Paying for a new car can be a nightmare, but what if the price tag was $8,000 to $20,000 less than what you’re seeing at the dealership? If it sounds too good to be true, it’s not; it’s just the beauty of Auto Grab.
Founded by MIT sophomore Ian Cinnamon, Auto Grab is a startup that runs flash car sales for dealerships. Described by Cinnamon as a kind of “Groupon for cars,” Auto Grab allows customers to browse an inventory of car dealers trying to sell off their lot and then provides interested buyers with a special code for a deal exclusive to the site. In turn, dealerships can decide how long they’d like each individual sale to last, maximizing the overstock they have on their lot.
As someone originally from California, Cinnamon is partnering with Keyes Mercedes in Los Angeles first, the largest Mercedes dealership in the United States. What’s more impressive, Cinnamon began the project merely three weeks ago after receiving a call from someone he knew at the dealership. Aware that Cinnamon attends MIT, they called and asked if he could build a web page that would allow the dealership to promote flash car sales. Not only did Cinnamon think he could build the website, he thought he could build a business, admitting he’s been looking for his “next cool idea.” Auto Grab seemed like a no-brainer.
Dealerships receive new cars everyday, and they can only do one of two things when they have too many cars on the lot, according to Cinnamon. They can either ship them back to the manufacturer for an absurd fee, or they can try and sell them at a huge loss. Now, dealerships can partner with Auto Grab instead, posting a picture and the discounted price of every car they’re selling on the site. Dealers then get to sell their extra cars, while users can receive up to $20,000 off the list price. “It’s a win-win for everyone,” Cinnamon says.
Depending on how the first partnership goes — which kicks off next Tuesday — Cinnamon plans on moving to other dealerships in the area. From there, he says they’ll move on to other big cities, Boston included, to help others get rid of their overstock.
An added perk of using Auto Grab? People who sign up beforehand gain early access, and will get a sneak peak at the cars the Mercedes dealership will be selling before the rest of the public does. We can’t wait for this service to be in Boston now — we could really use that extra 20 grand.