Jun 25, 2007

On Private Property and Used Car Sellers

(Toledo, OH) I used to own a group of retail businesses and I was often plagued with a special kind of pest: the folks selling used cars who feel it is within their rights to park their vehicles in private lots near busy thoroughfares.

The pictured vehicle of this scofflaw, I should add, is parked in front of an empty building, so his "crime" does not pose a negative impact on a business, but I think the way he parked in the middle of the lot says something about his arrogance.

Many were the days when I would have to call owners to retrieve their vehicles from my parking lots, and occasionally people would get testy: "I'm in the CORNER of the lot! It's not like I am right up in front of the door."

R-i-i-i-ght. It never dawned on them that my business might have needed the parking spaces on busy nights (it did), or that the appearance of a full lot might mean that some customers would turn away, thinking it was too crowded to get decent service.

I ended up posting signs (at my expense) and calling a tow truck when I ran into the persistent pests, as the friendly phone calls did not dissuade people from parking in my lots. Even worse are the people who buy and sell used cars as a small business, but who are too cheap (or small-time) to open a legitimate business in a commercial area. They park used cars all over the place, moving them when people complain. Maybe these people should invest in collaboration software for their pseudo-businesses.

Or is it just me? Should people be allowed to park cars for sale wherever they want?


Anonymous said...

well, no, they don't have that "right". And I don't know your situation, but most of these I've seen are in lots that are woefully under utilized-- and lets face it urban space in Toledo any more is probably 50% surface parking, of which maybe 50% gets used.
I have a hard time being sypmathetic to business owners about the negative impacts their business suffers from the loss of 20'x10' of precious asphalt in light of the much farther reaching negative impacts to the quality of life in Toledo due to 50 years of their collective short-sighted, greedy development patterns.

Pierce said...

sorry that was me (a new reader)... forgot to log in

historymike said...

No problem, Pierce.

In my (former) case, we had lots with 10-20 total spaces, and on busy nights these could be completely filled.

And I also agree that no one is much going to mind a person at one of the big box retailers who parks a car in one of the very last spots.

My greater concern are those pseudo-business people who dump these cars anywhere they wish, and have no concern for the entity on whose property they squat.

Plus - once one car with a "For Sale" sign appears, they act as a magnet for others, and pretty soon you have an unofficial used car lot springing up.

Stephanie said...

I don't think it's just you, Mike. I would have done the same. I see no reason why they should do that, especially if arrangements are not made beforehand.

For instance, in my area you can park a car for sale in the lot where I do my banking. However, for that priveledge, you need to be a member of the credit union. There are other businesses in this area who have similar arrangements.

Why park in a lot where you cannot make an arrangement when it's inconvenient for both of you, when you can make civil arrangements instead?