October 27, 2013
The auto industry is somewhat under-represented in the startup world. There are several large companies that focus on the buying and selling of new and used cars, but they all have the same business model–a marketplace designed around advertisements and pay-for-positioning listing placement. All in all, they do not put the customer first.
Kansas City-based Autoswaprz has launched a solution to this problem-causing model, by making the customer–not ads– their priority. Autoswaprz is a free service that provides a better way to buy, sell, and swap new and used vehicles. They’ve eliminated the advertisements, featured listings, and “power position,” thereby making it easier for shoppers to find the best car for the best value.
“We’ve eliminated the clutter to create a marketplace that is clean, powerful, and intuitive.”
The marketplace provides three services to users: sell, buy, and swap. The swap feature is unique because it allows sellers to create a list of items they are interested in swapping the vehicle for. The website provides several features that are key to getting the best deal in the purchase or sale of a vehicle. It allows users to upload up to 20 images and videos per listing, provides listing message boards, connects swappers with one another, and enables buyers to store their favorites in a “garage” linked to their account.
The founders of Autoswaprz have a substantial mix of auto industry and tech experience. Their location has also played an important role in their success. CEO Chris Zink sees a lot of advantages of starting up in a small, but entrepreneur-friendly city.
“Autoswaprz wouldn’t be where we are today without the help of accelerator programs such as BetaBlox and the support of the Kauffman Foundation. Being located centrally allows us to expand strategically and cost effectively to major markets within a relatively short distance. The only disadvantage can sometimes be the crazy Kansas weather.”
Autoswaprz is already seeing a lot of success, but they are clear about their goals for the future. Primarily, they aim to continue to grow exponentially and have more inventory, more dealerships, and more users than the industry leaders. As long as they’re able to keep their customers happy and the process streamlined, I don’t see anything stopping them from attaining these goals.
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