“Some price,” going once, twice, sold!
Car auctions can be a very enjoyable experience for vehicle-enthusiasts. Buyers wanting their first purchase can also avail from car auctions given they know what they are getting into (for biddings, sometimes, can get messy).
More often than not, people get to become the needed experts after their second or third auction. They start by getting a lay of the land—or as is appropriate here, by going for a test drive—first.
While this applies to everything we do for the first time, it certainly helps knowing a bit about what you can get into before you get into it.
In this short blog, we will be presenting you with a beginners’ guide to car auctions comprising 5 useful tips that are sure to help you start off.
Put your seatbelts, then, on and the key into the ignition, and rev your engines to a sporty start because here we go!
Sit Your First Auction Out
If we are to stay true to what we have said above, we would do so by sticking to it; sit your first auction out, soldier. By sitting it out, we mean no buying; just observing. Pay close attention to all the other auctioneers and how they behave with the buyers that are there.
Frame a map up of sales and the various factors, which include facial expressions, reactions to surrounding stimuli, sale pressure and urgencies, etc.
First auctions are the best and most exciting way to learn how the system works and what the basics are. Consider this day as you trying to master riding your bicycle with the training wheels. If you still feel like your first auction didn’t quite do it for you, we recommend sitting your second out, too, until you yourself are completely comfortable with participating.
With auctions, it is all about coming prepared and not letting bids getting out of hand confuse you or your preparation in any way. When you perfect the training wheels, it will be time to try your hand without them.
Knowing What You Like Is Key
This is a tip to “sitting out on your first auction.” While you are getting a lay of the land, do some research on the side. Take all the time you need to look up the cars you like online like you would if it were a regular purchase. Should you feel like you need it, ask for a friend’s advice or seek an expert opinion upon all your cars.
Auctions have official websites as well. You can browse them up online and go through available cars. When you do this, you can also find one that you like; researching on a singular piece becomes easier than having to look up multiple cars at once. Zero in on the car you like, look up on its potential problems like history of pricing and results from previously held auctions. By looking up the same car on multiple sites, you will also be able to determine whether the auction managers have misquoted the price.
Dirt? Dirt is good. Get ‘Em Hands Dirty!
You don’t know what you are buying until you look at it. But looking alone is not enough. The tip we are about to give you is very unpopular, especially from a seller’s point of view. You will only regret having bought a faulty vehicle later, so it is better to get your hands a little dirty.
Inspect the car you want to buy from top to bottom, left to right. Get inside and look it up to your heart’s content. Pull up the hood and look therein for anything that stands out as a potential issue. Check the pipes for leakage holes and the metal for rust. Be sure to look for any structural abnormalities, too, if you can find any. The most obvious fault will be dents, of course. So those should you be at the bottom of your list.
After this “careful” yet shunned examination, you will be in a more clearer state of whether you want to go through with the purchase or if the seller is over-quoting the car’s worth.
Uncovering the Car’s Actual Worth
Owners often put such a price on the table that depicts the bare minimum of what they want for their car, nothing above or below. Owners who actually know their car’s worth are more prone to do this than those just wanting their car off their hands.
Beware, though. Sometimes, a bright and shiny car accompanied by a hefty price tag might not actually be in good condition and it could be the owner trying to cover for the upkeep they paid for the auction to make their car look good. This includes all removable parts, paint, and inside upholstery, something you do not want to pay for.
While most buyers ending up buying such over-priced cars, sometimes when sellers see that a buyer is all business and really wants in on their purchase, but they also know they might leave should the seller not address the price, they will re-quote the car’s actual worth; the right amount the buyer should pay. For a first-timer, you obviously will not be able to have this impact on a seller you are interested in. But that’s the advice; learn the trade.
Always uncover the car’s actual worth and never over-pay.
Taking the Car Home
The last tip on our beginner’s guide to car auctions; be ready to accommodate your car if you win the bid or purchase it. While Hollywood only shows the full-of-tension bidding between two over-eager bidders, and how eventually one of them wins, it fails to show what happens next. And that’s the important bit, my friend. Once you’ve bought the car, it’s your responsibility. Starting right then.
If you have never owned a car and are buying from an auction, we recommend that you learn driving one first. But if you plan to learn in your new car, then have a friend tag along for the auction who knows how to drive; they will make it a lot easy for you. While most auction managers have car-delivery arranged, it comes not free of cost. Towing the car on your own, driving it yourself, or asking a friend or relative to help will certainly save you money. Why spend more money on it when you’ve already paid at the auction?
That was it for our beginners’ guide to car auctions! Now that the stop sign is gone and so is yellow, green means go! Go get yourself ready for your first car auction. Remember; stick by our guide and we promise you will do great.
Liked what you just read? Want to read more about cars? RideSafely has tons of other articles you will love reading if you found this guide helpful. Be sure to check them out and refer this article to a friend or someone whom you know wants to attend their first car auction besides you. Good luck and Ride Safely!