Buying a car Buying a car Companies like Beepi and CarMax are taking the mystery out of buying a used car, and making it fun . (Photo: M Business Images / Shutterstock)

Used car shopping goes the fun route

​Used car buying and selling gets reimagined into a painless and (maybe) fun process.

The used-car industry could use an upgrade. Between pushy salesmen and private sellers who sometimes don't tell you the whole story, navigating the world of pre-owned vehicle sales is like driving on a back road with the wrong paper map, or without having GPS.

For the more tech-savvy consumer who prefers streamlined, digital transactions (think bank deposits via smartphone), there's a website that's changing the game.

Los Altos, Calif.-based Beepi handles nearly the entire transaction (yes, even the loathsome DMV paperwork), and is cashing in on the consumer-driven trend of cutting out the tedious parts of the car-buying process. Perhaps most significantly, buyers and sellers are getting a slice of the pie, too, which was exactly the intent of Beepi’s founders – Ale Resnik, from Argentina, and Owen Savir, who grew up in Israel.

“We are a peer-to-peer online marketplace that allows you to buy or sell a car completely online without going to a dealer,” Liz Foster, a spokeswoman for Beepi, told From The Grapevine. “We have eliminated the heavy and expensive footprint of the dealer. Because of that, we are able to guarantee that sellers get more than at a dealer, and buyers pay less than at a dealer.”

Beepi aims to eliminate all the hassles, including price haggling, lemons and the inevitable spam that comes with the private selling and buying route. Recognizing that a car is the second-most expensive purchase people make in their lives – after their house, of course – Beepi created an inspection system that performs deep diagnostics, making the test-drive a thing of the past. They even deliver your newly purchased car to your door with a giant bow on top.

“Cars available from private sellers have not passed Beepi’s 185-point inspection and don’t have the Beepi 10-day money back guarantee to ensure that you know what you’re getting,” Foster added.

CarMax app (Photo: Courtesy of CarMax)

Other companies, such as CarMax and Auto Trader, have paved the way by providing used-car buyers and sellers with some of the first alternatives to the bait-and-switch techniques of the past, and both outlets continue to cater to the needs of the current generation with their internet presence and apps for smartphones and tablets.

CarMax, the largest used-car retailer in the U.S., revolutionized the industry when it opened used-car dealerships that were linked to online inventory databases. Consumers could now shop without setting foot on a car lot – and CarMax’s haggle-free prices and flat-rate commissions for employees meant that when the customer did finally make the trek to the lot, they came with more knowledge, and less stress.

The next step in the evolution of used-car buying and selling, as Beepi well knows, was to get rid of the dealership altogether. Pair that with the ability to handle every last bit of the transaction from your smartphone or tablet, and you’ve got the future of the used car industry. CarMax and Auto Trader both currently have apps and Beepi confirmed that it, too, has an app in the works.

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