TRED is aiming to make selling or buying a used car easier and less expensive than ever before.
Founded in 2011, TRED is a used car dealership and marketplace that connects sellers and buyers directly. The process is designed to save both parties money without dealing with the fixed fees that are commonly linked to used car dealerships as well as keeping the information of both parties private. And, seven years after their start, Seattle-based TRED is still growing expanding to cities like Portland, Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco, and, now, Dallas-Fort Worth.
“The specifics have changed a lot, based on customer feedback,” Grant Feek, founder of TRED, told Dallas Innovates. “Originally, we were delivering new cars for test drives to people’s home or office. In the process of doing that, we realized that a lot of people needed help with their trade ins, and that dealer offers were suboptimal. So, we went to task designing a way to help people sell their vehicles privately, and in the process of doing that, we had to figure out how to help people buy them privately.”
Because TRED is an online company, they can skip real estate costs and the salaries of salespeople, as well as some of the costs associated with maintaining used cars at a dealership. Their goal, TRED says, is to give the user the lowest possible price when purchasing a new vehicle, as well as giving the seller the highest possible price for their old vehicle.
TRED offers buyers the same assurances of any other used car company like CarFax vehicle history, an online financing platform, extended warranty options and GAP insurance, and a buyer’s inspection that saves the buyer the hassle of taking their new vehicle to the DMV.
TRED also handles the transacting of cars sold on their platform. Sellers are allowed to set their own price price and keep their vehicle in their possession until they can get the price they want for it.
“Texas, and Dallas in particular, are wonderful car markets that we’ve been watching for a long time,” Feek says. “We’re also big Ezekiel Elliot fans. Go Cowboys!”
How it works
Used cars are posted on the online marketplace, where interested buyers can scroll through with the help of various filters and bid on the vehicles they want. Sellers can are given the opportunity to ask the current owner of the vehicle questions, test drive the vehicle, or make an offer.
“We help the buyer and seller get together at the time and place of their choosing for a test drive—we recommend partner locations such as FedEx,” Feek says. “If the buyer wants the vehicle and agrees to a price with the seller, they can pay right then and there with their phone.”
TRED allows buyers to ACH/wire transfer their payments securely through their website, or users can pay with a debit or credit card. Once the buyer has paid, that money is transferred to the seller. A $499 seller fee goes to TRED—in comparison, dealerships often earn up to 20 percent of a sale.
From there, TRED notifies the seller they can hand over their keys, and the new owner is able to drive their vehicle home, while TRED handles all of the final paperwork.
Grant Feek has been in the car business for years, working in private equity and automotives at Lehman Brothers, BMW, and Lowe Enterprises before starting TRED.
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