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E-commerce

HelloCars on track to triple sales this year

Online-only used car dealership HelloCars is on track to reach $13.5 million in sales this year, a 310 per cent increase from 2017.

Brothers and co-founders Paul and Michael Higgins cited the convenience of online shopping and consumers’ growing appetite for purchasing big ticket items like boats, cars and even houses online as the key driving factors in HelloCars’ rapid growth.

“HelloCars takes all the uncertainty and wasted time out of buying and selling,” Paul Higgins said.

The website launched in Sydney in September 2016 as the country’s first online-only used car dealership and has since expanded nationwide. Unlike sites like carsales.com.au, which are essentially online classifieds businesses, HelloCars facilitates the actual sale of cars online.

Buyers are able to purchase a car on the marketplace by paying a deposit online and settling the balance through an electronic funds transfer or bank cheque before the car is delivered. Meanwhile, HelloCars provides instant quotes to people looking to sell their cars.

“We only sell vehicles that have been certified by HelloCars, that have fewer than 130,000 kilometres and that come with a service history. So you can be assured of the quality of the car you’re buying,” Paul said.

The company conducts a 230-point inspection of the vehicle, and if the car meets the manufacturer’s specifications for certification and its own requirements, it will make an offer that is guaranteed to be better than any dealer.

Paul estimates the company has paid around $800,000 above dealer valuation to customers since launching, thanks in part to the fact that it operates without a physical showroom.

“By cutting out the expensive overheads of a bricks-and-mortar dealer we’re able to operate on a much lower margin. Customers that partner with us receive a fair price, guaranteed to be at least $1,000 more than a traditional dealer,” he said.

The business has produced more than 10,000 instant online quotes for cars in the past 12 months to March 2018, dramatically speeding up the time it takes to buy or sell a used car in Australia.

“It typically takes about three days for a customer to buy a car through HelloCars, although we regularly have instances of customers selling and buying in the same day,” Michael Higgins said.

“It’s a stark comparison when you realise that it takes on average 45 days to sell your car privately online in greater Sydney.”

The average sale price for a car on HelloCars is $22,076, according to Michael, and the five most common makes and models on HelloCars are the Mazda 3, the Volkswagen Golf, the Mazda CX-5, the Subaru XV and the Hyundai i30.

HelloCars provides a seven-day, 500-kilometres money-back guarantee as well as a minimum three-month warranty.

“Our customers vary from families looking for more space to first-time purchasers. The one commonality they all share is they’re time-poor and often frustrated by the process of either selling their cars to dealers or privately,” Michael said.

“People love the fact that our model is simple, low-stress and they don’t feel like they’re being bullied or pressured into anything.”

 

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