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How to Bid for Cars at an Online Auction 

By Mike Richards Updated: 07/26/2022 Posted: 10/16/2015

The idea of buying a car at an online auction is one that many savvy and frugal buyers are considering. They know that there’s the potential to save quite a bit of money when they choose to buy through an auction.

If you are one of these buyers, you need to make sure you understand some simple tips on bidding so you can make the most out of the auction. These tips will work for any type of auction, whether in person or online.

Tips for First Time Bidders

Even before you place your bid, you need to think about the shipping and delivery options for the vehicle. You are buying from an online auction, that means that the vehicle will likely be in another state. If you are from outside of the United States, you need to think about the cost of shipping as well.

How will you get the car from them to you and how much will it all cost? This will determine just how much you will be able to spend on the vehicle and still have money left in the budget for the shipping.

When you are considering bidding on a vehicle, don’t bid too quickly. Look at several vehicles to determine which ones will work for your needs.

You also need to look into the condition and history of the vehicle. The online auctions you choose should allow you do see photos of the vehicle, as well as information on the history and condition of the car. The more research you do early the more confident you will be when you are placing your bid.

Do not get attached to a vehicle. If you do, you don’t always think with your head when you are bidding. When this attachment sets in, people tend to want to bid higher than they should, just so they can get the car.

Getting Help from a Third Party

In some cases, you might not be able or willing to do the bidding on your own. If you can’t keep track of the bids because you are busy, or if you want to buy through a dealer’s auction, then working with a third party company could help.

They can act as your proxy in certain auctions and will be able to do the bidding for you. You can choose the vehicles that you want to bid on, as well as your top bid amount. They will handle the bidding and increases up to that limit.

Now that you have some tips and know an alternate method of bidding, it’s time to start looking for some online auctions. Make sure you choose a good auction house that has a stellar reputation, and that offers a wide variety of different vehicles.

Buying a vehicle through an online auction can be great, and you can be successful even if you happen to be a first-time bidder. Just take your time and don’t make any hasty bids.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.