Can Online Used Car Sales Take Off? What You Might See in Your Automotive Career

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When it comes to buying used cars, there are generally three ways to go about it. Buyers can purchase from a used car dealership, a regular dealership, or from a private owner. But what if there was another option? Several companies are attempting to act as the middle man by providing online platforms where buyers can purchase used cars. With the growth of online shopping, it shouldn’t come as a surprise services like these are popping up.
If you’re considering a career in the auto industry, read on to learn more about online used car sales.

Pros with Automotive Careers Know there Has Been a Rise in Online Used Car Platforms

It seems like you can buy everything and anything online these days. As a result, many professionals believe that it’s really only a matter of time before used car sales go online too, right? Well, maybe. Millennials, the tech-savvy generation, are buying cars. In fact, according to a report published by CDK Global, 80 per cent of millennials around the world intend to purchase a vehicle in the next five years. And on average, they will spend about 17 hours shopping for vehicles online. In addition, 87 per cent of millennials want more transparency, and 80 per cent want a faster purchasing experience.
In a perfect world, all this could be achieved with online car purchasing, and with millennials’ natural affinity for all things online, it seems like a no-brainer. However, as professionals with an automotive career may realize, it’s not quite that simple.

Companies Are Trying to Break Into the Used Car Sales Market

There are several companies currently attempting to enter the online used car sales sphere. Each company has a slightly different business model, but they are all similar: buyers can browse cars online, there’s little to no price negotiation, and cars are delivered right to their doorstep. The process is meant to be quick, efficient, and hassle-free. The question remains, though: Can the full-service experience of purchasing cars at a dealership be replaced? Companies like Carvana and Shift believe so.

Online used car purchasing is intended to be a hassle-free option
Online used car purchasing is intended to be a hassle-free option

Carvana inspects each car using a 150-point certification process. Buyers can take a virtual tour of the vehicle, and purchase from the comfort of their home or work. The vehicle is delivered for free and buyers have the chance to test drive the vehicle for 7 days after purchasing. Shift, on the other hand, allows buyers to browse cars and financing options online, and brings the car to the buyer’s workplace or home for a test drive.
Individuals considering automotive technician training may be interested to know that Carvana and Shift are still pushing ahead, while other similar companies like Beepi were quick to run out of cash and have since closed down. The high price of detailing, transporting, repairing, and delivering vehicles can quickly eat away at profit margins. Although these companies have yet to make their debut in Canada, if all goes well similar companies might soon open up shop this side of the border.

What Pros with Automotive Careers Can Expect from Online Used Car Sales

It’s hard to know exactly how the Canadian market will respond to these types of platforms. Used car sales are trending upwards in Canada, indicating that there is substantial demand for used vehicles, but will millennials and other generations turn to online shopping when picking out a new ride?
If this method of purchasing cars does catch on, it’s likely it will have a slow start. Car buyers will need to adjust to the idea of sometimes not being able to test drive a vehicle, and having to base their opinion of vehicle options by just browsing online. For many individuals, buying a car will be one of the largest purchases they will ever make. Spending tens of thousands of dollars on something they’ve only seen online might be a little too risky. Because of this, the future of these platforms is still up in the air. Only time will tell if online used car buying will one day become the norm.
Do you have a passion for cars?
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