Whatever people may think about Carvana, one thing is pretty certain, that it has a unique approach to selling cars and trucks. The main advantage from a consumer point of view is that the they do not have to deal with salesmen, and because Carvana do not negotiate on price, there is little of the hassle and stress that goes with trying to make sure the customer gets the best price.
It is probably the first and only true online sales portal, which has a number of advantages & disadvantages as well.
The buying process, and the finance arrangements behind it, are fairly clear and open. If people like that sort of approach and they can go down the road of buying a car from Carvana,, and if not they can approach a more traditional dealership.
Carvana base their whole system online. A potential customer can view a car, check its price, and decide whether or not they want to buy it. If they do, they can go ahead and neither arrange the finance with Carvana all with a third-party finance arrangement such as a bank or a credit union.
Locations – Atlanta/Houston/Phoenix/Tampa
Because there are no dealerships, picking the carp or heavy delivered is a critical element of coroners model of auto credit and sales. In addition to their vending machines, customers can either collect their cars or have them delivered. It also depends hugely on where the individual lives and where they are willing to go to fly to in order to collect the vehicle.
Carvana have quite an intense system but they have a number of local markets, and a system where they are willing to pay a certain amount of consultation costs involved in individual going to pick up the vehicle if they would rather do that and have it delivered. Its current list of local markets is detailed below, but the company is keen to stress that it is an ever-growing list.
- Allentown (Pa.)
- Augusta (Ga.)
- Bridgeport (Conn.)
- Charleston (S.C.)
- Columbia (S.C.)
- Corpus Christi
- Fort Myers/Naples
- Greensboro (N.C.)
- Greenville (S.C.)
- Hampton Roads (Virginia Beach area)
- Hartford (Conn.)
- Huntsville (Ala.)
- Kansas City
- Las Vegas
- Lexington (Ky.)
- Los Angeles
- Macon (Ga.)
- Manchester (N.H.)
- Montgomery (Ala.)
- New Haven (Conn.)
- Oklahoma City
- San Antonio
- San Diego
- San Jose
- Springfield (Mass.)
- St. Louis
- Washington, D.C.
- Worcester (Mass.)
Carvana have a huge range of cars and trucks, but do not use traditional dealerships, and such to carry inventory in the way that a dealer will. What this means in effect Is that the information required to assess the car is viewed online, along with real-time pictures of the interior and exterior of the vehicle as opposed to stock pictures.
In addition, every car comes with access to a review of that particular model by Edmunds, and other information is available such as its recommended price compared to Kelly’s or bluebook. When a customer ultimately chooses a car and begins the payment process, and the car will either be delivered to them or delivered to a vending machine where they can collect it from.
How does Carvana Work?
Carvana works on a very simple principle. People can view cars online, make a decision about whether or not to purchase them, at a price that is nonnegotiable. Finance can be arranged either with Carvana or some other finance house. Once agreed, there are certain formalities have to be gone through in terms of paperwork, insurance, ownership of title, trade in of vehicle etc.
Once these formalities have been agreed, then the sale can go through.
One of the refreshing things about Carvana is that it is relatively easy to find a load of reviews about it. It’s own blog and website carries extensive customer feedback, some of it highly critical. In fairness to Carvana they cars and trucksicism head-on, either agreeing with it works and is far more challenging it if they dispute some of the information or facts detailed in the .comment.
Because they are a purely online operation, a lot of their marketing and consideration is is geared towards people processing the vast majority of the application and buying process online, and it seems they are much more open to the reality of reviews mean.
In addition, there are a number of reviews on important websites such as highya.com, yelp, Nerdwallet, reddit etc as well as the Better business Bureau.
Cars / Used Cars
There are a huge range of cars and trucks available on the Carvana website, all of which will be used for second-hand. This obviously is a potential issue some people.
Carvana try and get round this by stating that no car listed has ever been involved in an accident, and they carry out a fairly detailed inspection of the vehicle, with something like 150 specific points detailed to make sure it is in reasonable condition.
Any defects or damage to flag up on website, and the price adjusted accordingly. In addition, there is a Carfax report issued on every car or truck sold through the website.
Warranty / Delivery Fee
This is perhaps where Carvana does come into its own in many ways. Every car comes with a seven day refund and money back policy, with no questions asked. There are certain limitations raking things like if the car is involved in an accident etc that make this warranty invalid.
This means that everyone has effectively seven days and the limit of something like 400 miles to check that the car or vehicle is right for them. If not they can return it and no money will be taken from their account now free to either move on buy another vehicle.
In addition, every car comes with an extended warranty that is valid for approximately 100 days or just over 4000 miles. This warranty is underwritten by a company called SilverRock. Carvana described this as a fairly comprehensive warranty, and is designed, most mechanical and powertrain elements of a car. In addition, you can buy an even more extended warranty called Carvana care which includes most of the same mechanical and powertrain elements as the original warranty policy for a longer period of time.
On the better business bureau website as of June 2018, there are approximately 6 complaints about Carvana. This may or may not be a good sign. Most of the complaints refer to poor customer service by way of misinformation, not returning phone calls, changed delivery dates etc.
Whilst all of these complaints may be perfectly valid, one of the most disappointing things is the response that Carvana has posted. The essence of their reply is that customer satisfaction and customer pleasure is central to the whole business philosophy of the company blah blah blah.
When anyone makes a valid complaint about any company, the individual complainant and anyone reading their complaint is likely to be immediately put off by this PR driven approach to how to handle a complaint.
People appreciate honesty and integrity. If an individual or a company makes a mistake get things wrong, they are normally advised simply to put their hands up and admit fault and try and rectify it and move on.
katana would do well to have their own in-house complaints procedure, along with some type of external disputes process. This would reassure potential customers that if and when things do go wrong that some mechanism to rectify them in a straightforward and reasonable manner.
Carvana Vending Machines
The idea of buying a car through a vending machine may seem slightly weird, but hey, here in America why not ?
No doubt that the idea of using a vending machine is somewhat of a marketing ploy as well as a way of collecting and delivering sold vehicles, but also no doubt that it works. Looking at photographs of the vending machines that Carvana use, they are pretty impressive.
The idea of a vending machine is that it is a way of the individual collecting their car. They effectively insert a token into a machine, and 20 to 30 minutes later the car is delivered to them.
Obviously a lot of work, both physical and paper, has been put into the process before this actually happens, but this process should also appeal to the mentality that enjoys buying from vending machines, which is pretty much most of us.
There is something very satisfactory about putting a coin into a slot, and getting something back in return. This is the principle behind slot machines, and may well end up being the future of how most cars are sold as well.