How I got around to doing this . . .

November 24, 2008

What we do finds us . . . so that’s what I’ve been told.

So, starting off, I’m into using the internet for promotion like crazy, but mainly for my own interests. I don’t care to hock Viagra or sell other people’s stuff.

I’ve been toying with putting together a marketing company focusing on SEO and Design to some degree . . . but my main interest is photography and cars . . .

I’ve been into cars since high school and it’s been a passion since . . . and it’s also how I pay the bills.

I started selling cars when I first moved to Austin because my student loans did not go through for law school . . . apparently, although broke as anything, I came from a family that was too wealthy to get approved.

Since I needed cash right away, I found an add for getting a guaranteed $3000 for selling cars at Maxwell Dodge for four weeks . . . so I hopped on that opportunity right away.

I hated working there more than anything . . .

Side fact: I was an odd child so my school once had me tested . . . . Apparently, my IQ is nearly as high as Albert Einstein’s or Plato’s (which totally sucks, because now look where the bar is?).

Anyhow, I think this makes my tolerance for stupid short and there was lots of stupid everywhere.

I was up to my eyeballs in stupid . . . I learned quickly on how NOT to run a company there and I left rejoice fully after 3 months.

So since I could not get financial aid for Law School, I decided to enroll into the Air Force and become an officer . . . the process was long though so I had to find work again.

So I started selling Toyotas . . . they drew a better client base, but they were miserable people. . . Seemed mainly people concerned with money and the saving of it.

These are the same people who have missionary sex once a week at best and use calculators during foreplay . . . passionless and vapid at best.

I realized that each brand seemed to draw a certain type of personality with it (in general) . . .

So far Dodges brought idiots and Toyotas drew CPAs . . .

I stored that gem of knowledge for later . . .

I tired quickly of selling cars and walked away from my Toyota gig to find something else . . .

A week later I was at Dell.

I learned a shitload from Dell . . . mainly; time IS money and saving time makes money.

I also learned how to narrow down options for customers and how to lock down deals quickly and cleanly without issue . . . because it’s always easier to tie up all of the loose ends while the bull is still in the shoot

The last thing I learned is that people need guidance because they are clueless in the end and a confident and caring voice will almost always win their favor.

I was Dells #1 sales rep . . . so one year after I was hired; I was rewarded by getting fired . . .

I accidentally gave an old lady free shipping . . .

A year later the guy who fired me was fired (go figure).

Three days later I was selling Toyotas (and hating it!) . . . The next month I got a job working with the Austin Chamber of Commerce pushing add space for a directory for commercial real estate . . .

I got to hobnob with some bigger players, but I just used it as a way to get in with the heads of other companies so I could bypass the standard hiring procedures . . . via this route, I set up an “appointment” to meet the owner of “BMW of Austin” and a month later I was hired.

In the first two weeks I was their top sales person ( I used all of my contacts from my commercial real estate gig) and the following year I led the store in profit, sales, customer satisfaction, and I started a whole new department just for eBay . . .

By my second year I had my own department with my own staff and my own building dedicated to eBay and in my second year I started selling exotic cars — starting with a whopper $30,000.00 profit on a Porsche Turbo that was traded in.

Normally, our store just wholesaled these cars out to their respective dealers, but with my eBay department we had a way of finding buyers who would not typically come to our store.

Cars are sold all of the time now on eBay, but I actually was one of the first and in 2004 my eBay store was the second highest grossing store next to The Sharper Image.

Anyhow, cutting to where I am now…. I’m starting all over again.

There were some issues within my company involving egos and people who were jealous of me and what I was doing and the amount of freedom and power I was trusted with over anyone else there.

In the end, the only authority who had any bearing over me was the owner.

I saw what was happening and instead of letting this growing animosity tear away at the owner (who is my friend); I offered to buy out the eBay department and move it off site.

The owner agreed and sold me the rights and all of the equipment for pennies on the dollar.

I decided to completely redo how an auto dealership works and as I was doing this, I was chosen to be eBay and Google’s government liaison for auto dealers on the internet and I helped write a bill that legitimized auto sales via the internet solely (before, customers HAD to sign at a building, but with this law passed, it freed up that requirement and the last road block to my store was out of the way).

I started Motorphilia 6 weeks later.

In this business plan I decided to do away with all of the over head of maintaining an inventory and lot space and decided to use the internet to allow me to turn cars quickly and distribute them worldwide.

There is a second phase in place for my company, but as of right now we’ve hit some growing pains . . . one, my accounting sucks; and two, this financial crisis hit the same time we were renewing our credit lines for buying inventory . . . this made buying new inventory difficult for about 6 weeks (and right now we are feeling the fallout of this and it hurts).

The outlook is good and the business model is solid . . . I’m still learning a lot, but in the end, I do love it and believe it is the future of how cars will be bought and sold.

Anyhow, this is a long answer . . . . So this is how I got involved with cars.

(And indirectly became a professional studio photographer and a pretty skilled web sleuth.)

Are you shipping a car to Canada? It’s easy . . . here’s what you need to do.

December 23, 2007

Buying a car online car certainly be overwhelming and a little scary. Much less, importing one from another country.



But really, the USA and Canada?



This isn’t a tall stretch. We’re almost the same country.



We’re siblings and we’re neighbors.



In all reality, the borders between New Jersey and New York are harder to cross.




From what I can tell difference-wise is that the people in Canada seem to be nicer, the health care is said to be better, and you like hockey way more than we do (at least in Texas).

This is just logistics and it’s not much different that if you were to buy a car in another providence and have it shipped to you.



For the past 5 years and have shipped many cars into Canada without any problems and from my experience, this is not a difficult procedure.


Based on my experience, here’s a summary of what you need to know and what you need to do:



1. The Registrar of Imported Vehicles program, is something you will need to become familiar with. So, the best first step is going to their site:

IMPORTANT NOTE: YOU WILL NEED THE TITLE to you car or it will not cross the border and a copy of the title needs to be faxed to the custom’s office 72-hours before the car ever gets there.



2. This is a game of trust so buy from an experienced and reputable seller and pay for your car via wire transfer — it makes the who process of getting you title quicker. The reason for doing this is simple, Canadian banks do not draft cashier’s checks in US currency. They write drafts off of US banks, who then clear the draft and then pay the seller’s bank — this whole process can take a couple weeks and the funds are never secured until they reach the seller’s bank.

Because of the high amount of internet fraud on seller’s, there are no experience sellers willing to released a title or a vehicle without cleared funds — it’s just bad business.



3. Set-up shipping with a carrier to the US / Canada border. Two good carriers to use out of Texas, where I’m located are Dependable Auto Shippers ( and United Road Transport (1-800-450-6816) . . . I personally prefer the latter because they generally have better rates, are a little quicker, and they have a better insurance policy. There are a handful of carrier who will ship across they border, but they are very expensive — with the cash difference, just pay a friend to pick your car up for you if you can not do it yourself.



That’s it.



Like I said, it’s easy (and with the US dollar being weak, it can save you thousands).



If you would like more information, you may want to check out this site, it has ton’s –

Web 2.0 … The Machine is Us/ing Us

December 13, 2007

What is Web 2.0? This is a great intro clip. Especially for those of us who prefer not to read stuff. Check it out 🙂

The Motorphilia Blog

December 7, 2007

Hello Everybody,

My name is Aaron Manley Smith .  . . I’ve just started recently adding the middle name “Manley” in so that my name can be a little more distinct professionally. Anyhow, I own an online car dealership called “MOTORPHIILA” and, basically, it’s run 100% though eBay.  But that’s not what this page is going to be about. Not really.

I am a “motorphile.”  A person who really loves cars. That’s why I do what I do, I get to own and drive everything. I’ve bought a 75.00 car a drove it for fun and I’ve even bought and drove a $250,000 Ferrari F430 (and I’ve had everything else im between). 

Some people enjoy food and wine, not me, it’s cars. I look at them as a part of our psyche and there’s a story to be told behind each one. Some are cooler than other.

Well, this is my Blog . . .it’s going to be mainly about cars and what I think about them.

You don’t have to agree with me, you’re welcome to be wrong.

I’ll also telk about things happening aroung town and mention stuuff that I find that may not be related, but it’s cool.

 If you’d like to visit my main site, feel free to check out

(NO the X-wing is not for sale!)

Well, that’s it for now. I’ll be adding to this blog daily . . . so keep up. This will be fun.