Repeat Clients Keep Business Thriving
Rick and Andrea Ramirez keep their rebuildable vehicle business successful by being honest with their customers.
Rick Ramirez, owner of Ramirez Auto Sales, in Oklahoma City, Okla., claimed 2012 was his best year ever, unlike so many auto recyclers who are still struggling financially.
Ramirez is a rebuildable dealer focused on ready-to-go vehicles for dealer auction and late-model to seven-year-old imports. Rick Ramirez has been in the industry since he was a young boy. His father, Albert Ramirez, started the business in the early 1960s, and it has grown at its current location since 1967.
“When I was a kid […], I just wanted to be here,” Rick recalled. He graduated high school and spent two years rebuilding with his father, until he and his wife Andrea decided to focus on buying and selling rebuildable vehicles full-time shortly after marrying in 1994.
“After a few years and a lot of travels and long weeks, we couldn’t even keep up with doing rebuilders, for our volume in sales had done so well,” Rick said.
While other businesses languished in the latest recession, Ramirez Auto Sales kept selling.
“ was different in that I made sure not to pass up any opportunity to buy and sell,” Rick explained. “I left no stone unturned, anything that came my way, I tried hard to buy. I bought more heavily damaged vehicles; and that is how we did so much more volume. I worked with more wholesalers and more salvages.”
But the Ramirez secret to success goes deeper than volume or variety.
"Our business is 80 - 85 percent repeat,” Rick said. “My wife and I keep things really simple. We’re honest and we don’t misrepresent things. I always make sure everything is disclosed. I think that’s really been a lot of our success, and what is making people come back. I don’t try to make all the [profit] on it when we sell it, I make sure there’s profit left for our client. It’s worked, and our clients send referrals to us.
"My wife and I feel very blessed to be able to work together. We both respect our jobs in the business. I’m very good at buying and selling and she is very good at the books. We have built a system over the years and it works,” Rick added. “It has enabled us to put our family first and raise our kids and enjoy the flexibility of being self-employed.”
Rick and Andrea recently purchased the property from their family and remodeled the offices and the landscaping. The real legacy they hope to share with their children is the growth that comes from building a business rooted in honesty and savvy. They have two sons, Braydon, 22, and Ricky, 16. Ricky dreams of a career in professional baseball, but Braydon is in college and working at a dealership in new car sales.
“The next step is for us to become a new car franchise dealer as well,” Rick said. “We don’t ever want to get rid of this business, but our vision is to also become a new car franchise dealer with our sons, as they grow up. We are looking forward to the next chapter in our lives and in our business.”