15 comments to “Used Car Startups Do a Wheelie Around Consumer Protection Rules”

  1. Erick Reyna

    First let me say that the initial communication with the Beepi was very positive. Their emails were quite clear and succinct. The inspection was very professional. Their initial offer was fair, and they clearly committed, in writing, to either selling my car or purchasing it after it had been listed for 30 days or more.

    37 days after listing it, I was informed that they were shutting down their operation in my area and wished me the best of luck in selling my car. When I informed them that I had met their terms and conditions for them to purchase my vehicle, and insisted that they do so, they told me that they would not be honoring that agreement.

    Their response was that, regardless of what I had in writing, I should have been offered a non-guaranteed offer for my class of vehicle, which would absolve them from any obligation to purchase it.

    So I am high and dry. I entered into the agreement with a high level of trust in this organization that was certainly misplaced.

    At the time that I am writing this, I can find no mention of non-guaranteed offers on the website. They only entice the seller with a guaranteed purchase price after meeting their terms and conditions. After this is posted, this may change.

    Otherwise, I would strongly suggest that all sellers beware of this organization. The timing of their communication to me was pretty suspicious. My experience does not lead me to believe that their business practices can be trusted, at least for sellers seeking to have their vehicles purchased after adhering to their terms and conditions.

    Can you say deceptive business practices?

  2. Ms. Sandi

    I had a great experience with Beepi. I’ve sold a car and purchased a new one from them. They really do take care of all the little details. Having dealt with the buying & selling aspect of it I have total confidence that every car they list is in great mechanical condition And also buying at a fantastic price. They paid me $2500 more than any dealership was willing to give me for my vehicle as well. Very positive experience!

  3. Sarah

    I bought my car through Beepi. It was a fantastic experience. It took about three weeks, from deciding on the car to having it delivered. I was treated VERY well, and all the work was done. I paid under 12,000 for a 2012 Fiat at 50,000 miles. The car was in immaculate shape, and we’ll be purchasing my husband’s car from Beepi as well.

  4. Peter Ganson

    All i can is think before buying, and check the manufacturer’s website and make sure all safety repairs have been done and in good condition. Especially the repair parts are very rare these days.

  5. Brian Joseph

    Thanks for reading, Nelson. Sorry you didn’t like it. But let me say we didn’t set out to protect existing used car dealers. In fact, we mentioned that the industry doesn’t have a good reputation with consumers. The purpose of this story was to inform consumers about an emerging marketplace for used cars that has attracted some controversy.

  6. Nelson Meehan

    Anyone investigate this lobbyist Larry Laskowski and Independent Automobile Dealers Association of California?

    Horror stories on yelp pop up in a quick google search.
    http://www.yelp.com/biz/the-auto-outlet-roseville?hrid=XB8ZPClPaOThSfkdXn1pUg

    Sounds like Brian Joseph is trying to protect companies like The Auto Outlet who post cars with hundreds of thousands of miles and questionable condition reports.

    Is this consumer protection?

  7. DMS

    Carfax is overpriced! Consumers can access vehicle history through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS) at http://www.vehiclehistory.gov for a nominal fee.

  8. Douglas Baldwin

    It is endlessly fascinating how the Internet forces us all to reconsider all aspects of life, mainly because of volumes. Laws have long been happily tuned to size and once upon a time, growth was slow and thus you could keep an eye on it. Thus many laws for businesses only apply if the business has a certain number of employees. Many laws take effect only if one does an activity a certain amount. Socially, we have all seen how little emails and texts can cause amazingly huge problems via amazingly huge readership. Thus, it is not surprising that the issues discussed in this piece about new wrinkles in the used car sales business are cropping up and need attention from law makers and enforcers. Look at the issues concerning Uber and Airbnb, its all very similar. Life wouldn’t be fun if it wasn’t surprisingly and continually trying to be ambitiously and industriously out of control in ever new ways.

  9. Rosemary Shahan

    Used car buyers need to be on the lookout for unsafe vehicles, including recalled used cars, whether you are buying from a dealer, a peer-to-peer service, or an individual. Dealers are fighting back against attempts to stop them from selling unsafe, recalled used cars to consumers. They are in such a rush to make a profit, they can’t be bothered getting the repairs done prior to selling a car.

    ALWAYS get the VIN of any car you’re thinking of buying, and check the manufacturer’s website or via the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s VIN-lookup tool BEFORE you agree to buy, and make sure all safety recall repairs have been done. Some people were killed the SAME DAY they were handed the keys to an unsafe defective car. And these days, it may take months before the repair parts are available.

  10. Michael

    I agree that carfax is indeed a great service to have all of the damage reports shown but it might be a bit pricy for what it does. I have used another service for my used car before I sold it and their report was very accurate vinauditgo.com check it out if you are tight on budget.

  11. ben kelley

    It is essential that all cars covered by outstanding safety defect recalls be fixed before sale. It appears that this is not be required in the peer-to-peer sales services described in this article. The problem of unrepaired recalled defective vehicles, which is already serious, may be exacerbated by this new wrinkle in used car sales.

    Also, the “consumer” website, UsedCarInspections.org., recommended by John Adams in his comment above, makes no reference to safety defect recalls and the need to be sure corrective repairs have been made before the sale or purchase of a car. Nor does it inform visitors of the website’s ownership, business interests, or other vital “about us” information. It’s all too easy to put up a “non-profit consumer” site which is actually promoting a business or economic point of view. I would not trust this or any other website that failed to provide detailed information about its provenance and governance.

  12. Geraldine

    It’s hard to come by educated people about this subject, however,
    you seem like you know what you’re talking about!
    Thanks

  13. Muriel Strand, P.E.

    i might feel more sympathetic to standard car dealers if i didn’t have to pay $500 for the 3-day grace period that is normal for all other consumer contracts.

  14. John Adams

    Any type of dealer inspection is not the same as a pre-purchase inspection. You cannot determine the true value of a vehicle without knowing the current condition of EVERY component and system, and the quality of repairs if the vehicle was in a previous accident (most accidents will not show up on a Carfax report). It’s impossible to purchase a bad used car IF the vehicle was professionally inspected. However, there are no pre-purchase inspection standards or qualification standards for technicians performing pre-purchase inspections.

    Please visit the non-profit consumer site UsedCarInspections.ORG to learn what a pre-purchase inspection should include and which Automotive Technicians are qualified to perform pre-purchase inspections. Also read the “Top 10 Myths and Mistakes” made by used car buyers.

  15. Used Car Startups Do a Wheelie Around Consumer Protection Rules - News JX Automotive

    […] Used Car Startups Do a Wheelie Around Consumer Protection Rules Car dealers say they've complained to the California Department of Motor Vehicles that these online startups are endangering consumers by sidestepping the protections required of traditional operations, although used car dealers don't typically enjoy … Read more on FairWarning […]

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