Harris started Brian Harris Used Cars in Selah’s South First Street at the age of 25. Fran, Harris’ wife, reminisces to him that he once said that he would only keep 20 cars in stock when he first started. But, he actually has over 300 vehicles on two lots in Selah.
Harris, 54, has 27 employees, which includes his daughter and son in law. Some of these employees have been with Harris for more than 20 years.
How did you get started in the brian harris used cars industry?
Before their deaths, my father and mother worked in the used-automobile business for more than 60 years in Selah. As a child, I was involved in the industry and continued to do so throughout my adult years.
What were the most challenging aspects of starting your business? How did you overcome them.
At the age of 25, nobody wanted to lend money to a young child. After many attempts, we finally found a banker who would lend Fran, my wife, a small loan. To get a yes, it took me quite a convincing pitch. It was a huge risk. I would have said yes probably.
How do you approach selling cars?
We prefer to sell according to the order of service, quality, and price. Great service and quality are worth the price. I’d rather offer you a deal that will keep you satisfied after the sale. It’s difficult to keep customers happy with a low-profit deal. We can make a fair deal, and we’ll both be happier if you have any problems. If you move to another state or town, you will lose the local service you receive. We strive to be fair and honest.
Are there any things you wish you had known when you started your career?
It was all about selling cars at the lowest price when we started. Our customers are happier when we sell a car for a fair price and provide excellent service. Over the years, we have helped families purchase more than 50 vehicles from us. If they aren’t satisfied, you can’t sell them so many cars.
Brian Harris used cars, Why do people pay so much to get good seats at concerts or sporting events if it’s all about the price?
For 20 years, I have been sober. I wish I had gotten sober sooner. Sober makes life, family, and work much easier and more enjoyable.
Which would you rather, stick or auto?
Two 1967 Chevrolets, a Camaro (and a Chevelle) have sticks. This is the only way I’d want them to be. Every time I take them out for a drive, the four-speed with dual exhaust American muscle brings me back to 16 years old.