Main Character of the Week: Repo car man

@alottacars/TikTok Virrage Images/ShutterStock (Licensed)

Main Character of the Week: Repo car man 

A Virginia man filmed his experience at a repo auction and used it to dispense some life lessons.


Ramon Ramirez


Posted on Feb 24, 2024   Updated on Feb 24, 2024, 6:32 pm CST

Main Character of the Week is a weekly column that tells you the most prominent “main character” online (good or bad). It runs on Fridays in the Daily Dot’s web_crawlr newsletter. If you want to get this column a day before we publish it, subscribe to web_crawlr, where you’ll get the daily scoop of internet culture delivered straight to your inbox.

The internet is a stage, and someone unwillingly stumbles onto it weekly. This makes them the “main character” online. Sometimes their story is heartwarming, like the traveler who documented the AT&T cellular outage this week at the airport; usually it’s a gaffe. In any case, that main character energy flows through the news cycle and turbo-charges debate for several business days.

Here’s the 
Trending team’s main character of the week.

It’s the guy who found a BMW at the repo auction.

A Virginia man filmed his experience at a repo auction and used it to dispense some life lessons. Namely, don’t buy a car that you cannot afford because you might wind up getting it repossessed by lenders and the next thing you know, it’s being auctioned off to the highest bidder in Virginia.

One car in particular stood out from this viral TikTok because it still had a Walmart bag in the cabin and a drink in the cupholder. The implication being that the previous owner did not so much as get to finish their thoughts before giving up the vehicle.

It didn’t stop there.

Viewers were divided over the moralist high ground that the creator, @allottacars, took in his talking head clip. Who was he to judge another’s struggle? Especially when he didn’t have all the facts? And who was really at fault? An eager, irresponsible prospective buyer or a predatory car salesperson who let them drive off the lot to begin with?

That question effectively determines whether you are a personal responsibility-minded Republican or a welfare state-supporting Democrat. It’s not for me to weigh in, but the answer is usually somewhere in the middle. This dividing line sparked comments and drove the virality of the story.

Relatedly, I bought a 2019 Hyundai Kona and got a big discount on the sticker price knowing that I was being talked into a high interest rate by the salesman. What this person didn’t plan for was my preparedness and ability to turn around and pay for the car in full the next month when the first payment was due. (Mostly because it was a Hyundai Kona.)

Use what you got! In my case, the name Ramirez and my skin color.

For us at the Daily Dot, this story could not have come at a better time. This month we did some high-end maintenance on our website infrastructure that was long overdue. We were excited for it and are confident it’ll pay off in the long run. In the media, as I’m sure every company with computers, people love to complain about the IT guys or the dev team. Let me be clear: We have some of the finest minds running our back end. What I think makes the Daily Dot a strong newsroom is that it is propelled by castaways from basically every important news website of the past decade-plus. We’ve seen all the bad playbooks and trap doors and layoffs and are committed to being responsible, efficient, and quick to experiment so that we can find data and adjust on the fly.

Nevertheless, our traffic has been foggy, to say the least, in February. Especially relative to January. Posting links on the internet means perpetually minding where the clicks are coming from and when that is compromised, it’s all hands on deck until we stabilize. You can either embrace those conditions (as we try to build a reader-focused model that builds a lasting relationship with our audience) or complain about them on Twitter. We choose to lean into the evergreen need to self-improve.

So when this BMW story began yielding lots of Google traffic in our Chartbeat analytics, we just about popped champagne. I celebrated this win with every positive emoji that Slack makes available to users.

It is not a stretch to say that I was more excited about the real-time traffic that came from this blog post than I was for the birth of my nephew. Because the truth is those sweet, sweet PVs are the black gold that will allow me to give him money when he is an unhappy teenager.

And so, our national traffic nightmare ends with a welcome character of the week. Don’t be surprised if you see more car blogs on the website next week.

We’re on to the week of Feb. 25.

We crawl the web so you don’t have to.
Sign up for the Daily Dot newsletter to get the best and worst of the internet in your inbox every day.
Sign up now for free
Share this article
*First Published: Feb 24, 2024, 6:00 am CST