The process of buying and selling your car can no doubt be an arduous, tedious, and exhausting process. Navigating used car lots, haggling with salesmen, making sure the car isn’t a lemon — what a headache. As so much of our shopping moves online (ahem, even car insurance shopping), why do we still sell our cars the old-fashioned way? Turns out, one Silicon Valley startup is proposing a better alternative.
Meet Beepi. The startup, which recently announced a $60 million round of financing, aims to make buying and selling cars pain-free with a fresh, online, 21st-century approach. Like so many startups, Beepi began with a frustration of its founder, Ale Resnik. When his own search and eventual purchase of a 2011 Jeep at a used-car dealership resulted in overheating, towing, and a finally a legal battle, Resnik began to develop a better way to buy and sell cars. How can they do this? According to Beepi, by cutting out the middle man with a top to bottom online experience, sellers get more while buyers pay less. Beepi promises a fast and easy process from start to finish with better prices and no secrets.
So, how does it work?
Sellers: Simply register your car with Beepi using their online questionnaire. Then, a certified Beepi inspector (a point of pride for the company) will come straight to your driveway to perform a 185-point inspection, complete with a photo-shoot for your car’s online profile (if only Match came with the same perks, no?). After your car has passed inspection, the folks at Beepi take it from there. Beepi promises to sell your car in 30 days or less at the best rates possible, and you can even drive it up until the last second. If Beepi can’t find you a buyer, they’ll buy your car from you.
Buyers: With roughly 100 cars currently on the site, you can start your search by make, model, price, color, or any other variable you could possibly think of. And, because only Beepi inspection-approved cars are added to the site, you can rest assured you won’t be stuck with an overheating lemon. The site also has a live chat service equipped with a customer service team to help you along the way. After you’ve selected the car of your dreams, it’s time to pay, but true to 21st century form, you don’t have to send a money order. You can pay for your ride via bitcoin, debit, financing, or credit card(s). The cost of all of this convenience? Beepi snags a 9 percent cut. Following the check-out, the car will show up on your doorstep (well, driveway), literally wrapped in a bow. Don’t like the car? Beepi also boasts 10-day money back guarantee, no questions asked, so long as the car remains in the same condition in which you bought it. And while Beepi is currently only operating in California for sellers, they will deliver a car anywhere in the country.
Sounds pretty pain-free, right? Just keep in mind that with Beepi, there are no test drives. Instead, they claim that their process ensures a quality vehicle that would pass any test you may want to give it. The startup expects to run into issues with dealerships as they hope Beepi becomes a more prevalent way to buy cars, but they point to Uber and its successes despite criticism from the media and taxi drivers alike. Shervin Pishevar, an early investor in Uber and co-founder of Sherpa Ventures, told the Wall Street Journal, “We’ve seen this show before and we’re likely to run into those problems from car dealerships as Beepi continues to scale.” Pishevar noted that it all comes down to customer choice, and that’s where ideas like Uber and Beepi can win.
Beepi is an attempt to speak to a generation that lives life by their mobile devices, a generation where the internet rules. As a member of said generation, I would use Beepi because it removes the hassle. This idea means no longer having to spend my weekends going from dealership to dealership, while my frugal father endlessly searches for a better deal. So, what better way to change the face of buying and selling cars than by making the entire experience online, and in the hands of the customer?
The next time you find yourself in need of some new wheels, would you buy or sell with Beepi?