Would You Buy a Car in an Online Auction Without Seeing It?

By Mike Richards Updated: 05/23/2019 Posted: 06/06/2017

Online car auctions are an absolutely incredible thing, especially when it comes to ordinary consumers. This is because these online auctions are leveling the playing field between consumers and dealerships. Through these websites, it’s possible to purchase used and salvage cars without paying a dealership’s markups. Because of this, consumers who use online car auctions have found that they’re sometimes able to save in excess of 70% on their purchases.

Still, there are a few drawbacks to online car auctions that might concern a newcomer. Chief among those is the prospect of having to buy a vehicle sight unseen. Because it is not possible for consumers to access the majority of in-person dealer auctions, one needs to be able to make their purchase based on what can be gathered online.

All of this leads to many wondering if it is worth buying a car in an online auction without seeing it. The truth is that this isn’t as much of a drawback as you might think. In fact, there are some advantages that online dealer auctions afford that negate the potential drawback of not being able to physically inspect a vehicle.

How to Properly Research in Online Car Auctions

When you use online car auctions to buy used and salvage cars, you’ll notice that most listings include the vehicle’s VIN. This is great news, as it allows you to use a third-party service like CarFax in order to request a vehicle history report. As it turns out, most of what you’d want to learn by conducting a physical inspection of the vehicle can be learned by going through these reports.

Naturally, you’ll be able to look at the vehicle’s accident and collision history. But, also consider other factors. For example, how many previous owners has the vehicle had? You know the saying; too many cooks can spoil the broth. Where has the vehicle been housed? If it’s been in a wet climate, then there might be some form of water damage to contend with.

Using Your Auction Specialist

The above are just some of the things that you’ll want to consider when going through the history report of a vehicle you find in an online car auction. When it comes to really digging down into the state of a vehicle, though, there’s one asset that will be invaluable: your auction specialist.

This person has seen hundreds of auctions come and go; he or she thus has an implicit understanding of the marketplace. By talking to your specialist, you should be able to find vehicles that will meet your needs. Further, should you determine that some form of in-person inspection will be necessary, your specialist is there to help. He or she can arrange one for you!

Online Car Auctions: The Best Way to Buy Used and Salvage Cars

As you can see, buying a used or salvage car in an online car auction sight unseen isn’t as big a deal as you might expect. In fact, one could argue that you’re able to learn more about a potential purchase through online car auctions than you’d be able to at a dealership. So, give online car auctions a shot today! You’re sure to discover why so many other have begun to view them as the best way to buy used and salvage cars.