set to launch; wants to serve one-third of used-car market

[caption id="attachment_11717" align="alignleft" width="300" caption="Tony Corallo, president and founder of"][/caption]

NAPA - A team of automotive aftermarket and insurance industry veterans has come up with a fresh idea to serve individuals with cars for sale., which goes live Tuesday, will allow sellers to purchase short-term warranties as a sales enhancement and guarantee to buyers that they haven't purchased a lemon.

"We looked at the three major sectors in the used car market: franchise dealers, independent used car lots, and private sellers. A study done late last year showed each shares a steady third of the market, with about 1.2 million (sales) a month each," said founder and President Tony Corallo. The total U.S. used car market is $356 billion annually.

The long-time seller of high-mileage vehicle service contracts wondered why warranties shouldn't be selling tools for private sellers.

"Although the market for used cars is down across the board right now, the sheer number of cars with 'for sale' signs convinced me that this sector is still strong," said Mr. Corallo. offers a number of tips and tools to sell your car, truck or van. Users pay a registration fee of $29.95, and can choose among a variety of warranties, the longest 90 days, and all for unlimited mileage.

"Once they register, the site makes suggestions based on the make, model, age and automotive history of the vehicle, which the customer can follow if he chooses," said Mr. Corallo.

The cost of the warranty is anywhere from $50 to $450, and doesn't kick in until the car is sold. The customer can opt out at any time.

Meanwhile, he receives from a sales acceleration kit including four signs, two informational window signs with warranty descriptions and tips on how to price the vehicle so the costs of advertising it will be absorbed.

Once the sale is completed, the customer returns to the Web site to activate the warranty, which, with a $100 deductible, will replace the power train, engine, transmission or drive axle assembly within the allotted time frame., is incorporated under the name Private Party Services LLC, is operating from an office in Benicia while scouting a location in Napa, where most of the five-member team live.

Mr. Corallo is reluctant to make sales projections, but he estimates that out of the 800,000 to 900,000 transactions between private parties each month, his company should be able to sell 4,000 to 5,000 warranties initially.

"If we can bring in $60,000 the first year, we'll step up our marketing budget and get ready to scale up," he said.

He believes his team has a winning product, for both seller and buyer.

"My grandfather recently sold his pickup to a next-door neighbor. He told me, 'Boy, if that truck conks out the first week I've lost a life-long friend.' Next time he's coming to us," said Mr. Corallo.