BY SERGIE WILLOUGHBY
For consumers looking to buy a car but don’t exactly look forward to the grueling process of doing so, Tracey Watts’ CarMarshal.com could prove to be a time-saver. For Watts, his personal experience with a car purchase back in 2013 sparked the idea to launch the site.
“I started the company when I was buying my own car. I accidentally got two dealers to do a bid right in front of me over the phone. I was directly in front of one of the dealers and the other one was on the phone; they basically went to battle. They didn’t go back and forth to a finance manager or anything like that; they just came up with an offer that I couldn’t beat, so I figured, hey, I could reproduce that experience,” Watts told TNJ.com.
Watts says CarMarshal.com is a user-friendly, efficient means of shopping for a car. “The dealers can see each other’s offers being made to you, so you don’t have to worry about going back and forth and doing it yourself. It works on the same principles of just gathering a bunch of offers from different dealers and then presenting them to the dealers manually, except it saves you time because the software is doing the work for you,” he says.
There is also a key advantage built in that sets it apart from similar sites such as Cars.com and AutoTrader.com. “You go to the site and search for a vehicle you want. Once you find it, you hit the negotiate button. That’s what differentiates us from the other guys,” Watts notes.
The user is then prompted to go through a set of steps, including the creation of a profile, to complete the process.
So far, feedback for the site has been mixed, but, ultimately Watts is pleased with his product and has some short-term goals on the horizon. “We’re small, and a couple of customers have fallen through the cracks but we have been able to get decent offers. For example, for our very first deal, the dealer took $1,000 off the purchase price. In 2018, our expansion plans are to offer a full suite of customer options that will include financing as well as to incorporate our product into Black-owned banks and credit unions across the country in order to give their customers an additional discount for the same services,” he shares.