There's a five-story vending machine dispensing used cars in Nashville
There are all kinds of strange vending machines in the world, from ones that dispense iPads to others that dole out live crabs. Now there's one in Nashville, Tennessee that dispenses cars.
That's right; online used car retailer Carvana has officially unveiled its first vending machine completely stocked with cars. Standing at five stories tall, the coin-operated (yes, really) glass tower vending machine can house as many as 20 used cars at a time. The facility also includes a welcome center and three customer delivery bays to which the cars are dispensed.
After purchasing the car online, car buyers go to the Carvana vending machine. There, they find their name at a kiosk inside the vending machine and insert "a Carvana-branded coin into the custom coin slot, which initiates the vending process," states a company press release. How the customer gets the special Carvana coin is unclear.
Carvana records digital video of the dispensing process that it provides to the customer, so that they might share the experience on social media.
After the car is dispensed, the buyer has a seven-day "test drive" period during which they can assess if they want to keep the car or not. Remember, until the car is dispensed, they've not yet even laid hands on the vehicle — even though they've already purchased it.
Keen to buy a car from a vending machine but don't live in Nashville? No worries: Carvana will subsidize $200 in airfare and arrange "white glove transportation" from the Nashville airport to the vending machine.
At first, this seemed like a silly idea. The more I've meditated on it, though, it actually seems smart. People often complain the worst part of the car-buying process is dealing with salesmen. Cutting them out of the process and routing buyers to a website and then a robotic vending machine might well be the most customer-friendly way to sell used cars.