Buyer Tips

4 Mistakes to Avoid Making in Auto Dealer Auctions

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/22/2017 Posted: 03/05/2017

You’ve likely heard about the growing interest among consumers in auto dealer auctions. Thanks to the proliferation of websites that offer access to these dealer auctions to ordinary consumers, more and more are taking advantage of them in order to save tremendous amounts of money on the purchase of like-new, used and salvage vehicles.

If you’re looking to join the ranks of consumers who have done just this, then it’s important that you approach auto dealer auctions with a prepared mind. For this reason, we’re going to take a look at four common mistakes that new bidders make, which you should avoid!

  1. Not Setting a Clear Budget

Getting the most out of any auction, and particularly an auto dealer auction, requires that you go in with a firm budget. Doing this accomplishes two things. One, it ensures that you’re prepared for all post-purchase expenses, from arranging for delivery to making minor (or sometimes not minor) repairs. In addition, it also ensures that you do not get carried away during the bidding process, which is all too easy to do, especially if you’re new to these auctions.

Work out exactly what you want to pay for the car, and stick to it – if you can’t get it at that price, thousands more listings are added every day, so you’re stuck waiting around for another one to appear! Remember – the goal is to get a vehicle that’s right for you for the lowest possible cost.

  1. Skipping the Salvage Cars

Without a doubt, the best deals to be had in auto dealer auctions are to be had with salvage cars. Don’t make the mistake of assuming that these cars are all junk. In fact, most of them are in perfectly fine condition, only requiring a small number of repairs in order to get them roadworthy once again. Of course, knowing whether or not this will be the case requires not making the next mistake.

This is important to note, because a vehicle can be marked as salvage for a wide variety of reasons – it might have had a catastrophic crash, or it might have been repossessed from the owner in near-perfect condition. It might have been reported stolen, and the capital already paid out before it was found and recovered – forcing the insurance company to list as salvage and put up for auction.

Although they can be more work, than a clean-title used, or even new, car the savings can outweigh the extra time needed to make salvage cars a good decision. They aren’t for everybody, and if you know absolutely nothing about cars you may prefer to go for clean-title, but if you’re inclined to do a bit more research, and put in some extra time on the vehicle itself – you can save thousands, and get a car for 10% of its value or less.

  1. Not Doing Research

In order to make sound bidding decisions, you should research any car upon which you wish to bid. Through most any online dealer auto auction site, you should have access to each vehicle’s VIN. This should be found on the vehicle listing page for each lot.

When you find cars that you want to bid upon, use the VIN to request a vehicle history report through a third-party website like CarFax. Doing so will inform your bidding decision, and it will let you know if you’re bidding on a diamond in the rough or a lemon, giving you valuable insight into what the car has already been through and when – including why it might be listed in the auction to begin with. Doing this research properly on the cars that you’re interested in could save you thousands in hidden problems that aren’t apparent in the listing.

  1. Not Leveraging Your Auction Specialist

Any quality online dealer auto auction site will provide you with access to an auction specialist. This person will be well verse in all things about dealer auctions and can help you with everything from bidding strategy to arranging for delivery.

Be sure that you’re taking full advantage of this, especially when it comes to search for the right vehicle. This auction specialist can gain access to more auctions than you see online, thereby dramatically increasing the chances that you can find precisely what you’re looking for at an incredible price.

Online auctions now also make use of ‘live chat’ facilities on their websites, this means there is no need to make, or pay for, a phone call, and doesn’t matter where in the world you are – the advice is there for you!

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