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Tips For First Timers In Auto Auctions

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Tips For First Timers In Auto Auctions

Steven Pierce
September 13, 2012


So you're getting ready to head to some auto auctions for the first time, and of course, you are nervous. The process seems a little daunting, but that's only because it is unfamiliar to you. It's easy to buy used cars at auto auctions if you're educated and prepared.

Go to a few auctions as a dry run before actually getting into the serious business of bidding. This will give you a feel for the entire process. Your nerves will be calmer when you are ready to make actual bids.

Locate auctions that sell newer vehicles to the public. As a first time auto auction bidder, it's best to avoid insurance auctions that sell lightly or highly damagedvehicles. Dealers, mechanics, and body shops tend to attend these.

Check out an inventory list of the vehicles that will be offered at the auction, if possible. This way you can narrow down your choices to the vehicles that you are most interested in. Choose some of those that are feasible, but you might want to throw in a few cars that normally would be out of your league.

Research your targets. Check out their Kelly Blue Book or NADA guide for average values. Look for the experiences that other drivers have had with the vehicles.

Inspect the used cars at a public viewing, which typically occurs the day before auction. Although you're not allowed to test drive vehicles, you can check under the hood and inspect the body.

Decide on a maximum bid for each vehicle of interest and don't go above it. It's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the bidding process, but don't let this sidetrack you. You don't want to bid more than you had in mind, and regret it.

Scope out your competition as the auction unfolds. See which ones are more willing to spend more and who tends to hold back.

Take the in-house inspection if it is offered. For a nominal fee, the vehicle will be reviewed, and if anything majorly wrong is revealed, you will be made aware and have some arbitration protection. Keeping these tips in mind will arm you with the knowledge needed to make good buying decisions. Have fun while at the auctions, but most of all, be confidant in your bids. Everyone loves a bargain, and knowing what to do will help ensure one for you.

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Steven Pierce is a guy who has tons of general knowledge that makes him a credible source of information about cars, business and marketing. Stay tuned for his smart and economic tips and guides on Auto Auctions, visit http://www.southsideautoauctions.com.au/ .



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