by Staff Writer
get\Worth, a South African Fintech start-up focusing on used car trading, is aiming to provide alternatives to the traditional way of buying and selling cars.
The start-up is currently operating in Cape Town with a satellite operation in Gauteng.
It offers tools, products and information to help people buy and sell their cars for what they are really worth.
The firm, which was founded in April 2016, has developed some clever stuff that it has patented.
The company uses data and analytics to remove subjectivity from pricing and trading decisions. get\Worth also use millions of price points to train a proprietary machine learning algorithm. This engine drives pricing decisions and is necessary to manage the risks of its business.
It also created tools for its customers to interact with the company online and get information on the market and their open deals.
Get\Worth aims for an online business in the longer run, but will straddle both worlds while building towards that goal. It is not yet sure that the South African consumer is ready to buy cars without test drives and face-to-face interactions, so it is offering the traditional services of test drives and kicking the tyres.
At the same time, we are encouraging alternative approaches such as get\Seven: ‘Seven times the peace of mind’.
On most vehicles get\Worth sell, it offers a 7 day or 700km money-back guarantee, no questions asked. Rather than a 15-minute test drive, you have a week to get comfortable with your new car.
The company also offers get\More: ‘Get paid. Sell the car. Get paid again.’
Traditionally, the best way to sell your car at a decent value has been via a private sale. But that approach comes with hassle and security risks. Most people need to sell their current car first, before being able to buy a new one. This can all make the process difficult and unpleasant.
get\More provides an alternative that gives all the benefits of a private sale but none of the hassle.
The company will pay a car owner a cash amount upfront, close to what the trade would offer. It will then market and sell the vehicle, but at a price set by the original owner. When it sells, get\Worth will pay the original owner a second amount, which will vary according to the ultimate selling price and how long it took to sell. It also offers flexibility, allowing the seller to cash out of the deal, or even buy the car back if they change their mind.
However, a seller does not always get\More as an option. The firm only offers get\More within certain mileage, age and price ranges. The type of vehicle might also play a role.
Co-founder of get\Worth, Jamie Surkont, realised that the car selling industry is facing huge changes, with many motorists now buying and selling online rather than through a traditional dealership, but that in itself was presenting several challenges to consumers.
After buying and selling more than 60 cars personally over the last 20 years, Surkont, felt that the process had become unpleasant.
“For most people a motor vehicle is a significant financial commitment and the process of selling and buying cars can have a serious negative impact on finances. I’ve been frustrated in the traditional approach for many years and have played with various ideas and concepts to address it,” says Surkont.
After chatting with former colleagues, Mark Ridgway and Colin Morgan, the three realised that the problems in the industry required a very different approach. Deciding against buying a traditional dealership, they began developing something new to offer all the services that a traditional dealership would offer, and more.
“We want to be transparent about the car and we don’t want to push our customers into a purchase they will regret a day later. So we essentially give them a seven day test drive. It’s much better than the traditional 15 minutes down the road and back, and makes a huge difference for any buyer, but particularly those who want to buy online,” explains Surkont.
Aligned to get\Worth, the product for sellers, called get\More, means that the company will pay the seller a cash amount upfront and take ownership of the car and market it for sale. However, the seller sets the selling price of the car and, when it sells, receives the balance of the selling price less the fees that the company charges.
Surkont says the model is best explained by a real-life example. “One of our customers wanted to sell her car, an Audi A1. The best price she was offered by the trade was R185,000. We paid her R175,500 in cash up-front, and listed the car at a price she set. When it sold 40 days later, we paid her a bonus and she came out R27,000 ahead of her best trade offer. And it was easy, convenient and transparent,” says Surkont.
Many people are turning into pre-owned cars as the economic environment continues to be tough.
get\Worth is aiming to make it easy for those people interested in buying used cars.