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Carzoos introduces new way to buy used cars

Used car revolution: AP Eagers’ Carzoos concept takes the negotiations out of the used-car buying and selling experience by utilising iPads to network its 110 dealerships to vie for business.

Used cars now able to be purchased via iPads in Carzoos stores in shopping centres


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16 Sep 2016

ONE of Australia’s largest dealership companies, AP Eagers, has begun selling used cars in shopping centres from jazzy stores manned by a young team of “buddies” and the only cars you can see are on iPads.

In a big departure from the usual used-car yard stocked with cars to touch and feel and drive, buyers at Carzoos get detailed pictures and specifications of the cars in the iPads instead of looking at cars in the flesh.

The company opened its first store at Westfield Garden City in Brisbane’s south and will open another at Westfield North Lakes in Brisbane’s north in November.

The Carzoos shops are similar to Apple stores with hosts greeting shoppers by explaining how you can buy a used car, sell you current car or get finance to buy a car whether you are buying from Carzoos or not.

The Carzoos operation is linked to the used-car operations of 110 dealerships in the AP Eagers network which stock the used cars offered for sale on the iPads.

In a normal used-car purchase, the valuation of your car as a trade-in, the sale price of the used car you are buying and the arrangement for a loan to buy the car are bundled all into the one transaction.

There are negotiations over how much you will get for your car, more negotiations over the price of the car you are buying and more negotiations over the deposit and repayments in the load for the car. This can take hours and is regarded as the most stressful – and disliked – part of buying a car.

At Carzoos, all these transactions are regarded as separate.

The purchase of the old car is a single deal. Carzoos will buy your car even if you are not buying another car from them or buying another car from another dealer.

The purchase is also not linked to the trade-in either.

The sales revolve around the fact that is no negotiation at any point.

Here’s how it works …When you enter the store the hosts introduce you to a buddy who works with you via the iPad stock list to find a car you want in your price range.

The prices are those advertised by the dealers which have the cars in stock.

But there is a special treat in store as the buddy touches a button which reveals a special non-negotiable price that a Carzoos buyer is offered. The price is based on what Carzoos believes will be eventually paid by a buyer after hours of negotiations.

So what makes Carzoos think people will buy a car without touching it and driving it?The clincher is that Carzoos offers a money-back guarantee of seven days (with a limit of 500km). Because you can reverse your way out of the deal within seven days, buyers are effectively being offered a seven-day familiarisation and test drive so there is no risk to the buyer – even though the car was not physically present when they agreed to sign up.

Carzoos even keeps your old car if one was traded so that the owner can get their old car back.

In thousands of deals so far, less than one in 100 people have wanted to return their car and half of those bought a different car.

One massive inducement, especially for your car owners, is each car comes with free fully comprehensive insurance for one year – even for young drivers with driving blemishes. This is a huge incentive as it gets young drivers insured for the first time at no cost and gives them 12 months to prove their driving record so that they can get their insurance renewed after the first 12 months.

Most of the cars featured in the iPads are less than six years old and the cars also all come with a 120-point check. Carzoos claims 63 per cent of cars inspected are rejected for sale.

They come with a free one year/175,000km warranty, free roadside assist and capped-price servicing.

Carzoos will also buy you car independently of whether you are buying one of their cars or not.

The company offers the seller a “best in market” purchase price.

If you are selling your car, the buddies have special assessment programs in their iPads to appraise the condition of your car. All the VIN-style identity details are keyed in and they take extensive pictures inside and outside the car. Sellers have to agree that the car is mechanically sound and if a later test drive shows that it is not sound then the deal is off.

At the touch of a button these details are sent to the used-car managers at all AP Eagers dealerships around Australia to the company’s (wholesale) car buying division and to its auto auction house.

These dealers then bid for your car. The highest bid, from the dealer who most wants your car for their stock, sets the price that Carzoos will pay for your car. In effect it is the best in market price because it has been set commercially across more than 100 car businesses which are scouring the market for cars to sell.

Again, Carzoos will buy the car from you this way if you are buying a car this way or not.

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