For most people, buying a new car is an experience filled with anticipation and excitement…that is, until you step foot on the dealership lot. Car salesmen are notorious for instigating feelings of anxiety and stress for the buyer. Am I getting a good deal? Are the extra bells and whistles worth it? Is the white version really sold out across Southern California?
In a time when consumers are purchasing anything and everything online, one area of the market lagging behind is the automotive industry. A new, innovative startup company called Nabthat – which had its beta launch in early December – is on a mission to bring the auto industry up to speed (pun intended) and make the car buying experience as easy and efficient as possible.
Nabthat simplifies the car buying process and empowers consumers to obtain the best deals on new cars via 3 easy steps:
- Pick: Through an online platform, consumers can browse different car brands and models.
- Bid: Once a specific model and trim is picked, consumers place an anonymous bid on it. The consumer can run a credit check, for free, which is then converted into a grade that effectively serves as an offer validation in the eyes of the dealer.
- Nab: The consumer’s bid is sent to multiple dealerships across a specified radius and they respond with either an acceptance or a counter-offer. Upon agreeing with a dealer, the consumer nabs the car!
Dealerships have an incentive to act fast in order to make a sale. From a desktop or smartphone, Nabthat users can review multiple offers and select the one that best fits them. Consumers are given the tools to do their pricing research via Nabthat and are encouraged to do so via other avenues. Every car model has a specific price range so consumers are encouraged to do their research in advance.
The idea for Nabthat was conceived in the LMU Business Incubator in early 2013. The leadership team is made up of CEO Jason Silberberg, COO Vidya Priyadarshini MBA ’12, Business Development Manager JJ Galvez and three LMU undergraduate students. Silberberg comes from a family that owned several dealerships and is well-connected to the auto industry.
“People hate the negotiating process so we’ve set out to alleviate the car buying experience by making it simple and giving consumers more control over their purchase,” said Galvez, a senior entrepreneurship and economics double major at LMU.
The Nabthat team isn’t wasting any time promoting their new product to the public. They were present at the LA Auto Show last fall talking to car lovers and spreading the word about the benefits of Nabthat, and have since added new features as part of the beta testing conducted throughout the last two months. The team is optimistic that the public will embrace this new concept. Already, 50+ dealerships have confirmed their participation and the team has received a lot of positive feedback from sales managers and auto industry experts.
To test the market, Nabthat is launching in the LA region only. One of the biggest challenges they’re facing is getting people to understand how Nabthat works. Another is convincing people to buy a car in a more modern way. While Nabthat allows consumers to schedule test drives through the site, most Nabthat buyers won’t need to step into a dealership until they have to sign the papers. Also included are tutorials providing step-by-step instructions for consumers on how to submit a bid.
“We encourage consumers to do their due diligence online through both Nabthat and other industry experts before making a bid,” said Galvez. “Nabthat has the potential to help people save a lot of time and money, and they’ll most certainly get a better deal than if they’d gone to a car lot.”