Published on November 3rd, 2014 | by SayginYalcin0
Dubai-based online auto dealer sees Turkey as market to grow
SellAnyCar.com is an exclusive car-trading website and it shows how fertile a ground the digital world can be when good ideas are sown in it. The site’s founder, Saygın Yalçın, is a fine example of a new generation of entrepreneurs who can make a fortune out of nothing more than a rewarding idea.
The website, in broad terms, can be described as a massive auto dealer. Unlike actual auto dealerships, which have limited capacity that allows them to collect only a few cars at a time, SellAnyCar.com can purchase hundreds of them. It facilitates the sales process for customers, making it possible for them to sell their four-wheelers in less than an hour and get their money immediately after the sale documents are signed.
Like any good idea, SellAnyCar.com is a product that was born out of necessity and the impracticality of the existing online platforms. Yalçın told Sunday’s Zaman in an interview that he decided to open the online dealership after he failed to sell his car through customer-to-customer platforms. He met with 19 people interested in buying his car in six weeks, but none was willing to pay the amount he thought his car was worth. “These platforms were not professional, and neither the sellers nor the buyers were acting professionally. Besides, there was a huge risk of being cheated, on the part of both the seller and buyer; there could be problems in money transactions, dodging payments, hiding actual damages, etc.,” he said.
On SellAnyCar.com, a customer first applies to the website to obtain a provisional offer for his car. The algorithm of the website tries to make an assessment that roughly values the person’s car by asking the owner six questions about the brand, make and model, etc. This algorithm is a learning structure with a database that is automatically updated with new research entries and direct access to major auto markets. So the prices are pretty much in line with the actual values on the market.
But this price offer is only temporary. As the devil is in the details, the prospective customer brings his or her vehicle to the nearest physical office of SellAnyCar.com for a free of charge evaluation. Mechanics inspect the cars thoroughly, experts conduct a more thorough appraisal and the company makes a final bid for the vehicle. If the car owners agree to this offer, the final agreement is realized within minutes.
Yalçın says the inspections usually last about 20 minutes and that the whole process takes no longer than an hour, underlining that this is especially important for working people, who often need to have everything done within an hour-long lunch break.
Saygın’s company also provides vehicles from contracted rent-a-car services for up to a month to let the customers continue to enjoy the comfort of driving until they get a new car. “The average cost of this service is marginal for the company, as we rent these cars in bulk,” says Yalçın.
SellAnyCar.com then sells the autos it buys from individual customers to large-sized auto companies. It fills a niche and acts like an intermediary between clients and the industry. “We buy any kind of car, regardless of whether they are damaged,” said Yalçın.
Yalçın’s model does not comply with common sense in conventional trade, in that a dealer earns while buying. “The company doesn’t make its profits during the purchase phase. We earn as we sell,” he said, adding: “We offer a service to companies. We lessen their costs, undertaking the burden of ‘red tape’ — which they would otherwise do — by selling them cars in large quantities, [thus] lessening overhead.”
Over 400 companies have dealership contracts with SellAnyCar.com. Dubai is distinct in the sense that this country allows second-hand cars to be exported; ordinary people there rarely pay for cars older than 10 years. So when vehicles grow too old, they are sold abroad to countries in the region, such as Iraq, where used cars are valuable.
SellAnyCar.com is currently the third-largest online car seller in Dubai.
Yalçın opened the company in Dubai first and then spread its operation to Saudi Arabia. The total number of offices has reached 15, five of which are in İstanbul. SellAnyCar.com sees it as imperative to open more offices in Turkey, especially in large cities. “We aim to grow quickly in Turkey, and we want to enter the top 10 by the end of our first year,” he said. SellAnyCar.com has been operatıng in Turkey for over six months now.
Although it was founded in Dubai, Turkey has particular significance for the company due to its size and the briskness of its auto market, as almost 400,000 cars are sold per month in Turkey. This is huge, says Yalçın, underlining Dubai’s annual number of 250,000 auto sales. In addition, auto ownership is around 11.5 percent in Turkey. In other words, one in almost nine people over the age of 18 has a car. In the United Arab Emirates, this rate is above 11.5 percent. This discrepancy alone marks the existence of a tremendous potential to grow for SellAnyCar.com, Yalçın asserted.
Yalçın further mentioned the market structure for car dealerships in Turkey, in the sense that second-hand trade is a lot higher than brand-new auto sales. SellAnyCar’s aim in the medium term is to have a foot in all Arab countries.
Yalçın also founded the first and largest online private shopping club in the Middle East, Sukar.com, which in less than a year has become the most successful e-commerce startup in the Middle East. Yalçın is a shareholder of Jabbar Internet and Souq.com Group, the largest online retailer in the Arab world, which acquired Sukar.com in April 2012. Before starting Sukar.com, Yalçın gained experience in a number of multinational corporations, including L’Oreal, BMW and Capgemini Consulting.
Source: Today’s Zaman, Turkey, http://www.todayszaman.com/business_dubai-based-online-auto-dealer-sees-turkey-as-market-to-grow_363259.html#