Purchasing a used car is not necessarily an easy or straightforward process, even if you widen the search to used vehicles near you. On any typical site for used cars, visitors often find themselves in a confusing database with errors, scams and spam, said Wyndscreen Founder Ben Vester.
That’s why Vester is on a mission with his Raleigh-based startup to connect used vehicle buyers and sellers more quickly, with less friction.
“I’ve always thought there has to be a better way, and I’m trying to make that better way,” Vester said.
The startup has joined the CED GRO incubator, where it is undergoing 12 weeks of startup programming alongside eight other companies. Vester said once Wyndscreen launches, its key value proposition will lie in the platform’s enhanced user experience.
“They don’t want to have to figure out the cheat codes to put into a site to make it work the way it’s supposed to,” Vester said. “It should just work the first time. You shouldn’t need a third party to help.”
The price of used cars has shot up during the pandemic, a trickle-down effect from supply-chain issues (especially a shortage of semiconductors) that have made new cars far scarcer and expensive. That’s driven up the demand for user cars.
That means that the sellers of used cars are bringing in more money, but buyers are still not able to efficiently sift through the offerings with intuitive and effective search categories and without encountering scammers. Finding a good deal is harder than ever even in the best of circumstances, and current used car sites aren’t helping enough.
Simply put: “We believe it’s high time for a better mousetrap,” Vester said.
With an intended launch date in the first quarter of next year, Wyndscreen will operate with a freemium business model, offering certain paid features down the line. They also aim to partner with advertisers and site sponsors that will offer users special deals for a subscription rate.
“We’re hoping to just make people’s lives easier,” Vester said. “The whole impetus is to find what you want quicker, and right now there’s just a lot of wasted time.”
Vester said Wyndscreen has been needed for a while, and now it’s just a matter of getting it to the market first. To help on the journey to do that, Vester is looking to benefit from the support and networking that CED’s Gro Incubator provides.
“It’s good to have like-minded individuals to bounce questions and concerns off of,” Vester said. “The program exposes you to people that have gone down this path.”
If, as Vester expects, the price of used cars comes down from its current pandemic-fueled surge, he believes there will be a resurgence into private buying and selling. That could lead to a jolt in site activity for a platform like Wyndscreen.
“I think now will be a good time to launch and start getting our name out there,” Vester said. “Dealers are going to stop with these incentive payments. There’ll be less enticement to go straight to the dealer to get the best deal.”