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August 13, 2013

The Unique Challenge of the Auto Auction

Paul Duchene, writing for Car and Driver, offers his take on how to make the best of an auto auction after providing insight into the risks. “Marry in haste, repent at leisure” is his way of introducing the greatest risk: paying too much! Considering that saving money is the typical perceived benefit of the auto auction, overspending would definitely qualify as a likely disappointment. As he notes, “Auctions are the fastest of fast tracks—you are betting you know what you want, that you can recognize a car’s strengths and faults, that you know what it’s worth, and that you have the cool head to stop bidding at that point.” He adds that auctions can be fun, but they are work.

First, he suggests reading the catalog. His goal is to identify the car and any hidden changes that may have occurred. A person doesn’t want to be tricked into buying a lemon.

Second, he recommends attending the auction in person because a first-hand examination will reveal more than what can be seen via the Internet, one strike against on-line auctions.

Third, he says to register early so you can be sure not to miss the car or cars that interest you. Here is where they confirm you can pay for any car you win in the bidding.

Fourth, examine the car closely. Bring along an expert if you are not one yourself. You are again seeking to confirm the car is what it claims, that it is in good condition beyond the shining of a new coat of wax, and so that you avoid surprises after you own the car.

Fifth, he advises standing where the auctioneer can see you clearly. Here he offers insights that only an experienced bidder could. Above all, however, is not going over your price limit in the excitement of the moment.

Finally, Duchene recommends having the car shipped to spare the risk of unexpected car repairs in an inconvenient place.

Duchene has plenty more to say.  Get all the details at Car and Driver.

August 6, 2013

“Time Capsule” Auction

Those who buy cars for reasons beyond simply getting a quality car and a great price probably already know where the auctions for their specialized interests can be found, unless they’re newbies, of course. However, I came across something unique, recently, a collection of old cars in better than normal condition for their ages. These cars have been sitting in an old man’s buildings for 17 years.

An auto dealership in Pierce, Nebraska, closed with 500 cars in its inventory, among them 50 brand new Chevrolets from the 1950s and 1960s with less than 10 miles on the odometer. These cars have not been driven since, and apart from the minor damage of aging itself, these cars are in first class condition.

The article reporting on this find lists auction dates of September 28th and 29th, this fall. Owners Ray and Mildred are now in their nineties, and their daughter says selling the collection came from what a painful decision for them. The auction will be held at Vanderbrink Auctions in Pierce, Nebraska, and their site provides further information.

On Vanderbrink’s site is a video of some of the “survivor” vehicles to be sold. It is one of 66, if you’re interested, and you can get started here. I watched for just a few minutes, and I was reminiscing while I enjoyed seeing some cars of the past in beautiful condition.

The original story site includes a number of photos of cars to be auctioned. About half way down, I found one of a 1959 Chevy Impala, the car I drove through my college years. Mine was sky blue, and my friends and I called it the “Winged Wonder.” If I could afford it, I’d be in Nebraska, this September, to see if I could buy one. What an opportunity for those who want to relive their youth!  Oh, and if you’re into collector car auctions, you might want to check this out.


June 21, 2013

How do I Get Insurance on a Car I Buy at the Auction?

Auto auctions can be fun, entertaining, and fulfilling. They can also be part of a painful experience if you aren’t smart about the way you handle your transactions. Auto insurance is one of the most important purchases you can make in your life. It’s also the most important purchase you can make at the auto auction. After you have purchased your shiny, new car at the auction, you have been provided with your buyer sheet confirming you have done so, and you have made your payment, the car belongs to you.

DO NOT DRIVE AWAY FROM THE LOT WITHOUT AUTO INSURANCE!. Auto insurance companies are open 24/7, ready and willing to add your new car onto your policy. Simply call your insurance company with the VIN number and the make and model of your new car, and your insurance provider will do the rest. Also, be sure the policy starts immediately. Even if you cannot print your proof-of-insurance insurance card out, you are covered in the event of an accident or traffic stop. It’s really that simple! Don’t rack your brain over if you should or should not have the insurance; it’s not even debatable. When purchasing a car from the dealership, they require you to be adequately covered before you can drive away from the lot; keep this in mind. Also, if you’re lucky enough to see the cars online beforehand, call around and get some insurance quotes. This way, you’ll know for sure what you would be paying in insurance for certain models.

Guys, driving without car insurance is against the law and could put you and your family in serious financial trouble. Take the time, determine what you’ll need to pay, and pay it before you drive away; otherwise you could be setting yourself up for a major disaster. 

June 21, 2013

Can I Get What My Car is Worth at an Auction?

Thinking about selling off your old car? You might consider listing it at the local auction house. Auto auctions allow people to buy used and sometimes new cars at discounted rates. By listing your vehicle, you allow the public to place bids until the highest bidder wins. Another popular auction option is the online powerhouse On eBay, you can not only list your car, but you can set a minimum price for selling it, through a process called reserving.

The major question people ask related to the auction is can I get what my car is worth at an auction? This depends on multiple factors. First, you need to determine the cars market value and eliminate your personal opinion of what the car is worth. Websites such as Kelly Blue Book provide an industry standard when it comes down to determining worth. I would advise printing out a blue book estimate when making this decision.

Next, take in account if the car is currently running well and if the car is currently leased or financed. These 2 variables make up a major part of your overall decision. If the car is currently being financed through a company, you need to be sure that your sale price is more than what you currently owe on the car. People trade in cars daily with more money owed than the car is worth, causing them to have the unpaid balanced rolled over to the next car. This is what’s referred to as being “upside-down” on your loan. In the case of an auto auction, the bank will not release the title to the buyer until the entire car is paid off.

Another thing to take in consideration is the popularity of your vehicle. If you have a hot, trendy car in good shape, you may get more than it’s actually worth at an auction. Overall, just pay attention to all the variables above to ensure you put yourself in the best position. Besides, only the market can determine what your car is worth, not you.

June 11, 2013

Is Buying a Car from an Auction a Good Idea?

Someone asked, “Is buying a car from an auto auction a good idea?” To answer in one word, YES! There’s almost no greater place to purchase a high quality vehicle at a cut rate price. Making the winning bid on a great care convinces me that auto auctions are great places for great deals. Read below for a few more reasons why this is a smart move for you.

1) The bargain: Know that any time you decide to go into an auto auction; you will most likely get a bargain on your purchased vehicle. Why? The purchase price is the lowest bid price. Of course, this happens when you have the highest bid, even if it is at a remarkably low price

2) Empowerment: No one can make you purchase any car; that choice is totally yours. If you see a vehicle that interests you and, after taking a look, you decide to set your minimum price, don’t budge on that price. You have the option to do that versus going into a dealership where they don’t provide you much leverage in negotiations. With an auto auction, you’re truly empowered to make the moves you see fit, buy only when you’re ready, and hold yourself to bidding within your budget.

3) No tricky salesmen: At a car auction, what you see is what you get. Nobody is tagging along, grabbing your coat tails, and trying to persuade you into making a purchase you are not ready to make. An auction can provide freedom to choose with a clear mind and thorough understanding. Obviously, the auction house wants the cars sold, but they have no salesmen selling you gimmicks and false hopes.  You bid, you don’t bid, or you bid higher; it’s your choice.

I’m a huge fan of the auto auction because of these 3 major benefits. Trust me, it’ll be an experience you will enjoy while you get a fine car at a good price.

June 8, 2013

Buying a Car at an Auto Auction, even On Line

For thоѕе that don’t know, auto auctions are the quickest and easiest wауѕ for banks and government agencies tо get rid of seized and repossessed vehicles. Thеѕе auctions саn be found all оvеr the United States and саn occur daily, weekly, and monthly and are good рlасеs tо find the automobile уоu’vе bееn searching for, at a significant savings, and now they are even on line.

Hеrе are six quick reasons why buying a car at an auction саn be a good idea.

1. When уоu find a good auction site, уоu will have piece of mind knowing thеу stake their reputation оn providing a good experience.

2. Seized auto auctions саn be a lot of fun. The sheer volume of vehicles tо choose from саn be quite an experience.

3. It саn help уоu kеер уоur budget intact when it соmеѕ tо buying a new or used car.

4. You саn set a maximum bid level that kеерѕ уоu from overbidding and letting уоur emotions get the bеѕt of you.

5. You саn save time and effort by not having tо visit high pressure dealerships or driving from private sale tо private sale hoping tо find the car уоu are lооking for.

6. Seized auto auctions are a great рlасе tо get great bargains оn just аbоut any type of vehicle. If уоu are interested in a high end vehicle, but don’t care for the retail price tag, then government seized auto auctions are great for you.

As уоu рrоbаblу аlrеаdу know, car dealers will do аnуthing tо get уоu into the car of уоur dreams. Dealers attend thеѕе private auctions tо buy cars at a fraction of their retail value and subsequently turn them around, increase the price, and sell them tо уоu at a dealership at a huge profit. Just think how much уоu соuld save if уоu bypassed уоur dealership and purchased directly from their sources. Car dealers know this, and thеу go tо great lengths tо protect this knowledge from the general public.

When уоu start bidding remember tо stick with уоur plan, bid with уоur brain and don’t let уоur emotions get the better of you. One thing in particular to kеер in mind is the buyer’s premium. This is a commission, uѕuаllу in the 5% range, that is that is paid tо the auction house оn top of the winning bid for the vehicle. This means if уоu рlасе a winning bid of ѕау $20,000 уоu will pay an additional $1,000 tо the auction house for their services. This саn be a problem if уоu didn’t take that into account when уоu got caught up in a bidding frenzy in which уоu uѕеd еvеrу lаѕt dollar уоu had. Uѕе уоur head and уоu’ll do fine.

Online auto auctions are a great рlасе tо find the car or truck уоu have bееn lооking for at a rather large discount.  On line bidding is somewhat less frenzied making it easier to stay within your budget.  By doing уоur research and bidding smartly уоu саn save hundreds or еvеn thousands of dollars оn great cars.