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Car Auctions

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I've heard a couple stories (perhaps that's all they are) about people that have scored some very nice deals on cars at dealer-type auctions.

Does anyone have any experience with this? How difficult is it to get a license, etc?
post #2 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by kronik
I've heard a couple stories (perhaps that's all they are) about people that have scored some very nice deals on cars at dealer-type auctions. Does anyone have any experience with this? How difficult is it to get a license, etc?
I've been to a few of these auctions. Unless you have a lot of experience in judging the quality of used cars, you might even come out a lot worse. Most of the buyers there see cars day in, day out. They can see under a minute if a car is "clean" and worth the top dollar. For those, you will see prices go up very quickly when they're auctioned. The other "deals" are the rejects that nobody wants. It's true that you'll pay wholesale prices, but the hassle isn't worth it, IMO. For some nice and in demand pieces, they'll even bid very close to or over retail. There are auctions that are open to the public, which anyone can go in a bid. For the others, you need to have to be a dealer to go in, which requires you to...have a new/used dealership.
post #3 of 14
My family's last 6 cars have been from 2 specific auctions. The last two cars, 2000 Lexus LS 400 and 2002 Toyota Sienna, both purchased in 04, and have been workhorses for us that were well worth the under wholesale prices we paid. I paid $17,000 at 69,000 miles for the Lexus and $18,000 at 30,000 miles for the Sienna. I now have 253,000 on the Lexus and 140,000 on the Sienna. Neither has broken down on us or required extensive repairs other than the preventative recommended timing belt change. Our mechanic has a car dealership, a body shop and two gas stations.

I got copies of the last few prior auction sales booklets and knew what the general prices were and he charged me an extra $500 on top of the auction sale price because I bring him business at his station and for car sales. He calls me during the auctions and asked what my cutoff or max was as the car was"going thru". I passed on cars at three previous auctions for the LS400 despite lower prices on prior years or higher miles because I wanted the 2000 with the brake assist and I wanted to put the miles on the car (Glad I held out). He had checked out beforehand all of the LS400 and Sienna's available for telltale signs of mistreatment.

If you have a professional you can trust who'll work as your partner it can be a great experience. The car pro can treat you as one of his drivers and you can be there to see and target the exact cars you are willing to own. Because of my experience at auctions I'll never buy from a conventional dealer at a dealer's lot unless it is absolutely the only option left to me! The LS book value was $28,000 at the time and a dealer would have charged me $25k minimum. Good luck!
post #4 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deacon View Post
My family's last 6 cars have been from 2 specific auctions. The last two cars, 2000 Lexus LS 400 and 2002 Toyota Sienna, both purchased in 04, and have been workhorses for us that were well worth the under wholesale prices we paid. I paid $17,000 at 69,000 miles for the Lexus and $18,000 at 30,000 miles for the Sienna. I now have 253,000 on the Lexus and 140,000 on the Sienna. Neither has broken down on us or required extensive repairs other than the preventative recommended timing belt change. Our mechanic has a car dealership, a body shop and two gas stations.

I got copies of the last few prior auction sales booklets and knew what the general prices were and he charged me an extra $500 on top of the auction sale price because I bring him business at his station and for car sales. He calls me during the auctions and asked what my cutoff or max was as the car was"going thru". I passed on cars at three previous auctions for the LS400 despite lower prices on prior years or higher miles because I wanted the 2000 with the brake assist and I wanted to put the miles on the car (Glad I held out). He had checked out beforehand all of the LS400 and Sienna's available for telltale signs of mistreatment.

If you have a professional you can trust who'll work as your partner it can be a great experience. The car pro can treat you as one of his drivers and you can be there to see and target the exact cars you are willing to own. Because of my experience at auctions I'll never buy from a conventional dealer at a dealer's lot unless it is absolutely the only option left to me! The LS book value was $28,000 at the time and a dealer would have charged me $25k minimum. Good luck!

Holy resurrection, Batman.
post #5 of 14
Thread Starter 
Ironically, Deac didn't resurrect this thread - a spammer did.
post #6 of 14
After the recent storms & flooding, you'll see a lot more cars at auctions the next few months. They clean those flood-damaged cars up really nicely.
post #7 of 14
good chance of getting a deal but a greater chance of getting fucked over as well
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by joeygladstone View Post
good chance of getting a deal but a greater chance of getting fucked over as well
+1. I've heard horror stories from people who thought they were getting a bargain until they drove home. They didn't go with someone who was knowledgeable about cars.
post #9 of 14
I would tend to agree with the consensus that you need to go with a dealer that has experience (or have them do it for you).

I kind of wish I had kept up contact with a few people from the two summers I spent working at car dealerships. The second one did a lot of side business selling used cars which meant going to the auctions (actually...more like the used business was all that kept them alive...not a big market for suzuki cars). Their purchases weren't usually the kind of stuff I would want--those cars were handled by the partner dealership across the highway that I was at the previous summer--but the general deals were pretty good whenever I saw stock lists with "our" price.

Almost picked up a beautiful old RX7 for myself which would have been fun for a while but I am glad I didn't. I would have had to pay barely more than our price and it would have run fine for a while but the combination of repairs on a rotary sports car and having to drive it in the mpls/chicago winters would have turned nasty...
post #10 of 14
The 93,94 RX-7 was the SHIZNIT! God that car could move. Extremely solid and well built. My brother had one and it's the only car I've been in that gave me heart palpitations on acceleration.
Still it was wise not to get a rotary or turbo at auction unless "your" pro could give it the once over. My brother also had an 87 RX previously and it was a shitbox.
post #11 of 14
this was spam, but is an interesting enough topic. Removed the link from the original... Personally I have bid on a couple of cars at auctions, won once, but was under reserve. It's a gamble though....
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Deacon View Post
The 93,94 RX-7 was the SHIZNIT! God that car could move. Extremely solid and well built. My brother had one and it's the only car I've been in that gave me heart palpitations on acceleration.
Still it was wise not to get a rotary or turbo at auction unless "your" pro could give it the once over. My brother also had an 87 RX previously and it was a shitbox.

The car in question here was a first gen so early-mid 80's (can't remember the year but I think it was late in the production run). I never really liked the 2nd gen cars and certianly if I could have gotten a 3rd gen FD car for under 2k (I think the price to me on the FB would have been 1.3...we were selling at 3,995) , I would have been all over it.

Definitely would have been a big toy though, a full-on "learning experience" if you will. I like doing stuff myself, especially hand-work, so the inevitable part failures would have been part of the fun. I feel like when most people look at an auction car though, part failures are something they want to avoid rather than be stuck dealing with...thus the need for someone with experience.
post #13 of 14
my cousin has a dealers liscenes. I have bought my 07 335i and 08 VW Touareg v10 TDI from there, as well as my fathers 08 e350. would NEVER buy a car anywhere else. these were purchased at Adesa.
post #14 of 14
Car auctions are great. I am friends with a few dealers, and have scored some really nice deals on cars in the past. My BMW 745 in Alpine White was fully loaded including the upgraded wheels from BMW (21's optioned at 5k) I bought for about 10k under wholesale.
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