Sales bloom; buyers decide time is right for big purchase

Economists don’t like numbers in the red, but Tiffany Meyer does.

Meyer’s hot new number is candy-apple red — a brand new Ford Mustang she and her husband, Justin, bought Tuesday at Western Slope Auto in Grand Junction.

The Meyers’ purchase coincided with a report by the New York-based Conference Board that its Consumer Confidence Index rose more than 12 points in April to 39.2, up from a revised 26.9 in March. The reading was the highest since 44.7 in November and sparked a rally that helped the stock markets cut their losses Tuesday.

Like many, the Meyers see plenty of opportunity during slow times that have many of their neighbors worried.

Justin Meyer likes to zig while others zag and buy when costs are lowest. “You dodge the bullets better that way,” said Meyer, 27, who works for Monument Well Service in Grand Junction.

He and his wife have been looking for about six months for a new car and watching the news, Meyer said.

“You don’t hear about Ford” in the reports of bailouts and other financial floundering in Detroit, he said.

Tiffany Meyers, 25, who works at Victoria’s Secret at Mesa Mall, said she always wanted a Mustang, and “now is a great time to buy.”

The Meyers weren’t alone in getting a new vehicle Tuesday.

Lori Howell, 49, a nurse at Hospice & Palliative Care of Western Colorado, settled in behind the wheel of her new Toyota Camry.

“I’m excited about it,” Howell said. “I have no buyer’s remorse.”

Far from making a spur-of-the-moment buy, Howell and her husband, Brett, carefully planned out a strategy to take advantage of the market, she said.

Buying the new car actually will help the Howells become debt-free, as advised by financial consultant and radio personality Dave Ramsey, she said.

Her new car was a good deal and comes with a payment roughly half of her current payment, she said. By doubling her payments, she hopes to pay off her five-year loan on the car in two-and-a-half years, Howell said.

Rick Gibson of Gibson RVs, 2549 U.S. Highway 6&50, said things started looking up as April began.

“It’s like somebody flipped a switch,” and buyers showed up in numbers similar to the same time last year, Gibson said. “That was certainly not the case the first part of the year.”

One thing that might be driving business is customers’ interest in staying near home and with family, rather than spending on a lavish, far-away vacation, he said.

At U.S. Tech, 2465 Patterson Road, “We’re starting to see more traffic, but it’s a long way from where it was before,” owner Mike Knowldon said.

The change to a digital television signal seems to be pushing customers toward making the purchases, Knowldon said.

Having to purchase a converter box for an existing television, he said, “might be a fulcrum to buying a digital TV.”


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