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Yossi Levi of Gettacar: “Impatience with action and patience with results”

I think fundamentally, what we’re doing is telling people to conduct a 20,000 dollar average transaction online. It may feel uncomfortable at first but I think people are realizing more and more than when you eliminate all the friction from the process they’ve always known, you’ve built something very unique — an easy way to buy a […]

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I think fundamentally, what we’re doing is telling people to conduct a 20,000 dollar average transaction online. It may feel uncomfortable at first but I think people are realizing more and more than when you eliminate all the friction from the process they’ve always known, you’ve built something very unique — an easy way to buy a vehicle quickly. We didn’t take the average time to purchase a car from 5.4 hours to 4 hours. We took it from 5.4 hours to a matter of minutes! That’s really the disruptive part — saving consumers a ton of time.


As a part of our series about business leaders who are shaking things up in their industry, I had the pleasure of interviewing Yossi Levi.

Yossi Levi is co-Founder and CEO of gettacar, an online used-car buying platform. Levi, a graduate of Temple University’s Fox School of Business, learned the auto business working in his family’s used-car business in Northeast Philadelphia. He launched gettacar in 2018 and has since expanded the business to include Baltimore and Washington DC.


Thank you so much for doing this with us! Before we dig in, our readers would like to get to know you a bit more. Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I grew up in a traditional car business in a traditional dealership setting. That was my family’s business. As a second generation immigrant I went to work with my father to help him out from the age of about 13. I really learned car sales from the ground up. When I was in college my dad and I partnered up and I actually started leading the company. I say leading because we didn’t even have titles back then. There were just 10 people doing everything that needed to be done. My dad focused on buying and I pretty much handled everything else. I started learning what it takes to build and grow a company. More importantly, I had my eyes set on growth and I said, “How can we do better? How can we get bigger? In 2014 I flew with my friends for a vacation andI remember sitting by the pool with my laptop looking at our key performance indicators. I saw that even though I was away our sales were exploding. I was so confused and said to myself “what is going on?”. And what I realized was that all of the digitally native and online initiatives that we had taken in order to help our customers transact a bigger part of the purchase online were really paying off — people were very receptive to it. When I returned from vacation I decided to leverage the internet as much as possible to improve the car buying experience for our customers. Fast forward to 2018 and that initiative evolved into gettacar, an online e-commerce platform for all things automotive — buying, selling, trading and financing cars.

Can you tell our readers what it is about the work you’re doing that’s disruptive?

I think fundamentally, what we’re doing is telling people to conduct a 20,000 dollar average transaction online. It may feel uncomfortable at first but I think people are realizing more and more than when you eliminate all the friction from the process they’ve always known, you’ve built something very unique — an easy way to buy a vehicle quickly. We didn’t take the average time to purchase a car from 5.4 hours to 4 hours. We took it from 5.4 hours to a matter of minutes! That’s really the disruptive part — saving consumers a ton of time.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

When we started we were trying to be very unique. We thought it would be cute to add memes, like a dancing monkey, to the pages where customers would fill out personal information like their social security number. In hindsight it was such an amateur move thinking that customers wanted that kind silliness in the place where they were filling out sensitive information!

We all need a little help along the journey. Who have been some of your mentors? Can you share a story about how they made an impact?

First and foremost, I would say my dad. He’s really taught me the fundamentals of business and relationship building. More specifically he helped me build my emotional intelligence at a very relatively young age. My other mentors are two good buddies Yakir and Rafael who run the Philadelphia startup goPuff. They’ve been a really big part of my journey and have helped me a ton.

In today’s parlance, being disruptive is usually a positive adjective. But is disrupting always good? When do we say the converse, that a system or structure has ‘withstood the test of time’? Can you articulate to our readers when disrupting an industry is positive, and when disrupting an industry is ‘not so positive’? Can you share some examples of what you mean?

Positive or negative, I think the term “disruption” is overused, but taking a different perspective that is potentially beneficial for consumers is always going to be faced with a lot of opposition when it changes the dynamics in an industry. Incumbents lose business and lots of things change. I do think that the reaction to anything that’s considered disruptive depends on your perspective. When Uber arrived on the scene consumers were really happy but taxi drivers were not. I think it’s all relative.

Can you share 3 of the best words of advice you’ve gotten along your journey? Please give a story or example for each.

First I would say “impatience with action and patience with results”. What that means to me is when we have to solve a problem there’s no time to waste and we need to be ready 24/7 to tackle it right away, whatever it is. As for patience, we have to be willing to wait to reap the fruits of our labor. As much as we’d like to see them, we can’t always expect results tomorrow.

Secondly, “hire for your weaknesses”. What I mean is that you should surround yourself with people who complement you. As a founder and CEO you shouldn’t be the best at everything but you should have people around who are the best in their areas of expertise.

Finally it would simply be “consistency”. To me that means coming in every day and giving your best and realizing you’re in a marathon, not a sprint. That’s been a hard pill for me to swallow — early on at least.

Lead generation is one of the most important aspects of any business. Can you share some of the strategies you use to generate good, qualified leads?

I think, from a marketing perspective, that being very authentic and unique and not putting out the same message as everyone else is really important for us in auto sales. There are 44-thousand different dealers in the country so we really want to differentiate ourselves in the marketplace as an easier way to buy a car. You don’t necessarily have to spend millions of dollars to get peoples’ attention. But if you just put out something that is really organic and authentic and resonates with customers, that will typically stick. We’ve had a lot of success with just raw footage.

We are sure you aren’t done. How are you going to shake things up next?

We’ve only just begun! Right now we’re in a handful of states and scaling very quickly. We have our sights set on many more markets. The reality is we want to be able to serve every single person in the country. Like I said, it’s a marathon not a sprint so there’s a long way to go but we’ve made tremendous progress. We have great backing, great people who believe in us and most importantly an amazing team that believes in what we’re building.

Do you have a book, podcast, or talk that’s had a deep impact on your thinking? Can you share a story with us? Can you explain why it was so resonant with you?

I try to read as much as I can about anything that refers to first principles thinking and getting back to the basics of how we form our own opinions — being able to build my own fresh perspective that’s not necessarily influenced by other people. When you can get to the foundation of what influences our decision making it helps to build viewpoints that are truly our own.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I’m going to go with “most things aren’t new, they’re just new to you”. That lesson has helped me very well on my journey so far — realizing that you don’t know what you don’t know! I try to have an open mind and learn something new as often as possible.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

I think something related to education. I believe education is the best solution to a lot of our problems. I would like to see some universal standard of education that’s accessible to everyone.

How can our readers follow you online?

People can follow me through gettacar on Twitter, Instagram and Linkedin. They can also follow me on Twitter — @yossixciii.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for joining us!

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