Car dealers, especially the used variety, have a tendency to suck the joie de vivre out of the otherwise euphoric experience of buying a car. Selling your car—with all the paperwork and the fear of being held liable if the new owner doesn't process everything immediately—is downright awful.
Beepi is a sort of middleman that does just about everything in the car buying or selling process, except write the check and sign the title. Founded about year ago in San Francisco, it's soon expected to expand across the country, thanks to a recent influx of $60 million in startup funding. It's not just the most hands-off way to buy or sell a car; it's actually really, really good for hardcore enthusiasts.
Call it the death of the used car salesman.
Beepi is not a dealer. Rather, it's a service that sells your car and helps you find a new one within its own peer to peer marketplace.
Say you want to sell your BMW 128i, for example. Beepi looks at your car's record, mileage, and condition, then sets a price above what you'd likely receive by trading it in and below what a prospective buyer would get by going to a dealership.
Then it actually sends a guy out to your house to verify everything you said about the car's condition.
Think of it like the ubiquitous zillion-point inspection seemingly every dealership has, but one that takes place in your driveway. The inspector will even test-drive it, take a bunch of photos (more on that in a second), and keep copious notes for prospective buyers. That's really it. Your car goes up for sale, and it either sells within 30 days, or they straight up buy it from you for the price you started with.
On the other hand, if you're looking to buy, the Beepi inspection and test drive is so thorough you probably wouldn't beat it by taking the car to a mechanic yourself. Then there are those photos.
Most car dealers use odd camera angles to avoid things like worn driver's seats. They tend to take blurry, glare-filled photos to hide imperfections in the hope you won't notice until after you've bought the car. And they typically do not put a ruler next to a closeup of a scratch to tell you exactly how bad it is.
It's easy to say you'd rather see the car for yourself, but be honest: have you ever gone to look at a used car and taken a mirror along with you so you can see if anything is leaking from underneath the oil filter housing? With attention to detail like this, the chances are if anything is missed, it's so minor you'll never notice.
Once you've studied the photos and are ready to pull the trigger on a given car, just click buy. You can pay in the usual ways, of course, or with a bunch of credit cards...or friggin' bitcoin, if you want.
They'll send someone to the seller's house, load it on a flatbed truck, polish it up, slap a bow on the front, and head to your driveway, where they'll also have you sign the relevant paperwork.
Take that, used car salesmen everywhere.