myTukar – Changing the Way We Buy and Sell Cars

You may have come across a handful of car sites which offer online bidding and connects seller to buyer and vice versa. One of them is myTukar. Established in 2017, it has to date already sold more than RM200 million worth of cars (that’s nearing a quarter of a billion)!

Automology spoke to two of the people spearheading this growth: David Voo, Chief Technology Officer (left), and Raphael Wong, Head of Strategic Communications.

A: Firstly, tell us when you started and how.
D: The company was incorporated in October 2017 and by January 2018 we were online—as in, ready to roll. The founding members were used car dealers. So, they knew what the used car dealers as well as the end users wanted and how to fill that void.

At that time, there wasn’t any company or platform that looked out for the best interest of the car dealerships as well as the consumer by offering the best deal. Our business model is completely different from others—instead of C to C or B to C, we facilitate C to B and B to B.

And we have grown at a very rapid pace. Back then, we had 10 staff in a small office. Now, we have 74 staff in Glenmarie, where we relocated to last December.

R: We have branches in Cheras, Puchong and a new one in Selayang. We also have a branch in Johor. We foresee that we will have 10 branches this year.

A: So, your staff are all full-timers?
R: The majority of them are full-timers and many have a background in the automotive industry: former service advisors, technicians and even inspectors from Puspakom. We don’t really need to retrain them, so it’s easier and saves lots of time too.

A: Where is your main focus now?
D: Right now, the focus is in Klang Valley but we are also looking at other states like Penang, Sabah and Sarawak. Kuala Lumpur, Penang and Johor are the regions with the highest density car ownership in this country.

A: And there are more than 1,400 dealers who are your partners?
D: Yes, and we are increasing this number. We supply, so to speak, cars to these dealers by having a platform where they can look for cars that their customers want. So, instead of having a huge yard and keeping stocks for at times 6 months to a year, myTukar offers them a whole bunch of cars at their fingertips. Our cars are sourced from private sellers, corporations, fleet companies, showrooms and trade-in cars

A: Is myTukar the only company endorsed by the Used Car Association of Malaysia (FMCKLS)?
D: Yes, we are. That lends a lot of credibility to our business. It gives confidence to the parties who engage our services.

 

A: Tell us about the process.
R: Well, the car is driven in for inspection, a 110-point check. Our inspection report will list everything that has been checked. With this inspection report, dealers have it easier as every single detail is captured and they don’t have to travel all the way to look at the car.

We want absolute transparency when it comes to the condition of a car. When you have transparency, you gain trust and that is what we want to continue to do.

D: We take pictures of each angle of the car and we also highlight any defects so that the dealers know exactly what they are buying. We highlight in the report if there is anything that is not right, such as the air-conditioning is not cold, the paint is dull, the headlamps are not clear, there’s sound from the gearbox, etc

R: I’d also like to highlight that we look at the undercarriage because you can’t really see or know what damage has occurred otherwise. So, we have a hoist to lift the car to check for any defect on the underside, like oil leakage, rusting, wear and tear of parts and so forth.

The purpose of myTukar’s thorough process is to provide a more accurate and transparent valuation, and the most trusted and reliable report for potential buyers to view online. Buyers are then more willing to offer a higher bid for the used cars on myTukar because they can calculate more accurately the cost of repairs.

One of the main reasons why a used car’s trade-in value is much lower than the retail resell price is because of the uncertainty and risks involved; they need to lower down the trade-in value to have a buffer for repair costs before reselling. myTukar’s trusted and transparent car inspection report can increase a used car’s trade-in value.

D: Our platform lets dealers view and bid for cars that their customers are looking for. Once all the paperwork is done, the said vehicle can be arranged to be sent to them and from them to their customers. For dealers who have ready customers, they are very confident when bidding for the car.

A: How many cars do you inspect in a day?
R: Around 150 cars per day. And we have 5 inspection centres
D: Plus and minus, yes. It also depends on the inspection area—some receive more cars than others.

A: When are you open?
R: We are open 7 days a week, 9.30am to 6pm. And our staff work on rotational shifts

Watch the video on how to sell your car on myTukar :

A: Your platform offers dealers a whole plethora of cars.
R: Yes, our inventory includes various car makes and models, and provides the buyer with many, many choices.

A: How long does the process take?
R: The buyer will first receive the list of cars on offer. Bidding begins the next morning and by 2.30pm, the winning bid is known. This is followed by payment, documentation, delivery of the car, which depends on the distance to the destination—so, all in, about three days. It saves a lot of time for dealers and sellers.

A: You don’t accept cars above 20 years old, correct?
R: We actually accept cars that are from the year 2000 and later, but depending on some cases, we still cater to much older cars. We have had some classic cars too, like the Mini and Volkswagen Beetles. We look at the car’s market demand and usability.

A: How about premium cars?
D: Yes, we do have the likes of Mercedes-Benzes, BMWs and Audis. We also have Porsches, Ferraris and Lamborghinis

A: For an individual seller, what is the difference between myTukar and other sites?
D: On myTukar, pricing depends on supply and demand. We give an indicative price and sellers are the final decision maker on whether they are willing to sell at that price. If they agree to that indicative price, we will place the car on our platform for bidding.

After the bidding, the seller still has the choice to accept the final offer, so the transaction is between the buyer and seller. Whatever is the final price after the bidding, every single cent is given to the seller. We only provide the platform and we are perceived as a trusted source with (our thorough inspection) and we intend to keep it that way.

A: You have partners that provide extended warranty and also workshops.
D: These services add value to our business model. I know it may sound cliché but we want to be a one-stop centre. In the future, we want to add services, such as insurance and road tax renewal, to our list of services.

Our partners also, very importantly, provide a credit line to our dealers. There are dealers who have, for instance, RM100,000 but that is enough to buy, say, three Perodua Myvis. With the help of our partners, they can purchase more than three cars.

A: Is there a credit limit?
D: It depends on their credit rating and approval from the Funding Society (note: Funding Society is myTukar’s strategic partner; it is an SME credit service provider, which capital comes from crowdfunding). What we do is assist these dealers in getting funds via myTukar. At the end of the day, the credit line depends on the Funding Society and varies for each dealership.

A: Do you have a myTukar app?
D: Not at the moment because most of our bidding is done on our website. And our website is mobile-friendly so a dealer can do their bidding on their mobile devices.

A: Do you have a fee for dealers to join?
R: We do have a security deposit to ensure fairness in the bidding process. This is very transparent and we ensure this is followed by our users.

D: We have a very fair fee structure. You see, the business was formed by a few used car dealers so they understand the mindset of the dealers.

A: What is the next step for myTukar as you are reaching sales of a quarter of a billion?
D: Firstly, we are overwhelmed by the response over such a short period of time. We appreciate the support of our partners, dealers and sellers too.

Bidding is just one of the products we offer to the market—the tip of the iceberg. We intend to strengthen our presence throughout Malaysia as well as the international scene as the platform allows our business to be scalable.

For Malaysia, we intend to set up more inspection centres and also strengthen our key regions; we want to look into expanding into the northern region and East Malaysia. We will look into introducing insurance and financing as there is demand for these services in the market.

A: Thank you so much for your time.

Find out more at myTukar.com.

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