Last year, Rogers Stereo, the 43-year old car stereo chain based in South Carolina, entered the side-business of selling golf carts. This year, it is expanding into used car sales.
Owner Frank Rogers said the move is a natural one, since the shop had to secure a dealer license to be able to sell golf carts. “We saw an opportunity to get into used cars. It’s going very well. We sell between 5 and 8 a month.”
Rogers began selling the vehicles about 6 months ago out of his Spartanburg, SC location. The shop attends local auctions to buy the cars on a cash basis. The cars are on the low end of the price spectrum. “There’s a lot of people out there looking for cars between $1,500 and $3,000.” The shop will make minor repairs and add leather seats or a stereo system. There’s a repair shop down the road that gives Rogers’ customers a good price since Rogers sends it so much business.
There are typically about 5 to 10 cars on the lot at any time. They generate an additional $20,000 a month, says Rogers.
He was fortunate to have an employee on staff who once worked in the used car business and was accustomed to attending car auctions.
As for the golf cart business, Rogers sold about 30 carts last year and is on pace to sell more this coming year. He’s finding new business in repairing the golf carts and is about to launch a social media campaign to promote sales. Margins on the carts average about 25 to 30 percent, he said.
Overall, the 3-store chain said sales including car audio were flat during the first half of the year. “If it wasn’t for us diversifying into golf carts and used car sales we would be down,” he said of the first half of the calendar year. For its fiscal year ending in July, sales overall were up 10 percent to $4.2 million.