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December 30, 2013

Some Rules to Keep in Mind About an Auto Auction

Before you actually decide to walk in an auto auction, you have to ask yourself how much are you really familiar with cars? Or do have a discerning eye or sufficient knowledge which can identify the hidden damages to the car? In an auto auction you would have little time to carefully inspect the car amongst all the drama around you. You need to have a beforehand knowledge or consent with an expert before walking into an auction.

Another important rule is to establish contact and build a relationship with the auctioneer. It’s amazing how far will you go if you exhibit good nature and strike an interesting conversation with auctioneer. Obviously, sellers won’t become your well wishers with a whip of a magic wand, but they will look out for you and help you out if you become a familiar face.

You should know about the auction rules. The auction block usually has four lights; red, yellow, green and blue. Here are some highlights of what these lights mean. Red light is the ‘as is’ light which means you are the higher bidder and car is yours. Yellow light means the auctioneer is going to make an announcement about an issue with the car. Green light means you can drive around you vehicle for inspection if you are a winning bidder. Blue Light signals a situation called “title attached,” which means the title has yet to arrive at the auction. You have to have know-how of these rules which can vary from auction to auction.

December 23, 2013

How Do I Find The Right Car in the Auction?

A step even before entering into an auction is to figure out what kind of car you want to buy. With a huge, irresistible variety of shinny cars parked in front of you, it’s hard to keep your needs in perspective. You have to narrow down your choices to a few cars which are more attuned to your lifestyle. Before you start fixating on certain group of cars, you have to take a pause and ask yourself some questions which will help you prioritize your needs.

Do you have a big family; need space for both groceries and car seat? Do you prioritize MPG over power or vice versa? Do you want your car to be more catchy or convenient?  The time you spend on answering these questions will help you figure out exactly what to look for in an auction. Moreover, it will prevent you from buying a car which seems like a lovely ride but later turns out to be unnecessary luxury or not fulfilling.

The next thing you have to consider is the budget you can spare comfortably for the car. Try looking for a car which has benefits that outweighs the cost you are supposed to spend. e.g. you have a job which has an absolute requirement of a car which can take long routes and saves on mileage. It is wise to invest even a bigger sum of money in such situation because it will save you much more in future. Also keep in mind that a vehicle loses 15-20% of its value in first year. So, avoid borrowing money to pay for something flashy which is significantly going to lose its value in the following years.

December 17, 2013

Should I Buy Car Warranties in a Used Car Auction?

Car warranties are basically another form of car insurance. They pay for the damage in case of accidents but off course they don’t happen more often. Car warranties are more commonly bought for psychological reasons than for financial safety. No matter what most companies publicise, on average, they expect to make money selling warranties rather than benefiting the buyer. Obviously, that won’t happen if they pay more for damages than they earn from selling warranties. So, if you have saved up enough for emergencies, you should preferably consider avoiding warranty.

On the other hand, if you perceive the idea of used cars being more prone to damages, you should go for the warranty and rid yourself from daily headaches of paying large bills. Even if you have made your mind, you should consider other factors as well because different companies offer different coverage options.

What car components should be covered in plan? If you have some mechanical knowledge or you have found problems in the vehicle history which are specific to certain parts, you can opt to buy powertrain warranty which generally covers engine, transmission, drive axle etc. It will keep you from spending unnecessarily and put your mind at ease.

How much is the deductible? Is the specific repair shop far from your location? etc. Your goal while buying a car warranty is to maintain a balance between your financial constraints and your peace of mind. You have to make sure that you are not paying for something which is not absolutely necessary.

December 13, 2013

RM Auctions Tries to Revive Collector Car Auction Market in New York

RM Auctions has a reputable position in collector car auction industry around the globe. Their expertise encompasses restoration, collector advice not to mention exhibiting world’s finest cars in the most distinctive auctions. One such auction was organized in New York on November 21, 2013 at the Sotheby’s.

Despite being the centre of the evolution of collector car auction market back in 1960, New York now has become a lost cause for this market. Life in New York is very fast and people hardly have time to notice an expensive, flashy car which would invite their attention. Roads are filled with pedestrians and driving a fast car around is a nightmare. Moreover, people now prefer innumerable cabs on roads and public transport.

Despite of these impediments, RM auctions take a cause to promote the collector car auction market and organize this auction. The cars were displayed in Sotheby’s 10th Floor exhibition gallery, set up on raised white platforms in somewhat thematic cells. A total of 41 lots were offered: 33 automobiles, 1 child’s car, 1 ‘Park Drag’ coach by Brewster and six lots of automobiles.

RM’s Erica Reaume orchestrated the exhibition which reflected the perceptive presentation which began early in 2013 at Arizona. It was simply fabulous and even mesmerized some of the specialists at Sotheby’s.

RM grabbed New York’s attention as the visitors fully grasped the quality of cars being exhibited. RM’s press office got the the feature coverage in Monday’s ‘Wall Street Journal’s.’Greater New York’ section.

December 9, 2013

IAAI Introduces IPhone App for Estimating Vehicle Market Value

Insurance Auto Auction Inc. (IAAI) is a prominent live and online salvage auto auction company which also has a branch in Conshohocken, PA. On November 19, 2013, IAA launches a Market Value Tool mobile app for iPhone, as part of the suite of products from IAA’s industry leading CSAToday® platform. This app is being considered a breakthrough in the industry because no one has taken such an initiative before to provide the customers with the facility to estimate the value of the vehicles in a few swipes of thumb.

This tool is effective and resourceful being connected with the historic auction data, allowing its customers to research and compare vehicle value. You just have to enter the VIN manually or otherwise, and type or speak the model, year, make etc of the car. The app cross references historic auction data with the previously sold vehicles through an IAA auction. The company considers the data such as damage details, location information, drive capability etc. and presents an informed analysis of the vehicle’s value which user can print, save or share.

The CEO of IAA, Tom O’brien , is determined to invest in mobile technologies which can better cater to their customers need. IAA has made breakthroughs in mobile technologies in the past and they have done it t yet again, introducing an app which allows their clients to gather useful information and make calculated decisions.

August 13, 2013

RM Auctions–Auctions for Collectors

RM Auctions claims to be the “the global leader in the collector car auction industry.” They offer a variety of services including, “auctions, restoration, appraisals, collection advice, private treaties, and estate sales.” They caught my eye for two reasons-first, I just love looking at old cars restored to perfect condition; second, they hold an auction, this fall, in Hershey, Pennsylvania. I imagine that is in conjunction with the annual classic car show there, one I attended some years ago, a highlight of my college years!

As far as looking, the RM Auctions web site allows, indeed welcomes, you to look, either at its entire collections or narrowed down to a particular auction. I clicked on a red 1953 Ferrari, and I not only could look a a number of photos of the car but also a nearly 5 minute video story about the car and its history. That car will be auctioned in Monterey in just a few days. The site also includes a lengthy and detailed fact sheet about the car.

Without a doubt, the vehicles offered here are the best of the best, meaning of course, expensive beyond the budget of most of us. Still it is fun to look around to see what they’re selling. They offer a both a magazine and catalog, and they link to information on both consignment for sale and on their restoration services. In addition, RM Auctions also does estate auctions of entire collections, with links to a number of collections as well, largely from past sales. They also make interesting viewing with a collection of woodies, of micro-cars, and of auto-related signs, to name a few.

Auctions may be viewed live, on-line, and a person may register and bid on-line as well. Catalogs are available both digitally and in print. Clicking to related events will take you to the page with information on both the annual car show in Hershey from October 9 to 13, 2013, the one I attended, as well as to the “Night at the Museum,” October 9, at the AACA Museum (The AACA is the Antique Auto Club of America.

August 7, 2013

GSA Fleet Vehicle Sales

The United States General Services Administration (GSA) sells off “U.S. Government owned cars, trucks, SUVs, and vans to the public at substantial savings” according to their web site. Besides being a resource for the prospective buyer at auction, the website has a user-friendly layout for the novice auction buyer. The site provides for windows to provide the information that you, as a prospective buyer, will need to get the best deals on the vehicle you want.

First, “Find a Vehicle” allows you to search the entire database for the specific car you might want. For example, I found 3 Hondas but none were Accords. The site has a registration option that allows you to maintain a search for a particular vehicle or vehicles until they become available.

Second is a “Search for Auctions,” which allows a user to locate specific GSA auction houses by state. A search for auctions in Michigan came up with 5, one in Gaylord, Michigan, on August 20, 2013, with the information on the auction house, including a map. The other 4 were in near-by states—Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, and Wisconsin.

The third window offers general information about the GSA and its auto sales. It provides helpful information including a page regarding alternatively fueled vehicles. It also links to a brochure, but I found myself on a USA Publications page where a search would be needed to get to the auctions brochure. At that point, it seemed unnecessary, although I saved the link for future use.

The fourth window provides links to explain how GSA auctions and auctions in general work, with one for first-timers. Experienced or not, I would recommend looking through those links.

Just go to the GSA Fleet Vehicle Sales site and look at the scrolling information. You will quickly get a clear picture of a valuable resource for anyone looking to get a good car at an action price.

June 25, 2013

Do I have to Have a Permit or License to Buy at an Auction?

Auto auctions come in all shapes, sizes and flavors. Some auctions require you to be an active, paying member, and others only require you come on-time with money in hand.

A major factor to consider when attending an auction is whether you need a permit or license to enter. First, if you plan to go into this industry with the idea of selling cars for profit, your state may require you to obtain a car dealer’s license. I’d advise checking your local DMV for laws governing your state. Also, some auctions are only open to auto dealers so, before driving to the auction, be sure to check ahead on the license requirements.

Secondly, some states don’t require you to have a license to enter normal auctions but do require you to have a business entity such as a LLC or S Corp before you can purchase. This rule lifts the liability from you, the purchaser, and the auction house and places it firmly onto the shoulders of your corporation. Again, check the state requirements by contacting either the local DMV or the auction house and requesting a requirements sheet.

Lastly, remember even if the auction doesn’t require you to have a permit or a license, they may require you to have insurance before you can drive away from the lot with the vehicle. Although it’s the buyer’s responsibility to do so, the auction house can be fairly firm on this stance so make sure you have the proper accommodations in place before you leave the lot. In reference to auctions, my favorite set of words are “due diligence”. You must take the time to research the place where you intend on purchasing well before arriving tp participate. Doing so will save you a lot of time and money in the long run. 

June 21, 2013

Do Motorcycles Get Sold at Auto Auctions?

Auto auctions can be great if you’re looking for a many different types of transportation. You may find cars for leisure, fleet cars for your job or service, and even motorcycles, among the most overlooked items found at auctions. For the biker enthusiast, finding a deal on a motorcycle is, bar none, one of the best things that can happen. Auctions don’t just have one or two types of bikes; so let’s talk about what you may find.

Cruisers: If you’re looking for a cruise type motorcycle, you may want to check the local demographics as cruisers tend to be for the middle aged crowd. These bikes are bigger and more powerful than others and therefore command a higher price. However, if you’re lucky enough to find one at a local auction house, I’m almost certain you’ll get a great deal.

Antiques: Now, these bikes can be rarely found at local auctions but more at trader-style, collector’s auctions. When these are held, people come from all over the world and purchase great bikes for their collection. At these types of auctions, bikes are usually sold for more money and can be found in fantastic condition. Have your cash together if you’re considering this auction genre.

Daily Drivers: Also know as a “Crotch Rocket,” the daily driver motorcycle is the one found most commonly at auction. You’ll see these bikes ranging from 600cc to 1000cc and very affordable in price. Be advised, these bikes are the ones you’ll most commonly find a great deal on.

Overall, bikes have increased significantly in popularity and are very much present on the road. Again, demographics play a large part in what you may find; so, if you have several auction houses in your city, be sure to check the area to minimize your time searching. 

June 11, 2013

How Do I Buy or Sell a Car at an eBay Auction without Being Scammed?

EBay can be a great place to purchase a great used car. It’s also known to be a place where scammers feast on novice buyers, day in and day out. The question has arisen: How do I protect myself from scammers on eBay? I’ll provide a few suggestions to help answer this question. No plan is 100% full proof, but these steps will help you sleep at night after spending large amounts of money on a new car.

A) Assure you have shipping arranged before your purchase: Before you even buy your car, know how you’ll get it from the seller’s site to your home. More than likely, your purchase will be thousands of miles away, and you must prearrange transport. Because most auctions require you to retrieve your vehicle within a limited time frame, be sure you read the fine print on the auction page.

B) Be sure to complete a Carfax before you purchase: It’s absolutely imperative that you complete a Carfax report before purchasing your vehicle. You have no idea if a car has been in a wreck, flood, fire, or other major event. While a Carfax does cost, you’re assured that you have done everything possible to protect your investment.

C) Make your payments through PayPal only: PayPal is the most secure method of payment for any online transaction you make. This company verifies banking information and insures that all parties receive a fair deal. PayPal is the suggested method of payment for eBay and other auction sites.

With these steps, you should be protected against most scammers on auction sites. Before you purchase, just be sure you complete the necessary research and follow the steps above to improve your chances of making a wise and safe purchase.  If you have had experience or  have other suggestions to avoid getting ripped off through an online auction, please feel free to comment.