SASKATOON — Curbie is a new player in the used car sales industry, but in a short span of time has already made its mark in the business community — even overcoming the challenges brought by the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Winning the New Venture Award, sponsored by the Saskatchewan Ministry of Trade and Export, in last week’s 2021 ABEX Award was the cherry on top of being recognized by Saskatchewan’s business sector.
Curbie Vice President for Marketing and Sales Ian Macdonald said receiving the award is truly a humbling experience and well appreciated by their entire crew. “To receive recognition for the positive performance, profitability, innovation, job creation and expansion into new markets Curbie has made gives us further motivation to deliver a better car buying experience to more and more Canadians.”
“Due to COVID this year's presentation was done online with a pre-recorded speech by [Curbie Chief Operations Officer] Brent Gudelot. Our Curbie Crew watched online via the Chamber’s live steam. We were shocked and very excited when we heard our name called.”
He added that just being nominated and knowing the amazing business success stories made by Brew Ninja and Limitless Clothing Gear was already an honour. They are thankful that Curbie’s way of helping customers who are tight on the budget can still get the car of their dreams.
“What makes Curbie unique is how we have taken on one of the worst purchase experiences a person could have, buying a used car, and delivering a truly revolutionary, empowering and transparent experience for our customers. Offering transparent prices, no hidden fees, no pushy commission salespeople, and the ability to shop online and from the comfort of your home, we can now proudly say that there is a better way to buy a car for Canadians,” said Macdonald.
Curbie is still a young local company but, instead of taking baby steps, had grown by leaps and bounds making it an exciting time for the entire crew according to Macdonald.
“Curbie is a quickly growing company, now serving three provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) with plans to expand across North America. Over the past year and a half, we have tripled our employees and doubled our sales year-over-year since launching in 2017,” he added.
Curbie Chief Executive Officer Alex Cruder co-founded Curbie in 2017 and got the idea, said Macdonald, after a terrible experience that he had when he helped his mom buy a second-hand vehicle.
“There was a ton of research [done], visiting dealerships, negotiating prices, pushy salespeople, and being overly time consuming.”
“He [Cruder] had heard about a successful company in the U.S. called Carvana that was essentially a click-to-buy model and figured there must be Canadians looking for the same solution, and essentially just making buying a car … better. He partnered with Gudelot, who was very experienced and knowledgeable in the automotive industry and set out to found Curbie.”
Though the concept of selling cars online is nothing new, Macdonald said Curbie could be the first to bring the idea to Canada with plans of expanding.
“The concept of Curbie originated in the U.S. by Carvana, the first to pioneer exclusively online vehicle sales. When Curbie founded we were the first, fully licensed 100 per cent online vehicle retailer in Canada.”
“Curbie is a quickly growing company, now serving three provinces (Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba) with plans to expand across North America. Over the past year and a half, we have tripled our employees and doubled our sales year-over-year since launching in 2017.”
Curbie’s new concept was well received by car buyers.
“Most people's first reaction is disbelief that they can buy a vehicle entirely online, have it delivered to their door for free and be overwhelmingly satisfied with the quality of our vehicles,” said Macdonald.
“One customer told us that after he placed his fully refundable deposit online, he didn’t believe the vehicle would show up the next day. Once customers experience buying their car online with Curbie and pass the seven-day free return period we consistently get the same response, which is, that Curbie is the future of car buying and that they will never go back to the old way of buying a car again.”
And with the award, Curbie promises to maintain the quality and service of car sales for its customers.
“Each car on our website has undergone a rigorous 240-point inspection, we don’t sell vehicles that don’t meet our discerning standards. On our website you can browse high-resolution 360-degree photos of all our vehicles, from every detail inside and out to any wear and tear,” said Macdonald.
“Our vehicles are also close to new, none have had any major accidents, mostly just one owner, and many have existing manufacturers' warranty still remaining. Curbie also offers a free three-month/10,000 warranty, so if anything were to go wrong, we’ve got you covered. Better than a test drive we have a seven-day free return policy, allowing you the freedom to ensure the vehicle fits your lifestyle. Visit Curbie.ca to see the Saskatchewan-born online vehicle retailer that is offering the better way to buy a car.”
The ABEX Awards is the province’s largest and longest-running program that honours businesses excellence since 1984. The Oct. 22 awards were live streamed, the second straight year done virtually. Businesses submit their applications and selecting the winners were done independently by a group of business experts.
“Denim and Diamonds” was this year’s theme — a fun nod to the hardworking, tough-as-diamonds Saskatchewan businesses.