Are Auto Auctions Open to the Public on the Level?

Auto auctions “open to the public” appear to be opportunities to grab some real bargains, especially if you know your way around engines, disc brakes and electrical systems. Not so fast, there, Henry Ford. When you can find an auction that’s open to everyone (most are restricted to industry buyers), there are more dangers awaiting you than you might imagine.

This isn’t to say that all of these auctions are rigged – far from it. But the way that many are set up, a private buyer may find that he’ll be taking his “new” car to the junkyard before it’s time for the first oil change.

When you find an auction that looks promising, here are some important facts to consider before getting pulled into a game you’re unlikely to win.

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Government auto auctions open to the public

It would seem that an auction of government-owned cars, which are usually police vehicles, would be the perfect place to grab a well-maintained car at a bargain. That used to be the case, because these autos normally come with detailed histories and odometers which haven’t been tampered with.

The problem is that the competition to purchase cars at government auctions has never been more fierce. Taxi companies are there hoping to find a great buy, and the people who drove cars on the job often show up at auctions to rescue an “old friend.” But now, brokers haunt government auctions in order to purchase buses, trucks and even cars which they sell overseas to be used for public transit.

This tough competition means government vehicles often sell for more than retail. You can still occasionally find bargains, but you could just as easily wind up overspending.

Where do the cars come from?

This is a key question to ask, ideally ahead of time, before hitting any auto auctions open to the public and hoping to score. Cars sold at auto auctions normally come from one of three sources. Banks and finance companies auction off repossessed cars that they just want to get rid of; these are usually the best vehicles to bid on if they’ve been properly maintained. New car dealers auction some of the used vehicles they’ve taken for trade; these often have mechanical issues the dealers don’t want to bother fixing, and might be worth looking at if you’re good under the hood.

Then there are used car dealers. If they have vehicles that they’ve had no luck selling on their lot, to other dealers, or at dealer auctions, there’s got to be something really wrong with them. Guess where they take these cars – and who they try to sell them to? That’s right: public auto auctions filled with sheep ready to be slaughtered. You’re smarter than that, right?

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Use your brain, not your eyes

The worst thing you can do at an auto auctions open to the public is fall in love with the look of a car. In fact, before you even set foot into the auction venue you should research the cars you’re interested in. Get their VIN numbers and a Carfax subscription, and carefully check out any that seem worthwhile. Be sure the vehicle has had only one (or maybe two) recent owners, has been maintained by a dealer, and hasn’t been kept in an area prone to rust or hit by a natural disaster. Also, research current market prices for the model and mileage so you have a good idea of a realistic price to pay.

When you’ve narrowed down your list, inspect the cars in person before bidding, checking everything from the engine condition, fluid levels, brakes and tires, to the way the interior has been kept. Ripped-up upholstery is a sure sign the owner probably didn’t care about engine maintenance, and a musty smell is a sure sign of previous flooding. Make sure the door and trunk VIN numbers match the windshield number, so you know there hasn’t been a major rebuild. If the auction is one of the few which will let you drive the car if you show up a few hours early, be sure to take advantage. One other insider tip: see what radio stations the owner listened to. News or soft rock might be a better sign than thrash metal.

Don’t believe the paint or the patter

You can bet that any auction car that looks great has been prepped more than a bride on her wedding day. It’s easy and cheap to cover up problems with paint, bondo and a good detailing. Engine issues can be hidden by adding extra-thick oil. And obviously, don’t believe the odometer. Some sellers may just be making the vehicle look good in order to maximize profit. Many others will be doing whatever they can to hide serious flaws and get rid of the car.

Once the bidding begins, the auctioneer isn’t there to make sure you get a good deal. He’s there to sell cars, pure and simple. Anything you hear from the auction block (except the current bid – more about that shortly) should basically be disregarded. The auctioneer isn’t working for you, he’s working for the sellers and will say whatever he can to encourage bids. That doesn’t make him a bad guy, it just makes him a guy doing his job. It’s up to you to do yours, which is to stay in control and only bid what you think the car is worth.

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The game is stacked against you

The auctioneer is working with a seller’s “reserve” price, which is the level that bids must reach before the car will actually be sold. He’ll do whatever he can to encourage higher bids so the reserve is met; some will even “acknowledge” bids that haven’t been made, just to push prices higher.

On the other hand, many of the buyers are dealers or professionals with lots of auto auction experience. They often refuse to bid until the last minute, in a tacit agreement to “sit on their hands” to keep the final selling price as low as possible.

That’s the dynamic working against you: a silent war of wills between the auctioneer and the pros, in which you have little say. The only smart tactics are to determine the price you’re willing to pay, go no higher, and refuse to be pulled into the mini-drama.

If things go wrong

It’s true that all vehicles purchased at local public auto auctions are sold “as is” – if the vehicle is a clunker, that’s on you. However, there are a few exceptions. Some auctions use a red-yellow-green-blue light system, in which a green light means you can test drive the car right after the auction is over and you’ve paid for the vehicle. If there’s a major problem with the car that wasn’t represented beforehand, like a blown engine or a bad transmission, some auctions will refund your payment.

Once you’ve left the auction with your used vehicle and you discover a major, undisclosed or misrepresented issue, you have one option left. Call and fax the auction immediately, and cancel your check (never pay by cash). Most would rather take the car back than deal with bad publicity and lawsuits.

For the most part, though auto auctions open to the public are “caveat emptor.” Be sure you have enough self-control – and a strong stomach – before taking part in one.

5 Used Car Buying Tips for Women to Avoid Unwanted Problems

Used Car Buying Tips for Women

Get used car buying tips for women before the purchase of a car because it will be an overwhelming experience to women. According to Forbes Magazine, in the United States, over 54 percent of women buy cars, and 84 percent of them involve in family car purchase decisions, but still they find buying used cars might be a dreadful experience. Car dealers can rip off, or ignore or patronize Women buyers easily, and also, most women do not have complete knowledge about cars. According to two economists who conducted a study on car dealers quoting higher prices in Chicago to test a group of men and a group of women separately proved that the dealers quoted higher prices to women even though they came with the same features.

That is why used car buying tips for women are provided to help women to learn the techniques to deal with the car dealers before they purchase the used car. Many car dealers and salespersons think that women are not much aware of cars or car purchasing process, and they try to take advantage of that. Even if the women are confident and knowledgeable, they still face different treatment from men, and they try to make women vulnerable.

Used car buying tips and tricks for women help avoid any ill-treatment and also helps them to prevent future problems. When you are planning to buy a used car, the first thing you should do is collect all the required information. The Second tip is, let the salesperson know that you know everything about cars and you have every detail of it. The Third is, you should learn to negotiate efficiently. Even after doing all these things, still, you feel the salesperson is not giving the proper service then find another dealer.

Here you can find some used car buying tips for women that will help you handle the dealer efficiently and to aid you in getting what you want.

1. Do Through Research Before Buying a Used Car

It is very vital to do research before buying a used car unless you know every detail of the car that you are looking to buy the dealer can show you exactly. You can search the internet where you can find everything you need to know about the car. Also, you can check Auto Trader, Kelly Blue Book, Consumer Reports, and the Yahoo auto section are some of the best ways to find the information on used cars. It is the best place to start your research, and here you can also get the price range of the cars that you are looking.

Also, when you are planning to buy a used car, you should also look for the recent resale prices of the car that you want to buy. Knowing the resale value will help you in better negotiations with the dealer. If you are thinking of trade in your current car, then do your research on market values. If you do your research, then you are sure to get the best car within your budget limit.

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2. Find out Pre-Financing Options for Used Car

Learning about the pre-financing options is one of the used car buying tips for women. Many dealers offer financing options to the customers, and they can obtain directly from a car dealership. But, the fact is the interest rates for the car loan will be much higher than credit unions and banks. The best way to get a loan is through a credit union or bank. It is better to start your car loan rates here; also, you can get “relationship discounts” that you won’t get anywhere else.

However, you may not find a pre-financing deal online, but you can find current interest rates on the internet. Some financial websites provide the updated information on car loans. Once you get the quote from the financial company, then you can show the quote to the car dealer and negotiate for a lower interest rate.

3. Shop Around Before Buying the Used Car

You should always look for more options when you are planning to buy a used car. If it is not an urgent situation to buy a car for you, then it is advisable to shop around for the better dealership and the used car. Check out few dealerships so that you can decide which dealer is offering the better price. You can also go to different or out-of- town car dealerships to get good deals, which is also a good option because the car price varies as per the location also.

When you get the quotes from the dealerships, compare the prices to make sure that you are choosing the right option. Check if there are any extra fees included in price quotes, if one dealer offers the price that you want, then you can ask them to email so that you use this to quote to another dealer and obtain competing offers. If you are confident enough, then you can even try to negotiate correctly without any supporting quote from other dealership. Also, remember, be truthful to yourself, you should prove that quote is legitimate.

4. Negotiate Terms for Used Cars

Buying a used car is not an easy task, unlike the purchase of a new car; you need to look every aspect of it before buying it. Also, for most people, it is an investment for life. In which case, you might be paying loans for the car next four to five years. You should tell your dealer that you need the car for the necessity, not for luxury. Do everything that is possible to do to negotiate for the car loan, and make sure to get the price down.

If the salesperson offers you the monthly payments of the amount option based on 60-month loan plan, and then tell them that you want the same payment option with 48- month loan. Go with confidence, and stick to your budget. If it doesn’t work out, then don’t feel bad, you can just walk away from that offer. It is always a better to know your strategies and limitation so that it can help you carry out your negotiation.

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5. Get Your Financing Approved Before Buying a Used Car

It is important to get your financing approved and ready to go before buying a car. To get you finance approved, go to the bank or credit union or from where ever you are getting a loan, get pre-approved for a car loan. It can help you make your deal quickly at the dealership.

Also, you should know exactly how much you can afford and what’s your budget limit and do go above that at all. When your dealer negotiates with you, make sure to stick to your budget limitation, you should get him to do what you want instead of doing what he wants. Remember, it’s their business, and they want your business so be stern on your strands and do what pleases you the most instead of doing for others.

In Conclusion

Used car buying tips for women is not just for women even men should also follow the same rules before buying the used car. Women especially need these tips because most dealers make women feel frail when it comes to buying a car. Buying a car is the biggest investment for many people that is why it is important to be well-informed of every detail of the used car buying process.

Women should feel empowered, and confidence and they don’t get emotional. Set your limits on budget, time, etc., and ready to walk out if you are not satisfied with the deal. Approach the dealership in a more casual way and let them know that you know everything about cars.