When your business' profits is based on repeat customers, you have a built-in incentive to provide good customer service. But when your business is based on selling one-time purchases, there is a darker motivation to gouge, to wring as much profit as possible out of a customer you'll never see again. That latter misalignment between what's best for the customer and what's best for the business are partially why used car salespeople have lousy reputations.
A company called Carvana reckons they can do better. Their aim is to use technology to analyze and ameliorate all of the "pain points" associated with buying a used car, building an Amazon-like brand in the process that they hope will attract more customers through ubiquity and word-of-mouth. Here's how their model works:
(Did you spot their car photographing facility? If you dug that, check out this.)
Shortly after launching in 2013, the company produced a so-called "car vending machine" in Atlanta. It was a bit of a gimmick in that it was really just a three-bay garage where customers could pick up their vehicles. But now they've taken it a step further, reportedly building the structure you see below in Nashville, Tennessee:
It's still a gimmick, but at least the architecture tries harder to ape the form of a vending machine.
Incidentally, the Chinese city of Hangzhou also has a car vending machine, albeit one with a more eco-friendly bent. Kandi Technologies is a Chinese company that produces electric vehicles for the home market, and they're combining the vending machine dispensing style with the ZipCar model:
It would arguably be better for the environment if vehicle vending machines dispensed bicycles, but people do love their cars.