Carvana offers new way to shop for used cars – Bay News 9

Posted: Sunday, April 24, 2016

A company new to the Tampa market is giving customers a new way to shop for a used car.

Carvana is a website where you can shop for a used car online and complete the transaction in as little as 11 minutes. The car is delivered to your front door free of charge if you live in the designated delivery area.

  • Carvana allows customers to shop for used cars online
  • Delivery is free if you live in designated area
  • Customers have seven days to return car if they don’t like it

David Smith bought his used Kia Soul on his lunch break. He was the first customer to purchase a car when Carvana expanded into the Tampa market. Since then, more than a dozen other customers have followed suit.

“I started clicking around, and 15 minutes later it was asking me where I wanted it delivered,” Smith said.

At first, Smith says he was skeptical. Buying a car without seeing it first is not something he would ever do. But he says the company’s seven-day return policy convinced him.

“If you don’t like it, you get seven days,” he said. “If you don’t like the color, return it in seven days.”

Customers can take a 360-degree tour of the car and Carvana says it points out any imperfections so the customer knows what they are before purchase.

Carvana only sells cars that are six years old or newer. It will also not purchase any car that has been in an accident. A spokesperson says many of the cars are bought on online auctions and are gently used.

So what’s the catch?

The Better Business Bureau rates the company as A+, but warns customers to be cautious making any large purchase online.

“If you make a car purchase, especially online, and you’re not able to see the car, when it’s delivered to you the first thing you want to do is take it to your local mechanic,” said Bryan Oglesby, with the Better Business Bureau Serving West Florida.

Oglesby says to make sure you read any contract to know the terms and conditions. He says the seven-day return policy seems like a good deal, but make sure to check into the fine print.

Carvana will require you to pay for shipment if you return the car from outside of their immediate service area.

Carvana reps say while few people return the cars, most of them end up buying another from Carvana after the return.

If Carvana becomes more popular in the Tampa market, you could see one of the company’s “vending machines” locally.

In Nashville, Carvana has a five-story building that literally acts as a vending machine for cars. It’s the first of its kind in the country.

The company was launched in 2013 with $4 million in reported revenue. Last year, Carvana reported $140 million in revenue.

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