Advice | May 31, 2016 9:00 am

Meet the Startup Poised to Kill Off the Used-Car Dealer

Now that’s a plot twist a man can get behind

When it comes to America’s most-despised professionals, used-car salesmen rank right up, er, down there with divorce lawyers and New England Patriots’ quarterbacks.

But while Tom Brady isn’t going anywhere for at least a couple more seasons, your local lemon peddler might be.

A new online e-commerce site called Vroom buys, refurbishes and then flips used cars to customers in the same way a standard car dealer does … except there’s no haggling, free delivery and, perhaps most appealing, no need to trek down to a used-car lot, because all the browsing is done online.

And in addition to a 90-day/6,000-mile warranty after purchase, buyers have the chance to try out their car in real-life conditions for a full week. If they then decide the model isn’t a good fit, Vroom will pick it up and provide a no-questions-asked refund.

“You’re a dealer until proven innocent,” says Vroom CEO Allon Bloch. “The one way we can’t build trust is to say ‘Trust us.’ Because that’s how a car dealership does it.”

Considering the company has already sold some 170,000 vehicles and generated almost $900 million in revenue last year, we’d say Vroom is off to a good start.  

Nota bene: If try-it-before-you-buy-it appeals, you may want to give it a whirl when buying a home as well.