By Steve Bender, CEO and President of Fleet Street Remarketing and Founder of CarVantedge
As a remarketing provider for nearly 20 years, one of the things that I’ve always hated about the car business is the fact that there often seems to be both a winner – and a loser – in every transaction. Even as a kid growing up, I remember watching cartoons and seeing car buying consumers being zapped with some kind of negative “gotcha” by an unscrupulous salesperson.
As a guy who grew up – in essence – to be a used car dealer, this was hardly the kind of experience I wanted my customers to have. The problem is that, as a corporate vehicle remarketer, I rarely get to see the entire vehicle buying or selling process. That’s because in most cases we sell vehicles to auctions or dealers who then sell them to the public. The process always felt a little cold and it made me wonder:
How could I bridge the gap between corporate fleets and consumer buyers and guarantee that everyone involved had a great buying experience?
And then it hit me.
Why didn’t I start my own online buying site, one where I could dictate the rules? One where everyone ended up a winner, and that’s when I came up with the idea behind CarVantedge.
An online retail buying site, CarvantEdge sells expertly maintained, off lease corporate vehicles directly to consumers, skipping the middleman and ensuring that everyone involved in the process wins.
To begin with, we’ve structured CarVantedge to bring vehicle sellers and retail buyers together for the benefit of both parties. We strive to be totally transparent in the selling process. No one is trying to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes by withholding information. With CarVantedge, there’s no dazzling buyers with a fancy showroom. No expensive refreshments and fast-talking salespeople to sway buyers.
Instead, our easy-to-use online site goes to great lengths to tell buyers exactly what they’re getting. If there is something that makes the car less desirable than if we waxed it up and put it in a showroom, we tell buyers right up front on the website. By contrast, most used car dealers coyly deflect honest questions, often leaving buyers confused and uncertain who they can trust.
Our goal at CarVantedge is to make sure everyone involved feels good about the process instead of feeling ripped off.
The CarVantedge process is great for fleets and corporate vehicle sellers because it opens up the pool of available buyers to virtually anyone with an internet connection, just the way other retail sites do.
Now, instead of being forced to accept whatever price their car sells for at auction or through dealers, corporate fleet sellers are exposed to millions of retail customers ready to pay top dollar for their used vehicles. With CarVantedge, there’s no cajoling. No beating up fleet managers to get them to accept less. Instead, the CarVantedge process cuts out the middlemen and gives sellers a direct line to retail consumers. This ensures that the bulk of profits from the sale go to the vehicle seller instead of a long line of hangers-on who jockey to take a cut even when they have little to do with the process.
CarVantedge gives fleets the ability to showcase their vehicles to eager buyers before they even come off lease. In many cases vehicles get sold while they’re still in service, essentially resulting in “zero” days to sale, resulting in higher ROI for sellers, and a more positive experience for buyers.
With traditional remarketing, sellers often wait weeks or months to sell and get paid as vehicles wind their way through the remarketing process. By selling through CarVantedge, fleets know exactly where their assets are in the process, and often get paid within days of taking their vehicles out of service.
With CarVantedge, fleets can even setup a special program where they give employees first crack at their best vehicles. It’s an easy and popular way of offering a valuable employee benefit without an incremental cost.
CarVantedge is great for buyers, saving them hundreds – and often thousands – of dollars when purchasing a used vehicle. It also ensures they don’t get ripped off by fast talking salesmen intent on making a buck instead of focused on providing a great vehicle at an affordable price. And because most fleet vehicles are expertly maintained, buyers end up with a higher quality vehicle than they do when buying from a used car dealer or in a private sale.
Perhaps best of all, CarVantedge offers consumers a true retail buying experience, not a bare bones transaction. That’s because our staff of experienced experts handles all the details, all of the paperwork, and all of the transactions in our corporate office. We never use an outside or automated service. There’s no robot, no “dial 9,” just one dedicated team that manages every transaction with our white glove, concierge-style service. CarVantedge even offers a guaranteed selling process, meaning that if a buyer is unhappy with their vehicle for any reason, we’ll take it back and help them find a vehicle more to their liking.
Try getting that kind of experience from a traditional used car lot or private seller.
The team here at Fleet Street has spent a lot of time perfecting CarVantedge, including developing our own proprietary website, and a slew of policies that protect both seller and buyer. We feel the service is helping us re-define what “as is” means, and we are confident it can help change the remarketing process for the better as we emerge from a difficult two years to what we believe can be a new age of enlightenment for the entire fleet space.
About the Author
Steve Bender is CEO and President of Fleet Street Remarketing, one of the fleet space’s oldest and most trusted remarketing providers for over three decades. He is also founder of CarVantedge, remarketing’s only online retail solution. Steve is also Vice President and Rising President of the Automotive Fleet Leasing Association (AFLA), one of fleet’s most prominent trade organizations. To reach him, email email@example.com.