The governments might not be willing to admit that Bitcoin is a currency but anything that you can use to buy a real automobile should be considered money. Bitcoin might not have even existed ten years ago but the range of products that you can now buy with Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies is simply staggering. We are now able to buy everything from a cup of coffee and sandwiches to, as of now, a used car.
But 25 years ago the idea of buying a car online would have seemed ridiculous to most people. How can you possibly buy a car from only photos, with no chance to inspect the vehicle, hear it run, kick the tires. But some of the major automakers created websites to sell cars, even used cars, online and the ability to deal with reputable companies, whose guarantees eased buyers into the online auto buying world, slowly became a reality.
Now we can buy used cars using Bitcoin, thanks to the two year old Beepi. Beepi sells used cars online in much the same manner as CarMax and payments will processed through BitPay. While the system has not yet been launched, Beepi CEO Ale Resnik said in one recent interview with Re/code that they were working closely with Bitpay to launch and Beepi will be the first peer-to-peer auto marketplace to accept digital currency:
“We’re making buying a car fast, fun and easy, and what’s more fun than paying for a car with Bitcoin?”
This new entry should not come as a surprise, however. BitPay alone has signed up over 30,000 merchants accepting Bitcoin and during the last year large companies like NewEgg, Overstock and Expedia have all begin accepting Bitcoin. What’s more is that Overstock already registered more than US$1 million in Bitcoin sales and are so happy with their decision that they plan to use 3% of those profits to promote Bitcoin.
One of the most promising aspects, and some companies like Coinbase are already doing this, is the incentive for companies to give discounts to customers who pay with Bitcoin as low transaction fees and other advantages mean that the savings can be passed on to the customer.
The entire process is handled through Bitpay with BTC being immediately converted to dollars so neither Beepi or the car dealer ever hold the actual Bitcoins and are not exposed to price volatility risks.
Car sellers go to Beepi.com and enter in the basic information about their car, and Beepi provides the user with a quote that the company says will always be US$1,000 higher than any dealer will pay. Beepi sends out its own inspector to make sure the car is in good condition before listing it on the site.
If the car doesn’t sell in 30 days, Beepi buys it and re-lists it on the marketplace. Buyers in California get the car delivered to them free, wrapped in a bow and all. Out-of-state buyers currently pay between US$600 and US$999 for delivery.
Based on the first two months of sales, Beepi should generate at least $6 million in gross sales in its first year in business, according to its CEO. The company takes a nine percent cut from each car sale.