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Lemon Lot offers deals on wheels, boats, more

Michael Odom, civilian, checks his Ford Mustang one last time before he leaves it at the Lemon Lot July 16. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Michael Odom, civilian, checks his Ford Mustang one last time before he leaves it at the Lemon Lot July 16. (Photo by Sara E. Martin)

Published: July 24, 2014

FORT RUCKER, Ala. (July 24, 2014) -- The hassle and stress of buying and selling big-ticket items can be overwhelming, 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 a parking lot where Soldiers can sell boats, cars, recreational vehicles, motorcycles, trucks, all terrain vehicles, tow trailers and more to anyone who has access to Fort Rucker.

The secure gates of the paved space currently protect more than 20 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, and motorcycles, cars, trucks and smaller spaces are $20 a month.

Customers seeking a vehicle but who can’t make it out to the lot can find many of the vehicles on the Lemon Lot website at

An additional $5 charge is added to list items on the site. If patrons just want to be on the website and not place their vehicle in the lot, then the charge is $15 a month.

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.

Some people like to frequent the lot just to look, with no real intention of buying anything, like CW2 Justin Seguin, C Company, 1st Battalion, 14th Aviation Regiment, who stopped by July 16 just to see what was available.

“I like to check things out from time-to-time. You never know when you might spot a good deal,” he said. “Soldiers should buy from other Soldiers if they can because, hopefully, we have the confidence in each other to not sell each other lemons. We owe that to each other.”

Varner confirmed that there is heavy foot traffic at the lot, adding that when one person leaves, another car drives in to take a look.

“The fact that it’s on base and super accessible is great. Plus, Soldiers and veterans trust each other,” she said.

The benefits of selling a vehicle on the Lemon Lot are notable and Varner said that clients usually walk away happy.

Michael Odom, civilian, is currently selling his Ford Mustang on the lot because he has never had a problem selling one there before.

“This is a good place to sell a car. It is secure, is easily accessible and is at a great location on post,” he said.

Buying a car from the lot is not safer or more reliable than purchasing from a dealership, just easier, added Odom.

“You are going to get the same car no matter where you go, but, take my mustang, for example. I am selling it for $15,800 and the National Automobile Dealers Association value on it is $23,800. You simply can’t get my price at a dealership,” 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.”

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, especially during the high permanent change season of summer.

Odom has bought several cars from the lot. The person-to-person contact and the better deals keep bringing him back.

“I have never brought a car home after I have placed it on the lot for the 30 days. That’s how successful I have been using the facility,” he said. “I have sold about six cars on the lot, and I will continue to buy and sell from the lot for as long as I am here.”

Things turn over quickly on the lot, according to Varner, because they are priced to sell. “If you have anything you want to sell and sell now, come place it on the Lemon Lot.”

The Lemon Lot is located on Andrews Avenue on the opposite side of the road between the Soldier Service Center and Army and Air Force Exchange Services gas station beside the motorcycle safety course lot.

To register a vehicle, visit the arts and crafts center in Bldg. 9205 on Ruf Avenue.

This article was originally published at

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