If worthy consumer goods have a heaven, it’s the vending machine. That place where all that is fine in life is rewarded with perfect in transparent cubes, easily accessible by a combination of letters and numbers. Pop-Tarts? Doritos? Beats headphones? All better from a vending machine. And now, vending machine enthusiasts should be looking for plane tickets to Nashville to buy their next car for no other reason than it’ll come out of a five-story vending machine.
The pioneers who seize on this universal truth are the visionaries at Carvana, who just blew the nips off used car shoppers everywhere by unveiling a steel-and-glass ode to commerce just outside of Nashville, Tennessee.
Carvana’s website offers all the steps you’d normally associate with buying a car online — selecting make and model, setting up financing, getting a warranty, and signing the contract — but then takes the whole deal to the next level by offering you the option of picking up your car the same way a teenager one week out from prom night buys a Proactiv Emergency Blemish Relief System next to an Auntie Anne’s Soft Pretzel stand at the mall.
Rather than have to pay for the car with roughly $20,000 in quarters, Carvana gives customers a huge, shiny coin that, once entered in the enormous kiosk, will trigger the fully-automated process of finding your new ride and bringing it down to you.
The facility holds as many as 20 vehicles and customers schedule a date and time to come pick up their purchase. They also get a full week to return the car if they don’t like it, which should mitigate the buyer’s remorse that could easily afflict those caught up in the mad adrenaline rush of vending machine shopping.
“I think it’s going to be an incredible customer experience,” Carvana CEO Ernie Garcia told The Verge. “And I think if we’ve got the car that they’re looking for, and we’re selling it for $1,500 to $2,000 less, and we offer a purchase process that takes 20 minutes, and then you get to go to a vending machine and watch your car moonwalk to you? I think people are going to respond to that.”
Strumming our pain with your fingers, Mr. Garcia.