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Interview from WhyBuyUsedCars.com [WBUC] I was fortunate enough to meet the founder of a new online automotive community. Unique sites can easily be traced back to their equally unique founders. I’m referring to Wei Yang – a very cool and talented entrepreneur. [Follow his Tweets & you’ll quickly see…] Wei was kind enough to share his thoughts on the auto industry with WhyBuyUsedCars.com…and our job is to provide online auto shoppers with the best used car information. WBUC: So Wei, what’s your newest online initiative all about? WY: EasyAutoSales.com is a free, ad-supported autos web 2.0 service which helps private sellers and dealers sell cars online. The EasyAutoSales team consists of a group of serial entrepreneurs with various backgrounds in programming, marketing and sales. WBUC: Share your online career background and highlights. WY: All of us have worked on other startups in one form or another and our team has a rather complementary set of skills. My last startup began in college and it was an online matchmaking service for parents and babysitters. The service was recently sold off to a competitor so I can focus on getting EasyAutoSales.com off the ground. WBUC: What do you feel your unique competitive advantage is with EasyAutoSales.com? WY: The online automotive classified business is starting to show its age. 10 years ago, when AutoTrader and other online auto sites started listing cars online, it was revolutionary and it replaced the newspaper's 4-line, 1-inch wide classified ads. However, 10 years later with more advanced technologies, cheaper distribution costs, and new ways to promote products and services via social media, we are still seeing the old model of doing business - which is to charge dealers and private sellers to distribute their inventory on the web. We think it's time to modernize the way cars are sold online. The web 2.0 way says distribution should be free. With services like Amazon's S3 that charge 15 cents for a gig of hosting, photos shouldn't really be limited to 1 or 4 or even 30. Dealers should be able to post unlimited numbers of high quality photos if they so choose without being "taxed" for trying to sell their car.EasyAutoSales.com plans on making the process of selling cars on the internet easy. Our service will grow and change like the web but what we're hoping for is to make sure dealers recognize the importance of online leads and that paying attention to inquiries over the web will generate sales. WBUC: What are your goals for the site? WY: We want to host the largest collection of cars on the web and to give our shoppers options. Due to rising costs with other auto classifieds, there is a whole market of cars sold by small dealerships that never make it on the large search sites. We want to make sure these smaller dealerships can have the same opportunities and face time as larger dealerships - everybody should have a presence on the web; it IS 2008 after all. WBUC: What has the response been within the dealer community to your pre-launch activities? WY: The dealers we have talked to so far have given us great responses and encouragement. Those that "get it" realize the value of our service and want us to help them tap into the minds of the online shoppers. One of the best quotes we received from an anonymous dealer, who is currently ticked at a certain Trader company, said, "You guys came at a great time! A__T_____ has changed from taking me to ball games in sky boxes to just delivering me the bill." I think it speaks volumes when a lot of dealers are paying more and getting less (due to increasing competition) and want other options. WBUC: What are some of the trends you see happening within the automotive retail industry? WY: As more people rely on the internet for research, I believe the rest of the retail auto industry (small & medium sized dealers) will catch up by establishing a web presence, so they too, can be in front of the customers when they're ready to buy. I'm personally hoping that sites with crazy scripts and virtual assistants will go away in exchange for more useful, and user friendly sites. Flash is only cool the first time you see it, afterwards it's just another barrier between you and the users.Hopefully within a couple of years every dealership out there will at least have an internet connection on site and hopefully they will all pay attention to their online leads. WBUC: What are some of your predictions for the automotive retail industry? WY: I think people will demand more eco-friendly and better performing cars. If the Big 3 isn’t putting more money into green R&D, then they will continue to lose out to those who are. I would like to see these companies (with the money) do something drastic that will help shape the world and change the future for the better. Innovation comes from need and if we don't feel we need it and aren't pushing ourselves, then nothing will ever change. Everyone freaked out about Y2K when it was discovered, but as a world, we solved the crisis in 2 years because we had to. I think making a 100mpg or 250mpg cars is not impossible if we decide we want to try. The problem is getting the companies to try it.As a startup, EasyAutoSales.com is definitely one that will be trying new things and help dealers reach consumers. I'm hoping to get more dealers on board and together figure out how to use technology to our advantage. People are accustomed to the convenience the Internet has brought them and as technology progresses; people want an easier shopping experience when buying a car. Our goal is to get us closer. Thanks Wei – appreciate your views...Best of luck to EasyAutoSales.com.
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