There’s a new used car sales “startup” company and their gimmick is to have you buy the used car online and then come pick it up out of a vending machine.
I do not know much about you, but I’ve never 1) wanted to buy my candy online at home and then travel to a vending machine to spit it out for me, or 2) wanted to travel to a dealership only to wait approximately 11 minutes for the car I bought online to go from a glass storage platform eight stories high before I can drive off with it.
But if you do want to buy a used car online, not have it delivered, and instead travel to a Carvana pickup location to operate a mega-sized vending machine holding your car, you should be very excited.
ArsTechnica got to check out the gimmick in action in Austin, Texas at one of Carvana’s three pickup locations. You insert a giant coin, and then you watch the used car you only ever examined online before buying slowly lower down to you. From ArsTechnica:
This machine takes more operational time than the normal cash-for-candy setup, too. Carvana schedules customer pick-ups in 20-minute blocks throughout the day since vending can last roughly 11 minutes. Still, Carvana can deliver more product efficiently through the machine than they could through the company’s at-home option.
“We can do four deliveries per day, and there’s a cost of doing that,” says Keeton. An employee devotes work time to be on the road, and the company must purchase larger delivery vehicles as necessary. But the vending machine sites remove the delivery logistics, and they need less staff and infrastructure than traditional dealerships. Keeton says customers save an average of $1,500 on a used car thanks to such aspects of Carvana’s smaller overhead.
“Delivery requires an employee driving to you, but we can do a pickup every 20 minutes each day here,” he says. “It’s another lower cost, and because of that we can build stuff like this to ramp up the fun.”
I guess, out of all the other used car buying methods like, a parking lot, being able to Snapchat something remotely interesting out of the whole experience is definitely something that you can do here. The cool thing about buying a new Volvo or something is you get to tour the factory and feel like a part of your car. This just makes me feel like I forgot to pack my car at home.
Of course these “vending machines” have been used to park cars for years, and are actually a useful space-efficient means of storage. But if I’m already buying the car online, I’ll just go ahead and get it delivered.