Dan Merriam's Sound Auto Wholesalers Attains Accreditation from Better Business Bureau

December 4, 2014

East Haven, CT, December 05, 2014 --( Dan Merriam's Sound Auto Wholesalers is now officially accredited by the Better Business Bureau. According to Dan Merriam "We have just completed our first full year in business. From the beginning we made a serious commitment to customer satisfaction because we knew that a used car dealership that provides superior customer service would stand out in this very competitive marketplace. We have now delivered over 350 vehicles and I'm pleased to say that to my knowledge we do not have even one dissatisfied customer. The standards of the Better Business Bureau are very high and I'm delighted that they have chosen to honor our business with their official accreditation."

According to Merriam "At Sound Auto Wholesalers we offer several value assurance programs to our customers including a) the lowest pricing within 250 miles for each vehicle in our inventory based on comparable model, equipment, mileage and condition b) a complete certification program that includes comprehensive safety checks and servicing by our ASE Certified Technicians and c) a 30 Day exchange policy for any customer not completely satisfied.

"I am a 3rd generation car dealer and every member of our staff is committed to help continue my family's long standing tradition of providing customer satisfaction."

Dan Merriam Opens Sound Auto Wholesalers at 14 Frontage Road in East Haven, CT

December 15, 2013 - East Haven, CT
Dan Merriam has opened a used car dealership called Sound Auto Wholesalers at 14 Frontage Road in East Haven, CT.  The location is not far from where his grandfather, Sam Merriam opened his first car dealership called Merriam Motors, on Forbes Avenue in East Haven in 1951.

Dan's father, Larry Merriam, continued the family tradition by expanding the business to multiple locations and brands including Lincoln Mercury, Ford, Hyundai and Jeep.  Although Larry is retired he will act as an adviser to the new dealership.

Dan Merriam said “I am very proud to be continuing my family’s tradition of providing great cars at fair prices, backed by excellent personal service.”

The building the new company is leasing is owned by the Acampora family.  Attorney John Acampora said “We were very focused on acquiring a quality tenant for our building and we feel very comfortable with the Merriam’s and their operation”

Dan Merriam studied automotive marketing a Northwood Institute which is affiliated with the National Auto Dealers Association.  He previously was a partner in a used car dealership in Wallingford, CT and before that ran the Connecticut branch of Rapid Car Cash.  (

According to Dan Merriam the dealership will stock between 75-100 used cars.  "We will price each car very competitively below other cars in the market.  We will offer a complete safety and operating inspection of each vehicle before it is sold.  Every vehicle will come with a warranty and will be eligible for an extended warranty.  Bottom line, our mission is to provide great cars, great prices and great service all with the idea in mind of creating customers for life!"

This is a Fantastic Time to Buy a Used Car

By Jeanette Pavini

November 27, 2013

Emmy Award-winning broadcast journalist, documentarian and author Jeanette Pavini covers consumer and investigative news for numerous publications, radio and television. Jeanette is based in the San Francisco Bay Area

With the average price of used cars at a four-year low and the proliferation of certified preowned programs offered by car makers, this is a great time to be shopping for a used car. But you need to be well-prepared to get your money’s worth when you drive off the lot.

Some of the best news for used-car shoppers is that pent-up demand is driving up sales of new cars. New-car sales are rebounding strongly and experts say that trend will continue next year. Plus, the number of expiring leases also is increasing. All this points to a bigger inventory of used cars.

It also means some models are sitting on the lots a bit longer, and the prices are going down. According to, the average price for used cars in the third quarter was $15,617, the lowest it has been in four years.

If you’re after a Volvo, GMC or Chevrolet, then you’re in luck. According to, those three brands sat on lots longer than others and therefore typically carried a lower price. But if you’re after a Honda, Toyota or Lexus, you may find an above-average price. These cars were most popular in the third quarter.

While timing and prices are important, there is also work to be done before you buy a used car, whether it’s from a dealer or an individual. Don’t just drive the car around the block. Give the car a thorough test drive on highways and hills.

Look for an inspection checklist like this used-car work sheet from It reminds you of all the things you need to do, like bringing a CD to test the car stereo, checking the windshield wipers, and making sure the car manual is in the glove department.

Research before you shop. Use a site like, Kelley Blue Book’s or to estimate the value of the car. This will help you determine a fair price before you go into negotiations.

You may also want to research typical repair and maintenance costs for the vehicle you’re interested.

Some cars are far more expensive to fix and maintain than others, so even if you get a low price, you might still be paying big bucks in the long run. You can use calculators like’s True Cost to Own feature. It calculates a variety of factors including maintenance and repairs to determine how much your vehicle will actually cost you. Also, check with your insurance company to see if your insurance will go up.

The Federal Trade Commission recommends checking an independent database service to review a vehicle’s history. They suggest the Justice Department’s National Motor Vehicle Title Information System. There is a small fee to receive a report, ranging from about $2.95 to $12.99. per report.

This service is good for more than just cars. You can find reports on buses, trucks, motorcycle, RVs, motor homes—even tractors. The report covers information about the vehicle’s title, odometer, and some damage history.

The National Insurance Crime Bureau has a free database where you enter a car’s vehicle identification number, or VIN, and can access a car’s history to see if it has been reported as a stolen but not recovered car, or a salvage vehicle. According to the NICB, the vehicles stolen the most often in 2012 were the Honda Accord, Honda Civic, Ford full-size pickup, Chevrolet full-size pickup, and Toyota Camry.

The FTC also suggests checking with a local consumer protection agency or your state’s attorney general’s office to find out if a dealer has any unresolved complaints.

The so-called Used Car Rule requires dealers to post a buyer’s guide in each used car (with the exception of dealers in Maine and Wisconsin). It must state whether a vehicle is being sold “as is” or under warranty, including how much of the repairs a dealer will cover under that warranty. Among other things, it will also tell you to have the car inspected by an independent mechanic before you purchase it. This is advice you should definitely take.

Sound Auto Wholesalers Signs Retail Financing Agreements With Seven Different Banks and Finance Companies.

East Haven, CT, January 28, 2014 --( David DeVito, Vice President of Retail Auto Financing at Sound Auto Wholesalers has announced that the company has entered into retail financing agreements with seven different banks and finance companies . DeVito said "We want to offer our customers maximum flexibility to obtain financing for their vehicle purchases. We now have a suite of financing resources that will allow us to provide financing for a wide range of customers, including those with challenged credit histories and will allow us provide competitive rates to all our customers."

Dan Merriam, Owner of Sound Auto Wholesalers said "We are very gratified with how well our business has started out. We just opened our doors in late December and despite the bad weather we've had in January, we are selling cars and making our customers very satisfied. The addition of these seven financing sources will further add to our ability to serve our customers."

According to DeVito the banks and finance companies recently added are "BCI, Seasons Federal Credit Union, Industrial Auto Acceptance, United Auto Credit, American Credit Acceptance, Thrift Investment Corp and Credit Acceptance Corporation."

DeVito further said "We now not only have quality cars that are fully serviced and inspected, we now also have the resources to obtain financing and competitive rates for our customers."

Contact Information:
Sound Auto Wholesalers
Dan Merriam
Contact via Email

Tips on Saving Money on Used Cars

Jeff Sherman

Auto Industry Examiner

March 26, 2014

Finding a car at a good price that meets the demands of limited budget is often the main criteria for the majority of car buyers in today's economy. Used cars can offer very good opportunities for saving money while still providing a buyer a reliable set of wheels for years to come. However, not all used cars are automatically the best deal possible. A couple of tips are in order on how to maximize a purchase when considering a used car are as follows:

• Do your Research - There are number of reports available online on which used cars have the least amount of ongoing maintenance costs and the best reliability. These reports will single out which brands and used car models provide the longest reliable vehicle life and durability for one's money in a used car purchase.

• Ask for the Vehicle History - If you're zeroing in on a particular model and car, get the VIN number and obtain a repair history report. Most quality dealers will be willing to provide a car history report without issue. They've already done the work selecting good cars to sell if they are maintaining a reputation for selling quality used cars.

• Focus on Low Mileage - The best used cars are often going to be those with only 30,000 or less miles on them. That still leaves time and miles on the original warranty and it is possible to still get an extended warranty on the same used car. And all of those benefits comes with a car thousands of dollars less than a brand new retail version.

• Always Test Drive a Vehicle - All the paper in the world won't completely answer every question before a purchase until a person at least test drives a given car. A good test drive on both city streets and the highway can give a proper feel of how a car is working. Even a short drive can identify enough behavior to influence a buyer's decision dramatically.

Many sales managers and representatives can also be an excellent resource for used car information as well as general car model knowledge. These folks have to be well versed in multiple cars since it's often the inventory they sell as well as how buyers can finance each purchase. For 5 Star Auto Plaza that top expert is Dan Grosvenor, who is the lead knowledge holder in used car automotive sales at this used car dealership in St.Charles. As Dan would put, "Only a person who has money to throw away or a newbie puts good money on a brand new car. Smart people by good used cars and keep their hard-earned money in the bank."

Dan is also featured on a weekly radio show as the "Expert Contributor" on all things auto and financing on the Doug Haldeman Show, which airs every Sunday afternoon at 4pm.

Purchasing a car is scary, but rest assured there are many quality used vehicles that are just as good, if not a better then new cars on the market. The perks to purchasing a used car far surpass those of a new car purchase and will save you money in the long run. Its important to prioritize what features are important to you in a vehicle, and work with your local dealership to determine the best car or truck that will be reliable and work within your budget and financing.

Sound Auto Wholesalers Announces a Discounted Service and Maintenance Plan Exclusively for Vehicle Owners Sound Auto Wholesalers has launched a plan called "The $20/20% Service Plan" exclusively available on vehicles purchased at Sound Auto Wholesalers.

East Haven, CT, April 16, 2014 --( According to Dan Merriam, owner of Sound Auto Wholesalers, "We have launched this plan as another benefit to our customers. Anyone who owns a vehicle purchased at our dealership will be entitled to $20 oil and filter changes at all times and a 20% discount off parts and labor on all needed repairs."

"We have restricted this plan to our own customers for two reasons. First it is an additional benefit customers receive when they purchase of vehicle from us. Second we want to be sure that we are only servicing vehicles we sold because we have all the tools and technology necessary to repair these vehicles and we are certain that every vehicle we sold is not troubled with any complicated defects. We are very careful with every vehicle we sell, making sure it has a clean CARFAX report and that it is in good condition upon delivery to the customer."

Merriam further stated, "We just opened our doors in December of 2013 and the public's reception to the quality of our vehicles and our low prices has been very gratifying. We are intent on building a successful business for the long term and that is why we say the mission of Sound Auto Wholesalers is to create satisfied customers for life."

"I personally acquire every vehicle we offer for sale and I am very careful to make sure that every vehicle is a quality vehicle with a clean vehicle history. We then carefully research the prices of all similar vehicles for sale within 100 miles of our dealership and make sure that our prices are among the lowest for that particular make and model depending on mileage and condition. I am convinced that our customers recognize the outstanding value provided in every car we offer for sale."

"Our technicians are Certified by The American Institute of Service Exellence - ASE and we have all the latest in tools and diagnostic equipment."

Best Used Cars for College Grads - From Forbes Magazine

While most students drive their way through their school years behind the wheel of a cherished “beater” or a time worn hand-me-down from mom or dad, the process of graduating and venturing out into the “real world,” usually necessitates acquiring a “real” car.

Unless one is lucky enough to have extremely generous – and wealthy – parents that can afford to give their grad a shiny new sports car as a token of appreciation for no longer draining the family accounts to cover the cost of tuition, affordability constraints usually dictate that one’s first “adult” ride be pre-owned. Preferably, this would be a “responsible” late-model ride that still looks new and remains both safe and dependable.
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To that end we’ve cross-referenced various sources to come up with a dozen reasonably priced used vehicles from the 2011 model year that meet those criteria and should be ideal for those venturing out into the world this year with a freshly minted diploma in hand.

Each received top marks in their respective classes for long-term reliability from the most recent J.D. Power Vehicle Dependability Study and earned Top Safety Pick status among 2011 models, based on crash tests performed by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety; all models further include or offered side-impact airbags and electronic stability control for enhanced occupant protection and accident avoidance abilities. We furthered narrowed our picks down to vehicles that afford reasonably low ownership costs and can be purchased from a used-car dealer – at least in base-model versions – for less than $20,000. Given prices are based on “fair purchase” figures provided by Kelley Blue Book for models in good or better condition and with an average 41,500 miles on the odometer.

Our picks run the gamut from efficient small cars and crossovers to spacious full-size sedans for those who want to start out their careers living large. We’re featuring our complete list with full descriptions and anticipated price ranges in the accompanying slide show.

The most-affordable models among our list of 2011 used cars and trucks for recent grads include two otherwise obvious choices among compact sedans, the amenable Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla. We’ve also included a handful of budget-minded crossover SUVs that add a dash of practicality to the mix, including the Honda Element, Jeep Patriot, Scion xB and the Kia Soul and Sportage. Youthful environmentalists with at least a modest paycheck can avail themselves of the top rated alternative-fuel model from 2011, the electrified Chevrolet Volt. Relatively low resale values place several large and fairly luxurious sedans on our list for young professionals who either find themselves either in a grueling daily commute or have to chauffeur superiors and/or clients. These include big and posh rides like the Buick LaCrosse, Ford Taurus and Lincoln MKZ. And because not everyone’s first job is necessarily a white-collar affair, we included a top-rated full-size pickup truck, the 2011 Toyota Tundra, which at least in its base Regular Cab model can be found selling for around $20,000.

Congratulations to the Class of 2014. As Mr. Spock would say, “Live long and prosper,” to which we might add, “and drive a safe and reliable car.”

The Safest Used Cars For Teen Drivers - From Forbes Magazine

Teenagers are more likely than other drivers to have the least safe types of cars, often ending up behind the wheel of vehicles that are old, small and without good crash protection.

Those are the findings of new research conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, a nonprofit financed by the insurance industry. Earlier this week the group released a list of recommended used vehicles to help parents buy safe cars within their budgets, ranging from less than $5,000 to nearly $20,000.

“A teenager’s first car is more than just a financial decision,” Adrian Lund, the institute’s president, said in a statement. “These lists of recommended used vehicles can help consumers factor in safety, in addition to affordability.”

A national survey conducted for the group indicated that:

 Of parents who bought vehicles for their teens, 83 percent said they bought them used; a little more than half were from the 2006 model year or earlier

Teens who drove a vehicle that the family already owned were even more likely to drive older vehicles, with two-thirds of the vehicles from 2006 or earlier

Minicars or small cars were the most commonly purchased type of vehicle

Older cars are much less likely to have important safety features, like electronic stability control (ESC) and side airbags, and small cars offer less protection that larger ones in a crash, the group said, noting that teens’ high risk of crashing is amplified by certain vehicles. A separate institute study showed that teenagers killed in crashes are more likely than adults to have been behind the wheel of small vehicles and older vehicles.

“Unfortunately, it’s very difficult to get a safe vehicle for a teenager at the prices most people are paying,” Anne McCartt, senior vice president for research, said in a statement. “Our advice to parents would be to remember the risks teens take and consider paying a little more.”

The group’s recommendations are guided by four main principles:

• Young drivers should stay away from high horsepower. Powerful engines can tempt teens to test the limits.

• Bigger, heavier vehicles protect better in a crash. The recommended list does not include minicars or small cars; small SUVs are included, as their weight is similar to that of a midsize car.

• ESC is a must. This feature helps a driver maintain control of the vehicle on curves and slippery roads; it reduces risk on a level comparable to safety belts.

• Vehicles should have the best safety ratings possible. At least good ratings in the institute’s moderate overlap front test, acceptable ratings in its side crash test and four or five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

All the vehicles on the institute’s list have standard ESC and offer good protection in moderate overlap front crashes. Vehicles considered “best choices” for under $20,000 also have good ratings for side crash protection, good head restraints and seats for rear crash protection, and good roof strength to protect occupants in rollover crashes. Vehicles considered “good choices” for under $10,000 have good or acceptable side crash protection and head restraints rated better than poor.

Parents who don’t find a suitable used vehicle from either list, the group said, should buy a midsize or larger car, an SUV, or a minivan with the most safety features they can afford. In addition to ESC, these include side airbags and low horsepower. The institute noted that SUVs and pickups are particularly risky when not equipped with ESC because they are the most prone to rollover crashes.