A new website for auto repair estimates, RepairJungle.com, launched in the Washington, DC metro area in January. Co-founder Fred Yu said results will determine whether the concept spreads to other states.
“We felt D.C. was a great test market,” Yu said. “There are lots of drivers, obviously, and Internet-savvy consumers.”
Once at the site, a user inputs their vehicle type and the work needed. Participating shops can submit bids. If a consumer accepts a bid, the appointment and payment are both made through the site. Shops pay a fee if a service is booked. The service is free for users, who can rate their experience once the job is completed.
Inspired by services such as restaurant reservation site OpenTable.com, which makes life easier for businesses and consumers, Yu and his partners began working on the concept last year. “After talking with family and friends and owners of auto repair facilities, we felt that automotive services were an underserved area,” he said.
A team of six, including consultants with auto repair experience, developed the site and created a target list of shops in the District of Columbia and surrounding areas in Maryland and Virginia.
Thus far, the company has focused on independent shops and smaller regional chains. No special hardware or software is required, Yu said. “A lot of time, people with marketing tools require big upfront investments to use their services, for uncertain returns,” Yu said. “With us, all you need is an Internet connection.”
Yu declined to disclose the referral fee structure or the number of signed shops so far. — Sarah Hollander
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