A new startup company wants to help car owners who have an older cars that are sitting in garages and backyards that could be traded in, but visiting the dealership and negotiating over prices is too much of a hassle.
CarFirst is a Lahore-based startup that acts as a middleman, buying cars from consumers and selling them to dealers through online auctions: a classic consumer-to-business-to-business model.
The way it works is you go to their website; fill a form for online valuation with details such as brand, year model, mileage etc to get an instant price range for your car. Then you can book a free inspection from CarFirst experts at one of their centres, where they will make you an offer. And if the customer agrees to it then begins the document verification phase with the government bodies and once everything is clear, the company takes possession of the vehicle and makes the payment.
The entire inventory is finally updated on the dealer app from where buyers can search through the stock and bid for whichever ones they like in a competitive auction.
Other than the marketplace model, CarFirst is trying to expand its outreach through a number of initiatives such as corporate fleet programme — a bulk dealing scheme for companies, a merchant programme that hopes to bring on board small auto dealers.
Given the sizeable amounts involved in the industry, the startup doesn’t have any payment channels integrated and clears its dues through corporate cheques and pay orders mostly. The verification process, followed by payment, can take up to a week or so but that’s the window Chief Executive Officer Raja Murad Khan wants to minimise. However, on-ground realities still don’t allow for that to happen, not yet at least.
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