Factors to Consider When Using Online Auto Auctions to Buy a Car

Are you looking to buy a car? Whether you are a single car buyer who only needs one vehicle or a car dealer who just opened for business, you may consider using online auto auctions to get a great deal. If this is your first time going this route, please keep these important points in mind.

There are hundreds of auto auction websites out there. On these websites, you will find a variance among the type of auctions hosted. While they do follow the general auction-style format, you will notice a difference. For example, eBay.com is an online auction website. Users can list vehicles for sale on eBay Motors. These vehicles are listed by a wide range of people; some dealers, some avid eBay users, and other are first-time sellers looking to tap into the growing popularity of eBay.

On eBay, you are more likely to find inaccurate and incomplete information as it is the individual seller who is likely placing the listing. On the other hand, an experienced auto auction house is likely to include more information, detailed information, as they know what buyers expect. This does not mean that you should avoid user generated listings, like those found on eBay.com. What this does mean is that you should be prepared to ask questions; lots of them.

At physical car auctions, you’ll find that some auctions are open only to licensed or certified dealers. You may come across similar auctions online. Don’t be discouraged if this is all your internet search pulls up at first. Dig a little deeper and you will find car auctions online that are open to the general public.

As with physical car auctions, you will typically find a numbers of fees tacked onto your buying price. It is important to keep this in mind when placing your bid or while in the mist of a virtual bidding war. Read the auctions full terms and restrictions head of time; will you be charged a 10% auction fee or buyer’s fee? If so, keep these fees in mind when calculating the overall purchase price.

You will find hundreds of legitimate online auto auctions; however, you will also run into a few scams as well. For example, eBay.com is a well-known target of scammers, as most items are shipped through the mail. Vehicles can be shipped via a transport service; therefore, risks do apply. It is always within your best interest to use your best judgment. Moreover, eBay sellers and many well-known auction houses will enable you to come and quickly inspect the vehicle before bidding, but you need to ask first.

As previously stated, there are a wide range of auctions for cars online. eBay.com is home to mostly new or used cars that are in great, drivable shape. When researching online, you will also find some auctions where the overall shape of the vehicle isn’t clear; you are agreeing to buy as-is. In this case, the vehicle’s VIN number is important to determining if the vehicle has a clear title. It is easier to attend virtual auctions, but the same level of organization and research should be performed ahead of time.