News Car Buying

This Car Sales Site Works Backwards as Lots Get Cheaper by the Day

Forget bidding—this site is all about beating your own FOMO.
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via DriveDown

Enthusiast-focused auto auction sites draw up polarizing responses from car fanatics. On one hand, some absolutely love the thrill of watching rare cars sell for insane amounts. On the other, shill bidding and claims of foul play have run amuck, causing some buyers to question if these kinds of enthusiast-focused auctions are actually ruining the market for auto aficionados.

A new type of online automotive marketplace launched last week. Its goal is to be non-traditional and go against the grain of typical car auction sites. Instead of offering penny auctions on rare cars, the site takes the highest asking price and automatically haggles down the price each day, making it a race against FOMO rather than a bid that goes to someone with the deepest pockets.

Unlike most auction sites, DriveDown isn’t jacking the price up after each bid. Instead, it starts at the highest ask and drives down (get it?) the price until a buyer is found. If the car is rare, or the price is good enough, it could sell on the first day, but as each day passes, the car is reduced in price.

The site also makes it clear how much the car will be reduced each day. So, for example, if a vehicle is offered for sale at $100,000 on Monday, it could drop down to $97,500 on Tuesday, $95,000 on Wednesday, and maybe even $93,000 by Thursday. The risk comes to the buyer who may want to wait for a good deal on their dream ride because if someone else comes along and feels they can stomach Wednesday’s price instead of waiting for it to drop again on Thursday, they can scoop it up for a few extra bucks. And if nobody springs for a buyer’s rock-bottom price on the seventh day, the auction simply ends.

Now, each car does need to go through a manual approval process in order to be listed on the site. This isn’t uncommon—both Bring a Trailer and Cars & Bids operate on the same principle. But once it’s listed, the car spends its week awaiting bids or proxy offers from potential buyers.

The cost of the vehicle drops each day that it isn’t sold.

Now, this won’t stop buyers from asking astronomical prices as their cars hit the front page of DriveDown. However, it could solve the problem of rich car collectors repeatedly attempting to outbid one another and inflating the market on once-affordable cars. The market is still in its infancy, but we’ll be watching closely to see how it takes off.

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