There’s a dealership down in Oshawa was that gave me the chance to check out a new used car lot they’ve recently launched! As a car & truck lover I took the drive east to pay a visit to Mills Motors and their 5 Star Mega Lot. I managed to make the drive early on a Friday afternoon so traffic across Toronto was almost bearable. There were a few jams and occasional moments of frustration but I arrived nearly on time to make my boarding pass “boarding time”. …I Suppose I should have covered that first.
Buying a used car these days is a lot different than it used to be. The internet has really changed the amount of access we have to inventory and pricing. Dealers have to keep their prices competitive with out-of-town lots and maintain fresh inventory. Lower finance rates and smarter consumers have driven more people to seek out slightly used cars over new ones. Using websites as a research tool is common place and I’m no different. My personal shopping MO is to nail down what I want online from the comfort of my PJs and then minimize face time in store by bee-lining for the item and getting out of there. That is, unless it’s an electronics store or car dealership! Then I’m lingering like a summer moth to a porch light. You can’t get rid of me, just ask Al.
The 5 Star Mega Lot played into this shopping style nicely. Since I had a long jaunt to visit I took some time to browse through the cars online. Their website is similar to most in used car inventory browsing but provides much more details and pictures. Videos of the vehicles are nice but provide little more than a narration of the written description and moving still images. If you want to really check it out you have to go there in person.
I didn’t really have any particular vehicle in mind when I first reached out to the 5 Star Mega Lot online but immediately got a friendly email back asking when and what I wanted to see. I liked getting an email as opposed to an awkward sales lead call, made me feel more comfortable coming into it. Meg was able to get me booked and provided some good suggestions for what to check out based on some simple lifestyle information I gave her. A few clicks later and my appointment was booked. I thought that would be that.
Then came the boarding pass.
Wasn’t expecting that. I had recently bought flight tickets so my mind was lightly thrown until I realized what it was for. Once your appointment is booked you get a great summary of what you’ll be driving and who you’ll be seeing in the familiar form of a boarding pass. Reference was quick and easy, although it’s a new feature and they’re still working on the format. Once I arrived I was immediately thrown by how huge the dealership is (they don’t call it “Truck Country” without reason. Seriously, its huge) and how happy and friendly the people were. Meg was polite and got me into the 5 Star Mega Lot quickly. It lives up to its name; its pretty Mega. A huge selection of cars, many of them with lower mileage and only a few years old. This was where I met Jackie Watling, my sales “Pilot”.
Jackie is new to the sales team at the 5 Star Mega Lot but not new to Mills Motors. A seasoned veteran of the service department she’snaturally skilled at helping people find cars. She was incredibly friendly and pleasant to talk to. We got down to business right away discussing the vehicle I had seen online. Jackie took some notes about what my price range was and where my needs were before making some recommendations of her own. She even laid out the financing options and prices on the cars we talked about so I had the numbers up front. That’s the way the sales process should be. After confirming this was the car I was looking for we headed out into the big lot and took it for a spin. Jackie kindly asked if she could join me and I was more than happy to have her ride along. If she hadn’t I’d probably still be lost around Oshawa driving a diamond white GMC Acadia belonging to the 5 Star Mega Lot (in hindsight I should have taken the Escalade out; King of bling baby).
We enjoyed pleasant conversation while driving and I was happy that it was me who kept bringing the conversation back to the car. Jackie answered the questions as best as she could but its impossible to know everything about the cars you sell when you have a selection from all manufacturers. Didn’t help that I threw her a couple curve balls. Upon return we eyeballed a couple other vehicles before we parted ways. She did a great job selling me the car without shoving it firmly down my throat. I was really impressed with her knowledge of the car’s warranties; a unique gifting of hers given her parts and service background.
All told it was a great little trip up to drive a nice not-so-little car.
There are some great promotions running at the 5 Star Mega Lot, the highlight of which is their $10,000 giveaway. Essentially if you buy a car from the lot between November 4th and Dec 6th (the vehicle sale must be completed & picked up and you have to be present at the Grand Opening to win) you’re entered in the draw for $10,000. When I was there you’re odds were 1 in 25; amazing odds by any standards. You don’t have to live close to nail down a car, either. Jackie told me that I could simply call and make a credit card deposit and they would hold the car for me until I could get in to pick it up. Yup, you can pick a car out online and buy it without ever putting a shirt on. It’s a wonderful world we live in. She also mentioned that, with manager approval, people can take cars on extended 24-hour or weekend test drives. Jackie extended this option to me, which I thought was brave, but I declined. That’s a lot of klicks to put on a car.
It’s nice to be able to walk away from a lot not feeling like you’ve just escaped from under the lamp of an interrogator. Certainly if you’re in the market for, or considering, a used car I’d check them out online; because really, Oshawa isn’t THAT long of a drive! And it’s worth it: just think of the long drive home in your new used car! If you do go, go see Jackie and tell her Dan sent you.
Special thanks to the 5 Star Mega Lot for having me out. Don’t forget to enter the $200 Visa Gift card rafflecopter draw and consider attending the Grand Opening of the 5 Star Mega Lot on December 7th from 2-4pm. You can follow Mills Motors on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.