An Inside Look At Car Marketplace Shift And Its Plans For Major Growth, Starting With D.C.

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If you’ve ever tried to sell a used car you know it’s a process. You either haggle low-ball offers at the dealership or wade through Craigslist emails with the hope that a possible buyer actually shows up, wants your car and has cash.

Startups such as Beepi and Carvana attempt to take the pain out of the process by cutting out the dealer and helping you list online. Ebay motors originally started with this same idea, but dealers now utilize the service quite heavily.

Silicon Valley-based car marketplace Shift tackles car buying and selling by taking care of everything for you. It does this by sending a Shift car “enthusiast” straight to your door to take you on a test drive or to pick up your vehicle. No need to take photos, list your vehicle or wait to meet with potential buyers.

Shift inspects the vehicle to ensure it meets quality standards, takes professional photographs, does the online write-up, prices it out for what it thinks the car is worth and then lists it online for you. It takes care of the whole buying and selling process from beginning to end.

The startup was founded by early Google employees Minnie Ingersol, Morgan Knutson, Christian Ohler and CEO George Arison and has already raised approximately $74 million in venture capital since its start in 2014 – including $50 million from Goldman Sachs last fall.

On top of the new cash, Shift takes a small percentage from every sale (a 50% split with the car owner for anything above the guaranteed price) and claims to be the second biggest car reseller in the Bay Area.

Interestingly, it also claims to be the biggest reseller of Tesla vehicles.

Shift expanded beyond the Bay to Sacramento and San Diego in 2015 and has plans to open up in 16 more markets by the end of this year, including on the East Coast – starting with an expansion in Washington, D.C.

Shift recently pledged a $20M investment in the Virginia economy and committed to creating 100 new engineering jobs to be based out of the political incubator 1776, located just across the river from our nation’s capitol in Crystal City, Virginia.

I recently went with the TechCrunch video crew to chat with Ingersol about Shift’s growth plans and the startup’s unique market proposition – and, of course, to check out some cool cars.

Watch the video above to find out more about how the process works and why Shift could become the way we buy and sell our vehicles in the future.

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