Allpar Forums banner
1 - 20 of 30 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
351 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Today I was out riding my bicycle in Tempe, AZ and saw this tall structure with cars being mechanically inserted into it and removed from it. I looked it up and found out that Carvana sells cars online, and people who buy a car from them show up at this structure and put a special coin into it and the machine dispenses their car like a bottle of Coke from a vending machine. Strange! I wonder why anyone thought that a giant vending machine was a sensible way to sell cars? It would make more sense to have a regular lot or parking structure. This seems like a gimmick.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
38,725 Posts
Today I was out riding my bicycle in Tempe, AZ and saw this tall structure with cars being mechanically inserted into it and removed from it. I looked it up and found out that Carvana sells cars online, and people who buy a car from them show up at this structure and put a special coin into it and the machine dispenses their car like a bottle of Coke from a vending machine. Strange! I wonder why anyone thought that a giant vending machine was a sensible way to sell cars? It would make more sense to have a regular lot or parking structure. This seems like a gimmick.
Maximum vehicle storage with minimal lot size.
 

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
15,273 Posts
I saw them on TV, but I thought it was just a ad gimmick.
I guess they are for real.
They are for real. There's one here in the region. Carvana will also deliver your purchase to your house after which you have 7 days to return it if you don't like it. Or of you'd like they'll put it in the vending machine (if it isn't already there) and you can put the coin in to get your purchase that way, Like CarMax they will also buy your current vehicle.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
839 Posts
I just had one of these semis pull up next door with a 2016 Toyota Corolla on it. It pulled up in front of the neighbour's house where it was unlatched and taken down and presented to the neighbor. The car, itself was immaculate with no plates. The neighbor brought some papers out to the truck and got some signatures, took the car to the local DMV and got it insured and registered. In the meanwhile I talked to the truck driver who told me that it came from Indianapolis, from a giant storage yard with re-conditioned cars of all makes. The whole transaction involved no dealer and was convened over the internet. The new owner had seven days to decide if he liked it or not or they would come back and pick it up. Apparently, there were holding yards strategically located across the country.

I asked the guy who purchased the car about his experience. It was entirely over the internet, financing included. He did not have to interact with any humans, accurate, quick and painless, akin to buying something on Amazon. He was very pleased with the whole process and said he would do it again in an instance. He was extremely pleased..

BTW, there is a vending machine outside of Chicago where you could go see the car, and pick it up yourself if you want.
 

·
Yes, This MK Goes Off-Road
Joined
·
1,318 Posts
Not having to mess with a dealer for negotiations and having a week long test drive is worth the extra cost to some.

I wonder how much of the runaround and price up and down would go away if the dealer system wasn't in place. Would it be any different than how TVs or appliances are sold?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,546 Posts
My neighbor as well as a friend of mine did it. They told me it was super simple and they were happy with the process. There was an extra fee to have it delivered to the house vs using the vending machine.
Building Property Commercial building Architecture Metropolitan area

This is ours in Orlando. I'm finicky about picking up a car without first test driving it, but its an option I guess. I'm curious how the experience truly is.
 

·
Virginia Gentleman
Joined
·
15,273 Posts
I'm finicky about picking up a car without first test driving it, but its an option I guess. I'm curious how the experience truly is.
The buyer has 7 days to return the vehicle if they don't like it. Consider it a 7 day test drive.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,444 Posts
I recently purchase a USED 2018 Jeep JLU Sahara with 15,000 miles from Carvana. After going through the entire process I ended backing out of the deal.

Carvana uses an online “virtual showroom” that allows you to look at the vehicle, rotating it 360 degrees, both inside and out. Any imperfections are highlighted and you can zoom into them to see how trivial or serious they are. They also provide a Carfax report that allows you to determine if it had any accidents, how many owners, whether it was for personal or business use, any title declarations —e.g., salvaged, rebuilt, , etc. I think Carvana overall does a very good job of trying to provide detailed, relevant information to compensate for not being able to physically see the vehicle.

Everything went well at first: you lock the vehicle price for 30 minutes to give you the chance to complete initial paperwork. In my case, it took closer to 45 minutes to complete and submit all the necessary info. After the 30 minutes were over, the price of the vehicle had gone up another $700 by the time I submitted everything. That kinda p*ssed me off...

Once you submit all your personal information, you are required to fill in the details. You have to provide photos of the front and back of your driver license, fill out a credit app, provide proof of funds, e-sign a bunch of documents, etc. Carvana staff then go over, internally, and verify all your submissions.

This is where the process starts to bog down. The staff is courteous and pleasant, but they seem overwhelmed. Everything has to be handled through their 1-800 number, which means 60 to 120 minutes waits for each call. You are given the chance to request a callback so you don't have to hold the line. But invariably ends up tying up your time for hours on end to do simple tasks like verify you are who you claim to be.

Other steps take even longer. For instance fund verification required a 3-way call with Carvana, my bank and myself on the line, to verify that the funds were indeed available and to authorize payment. For some reason, after having completed this step successfully, Carvana kept showing “funds have to be verified”, even after I brought it to their attention repeatedly. Three days and several calls later, Carvana continued to show that funds had to be verified, causing unnecessary frustration.

After you satisfy all the requirements, which can take between 2 to 5 days, depending on whether you pay cash or with a bank loan, another "advocate" --as their customers reps are called-- calls again to go over next steps and schedule shipping and delivery. They offered me the choice to take delivery of the vehicle at their Southern California store --1,200 miles away-- for $500, or have it delivered to my home for $399.

In my case, I started the purchase on a Tuesday and Carvana got my payment the following Monday. I received a call that same day to go over next steps. To my dismay they continued to show that funds had to be verified; even after having received my cashier's check. At this point, the "advocate" tells me that it will take an additional "up to 5 business days to verify funds", after which I have a 2-day window to schedule delivery with a 3rd party, which can take another 5 to 15 business days. This means from the moment you start the purchase process and get the vehicle can take anywhere between four to five weeks.

As much as we like to complain about dealers, at least one gets the feeling that they want to close the deal as much as we do. With Carvana this is not they case: dozens of people are involved, each responsible only for one small task. No one has overall responsibility to push the deal to the finish line, so things drag on and on for days and weeks. When you realize that you are giving them a lot of money without even seeing the vehicle and that mistakes are happening, it creates opportunity for all sorts of doubts and cold feet to take hold.

Already frustrated with how long everything was taking, lack of personalized attention, ongoing errors, and now hearing that I wouldn't get the vehicle for another 3 more weeks, I called off the deal.

According to their online reviews a lot of people have a positive experience. My guess is these must be buyers with low involved with their auto purchase, or perhaps are afraid/distrustful to walk into a car dealership. Most seasoned buyers will likely find the Carvana process too impersonal and detached.

PS - after I canceled the deal, I found a NEW 2018 JLU Sahara, heavily discounted, at a small Jeep dealership 700 miles away. The new JLU ended costing me only $1,500 more than the used Jeep from Carvana. Call me old fashioned, but the entire process took three days to complete via phone and email. So everything worked out in the end. I am flying out to pick it up on Friday and driving it home over the weekend.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,740 Posts
Today I was out riding my bicycle in Tempe, AZ and saw this tall structure with cars being mechanically inserted into it and removed from it. I looked it up and found out that Carvana sells cars online, and people who buy a car from them show up at this structure and put a special coin into it and the machine dispenses their car like a bottle of Coke from a vending machine. Strange! I wonder why anyone thought that a giant vending machine was a sensible way to sell cars? It would make more sense to have a regular lot or parking structure. This seems like a gimmick.
If I'm going to cough up $30000 plus for a car I'm going to sit in it and drive it before having a huge payment for the next so many years .
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
57 Posts
As a tow truck operator, I learned they have their own fleet of tow trucks that move just their cars, which is interesting on its own...
 

·
Administrator
1974 Plymouth Valiant - 2013 Dodge Dart - 2013 Chrysler 300C
Joined
·
37,450 Posts
I recently purchase a USED 2018 Jeep JLU Sahara with 15,000 miles from Carvana. After going through the entire process I ended backing out of the deal.
I started working with them, but when I learned I'd have to pay to move the car from Texas to here, and that's not refundable, I stopped. Another company, NOT Carvana but with a similar system, advertised their car as being in the next town over, and I found that too sleazy for me to continue with them at all.

It's sad but most companies never actually explore their processes from the perspective of a customer - or for that matter an employee. It's all accountancy to them—who's getting their money, what are the returns, etc.
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
10,444 Posts
I started working with them, but when I learned I'd have to pay to move the car from Texas to here, and that's not refundable, I stopped. Another company, NOT Carvana but with a similar system, advertised their car as being in the next town over, and I found that too sleazy for me to continue with them at all.

It's sad but most companies never actually explore their processes from the perspective of a customer - or for that matter an employee. It's all accountancy to them—who's getting their money, what are the returns, etc.
Yes, that was my experience with Carvana as well: it was all about “checking the boxes.” You feel like a sheep being herded in.

I found the CarMax buying experience like that as well: never great, but never horrible either; always consistent. But at least the face-to-face interaction at CarMax helps quite a bit.
 
1 - 20 of 30 Posts
Top