How much is your car worth?
It’s an easy enough question to answer. Punch in the details at Kelley Blue Book, hit submit, and bam — question answered, ego stoked (or not.)
But how do they know how much it’s worth? For the most part, even the tried-and-true sources like the ol’ Blue Book are kind of a black box.
PriceHub wants to make the process more transparent. They’ll tell you how much your car is worth, and give you a mountain of data to back it up.
Update: Whoops! Looks like we crashed their server. The PriceHub team says they’re working on getting it back up ASAP.
Like many a car valuing service, PriceHub pulls its transaction data from all sorts of sources. Some of it comes from users; some of it comes from dealerships, or used car auctions. The vast majority of it, says the company, comes from DMV records.
Unlike most other services, though, PriceHub makes a ton of this data available directly to the user for their own perusing. Want to see the transaction details for 10,000+ Honda Civics sold in the past 18 months? Sure. Want to limit it to just 2009-model Civics sold in California? Hey, why not.
PriceHub actually came into existence with little to no fanfare a few years back, built as something of a hobby project by Myron Lo, then the VP of Innovation at ZipReality. It lived the first few years of its life in a rather humble form; black text spilled across the white background, with a modest data set of around 50,000 transactions.
Over time, however, it became clear that this lil’ pet project could be something more. As the site naturally grew toward its 50,000th registered user, the team behind it decided to dive in headfirst. They applied to Adeo Ressi’s Founder’s Institute, got in, and have spent the last few months being “whipped into a start-up by Adeo” (their words!)
In that time, the team has added all sorts of new tricks to PriceHub’s repertoire:
- The old, Geocities-tastic design has been overhauled into something significantly more modern
- They’ve bumped their data set up 10X, from 50,000 records to 500,000
- They’ve added model research records, bringing in things like recall alerts, safety ratings, cost estimates, and service bulletins.
- They’ve added depreciation charts for each model year of a car, giving would-be buyers/sellers a rough idea of how quickly the car in question is losing its value
- The team has grown from one to three: the aforementioned Myron Lo, as well as Telly Chang (former Product Marketing lead at Yahoo! Autos) and Sandy Lo (currently also Marketing Lead at the Salesforce-backed Financialforce)
Speaking of depreciation, the company mentioned a work-in-progress feature that I find particular interesting: depreciation alerts. If you’ve told PriceHub that you own a certain car and their data starts to suggest that its value is startin’ to turn, they’ll soon be able to fire off an alert to let you know that it might be good to sell sooner than later. Also on the roadmap: mobile apps (of course), and Zillow-esque sale price vs. time-on-the-market data.
Anecdote time! Around half a year ago, I sold the first car I’d ever owned: a 2002 Honda Accord, which I’d more or less driven into the ground. I sold it to the first person with a stack of cash and a pretty smile, letting it go for a bit over $2.5 grand. According to PriceHub’s records for cars of that year with similar mileage, I probably could’ve gotten another two thousand bucks out of the car if I’d been patient. Whoops!
PriceHub isn’t alone in this space, of course. Transparent or not, legacy offerings like Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds have held the throne for decades, with relatively new folk like TrueCar chipping away at their lead for a few years already. What do you think: is data and transparency enough to make PriceHub standout?