PHOTO CAPTION: Carl Martin, retired Army veteran, looks at motorcycles for sale at the Fort Rucker Lemon Lot July 20.
July 25, 2013
By Sara E. Martin
Army Flier Staff Writer
FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 25, 2013) -- The hassle and stress of buying and selling big-ticket items can be overwhelming for Soldiers and Families, but Fort Rucker's Lemon Lot helps to alleviate that strain, and may leave patrons with a feeling that is more sweet than sour.
The Lemon Lot on Andrews Avenue is an area where Soldiers can sell boats, cars, RVs, motorcycles, trucks, ATVs, tow trailers and other recreational vehicles to anyone who has access to Fort Rucker.
The secure gates of the paved space currently protect more than 35 used vehicles and trailers day and night, said Joan Varner, program manager at the arts and crafts center.
"This lot sells the car for them. It couldn't get any simpler. The vehicles basically walk off the lot," she said, adding that even a plane was once sold on the lot.
The price to place an item in the lot varies depending on how large the item is, and spaces are available for rent by the month.
"Large travel trailers and boats are $30 a month, while motorcycles, cars, trucks and smaller spaces are $20 a month," Varner said.
Customers seeking a new vehicle but who can't make it out to the lot can find many of the vehicles on the Lemon Lot website at www.ftruckermwr.com/lemon-lot-2/.
"An additional $5 charge is added for those who want to be on the site as well as on the lot. If they just want to be on the website and not place their vehicle in the lot, then the charge is $15 a month," she said.
Proof of ownership of the vehicle is required either to place it on the lot or on the website.
"They need their registration, a title or a bill of sale to show ownership," she said. Clients also need to have a matching I.D.
The benefits of selling a vehicle on the Lemon Lot are notable and Varner said that clients usually walk away happy.
"There is a lot of foot traffic here," said Varner. "The fact that it's on base and super accessible is great. Plus, Soldiers and veterans trust each other."
Bob O`Brien, retired Army veteran from Wisconsin, said as he travels around he tries to stop at Lemon Lots at as many installations as he can to get a look at what each post has to offer.
"I always try to swing by the Lemon Lot to see what's here, and it is always really nice vehicles. I would rather shop here first than anywhere else," he said.
Buying and selling at the Lemon Lot can be a speedy process with vehicles coming and going every day.
"Soldiers price it themselves and sell it themselves by putting their contact numbers on the vehicle," said Varner. "People buy every day. I had a man who sold his vehicle after two days on the lot. If you price it right it will definitely sell."
Another bonus to buying from the lot, according to Carl Martin, retired Army, is that Soldiers can help other Soldiers who may be in a bind.
"Soldiers who usually sell are selling because they can't take what they have wherever they are going," he said. "Buying here can really help them financially and emotionally by getting rid of something that is holding them back."
Varner added that since Soldiers are always coming and going, there is always someone wanting to buy or sell, and that two trips to the lot are never the same.
Dwight Nash, retired Army who was looking for a second vehicle, said that he has bought from the lot before and that he will continue to shop there because of the excellent service.
"I feel the Soldiers take excellent care of their vehicles. A lot of the vehicles still have warrantees on them, and the Soldier has all of the maintenance records," he said as he inspected a car that he was sure had brand new tires on it.
"They take pride in their pieces of equipment," he continued. "Sometimes you can negotiate, too, and it works out for both individuals. I come here a lot to look; I have never had a problem."
Things turn over quickly on the lot, according to Varner, because they are priced to sell, so "if you have anything you want to sell and sell now, come place it on the Lemon Lot."
The Lemon Lot is located on Ruf Avenue between the Soldier Service Center and AAFES towards Enterprise on the left.
To register a vehicle, visit the arts and crafts center located in Bldg. 9205 on Ruf Avenue.