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How to Buy and Sell a Car at an Auction

Buying or selling merchandise at an auction can be exhilarating and cost-effective. However, many people are unfamiliar with auctioning procedures, and this may discourage them from attending one. When it comes to buying or selling vehicles through an organization like Mecum Auctions, it’s vital to know the intricacies of the process.

 

About Car Auctions

By Bull-Doser at English Wikipedia (Own work) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Bull-Doser – Wikimedia Commons
Most car auctions require those who are buying or selling a car to register. If you’re interested in buying a vehicle through an auction, then you may need to provide a cash deposit. Budget around $100 for this fee. Before participating in the auction, be sure to ask if there are additional buyer’s fees. This will help you gauge whether a car is a good deal or not. Arrive to the auction early to drive each car that you’re interested in purchasing if the auction allows it. This step will help you determine whether a car needs work or is operating as it should.

 

How to Buy a Car from an Auction

By Bull-Doser at English Wikipedia (Own work.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Bull-Doser via Wikimedia Commons
If you’re considering purchasing a car from an auction like Mecum Auctions, be prepared to research the auction house as well as its car inventory. Public auctions often publish their inventory on their website with each vehicle identification number. This will let you select the vehicles that interest you before the auction. Attend auctions that feature inventory from banks and other financial institutions because these sellers are not in the business of selling cars. Instead, they are auctioning off cars that have been repossessed or returned. Most auctions feature these sellers at the start of the sale since they generally have the best inventory and prices.

If you’re able to research the cars prior to the auction, then do so by obtaining a subscription to a company that offers vehicle history reports. Make a list of the cars that you’re interested in buying, and then, note the number of owners that each car has had as multiple owners may indicate mechanical problems. Also, review the location history of each car to determine whether one or more of them came from an area where rusting could be an issue.

Study the auction’s rules. Most of them use indicator lights. A red light is called the “as is” signal. When it’s on and you’ve made the highest bid, the vehicle belongs to you even if a part has fallen off it. If you see a yellow light, then pay close attention because the auctioneer is about to announce a problem with the car that he or she is currently selling. When a green light appears and you’ve made the winning bid, you’ll have the opportunity to inspect the vehicle and drive it. If the car has engine, major electrical or transmission problems, you may be able to arbitrate your way out of the deal. If a blue light is showing while a car is up for auction, then the title is not at the auction. You can buy a car when the blue light is on, but the auction’s officials will not cash your check until the title arrives. You won’t be able to register the car until the title is received. If this process takes longer than 30 days, you can return the vehicle for a full refund.

 

Advantages of Buying a Car from an Auction

In most cases, if you buy a car from Mecum Auctions or a similar organization, you’ll likely pay less than you would if you were to buy the car from a dealer or maybe even from a private seller. While auctions do offer affordably priced cars, they don’t sell them for prices that most people would consider too good to be true. When a car is priced too low, there is probably an issue with it.

If you’re in the market for a vintage car, then more options may be available at an auction. You may also be able to pick up a vintage car for a good price.

Bidding will usually begin low at an auction, but the price is likely to increase quickly. Avoid getting caught up in the excitement of a bidding war by establishing a budget. Stick to it to stop yourself from overspending. If you’re shopping for a rare vehicle or one that you’re having trouble finding, then an auction may be the only way to get the car of your dreams.

 

How to Sell a Car at an Auction

By Bull-Doser at English Wikipedia (Own work.) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
By Bull-Doser via Wikimedia Commons
Before selling a car at an auction, confirm that you have the legal documents to do so. You must own the vehicle. To verify this, you’ll need the title. The next step is to determine your car’s proper value. If damage exists, be realistic about the repair costs to price the vehicle accordingly. The Kelly Blue Book site is a good place to establish the price of a vehicle based on its mileage, condition and year. Keep in mind that if you’re pricing a collector car or an antique vehicle, then you may need to complete additional assessment research since it’s harder to determine the value of cars that fall into these categories.

Once you’ve established the price range for the vehicle, you’ll be ready for the selling process. If you’re selling an antique or collector’s edition vehicle, select an auction that specializes in these types of cars to appeal to the right group of buyers. You can sell other kinds of cars at a public or private dealer auction. Some auctions only permit entry to those who have a dealer’s license, so be sure to check the requirements before you begin the application process.

Today, most auctions let you choose to sell a car live or online. Public auctions offer the benefit of allowing buyers to see your car in person, which may increase interest in your vehicle, but an online auction expands the number of buyers who are in the market for a car. However, online sales often fall through. They also come with the added expense of shipping, so this could decrease your profit. Once a buyer has purchased your car, you’ll be able to transfer the title to his or her name. This completes the auctioning process.

 

Benefits of Selling a Car at an Auction

The benefits of selling a car at organizations like Mecum Auctions are numerous. Some auctions charge buyers and sellers who attend, so by selling a car at an auction, you’re offering your vehicle to people who are there to make a purchase. In addition, when you’re selling a rare or antique vehicle, this method may net you the highest price. In most cases, you’ll receive the payment for your car quickly when you sell it through an auction. In addition, auctions may be a safer option since you won’t be dealing one-on-one with a buyer. For the seller, auctions provide added convenience because the auction house will handle the sale for a fee that is usually based on the winning bid.

When it comes to buying and selling cars, consider the benefits of an auction. On the buying side, you’ll have the opportunity to purchase a fine vehicle for an affordable price while the selling side offers convenience. In addition, the excitement of the process is likely to add thrill to the experience.

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