Empire Auto Sales is a family-owned vehicle dealership in Little Ferry, N.J., not far from New York City. Owner and President Dan Lacey says that for many of the firm’s 35 years, business was strictly cash and carry. “Then we started a program for credit-challenged buyers, and it was successful,” he says. But to expand the program, Empire Auto Sales needed more capital. In search of it, Lacey attended a funding conference in November 2013.
“The conference was a meeting of several hundred people, and most of us had the same question,” Lacey remembers. “We wanted to know where other dealers were getting their capital.” Lacey stood up and asked the question—and other attendees gave him a round of applause. Afterward, representatives of several finance firms gave Lacey their business cards. One was from Dara Sue Lyons at Advantage Funding. “I came home, crunched the numbers, and decided it would be beneficial to give Advantage Funding a try,” Lacey says. “By allowing them to help fund our Buy Here Pay Here program, I figured we’d be able to lower our customers’ down payments.”
Lacey was right. Working with Advantage Funding, Empire Auto Sales was able to offer customers more car for less money down. “Before Advantage Funding, the down payment required on a $10,000 vehicle might have been about $4,000,” says Lacey. “Now we can offer a $15,000 car and require only $2,000 down. Capital from Advantage Funding has changed our clientele and upgraded our vehicles so that the inventory we now offer is newer and a lot nicer.”
Lacey says there have been other improvements as well. “Advantage Funding is very professionally run,” he says. “We always get answers to our questions, usually right away. And the manner in which Dara Sue Lyons works with us is just A-1. It’s a pleasure to do business with her, because we have great confidence in her, and what we signed up for with Advantage Funding is exactly what we’ve gotten.”
Lacey knows from experience that this is not always the case with other finance companies. “Sometimes another company would tell us one thing and then change the deal on us, providing different terms or amounts than what was promised,” he says. “That never happens with Advantage Funding. They keep their promises.”
Empire Auto Sales has 10 employees and a reputation for integrity that has only grown stronger since Dan’s father started the company in the 1950s. “We help out a lot of people, especially during difficult financial times,” says Lacey. “Thanks to Advantage Funding, our customers don’t have to come up with exorbitant down payments. We can put them in a car, truck or SUV with low miles and at very reasonable terms.”
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