Selling a car can be an exhausting experience. Hours sitting at the dealership, awkward back-and-forths with a pushy salesman, and tedious paperwork can make for time-consuming and inefficient process.
But Chicago startup Swap Motors wants to change that by helping you sell your used car online with just a few clicks.
Swap Motors, which launched in January, wants to give you a better car selling experience than CarMax and Craigslist with its site that lets you post your car and receive bids from dealers. You can register your vehicle on Swap, get a mechanic to your door who inspects your car and takes photos and videos, and you can watch as more than 100 dealers bid on your car.
By connecting sellers directly to dealers, owners can bypass middlemen and get a higher price for their vehicle, Swap Motors founder and CEO Alex Johnson said. And dealers are happy because they have access to inventory all in one place, Johnson added.
The idea for Swap began when Johnson set out to sell his own car and got a less-than-impressive offer from a dealership. So we went around looking for a better deal, and discovered how inefficient the process was.
“No one has time to drive dealer to dealer to dealer,” he said. “When they sell a car, they don’t want to deal with the headache.”
Since launching just this year, Swap Motors says it has sold around 60 cars on its platform.
Online car selling isn’t exactly new, and Swap Motors faces a handful of venture-backed competitors operating in the same space. Shift, which has raised over $100 million, Vroom, which has raised $294 million, and Carvana, which raised over $300 million before going public, all want to disrupt the auto industry with online sales.
Swap hopes to succeed by offering both an option to sell to dealers as well as a peer-to-peer model, which the startup says it plans to launch in the coming months. Bypassing the middleman all together, Swap will let you find interested buyers directly on its platform.
But others in the P2P car buying space have seen their fare share of struggles. Peer-to-peer used car marketplace Beepi shut down earlier this year after raising $150 million in capital, and previously mentioned Shift has experienced some downsizing of its own.
But Swap hopes to cut through the noise of online car sellers, and succeed where others have fallen short, Johnson said. The startup registered 140 cars on its site in June, and did 180 last month.
The company has eight total employees, and has yet to take on any outside funding.