Philly-based car delivery startup expands to Baltimore
You may see more trucks carting newly purchased cars around town, as another online car buying company enters the Baltimore market.
Philadelphia-based Gettacar is now offering residents in the Baltimore area the ability to purchase a used vehicle online and have it delivered to their door. The company joined the local market two years after its much larger competitor, Carvana Co., came into town.
Carvana expanded into Baltimore in 2017. The publicly traded firm has an annual revenue of about $2 million and a market capitalization of $10.5 billion, according to Yahoo Finance. Since its founding in 2013, Carvana has grown to have a presence in 96 markets nationwide, and has even set up large car vending machines in nearly 20 cities. One of these machines was erected in Gaithersburg last year, and there is also one in Philadelphia. Carvana has an inventory of over 19,000 vehicles.
Gettacar will not be bringing the same level of inventory or towering vending machines to Greater Baltimore, but co-founder Yossi Levi said his startup plans to differentiate itself in the market by targeting a specific kind of car buyer. Gettacar’s ideal customer is someone who is looking for a vehicle under five years old with less than 35,000 miles on it. The firm serves customers who want a market priced model with a clean record, as well as those who may be OK purchasing a car that has previously been in an accident for a cheaper rate.
“We’re not for everyone and we know we’re not,” Levi said. “We’re targeting someone who is looking for good value — not too cheap, not too pricey — who doesn’t want to spend an entire day dealing with someone at the dealership, who needs something reliable quickly and efficiently.”
Gettacar also adds a “human element” to the online car buying process, Levi said, by partnering customers up with a representative that can answer any questions before and after a purchase. Customers have a week to decide whether they want to keep or return a delivered car.
Baltimore is Gettacar’s first expansion market outside the Lehigh Valley area. The company has already made sales in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. The 80-employee company has raised some early funding, but Levi declined to disclose the amount. He also declined to share revenue and the specific number of cars sold to date.
Levi said Gettacar has seen strong early interest in the Baltimore market, drawing more than 100 car buying applicants in the company’s first week live in the city. The city was chosen as an expansion location based on characteristics like its size, similar to that of Philadelphia, and its relatively low cost of living which could allow residents to have some disposable for things like car buying. Baltimore has also been listed among the top 10 most affordable cities in which to buy used vehicles in the U.S., according to Bankrate.
Co-founder Jake Levin said the company is planning to roll out some marketing efforts throughout the summer in Baltimore, including some advertising tied to the football season, as well as on billboards and transit media. The company declined to disclose how many sales it has already made in the market, but Levin said Gettacar plans to selling over 1,000 cars within the next year. Levi said Gettacar may also set up an additional delivery hub in the Greater Baltimore area within the next six months. Currently, the company’s only physical presence is in Philadelphia.
Levi has worked in the auto sales business since he was a teenager. He went into business with his father, to help manage a small used car dealership in Pennsylvania, called Danis Auto. He said the experience gave him a lot of insight into the used auto industry — about a $750 billion industry — as well as the difficulties of traditional car dealing. Coming to a brick-and-mortar location and talking with a dealer in person is an experience he knows lots of people find frustrating, especially in an age where they can buy everything else on their phones.
Levi and his long-time friend, Levin, launched Gettacar last August and merged with Danis Auto. They said they believe there is room in the market for another online car retailer, and they hope to make Gettacar a household name in the space.
By Morgan Eichensehr, Reporter, Baltimore Business Journal – June 25, 2019
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