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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Carvana Calling

Last summer a friend wanted to sell a used car that he had inherited. Unhappy with the interest level and offers he received locally, he contacted Carvana who gave him a competitive offer online (which he accepted). A few days later, a Carvana representative arrived with check in hand and loaded the car on a trailer after my friend handed over the title to complete the transaction.

I love cars but hate buying and selling them. At the end of the transaction, I always feel like I’ve over-paid for the vehicle I purchased and received less for my trade than the car was worth. Having been in sales for most of my career, I’m also not a big fan of the “variability” in sales experiences I’ve had working with auto dealerships and their sales personnel over the years, let alone the time it takes (sometimes days or weeks) to “shop” for a used car.

Since my friend raved about his experience, I made a note to check out Carvana the next time I needed to replace a vehicle in my “fleet of depreciating rolling stock”.

When the time arrived to begin shopping for my next vehicle, I began visiting local dealerships to determine the value of my trade-in towards a 2016 GMC Acadia. During this process I test drove several vehicles and determined that the Acadia would suit my needs. Now all I needed to do was find a low mileage GMC at a reasonable price and get a fair value for my trade.

Enter Carvana. After dinner a few weeks ago on a Monday evening I logged into the Carvana website, did a search for the vehicle I was looking for and found a 2016 Acadia with just over 32,000 miles. After spending 15-20 minutes reviewing the dozens of photos and the detailed CarFax history of the vehicle, I “reserved” my purchase and began to complete the paperwork. At the conclusion of the process (which took less than 30 minutes) an appointment was scheduled for the car to be delivered Friday morning.

While the actual delivery date ended up being rescheduled due to the severe weather that swept through the country that week, Carvana “over-communicated” with me about the delays and in the end provided a meaningful “refund” for the inconvenience I experienced with the change in delivery dates.

The car arrived in showroom condition. After taking a fifteen-minute test drive, I handed over the title for my trade-in after which it was loaded on the trailer and taken away.

In the first couple of days of owning the Acadia I noticed a couple of minor issues with the vehicle – a dashboard warning light indicating that vehicle’s theft protection system needed to be serviced and the windshield washers not working properly. We also encountered a major issue…the headlights didn’t work!

Since Carvana offers a full money-back guarantee during the first seven days after purchasing the vehicle, I immediately brought these issues to their attention. To their credit, between Carvana and SilverRock the firm that administers their 100-Day Limited Warranty, each of these matters was resolved in a timely manner at no expense to me.

While these issues would never have occurred had Carvana’s 150-point check list been thoroughly followed prior to the vehicle being shipped, Carvana more than made up for this oversight by delivering an exceptional post-sale service experience.

Since ordering my vehicle I’ve had two other friends who have purchased vehicles from Carvana without difficulty. In one instance the vehicle was ordered at 6:30 AM on a Monday morning and delivered before noon, two days later.

In summary, my experience is that Carvana gave me a fair value for my trade-in, a fair price on the vehicle I purchased and an outstanding post-sale service experience.

To quote my friend whose car was delivered in less than 48 hours, “thanks to Carvana, I may never have to go into a car dealership ever again!”

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