Selling cars and telling it like it is

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Co-owner of the Little Dam Car Lot located in Beaver Dam, AZ has over 30 years’ experience in the automobile industry ranging from sales to service and knows her stuff. Photo by Teri Nehrenz

In Beaver Dam, Arizona, you’ll find the out of the way Little Dam Car Lot, with some great previously owned cars, trucks and the owners Sherry King and Rick Frickberg. You won’t find any of the high-pressure sales and “fast-talking” you might be accustomed to at other used car lots.

These new owners of the LDCL have more than 60 years experience in the automobile industry, between the two of them, ranging anywhere from sales to service and get this…they’re straight shooters; there’s nothing phony here.

They even have a bit of experience with motorcycles as they both ride Harley Davidsons, but don’t get excited, they don’t have any used bikes on the lot. They do, however, have about a dozen used cars all priced under $3,500.

They keep the prices low because they consider the general economy of the area. They keep them running because they know that reliable transportation in the desert is essential. When you purchase a pre-owned automobile from King or Frickberg, you’ll have a solid used automobile that will get you around; they’ll see to it because they don’t offer a warranty and they care about their own reputations. The people they sell automobiles to aren’t just people, they are neighbors and fellow community members, some friends who they care about.

So where do the cars that appear on the lot come from? Some of them come from a mutual friend of theirs who owns a car lot in Salt Lake City. King explained that sometimes he’ll have too many cars on the lot or one car that has sat for a period and hasn’t sold, he’ll bring these cars down to The Little Dam Lot on a consignment basis. Other cars are obtained from one of three auto auctions held regularly in Las Vegas.

Both partners generally try to go to the auction grounds a day before the auction to check out the cars and make sure that they purchase only those that are mechanically sound or something that is easily fixed. If there is an issue, and there is on most used vehicles, they’ll tell you what it will need and most likely what it will cost you down the road. They’ll even tell you if they think the car is a good fit for you and if it’s not, they’ll try to talk you out of that dream car that, they know, is going to cost you a fortune in maintenance.

King did just that when a 19-year-old wanted to purchase a Volvo. She just didn’t think a young man his age would be able to handle the high maintenance costs associated with that car but mother and child were adamant; this is what they wanted.

Unfortunately, King was right and the car, bought just six months ago, sits in need of repair due to the “freewheeling” driving habits of a 19-year-old who is unable to afford them. King would have been happier selling him a car that was easy on repairs and a bit more rugged even if it meant making less money. All the cars range right around the same price so the money isn’t a factor, both owners realize the need for dependable transportation in this area and their only priority is putting someone in a vehicle they can count on and afford.

Any vehicles on the lot are mechanically maintained and checked by ‘The Shop’ in Mesquite; the owners say they do great work.

Little Dam Car Lot can finance but it will be easier and cheaper to get car financing through a bank or outside source. Said King, “Our terms would be tough. We did buy here pay here when we first opened and financed eight cars ourselves; we got burned 100 percent on those eight cars.” The partners took a substantial loss on buy here pay here financing so it’s no wonder they’re a little gun shy but their prices are reasonable enough that it wouldn’t be difficult to save your money, pay cash, and alleviate the finance charges all together.

The Little Dam Car Lot is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. until noon at least for now. King says, “With this little office air conditioner, the heat’s pretty much driving us out of here by noon. When it cools off a bit, depending on business needs, we’ll adjust.”

The lot is located at 295 Old Highway 91 in Beaver Dam, Arizona. If you’re looking for a reasonably priced, dependable vehicle, this should be your first stop.

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