Wednesday, May. 23, 2007, 08:00 PM UPDATED 11:59 AMBy Nick Zulovich
MAPLEWOOD, N.J. — In 2005, Anthony Santora created MatchMyRide.com to serve as a bridge between automotive buyers and sellers. The site was primarily launched to connect private sellers to buyers. However, after moving more than 4,000 vehicles in the first year, Santora has opened the site up to dealers, allowing them to upload and list inventory for free.
The site offers a variety of vehicles, ranging from the early 1960s to 2007. Although a wide range is covered, Santora said the majority of units listed on MatchMyRide.com fall into the 1998 to 2000 range, which can be a sweet spot for buy-here, pay-here dealers.
"The idea began due to my frustration with selling my car after graduating college," he explained. "I did not want to pay outrageous advertising fees from the usual Web sites, so I placed for-sale ads for my car on free bulletin boards and classified Web sites.
"After two months without success, I discovered the need for a free service, and I set out to fill it for people out there just like me," he continued. "And so it was created, with no fees, no hooks and no obligations. MatchMyRide.com is designed to allow all types of sellers to sign up for free and sell their vehicle."
When asked how he can provide free inventory uploading and listings for dealers, Santora said, "From the start, I firmly believed in creating a site that is free to list for the private seller.
"With time, this belief evolved to include the dealer. This is currently the case, and will continue to be. Having said that, we have found ways to generate revenue using advertising; however, we do not push them on the visitors," he told SubPrime Auto Finance News.
"For instance, Carfax reports are available next to the VIN of a car. Extended warranty advertisements are available on private listings, but not for dealers, as we are not looking to compete with their revenue sources," he said.
According to Santora, buyers can search for vehicles within a few miles of their home, or review vehicles nationally.
"All vehicles can be sorted a number of ways, including price, category and model," he pointed out. "Sellers can use the Web site with the same ease. After signing up, sellers can list their cars immediately. Pictures scanned into the computer, or taken with a digital camera can be uploaded to their listing, and information about the car for sale can be selected from easy-to-use drop boxes.
"When someone is interested in the car for sale, a text message can be sent to the seller's cell phone or Blackberry, notifying them of the inquiry," he added.
To make inventory uploads easy for dealers, Santora said his site has partnered with several industry leaders who specialize in data sharing and can offer automated inventory management.
"This means all of a dealership's vehicles will automatically be loaded to MatchMyRide.com and all a dealer has to do is respond to the inquiries," he highlighted. "The inventory on MatchMyRide.com is growing rapidly and buyers realize it.
"At any given time, the Web site offers more than 100,000 vehicles for sale by individuals and car dealerships," he explained. "With the combination of free services, great search tools and easy listing capabilities, has become a diverse marketplace to buy and sell cars, and it is all for free."
He concluded by noting, "I feel that currently we are a perfect solution for private sellers and small- to medium-sized dealerships that are seeking exposure at a low cost — free."