04Apr

Easy Auto Sales

By David in Startups

Easyautosales.com is a new startup in the world of buying and selling cars.

Wei, one of the three current owner originally discovered the issues of online auto sales after one of his friends tried to buy a car through Craigslist and received over 30 scam responses. He figured there had to be a better way. On the web there are already a number of great destinations for finding autos but there hasn’t been one that combined the technology of large classified sites with the free to sell models. While Craigslist is free, the technology really isn’t all that great for car buyers.

EasyAutoSales.com is a free, ad-supported autos service that helps private sellers and dealers sell cars online. They want to change the way cars are offered on the web vs. current methods. On top of allowing both private sellers and dealers to list all of their cars completely free on Easy Auto Sales and post unlimited pictures, they also wanted to help advertisers segment and reach their target audience within the online automotive crowd.

For example, it’s easy to say Person X went to an autos site therefore he’s interested in buying cars – let’s throw a bunch of car related ads at him and hope it sticks. It’s much more effective to segment Person X and figure out if he’s trying to buy cars under $5,000 or a new car and present the appropriate ads.

Wei is currently living off of tax refunds and money he received from selling his last startup. His personal runway is about 5 months long (which means he has about two months left before he has to make some tough decisions). Wei and his team work from their various homes and they’re Mac based.

He had contracted the development of his UI, which took about a month to build. The actual development time for programming was about 2.5 months from mid January to March of 2008. The site just launched its beta on March 21st and they still have a lot of kinks to work out. However, it would appear the constant whipping of the team to do their very best has had some positive effect – they garnered 50,000 cars within just one week of launch.

Investments:

Each of the three co-founders have promised to put in $5,000 a piece to pool their seed money. Since they’re limited on funds, they’ve solved a number of problems using VERY creative solutions instead of just throwing money at it and hope it goes away.

They’ve spent about $5,500 on outsourced coding but their primary goal was to just get a product out – regardless of how buggy or incomplete it was.

I’ve yet to see a perfectly coded site launch that was guaranteed success. However, I have seen and worked on a number of failed startups because they never launched waiting for perfection.

About $1,000 was spent on logo design and website design. Contrary to their past startups, they found the best person for each job and only gave them that job.

It’s much better to pay a logo guru for a logo design and a guru at graphics/CSS/xhtml for UI design then to try and find someone who is mediocre at both and expect them to do a great job at everything. The same goes for programming – if you outsource, don’t limit yourself to one firm for database work, code, UI design, logo, etc. Find the best for each and give them all different tasks.

They haven’t spent a dime on promotion thus far. In total, they’ve spent less than $8,000 – a good chunk is actually for food at Panera, where they meet weekly thanks to their free Wifi.

Easy Auto Sales is currently making limited revenue, so that’s obviously something they’ll have to work out in the near future.

Feel free to check out their company blog, at ComefortheRide.com.

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7 Responses to “Easy Auto Sales”

  • Julian:
    April 4th, 2008
    10:27 pm

    They seem to have a pretty large inventory of cars for sale, I’m sure its a very useful site for someone looking to purchase a car.

    One thing that strikes my mind at first glance is, the design looks more ‘e-book’ pitching website rather than a sales website.

    Good post nonetheless :)

  • Kieran:
    April 5th, 2008
    5:20 pm

    Great site! I can see this easily becoming quite big. I love the design, too. :)

  • Tom Ross:
    April 6th, 2008
    10:58 am

    Looks like a good niche to get into. Something was definitely needed instead of Craigslist.

  • Wei Yang:
    April 8th, 2008
    10:53 am

    Thanks for the comments guys. We definitely have some exciting things lined up that we’re eager push out.

    Also, if you’re in the market for cars, we’ll have about 10x more than we have today in about a week.

  • Kieran:
    April 9th, 2008
    7:08 am

    I actually am in the market for a car at the moment, but I’m in the UK!

    You should expand to other markets, hint hint :)

  • Wei Yang:
    April 11th, 2008
    4:17 pm

    We would love to expand over the pond at some point. If we don’t catch you this time, we’ll get ya in 6 years when you need a new car again. =)

  • Eric Miltsch:
    April 18th, 2008
    9:29 pm

    Easy to use free listings sites w/more w2.0 functionalities will quickly fall into favor with online automotive consumers…

    Here’s another interview with Wei:
    http://www.whybuyusedcars.com/2008/04/01/making-things-easier/

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