Wednesday Wow: The Car Auction

Okay, so I like cheap thrills. The other Saturday, my husband took me along with him to look for another vehicle at the Sheriff’s auction. I have never been to an auction before, with no surprise, I made sure to take in everything so that I can come back and tell you all about it.

My 1st time at the car auction. Come along!

My 1st time at the car auction. Come along!

Do your due diligence. Use an independent source to determine the wholesale and retail values of your target vehicle. The most frequently used sources for this are, DriverSideEdmunds,Kelly Blue BookClassic Car Trader and Nadaguides. Nadaguides is owned by the Automobile Dealers Associations so their pricing is always most favorable to the dealer – not the consumer.

 Upon arrival, I had to check in with my identification and application. They processed it, gave me a number(bidding card), a list of vehicles there, rules and a smile! Easy right?

Find out the market value for the car and don’t bid above this price.

These folks on the top level speaks so fast, and they know how to engage for a quick sale. It was a husband and wife team hosting this auction.

 Once on to the auction yard, we toured the listings. I learned that all auctions aren’t the same. Some will let you crank it up, while others will only let you look inside and out.  There were at least 15 vehicles including motor cars to snatch up! Our plan was pretty simple. See what they have to fit our needs and bid. We  already knew what we going to spend and what we were looking for.

  • find out as much as you can about the car’s history by checking the entry form attached to the windscreen
  • ask the auctioneer if you can have a trial period if you buy the car.

Because my husband is a mechanic and have been to auction before, we did have a slight advantage.  Then the bidding began. I didn’t realize how hypnotic it was! Be mindful with that bidder’s card, it is too easy to get caught up in bidding war.

Get an inspection done at the auction house, if it’s available. That’s a Buyer Protection Plan for major components. If there’s anything wrong, you can go into arbitration and the seller can lower the price or you can choose not to take the vehicle.

She bought this car for $2100

She bought this car for $2100

I seen the funniest bidding war EVER! Dude was bidding with his chin. I loved it! But did we buy anything?


Yes, they were auctioning this too. Roger said they can make money off the parts.

Yes, they were auctioning this too. Roger said they can make money off the parts.


OOoh, my husband wanted that sweet ride right there SOoooo bad!

OOoh, my husband wanted that sweet ride right there SOoooo bad!


 We were out bidded by another lady, or was it the guy with the turban on? Not sure but, Oh well, next time!

It was a great experience! Here are some more tips:

Is it wise to buy a car at auction?  

Rule #1 has to always be to be prepared to walk away and know your prices. I’ve seen people buy food items in an auction for MORE than they’d pay in a grocery store. Says, Uncle Sam! 

It is important that you know what type of used car auction you plan on attending, as there are auto auctions that require proof of a dealership license. Other Buyer Beware tips here

Auctions bring out diversity. EVERYONE likes to save money.

Auctions bring out diversity. EVERYONE likes to save money.

Chances are that if a vehicle has been traded in, leased, repossessed or totaled, it will find itself among the nearly 9 million vehicles that are purchased each year in an auto auction — either one that caters to dealers or one that’s open to the public.  Cars are also sent to auction when financial companies repossess them. They don’t repo unless the vehicle is worth about $5000 or more because it costs them that much to repo it, store it, file paperwork, pay someone to track it at auction, and loss they take at auction. –Edmunds


It is also important that you examine methods of payment accepted before you start bidding on a used car at a used car auto auction– WikiHow


As an auctioneer I can tell you from a lot of experience that everybody on this site should be looking for and attending local auctions. The people who make a living buy at our auctions and resaleing on ebay or other means is truly amazing. – Heather

(check out REPO Finder)


 *If all the dealers have dropped out – you’re fast approaching the ‘not a good deal’ range.

Stay away from salvage auctions if you’re looking for a primary car.

Till the next car auction, take car! QC Supermom

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