May 25, 2012

Auto Auctions Learning Curve–Experienced Insights Welcome!

Most of us have a casual familiarity with auctions.  Since the advent of eBay, many have tried their hand at bidding to get an item we wanted, and a good many of us have probably gotten stung, bought an item cheap that turned out to be damaged in some way or worn out.  If, as in my case, the item was a used book, as long as the pages were all present, it was okay, but what if the item costs a bit more.  Suppose you want to bid on a car?

A trifling bit of research turned up 14,792 companies in Michigan that do auto auctions, and so far I’ve also found police auctions, insurance auctions, charity auctions, salvage auctions, and places that will sell your car by auction.  EBay has a huge auto auction section.  Some auction facilities are clearly for dealers only, who buy for resale.  Still, if you’re buying a used car, you need to know how to guard against getting junk for you money (unless, of course, you intend to buy junk!).

Years ago, I bought a used car directly from the owner.  He lied to me.  Why didn’t I expect that?  Young, trusting, stupid–you pick–but I just didn’t really expect to be cheated.  With a major purchase like a car, truck, or RV, a prospective buyer must assume that trickery and deceit are more than possible and guard against them.

One article I found especially warned against the risks of buying a salvaged vehicle, likely seriously damaged by flood, fire, accident, or vandalism.  Such a vehicle, partially repaired, may look good and still be a mess.  Furthermore, an unscrupulous dealer might even attempt to hide such a history.  Furthermore, if this is a risk in the case where you may directly inspect the vehicle, how much greater is the risk in an on line auction setting.

My objective here is to enhance this site to make it the most useful and informative.  I have things to learn, and I hope some of you readers will help with your insights, experience, stories, and wisdom.  Just leave some good comments; include a link to your Michigan-based auto auction business, if you like, and I will very likely include you in a profile if you’re not already here and improve those we do.