Disruptive Technology: Affecting the Best Way to Sell a Car Online

by: Marcin LadowskiTue, Mar 22, 2016

Have you ever wondered: "How do I sell my car online?" Fortunately this process has been around for a long time now. The procedure is well-established. A person or dealership has a car they would like to sell, they list the car with a digital classified ad service, hopeful buyers reach out, and, eventually, someone buys the car.

It’s all a very simple process that was developed by the biggest names in the online car sale industry, Cars.com and AutoTrader.com, who launched in 1998 and 1997, respectively. Other players have joined the game more recently, like CarsGurus.com in 2005, but they all use the same basic platform.

Recently, there has been a bit of a shift in how online car sales work. Traditionally, the people buying a car were the end-users. If anyone was a company, it was the sellers. In all cases, they were two-party transactions, a buyer and a seller, with the listing site serving as a tool of both the buyer and the seller.

Now four “sell a car online” and “buy a car online” companies are shaking up the status quo. CarVana.com, Beepi.com, Carlypso.com and DamagedCars.com throw the traditional paradigm out the window. They offer a service more akin to brokers or agents, playing the part between initial seller and end-user. Whether you're selling a car in California or Florida, read on; you will find some useful information that will make the process of selecting an online buyer easier & faster. Don't try to fix that blown head gasket it's easier and cheaper just to sell your car.  

 

Here’s How They Work

CarVana.com

Think of CarVana.com as a traditional car lot. They work in much the same way. They have an inventory of cars for sale. They list them online, and they offer financing options to their customers. They even take trade-ins. But, there’s one key difference. CarVana.com wants to keep the entire transaction online.

CarVana.com takes in used cars, runs them through a 150-point inspection and reconditioning process, and films a detailed 360◦ interior and exterior virtual tour. Visitors can peruse their online inventory and take a virtual test drive via the virtual tour. Should the car be a winner, you can buy the car for the asking price, no negotiation necessary (or wanted).

CarVana.com offers the option to pay for the car in full, pay with third-party financing or they will finance the loan directly. If there’s a trade-in involved, you can drop it off or they’ll pick-it in, basically, a reverse of the selling process. Trade-in values are done through an online-valuator that all starts with the trade-in’s VIN.

One the payment is all settled, they will deliver the car to the location of the buyer’s choice. This is where a lot of worry about buying a car sight-unseen is assuaged. CarVana.com offers a 7-day “test ownership.” Keep the car for a week. If you don’t like it for whatever reason, you can return it for a refund.

So, all the inventory, none of the dealership, and a greatly reduced sales team. Car buying online in the truest sense of the word. The only catch is that their service area is still somewhat limited.

Beepi.com

Beepi.com is an online platform that buys and sell cars. The selling works like this: Describe the car for sale; year, make, model, trim, VIN, mileage, condition, etcetera, and answer a few more detailed questions about the cars history and location. Next, a Beepi.com-affiliated inspector will come to inspect the vehicle.

Once all is approved with the vehicle, Beepi.com will list the car for sale for 30 days while the owner continues to use the car. If the car sells in the 30-days, great. If not, Beepi.com will purchase the car themselves. Once the car is sold, to whomever it’s sold, they pick up the car and drop off a check.

So, how to does one buy a car from Beepi.com? Said 240-point inspected cars are listed for sale on Beepi.com using professionally taken photos. Once a buyer finds a car, they go through the checkout process which includes optional extended warranties, an opportunity for vehicle trade-in, calculated delivery fee, Beepi.com’s transaction fees, taxes and selection of bow color.

Payment can be handled through credit/debit card, cash-on-delivery, Bitcoin or Beepi.com-facilitated financing through Chase Bank, Ally or Up2Drive. All cars are delivered fully DMV registered and include a 10-day “test ownership” similar to CarVana.com. Actually, Beepi.com is quite similar to CarVana.com in most regards.

Carlypso.com

Calypso.com, CarVana.com and Beepi.com are pretty much triplets. Carlypso.com operates in much the same way. They have a 7-day “test ownership” period, sell professionally inspected used cars and offer extended warranties and financing options.

 

Here's How DamagedCars Works

Of the four sites mentioned in this post, DamagedCars.com is the only one that is truly different. Where CarVana.com, Carlypso.com and Beepi.com buy and sell used cars, DamagedCars.com really only buys cars from visitors to the site and specializes in cars most other outlets would never consider buying.

As the name implied DamagedCars.com will buy damaged, wrecked cars and cars at the end of their useful time on the road throughout the United States. No matter if the damage is from a collision, flood, electrical damage or mechanical failure, damaged cars purchases cars as-is.

A site visitor enters their vehicle details. For some cars, an instant, guaranteed offer is made, which a customer can accept online, via email or over the phone. For other cars, a DamagedCars.com buyer contacts the seller to get a bit more information about the car, request photos and the VIN. They then make a guaranteed offer.

It’s that guaranteed offer that sets DamagedCars.com apart. Unlike the other online car buyers, DamagedCars.com doesn’t inspect the vehicle. The offer made is the amount paid. Their buying procedure allows DamagedCars.com to make a credible offer on everything from a 15-year-old Honda Accord or a one-year-old McLaren or Ferrari.

Once a deal is struck, DamagedCars.com uses a nationwide network of tow operators to pick up the vehicle/title and deliver the check. There is no online selling side of DamagedCars.com. They sell the vehicles through wholesale outlets. So, their only interest is purchasing vehicles directly from customers.

There’s a logic to the business plan of these companies. By never really holding onto inventory in the traditional sense, they reduce a lot of overhead and risk, keeping them nimbler on their feet to adjust to the changing car selling and car buying landscape.

Do CarVana.com, Beepi.com, Carlypso.com and DamagedCars.com have the right idea? Do they really offer a better service? Visit their sites and find out for yourself.

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