Online sales of used cars on the rise

- Prahlad Rijal, Kathmandu

Aug 2, 2016-

The used car business has undergone a paradigm shift with websites overtaking traditional garages.

Online sellers specialising in second-hand vehicles have observed a substantial growth in recent years while reconditioned centres are just doing so-so thanks to tech-savvy youths, said stakeholders.

“Websites have grabbed our market and business,” said Shekhar Upreti, owner of Yes Recondition, Anamnagar. “It has been more than four months but we have not sold a single vehicle. Sales have fallen to zero.”

According to Upreti, he used to sell 30-40 motorcycles monthly a few years ago. “Customers have a range of choices on online platforms; we are focusing on our workshop and we will soon replace the used vehicle business with spare parts.”

In contrast, online platforms have witnessed substantial growth in used vehicle trading, and new online marketplaces are sprouting. 

“We started operations five years ago and have observed a 50 percent growth in the last two and a half years,” said Kishor Maharjan, director of BikemartNepal. “We receive thousands of queries all year round, and 75 percent of them are converted into transactions.”

According to Maharjan, the small number of websites and growing use of the internet for shopping has helped the business grow above expectations. “On a monthly basis, around 30

motorbikes are sold through our platform.”

Moreover, some online sellers expect to see boom times in a few years from now when youths who prefer online shopping become the working class population.

“As of now, we have not grown as per expectations, although the trading of vehicles has grown over the years, as a market maker we have yet to see fair profits,” said Pashupati Raj Bhandari, director of Nepalwheels. “Online marketplaces are there to reduce the information asymmetry which benefits customers when it comes to finding relevant information.”

According to Bhandari, the major challenge before second-hand vehicle businesses is a fragmented market. “Right and systematic placement of vehicles is necessary to ensure growth of online trading of the vehicle segment.”

Nepalwheels lists 769 used autos, 61 new autos, 518 bikes and 18 heavy commercial vehicles on its website. Most of the bikes cost more than Rs50,000 while four-wheelers have been priced above Rs300,000.

Hamrobazar, a pioneer online seller of used automobiles, is a market leader in terms of vehicle listings and trade, observers said. 

Hamrobazar’s website features 6,302 used vehicles and spare parts and accessories. Among them, 3,844 are motorbikes and 2,458 are cars.

According to online market makers, online trading has grown because of the convenience it offers. It takes little time to list bikes, and sellers and buyers can interact instantly without sellers having to visit reconditioned centres. 

Hamrobazar, Dealgara, Nepalwheels, BikemartNepal, Chhito, Yachha and Ramro motors are some of the most visited used car websites. 

Published: 02-08-2016 08:57

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