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Automated car dealership Tred expands to Portland

Mobile car dealership Tred is expanding to Portland, Oregon, as the 10-person company aims to bring its services to more potential users around the county.

Tred offers a middleman service for people looking to buy and sell vehicles without having to deal with a traditional auto dealership. While that concept alone is currently in existence on Craigslist and eBay Motors among other sites, Tred provides customer and technology support, serving as its value proposition.

The start-up previously operated solely in Seattle, Washington, where it graduated from the Techstars Seattle accelerator in 2012.

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The company changed its model multiple times since its founding, initially acting as a partner to dealerships that allows customers to conduct test drives from their homes, GeekWire reports. The start-up eventually moved to become a P2P marketplace for cars, buying and selling vehicles. Tred forked a second time, simplifying its services to only act as a facilitator, taking a $500 cut from each sale.

The company’s innovative use of technology has allowed it to remain a small company while it scales its operations to a new city. While the service used to send employees to inspect vehicles, automations through its app have allowed these processes to be done more efficiently, and of course at a lower cost.

Tred outlines a simple process to selling a vehicle on its site: Snap pictures of your car, which Tred automatically uses to create a listing for the sale, then launch your listing, which the site pushes to all major car websites. The seller will be able to control the sale price, as well as be able to track page views for individual listings.

From there, prospective buyers enter a screening process so you can easily conduct test drives, approve the final price, and cash out. Tred even handles the paperwork and wires the money to your account, so it’s relatively hassle-free.

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The company hopes its Portland expansion will bring even more users to its automated service, as investors Maveron, former GM CEO Rick Wagoner, angel investor Chris Sacca, and others look for a positive return on their $4 million total investment.