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Want to Become an Online Car Auction Expert? Here’s What You Need to Know

By Odet Garcia Updated: 03/12/2021 Posted: 06/10/2020

It is no secret that buying a used car can be a better investment than buying a new one. A new car’s depreciation is very high in a short period of time. Hence, you will get more value out of your money if you buy a used car at an online car auction. This is a great opportunity for anyone who needs to search for a car while respecting a budget.

An online car auction can be confusing for first time buyers. The experience of buying a used car at one of these auctions differs very much from buying a car at a dealership. You won’t have the opportunity to inspect your car in person before you buy it. This is why research and preparation are key in order to make a smart purchase at an online car auction. We will explain in this article how the process works.

Do an Honest and Thorough Research

Your research is your most important tool when facing an online car auction. This is why it has to be honest. Before starting your research, be honest with yourself about your wants and needs in a vehicle. It is important that you search for a car that will fit your lifestyle and doesn’t bring problems into your days.

online car auction

Your research also has to be thorough. Making a checklist of what you need to look at in a car helps to cover all your bases. Keep in mind that you won’t have the opportunity to inspect the car, and your auction specialist will do it for you. This is why your research is so important. Knowing every detail about the type of car you want to buy will help you be aware of what to expect in a used model. For example, taking a look at the Vehicle History Report will also help you have an idea of the conditions of the car you want to purchase. 

Further Reading

  1. Is it Safe to Buy Cars at Online Car Auctions? 
  2. Your Guide to Buy Used Cars on an Online Auto Auction Site 
  3. How You Can Get Your Next Car from a Dealers Auto Auction 
  4. 5 Steps to Getting an Auto Loan with Bad Credit

How to Participate in an Online Car Auction

First-time buyers may seem overwhelmed with an online car auction at first. However, it is actually quite a simple process. Once you have chosen the online auction platform you will be working with, you’ll just need to follow simple steps. We will go over those steps below while we walk you through the process of buying a car at an online car auction.

Register for an Account

Every platform that can give you access to exclusive online car auctions requires you to register for an account. This is because you’ll be managing your bids and purchases from that account. Registering does not have a cost and is a very simple process. You’ll have to provide your full name, email address, and create a password. If you’re wondering if you need a dealer’s license, there’s no need to worry. You aren’t required to have a dealer’s license because the platform will provide one for you. 

Once you’ve registered for your account, you’ll be able to have access to the complete inventory and other features. Remember that online auction platforms like Auto Auction Mall give you access to major car auction houses from the United States. This means you can browse through more than 150,000 vehicles. Registering will allow you to start searching for the car you want to purchase. If you have not decided yet, you can add to your Watchlist the ones that you like the most.

Make a Deposit to Your Account

Before you can start placing bids on the car you like, you will need to make a security deposit to your account. This security deposit must be 10% of the amount you wish to spend on the vehicle, with a minimum of US$400 if buying with Auto Auction Mall. This minimum amount can change depending on the platform you’re going to use. In Auto Auction Mall, for example, if you wish to spend $8,000 on a car, your deposit must be $800. However, if you wish to spend $3,000 on a car, you’d still need to deposit $400 because it is the minimum amount.

The security deposit is required as an assurance that you will complete the purchase of the vehicle if your bid is the winner of the auction. Keep in mind that you need to be very careful with your research before placing a bid. Once you place a bid, if it wins the auction but you don’t want to buy the car anymore, you will lose your deposit.

Buying Your Used Car

dealer vehicle

Now that you have registered your account and made the security deposit, you’ll be ready to start placing bids. Usually, online auction platforms assign you with an auction specialist that will guide you through the process. You will attend the live auctions virtually, and the specialist will place the bids for you. If you’re the winner, the specialist will also guide you through finalizing the purchase.