New way to buy, sell autos in L. A.
The on- demand economy has, with a few taps on an app, brought everything from lunches to laundry to our doorsteps. Now it wants to bring us something a lot bigger: used cars.
Bay Area start- up Shift recently rolled out its on- demand car buying and selling service in Los Angeles, providing what it calls the “full end- to- end experience” of buying or selling a used car — from your desktop or phone. At its core, it’s like Craigslist, but a slew of features brings it closer to ondemand counterparts like grocery delivery service Instacart and postal service Shyp.
For sellers, instead of listing a car and fielding expressions of interest, Craigsliststyle, Shift sends one of its “car enthusiasts” ( i. e. independent contractors) to the seller to provide a quote, pick up the car, take it to the company’s warehouse for mechanical inspection, handle California Department of Motor Vehicles paperwork and sell the vehicle on the customer’s behalf.
On the buyer’s side, Shift’s contractors bring the car by for a test drive and handle the paperwork.
It’s one of several California start- ups launching in Los Angeles that’s using technology to facilitate peerto- peer car buying and selling.
Instamotor, also a Bay Area company, had its own launch in Los Angeles and Orange County last week. Its mobile- f irst service is more akin to a Craigslist, with the added benefit of an algorithm that scans cars to check for bad history: fraud, past recalls and hidden damage.
In the case of both Shift and Instamotor, neither buyer nor seller pays a fee for the service. Instamotor makes money through brokering loans and pushing warranties; Shift offers similar services through its partners, and also gets a cut of the car’s sale price.