SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC News) — Think of a small business that relies on its local community to stay afloat.
Now, imagine that same business without any customers.
For Willy Manuel, owner of Manuel K Auto Sales, the story was not too different during the pandemic.
“Oh we got disaster. We got hit hard. I mean, because we’re a small business, and you know, our business tries to succeed and our success rates drop. You know, because of the pandemic,” said Manuel.
Used cars have traditionally been traded into new car dealers when buying a new car. That same used car is put up for auction where used car dealers can purchase for a decent price. Then, dealers will resell the car at a slightly higher price to make a profit.
This was before the pandemic.
During the height of COVID-19, prices made an unfortunate change.
“Oh man, skyrocketed. It bloomed up like as prices on used cars and you feel like you buying a price close to a new car,” said Manuel.
During unprecedented times, families conserved their money and did not trade in old cars for new ones. This caused a global shortage of used cars where dealers were purchasing them at a much higher cost. This led to used car dealers having to put irregular prices on older cars to make ends meet.
Higher prices affected people like Sara Moran, looking to buy a used car.
“Yeah so, when I have been looking I have just like not been able to find anything everywhere I go. All the used cars seem way too expensive for what they should be and so, it’s just been really difficult to find a used car at an affordable price,” said Moran.
As the pandemic continues to ease across the world, Manuel is hoping for one thing to come in the future.
“Prosperity, definitely prosperity. You want to see the business excel more than in the down slump than what it was when we came out. You want to see more greater profits and margins so the business can be where it’s supposed to be. When you strive and put all your energy in the business, you want it to work right,” said Manuel.
Manuel K Auto Sales is located off East Brighton Avenue with cars ready to be sold.