Buying a car can be a pain! And so can selling one. The shifty used car salesman, in his strange coloured suit, smarmy and with the gift of the gab, informing each clients on exaggerated positives on a clapped out old banger that just about meets your budget. All over the world, some of the best salesmen are working in car yards, up selling cars to the the clueless public, or even buying cars from the public and selling them on. Of course, I generalise a little with the stereotypical used car salesman analogy, and many are honest and sincere, but it can’t hide the face that many of us have no idea about how much to buy a car for, or what we are getting.

car sales man

A lot of trust put in the car salesman, who generally has the power within the transaction. This is the same in many sectors. For example, in the African agricultural sector the middleman, who travels round from farm to farm collecting produce, controls the price that he pays and may not give a fair price compared to what it will sell on in the markets. The farmer has no idea of the going rate that day, and relies upon the middleman to transport their produce. But there are some innovative solutions in Africa that are putting more power in the hands of the farmers, who can now find out with ease what price they should be selling at.

African technology is also enabling an equalisation of power in the used car business. HiCarByeCar, a South African used car business are enabling a more simple process for  selling or buying a vehicle. In order to sell a vehicle, the seller inputs the details about the brand, model and year of the car, and then continue to fill in further details about the car listing. You then pass by the dealership for some photos and an inspection and test drive of the car so that HiCarByeCar can verify the listing. When verified, the seller can drop off the car, and then it can compete against all the other cars to be purchased.

Those that are looking to purchase a vehicle, especially dealers can put in their preferences and receive a list of cars that match them. They then also compete against each other to purchase the vehicles, ensuring that each receive an optimum price. After 24 hours of the car online, the sellers are already possible to accept a deal. Once a deal has been accepted then HiCarByeCar take care of all the paperwork, the buyer receiving the car and the seller receiving their money. The buyer can be certain that the car is exactly what it says it is, and the seller ensures that they receive a fair price.

Technology and innovation has the chance to democratise African industries, (and the rest of the world) and make sure that transactions are fair, and trustworthy. Using tech to ensure fairness creates a new level of transparency in sales and transactions. And it is not only agriculture and cars that could benefit from middleman tech. Any industry where there are fluctuating prices, and an element of trust is needed can benefit from similar platforms.

If you know of any innovations in Africa, an innovation that is changing lives, or you also want to be a guest blogger, get in contact with us on Twitter @inventiveAfrica or via email. Please share the blog with your network on Twitter and Facebook.

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