guilty of anything, so that's bad. Maybe there are NO complaints. Who knows. They can't tell me.

    They basically told me that they've given me all the info they can, so....... maybe I'll take a risk and put down a deposit of $1000. I mean, no prosecutions in 3 years is a good thing, but the complaints may be piling up. And it's not like 3 years is a VERY VERY long time.

    I'm going for it. :)
     
  8. Chip NoVaMac macrumors G3

    Chip NoVaMac

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2003
    Location:
    Northern Virginia
    #8
    Not to put damper on your purchase, but here in the US, no "prosecutions" can mean squat. Here in the US we have civil and criminal prosecutions. Civil generally means that it is one person against another for financial loss (sorry for those in the US, I am not a lawyer, and best trying to explain our legal system to others). Criminal charges (which may be represented by the people you talked to) are for wrong doing against local/state(provincial)/federal(national) law.

    Here in the US "buying services" for cars generally work through authorized dealers. And they will generally tell you up front as to the dealers they work through.

    Is there anything like the Consumer Reports (union) downunder? They should be able to steer you to a good deal.
     
  9. ChrisFromCanada macrumors 65816

    ChrisFromCanada

    Joined:
    May 3, 2004
    Location:
    Hamilton, Ontario (CANADA)
    #9
    I did a WhoIS for you:

    WhoIS Information for domain : carbroker.com.au

    Domain Name: carbroker.com.au
    Last Modified: 17-Jul-2004 02:32:41 UTC
    Registrar ID: R00011-AR
    Registrar Name: Namescout
    Status: CLIENTUPDATEPROHIBITED

    Registrant: A1 car broker
    Registrant ID: VIC BN B1672727H

    Registrant ROID: C1102261-AR
    Registrant Contact Name: Mr RichardAginfort
    Registrant Email: richard@aginfort.com

    Tech ID: C1102262-AR
    Tech Name: Mr Richard Aginfort
    Tech Email: richard@aginfort.com

    I guess it might not help you too much....
     

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