With Beepi, used-car buying moves online


The car business is moving further online.

Recent Los Angeles Times stories have covered the online auto insurance shopping service CoverHound and the online classic car aggregator Vintage Wheels.

Now comes the local debut of Beepi, a digital used-car platform that allows consumers to buy and sell automobiles, arrange financing, set up delivery and start driving -- without ever actually meeting in person, and with a money-back guarantee if the buyer has a change of heart.

The Los Altos-based service began as a Bay Area peer-to-peer auto marketplace. It has now been extended to other urban markets in California for sellers and outside the state for buyers.


The Beepi deal: Offered cars are inspected and certified, given a fixed, no-haggle price and professional photo treatment, then placed online for sale. If the car isn’t sold at the fixed price in 30 days, the company promises to buy the car itself.

Each vehicle’s online ad comes with a product review, inspector’s report and car history.

The downside, for some prospective buyers: no test drives.

But the company promises home delivery within 10 days, via flatbed truck, of the washed and detailed car. Each vehicle comes with a three-month, 3,000-mile warranty, and each transaction comes with a 10-day, or 1,000-mile, no-questions-asked return policy.

The company also offers free five-day delivery in California, and for $999 will deliver that quickly to 140 cities in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon.

Beepi’s take: up to 9% of the transaction price.

On Thursday night, Beepi’s first L.A. sale went down. The company purchased a 2011 Kia Optima Hybrid for $15,035, a Beepi representative said, from Buena Park resident Min Choi.

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