It seems as if everything these days is become automated, online, or autonomous, and car sales is no exception. Recently named one of the best used car websites on the internet, (read the article here) Carvana is undeniably one of America’s best-known unattended used car sales platform.
That fact, according to Carvana’s co-founder, Ryan Keeton, is part of the company’s success. He explained in an interview with PYMNTS that Carvana’s business model frees it from brick-and-mortar overhead costs as well as from the expense of paying salespeople—a significant financial savings that Carvana passes on to customers. In fact, according to Keeton, Carvana customers pay, on average, $1,430 less than the Kelly Blue Book value for their used cars.
That isn’t the only advantage self-serve car buying brings to the table. Many consumers have an unassailable image of a pushy, haggling used car salesperson fixed firmly in their heads no matter how out-of-date that image may have become. As such, many dread to face the classic dealership experience, and are much more comfortable buying a used car from home. This makes used car buying platforms like Carvana preferred for convenience as well as financial reasons.
Of course, anyone who has worked in a dealership—whether selling new or used cars—can understand that there might be downsides to buyers as well. For example, test driving becomes a significantly more difficult prospect when a vehicle is purchased online. Furthermore, while an experienced salesperson can offer insight and answer questions to help a customer find the right used car, an online customer may have to be more proactive, researching details, specifications, and vehicle history themselves.
Nonetheless, with their potential for saving money, time, and annoyance, self-service used car buying platforms, Carvana chief among them, are here to stay. In the future, we may even see more unattended car buying companies, and used car dealerships may have to change the way they do business to keep up.