I recently sold my 2004 Audi A4 Quattro in less that 2 hours on KSL. KSL allows individuals and dealerships to post auto classifieds free of charge. When I posted my vehicle in preparation of purchasing a newer, more roomier used vehicle, I had no idea it would sell so quickly.
The process of selling my vehicle was so simple. The interested buyer contacted me, told me they were en route, test drove the vehicle, and within an hour we were signing the forms at my dining room table. I was able to print the necessary forms online and completing them without any prior knowledge or experience was a breeze. The buyer paid cash which was deposited immediately into my bank account shortly after.
Selling my vehicle was an easy task that I actually enjoyed. It was painless, straightforward, and completely fulfilling.
I had already started my own vehicle search prior to posting my vehicle on KSL. I hadn’t found anything I liked and now that I was without a vehicle, I really needed to find and purchase my next vehicle quickly.
At this point, having experienced a great sales experience, I was excited at the opportunity to be on the other end of the transaction. Unfortunately, my excitement quickly faded.
For days I searched KSL and soon expanded my search to AutoTrader and eBay. On several occasions I found vehicles that matched what I was looking for but after calling and even driving to dealerships on two separate occasions, the vehicles were already sold. On another occasion, I went to a dealership and found the vehicle I saw online. The price of the vehicle was $2,000 above Kelly Blue Book. I began talking with one of the sales people and asking if the vehicle’s price had any negotiation room as KBB was lower. They said no and that Kelly Blue Book as a company had never sold a vehicle in their life and doesn’t know how to price vehicles. So I left.
The vehicle selection being sold privately was lacking.
Days turned into two weeks and still nothing. I eventually gave up on finding a vehicle.
I have a good friend who buys vehicles at auction for people. I ended up partnering with him and purchased a 2013 Ford Fusion with 60,000 miles for $10,600. It took one week. I didn’t have to pay any ridiculous dealership fees and got all the benefits of purchasing a used vehicle privately, without having to spend time searching, test driving, and going through all that is involved with that. There was a 4% commission, which I gladly paid. The vehicle got detailed and then delivered right to my house.
This experience was similar to my initial experience of selling my vehicle. It was painless, quick, and fulfilling.
Over the past few days, I’ve been thinking about this whole process. I’ve gotten to learn more about the economics of used auto sales and the overall model itself. I’m not impressed.
I think the experience I had of selling my vehicle was not the norm. Additionally, I think the way I purchased my newer used vehicle is also not the norm, though becoming more and more popular.
The question I have now is why? Why can’t purchasing a used vehicle be easy and painless all the time? Why to dealerships often provide a less than enjoyable experience, often resulting in paying well above a vehicles actual value?
I think there is a better way. A way that combines both my experience of selling a car and my final experience of purchasing a vehicle. There are key elements from each that made the experiences great. But how can those come together for a completely new way to purchase or sell a used vehicle?