MARINE CORPS BASE CAMP LEJEUNE, N.C. --
Anyone who has been to the Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune Commissary and Marine Corps Exchange has probably seen the vehicles lining the back of the parking lot. Cars, trucks, motorcycles, boats and RVs sit, waiting for new owners to give them a second life.
The Marine Corps Community Services Vehicle Resale Lot, operated by Sports Branch, Semper Fit Division, MCCS, is a free area that can be used by any Department of Defense identification cardholders to display their for-sale vehicles. The high-visibility location is a lucrative option for sellers, because thousands drive by on Holcomb Boulevard every day.
“It’s an opportunity for a free place to park their car, boat or camper and try to sell it,” said Chris Alger, Sports Branch head. “They don’t have to pay for an ad in the paper or online and a lot of people looking to buy know to look there.”
The resale lot has been used for many purposes. Marines sell their vehicles before a permanent change of station or in preparation of an upcoming deployment. Some patrons fix up cars as a hobby and sell them for profit. Others get rid of their cars to buy something new.
The lot has parking spaces for up to 116 vehicles, of which 90 are reserved for cars. Any vehicle that is eligible for a base decal can be displayed in the lot. That does not, however, include ATVs. Alger said at one point they had a dump truck in the lot.
Using the Resale Lot is simple. Patrons can either go to the Sports Branch office at Goettge Memorial Field House or to the website, mccslejeune.com/resalelot. They must fill out the one-page Resale Lot Authorization form, have a valid DOD identification card, registration, current vehicle insurance card and make sure the vehicle is clean and presentable. If a patron is trying to sell a vehicle for someone else, such as a deployed service member, they must have a power of attorney. Provided the interested party has all of the required documentation, the process could take less than five minutes.
“The biggest issue is that people don’t have all of the proper paperwork,” Alger explained. “Print new insurance cards, renew your driver’s license and get a power of attorney if you need it.”
Vehicles can be displayed for up to 90 days before owners must apply for an extension. If the lot is filled up, the vehicle will be placed on a waiting list; however, Alger said they have not had a waiting list in at least the past year. The lot usually operates at about 70 percent of its capacity.
The benefits of using the lot do not stop at the sellers. Potential buyers have the convenience of an on-base location and do not have to work with salespeople. They need not look further than a phone number listed on the Resale Lot Authorization form placed in a visible location, such as a windshield, of every vehicle on display. The terms of the sale are negotiated individually by the interested parties.
Some Resale Lot visitors even look for fun, including Staff Sgt. Michael Valora, a platoon sergeant with 1st Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment. He just likes to look at the older cars and Mustangs, which the lot is in no shortage of with at least three currently on display.
“When I drive by and have a few minutes, I’ll do a quick loop and look for good deals,” said Valora. “I’m not looking for anything in particular, I just like to look.”
The Sports Branch receives numerous calls about the lot daily. Alger said some vehicles sell relatively quickly there, too.
“It’s an immensely popular program,” he said. “It’s a true community thing. Active duty to retirees and lance corporals to colonels — everyone has used the Resale Lot.”