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Buyer Tips

Bidding Tips for Car Auctions 

By Mike Richards Updated: 10/15/2019 Posted: 10/19/2015

If you are going to buy a car at an auction, make sure you understand the basics of car bidding. You can learn a lot from the way that the dealers make their bids, which can help keep you under budget when you are buying. The following are some simple tips that you can employ when you are going through the auction.

Learn the Vehicle’s Value

How much is the car you are bidding on actually worth? You can’t simply look up the make and model and go with the figure you find. You have to consider everything that may be wrong with the car and the repairs it may need. This may reduce the value of the vehicle. Find the actual value of the vehicle, or as close to it as possible. Some auction sites will provide you with an estimated value for the car, as well as estimates for the repairs costs. Use this information in your car bidding.

Do Not Overbid

The temptation of getting the “car of your dreams” can be great, and for some people, that means they bid more than they should. They bid too much too soon, and they end up overpaying on a vehicle that might not be worth it. You have to do your best to temper your excitement and think about it from a practical point of view. Have a budget in place and bid in smaller increments. If you see that someone else is bidding too high, you have to be willing to walk away and wait for another car. It might be difficult, but you will be much happier in the end.

This tends to be easier when you are bidding online, as you will not be competing against others face to face. However, you shit still be careful, because there is always the risk of overbidding even at an online auction. If you are bidding in person, watch for the others in the crowd bidding against you. Look for their reactions. It can help to let you know where their mind is and whether they are going to keep on bidding against you.

Let the Brokers Do It for You

If you are going through a dealer-only auction, you will need a broker to take care of bidding for you. This makes the whole process much easier for you. The broker will let you know how much a vehicle is worth and do the bidding for you. This eliminates the possibility of you overbidding, as the broker will respect the limit you have set in your budget.

Car bidding at an auction, whether it is an in-person public auction or an online auction, can be an intimidating experience, especially if you have no prior experience. Use the tips presented here and make sure that you are prepared to stop bidding before things get out of control.

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