Welcome to the NASADA Times. This newsletter will be a periodical publication that covers all things to do with the National Salvage Direct Association. We’ll cover things like new members, member spotlight, industry trends, tips and tricks on using the site, your thoughts and concerns and so much more.
We want to take this opportunity in the first publication to introduce you to our Founder and General Manager, James (Jim) Smith.
We all have a story on how we arrived to where we are currently. Jim’s story is by all accounts one of determination, perseverance, and a little luck. Probably not that different from your story.
Lets start from the beginning. Jim has always been interested in cars and what makes them tick. At the age of 7 he pushed his fathers MG out of the garage and had a little fun in the driveway. Until his father came home anyways. That ended his access to keys for a while, if you know what I mean, lol. At 8 Jim got to drive for the first time. A 1966 Buick Skylark. His dad did the gas and brakes, but he drove.
Fast forward a few years and Jim is in high school. Maybe 14 years old and his best friend Mark had a barn with a 1968 Mercury Montego. Mark’s dad let the boys have the car. It didn’t run and had a few other issues, but the boys worked on it learning as they went.
About that time Jim found a job in a body shop not to far from his house. The guys in the shop taught Jim about body work, painting and mechanical repairs. It’s 1977 and Jim gets his first chance to attend a salvage auction. At the time they were held on Factory Ave in Syracuse, NY. Sealed bid sales with vehicles being sold for ridiculously low amounts. Vega’s, Granada’s and the like would go for $34.58 or $37.26. Always some whole dollar with cents at the end. Jim’s best buy ever was a 1973 Dodge Challenger. Plumb Crazy purple, with a 340 and a 4 speed. The shifter was a pistol grip and the car had been rolled. The roof was crushed down to about 12 inches above the dashboard. That didn’t stop Jim and the other guys from running it up and down the road out in East Syracuse.
Not to long after that Jim’s family moved to Louisianna, his dad worked in aerospace and the external fuel cell for the space shuttle. Jim worked in the trades in Louisianna and learned about the Cajun lifestyle. He bought and sold cars after fixing them and kept a few toys for himself, his first car of any importance to him was a 1971 Pontiac Grand Prix S. Special for so many reasons, but mostly that car gave Jim independence and freedom. It would remain with him for the next 10 years or so. If you have a lead on a 1971 or 1972 Grand Prix, Jim might be in the market.
Carrying on from there, Jim made his way back to Syracuse as an adult and went to work for a repair shop. He did primarily suspension, brakes and exhaust as his main job and then started a hobby body shop. After a few years the hobby shop grew into a full service shop with a list of customers.
There Jim started a weekly trip’s to the auctions for new pieces to buy, fix and sell. Fairly successful with an unexpected turn. The auctions were a blast for Jim. He learned everything he could about how they ran and how to make them work for him.
A few years in and Jim wrote a book on how to buy and sell at the wholesale auctions across the Northeast. It was called the New York Market Guide. The book outlined the differences between the auctions and how the local to that auction effected pricing for different vehicles. The auctions had concerns over their customer base understanding inherent weakness’s of the local market. The data used to build the book was supplied via a weekly market report each auction produced.
The book led to multiple offers of employment at the wholesale auctions. Which Jim did accept. Managing a sale in Rochester, NY and then 1 in Lafayette, NY. Then as life would have it more moves were involved and more opportunities. Jim took on new challenges and explored all over the country. The whole time reflecting on the auctions and his love of the automotive business.
What was apparent was the current system was flawed. It had gotten extremely expensive, still had limited information on units being sold and still took considerable time.
Jim thought there had to be a better way. That was and is the inspiration to build National Salvage Direct Association.
Build something that works well for both the buyers and the sellers. Something that can speed the process, lower cost and offer information and service previously unavailable to buyers and sellers.
It took a little time but Jim has managed to bring an offering to the table that did not exist before. An offering that serves both side of the sales equation equally well.
Sellers will enjoy remarkably low seller fees and convenience. Buyers will have a tremendous amount of information available to them they never had before and no fee to buy.
These are just a few of the incredible changes being brought by NASADA to it’s members
Jim thinks his story isn’t all that different from many of you. He would love to have a member spotlight in each new issue of the NASADA Times. Please feel free to inquire about putting you and your story in the member spotlight section of an upcoming issue.
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