Buying a vehicle at an auction can be a big savings, but it can also be a huge loss. Both public and dealer auctions hold great potential, but only if you know how to make the best out of it.
Purchasing a vehicle at an auction used to mean a great bargain, but now it’s not so straightforward any more. It is very easy to get burned if you’re not careful enough. This of course, doesn’t mean it’s difficult to find a decent vehicle at auctions, it just means you need to be smart about it.
Given that just about every metro area has a weekly or monthly auctions, it’s fairly easy to find one. But before you hit the road to purchase a vehicle at auction, here’s what you should bear in mind:
Always come prepared
The golden rule of any auction is to come prepared and do your homework. Never go to an auction if you don’t know the true value of the items being sold. That being said, you need to have at least some idea of what used cars/vehicles are worth. Otherwise, you may end up being duped into buying a car or a vehicle that is overpriced. That’s why doing a little research beforehand is absolutely necessary. A good place to start is to conduct a research on vehicle prices on Kelly Blue Book or Craigslist as well as in classified listings. This will give you a fairly good glimpse into the used vehicle price ranges.
Don’t bid at your first auction
If you’ve never been to an auction before, it’s perhaps best you don’t bid at the first auction. Instead, observe other bidders and learn from them. If you observe closely you’ll notice that some bidders are actively bidding on every lot. They are just pumping up the prices. Learn how to assess the situation by looking at other players before you actually make the move yourself. Bidding is a skill, and as with every skill it is only refined with experience.
Don’t get too carried away
It’s easy to get caught up in the bidding, especially among more experienced players. The rule of thumb is — don’t put all your eggs in one basket or you may end up paying more than you actually should. Inexperienced bidders tend to get too carried away because they feel like it’s now or never. Don’t cling to one car only. Even if you want it really bad, remember that you need to be level-headed if you want to get a good bargain on a vehicle.
Expecting the unexpected
Bidding is not for the faint of heart. However well you think you’ve done, don’t get too surprised if you find out later on that you’ve bought a clunker. The condition of the vehicle is ‘as is’, and that literally means you never really know what you’re bidding for. The vehicle may look great on the outside, but may end up being a complete failure on the inside. If you’re not willing to take that risk, it’s perhaps best you don’t bid in the first place.
When you’ve completed the purchase
Once you’ve found your bargain or project car, give us a call for storage options. We can also recommend a local tow service. We have outdoor and enclosed vehicle storage to suit your needs. Gateway Storage is also the perfect place to sell your vehicle if you’re ready for your next one. with unlimited, anytime access, you can meet prospective buyers at the facility rather than your home. Good luck at the auction!