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I have a little extra disposable cash and I have a buddy who regularly goes to dealer auctions. He offered to take me to one when he found out I was looking for a cheap car or truck. Anyone ever buy from an auction before. Did you have good or bad luck. One of my friends I grew up with who works at a chevy dealership said that it could be a gold mine or you can buy a money pit. He has seen some trade in's that they immediately took to the auction block because a customer pulled one over on a dealer bad.
 

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It's a crapshoot - there's lots of reasons a car/truck ends up on an auction lot. A friend worked at a Toyota dealership and any trade-in they got that was either over five years old or was not a Toyota went to auction no matter the condition. They sent a lot of really good cars to auction, they also sent quite a bit of complete junk. A regular Joe such as you or I is at an extreme disadvantage because the typical auction bidder is experienced and knows exactly what to look for. If the pros aren't bidding up a specific car, you can bet there's a darn good reason,a reason you probably aren't aware of.
 

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I've never been to an auction, but most of my car buying (and my wife and I have more vehicles than I care to admit) focuses on what some call hoopties. Older, higher mileage but trustworthy vehicles.

The key is research. Know the models you're interested in, know their foibles and know if there are any specific years/engines/options to avoid. And of course, know how to spot repaired damage, from accidents or floods or other problems. YouTube is your friend. Samcrac and Auto Auction Rebuilds are good guys to watch. Even if you aren't planning to get something you need to rebuild.

And auctions are such a big part of the business, if you are in the habit of buying used chances are very good that you've bought a car that was auctioned. All you're doing it going into it with your eyes wide open.
 

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Keep in mind that there are different levels of auction also. From high end big money, to manufacture line supported, collector, to take your chance and throw the dice line of cars.

I have heard of individuals that did well, and dealers who have purchased a total fail. And vice a versa. So you really have to ask yourself "Do you feel Lucky, well do ya"

I have purchased off of Ebay a number of times, mostly new. OK, all new with the exception of one which was a used kit car....which I gave to a neighbor is he promised to never tell my wife that I purchased it in the first place.


I did find a car that I was interested in yesterday that would be about the same as buying at an auction is that you have limited time to gain knowledge of. I am south of Dallas, TX and the car in question is in Kenosha, WI. While it is at a dealership and priced right, well close to right anyway, it is still over 800 miles away. It is also 20 years old, and being in the north all of those years I have questions as to any body or carriage rust. The dealer did send some bottom photos and it looks pretty clean. I would sure hate to step into a $10K money pit however.
 

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I think the only time i would do a car auction is maybe if i had money to spend and wanted to restore it . If your just wanting a vehicle for transportation in a small community and drive very little look for a older Toyota or Nissan type vehicle . If you want something for tinkering with get an old ford or chevy . If you want something dependable for occasional long trips don’t use auctions , check out small private dealers or self owners wanting to trade up , not someone just trying to unload a quick sale . Spend wisely these days . Very few good deals can be had cheaply .
 

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I knew a guy who bought three cars at auction with the intent of flipping them for a profit. They ran well enough for the short time he used them. Considering the time he put into the effort, he decided the profit wasn't worth it.
 

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Bought a 2010 Dodge Grand Caravan in 2012 with 38k miles on it. It was a retired rental from Hertz. Still have it, Would do again...
 

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I used to go to them and have bought one vehicle from one, but you really have to know what you are looking at and what to watch out for when you go to an auto auction.

Do plenty of research on the vehicle you are looking to purchase at an auction. This includes what problems that the engine or other mechanical or electrical systems may have and the common symptoms and signs to look for to determine if that particular vehicle has that problem. Again, your inspection MUST be thorough on an auction car.

From my own experience, I have seen some rather shady used car dealers do what we called "sand and shoot, steam clean, sew it up, and shove it out" type of auction flips, that got many to buy vehicles that should have been in a junkyard, not at an auction. They did a quick paint job, steam cleaned under the hood and sometimes the undercarriage, sewed up any rips in the upholstery or bought saddle blanket type covers, and set out for the auction for a quick buck. They were later put out of business through word of mouth among many in the industry.

Again, go into an auction with your eyes wide open, know what to look for, do your due diligence, even bring an inexpensive OBD II code reader to check for codes, and a notebook on what those codes mean, and you may find a good car. If you don't, you may just end up with someone else's junk that should have become a parts car.
 
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I work on cars in my spare time as my side hustle. I figured as long as I don't buy a flop with a blown up motor, transmission that is just gone. I should be good. I'm prolly going to be buying ford and chevy vehicles. I have two guys who have a constant stream of used motors and transmissions. As long as I don't go to far from the common stuff. the 4.8/5.3 and 6.0 GM stuff the 5.0 coyotes, 4.6 fords, some dodges. I should be good. I can get a used motor and transmission for about 4-600 bucks each. So I mean if I don't get stupid and buy a BMW or something that's just out there and expensive to fix. Well, it shouldn't be a problem. Like I said fords and chevys wouldn't be to incredibly expensive for me to fix and flip either. I was just curious to see what peoples experiences where.
 

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what is eBay's policy when buying a car off the site.
Keep in mind that there are different levels of auction also. From high end big money, to manufacture line supported, collector, to take your chance and throw the dice line of cars.

I have heard of individuals that did well, and dealers who have purchased a total fail. And vice a versa. So you really have to ask yourself "Do you feel Lucky, well do ya"

I have purchased off of Ebay a number of times, mostly new. OK, all new with the exception of one which was a used kit car....which I gave to a neighbor is he promised to never tell my wife that I purchased it in the first place.


I did find a car that I was interested in yesterday that would be about the same as buying at an auction is that you have limited time to gain knowledge of. I am south of Dallas, TX and the car in question is in Kenosha, WI. While it is at a dealership and priced right, well close to right anyway, it is still over 800 miles away. It is also 20 years old, and being in the north all of those years I have questions as to any body or carriage rust. The dealer did send some bottom photos and it looks pretty clean. I would sure hate to step into a $10K money pit however.
 

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I have bought a couple of Autos from Ebay, from Dealers that specialize in E-bay auctions in Dallas. Always looks at their buyer ratings. The first one I bought was a 2002 Full sized Yukon (suburban ) with leather guts and 2nd row captains chairs. Photos were complete, had 28,400 miles in 2004, and I bought it for $22,000. Flew to LUV field, dealer picked me up, went to his warehouse, looked it over for about 30 minutes, drove it and handed him a cashiers check and drove back to Lubbock.

I trust these type of dealers more than I do individuals. Reputaion is more important to E-bay sellers making a living at it than individuals getting rid of a lemon. I also bought a carfax report.
 

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Anyone looking for a late model Luxury car, has always done well to travel from West Texas to Dallas to do so.

The Dallas market usually has a great number of late year luxury trade-ins an a person in Lubbock can easily save $3,000-$5,000 buying in Dallas as opposed to Lubbock on the same model with same mileage.
 

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Anyone looking for a late model Luxury car, has always done well to travel from West Texas to Dallas to do so.

The Dallas market usually has a great number of late year luxury trade-ins an a person in Lubbock can easily save $3,000-$5,000 buying in Dallas as opposed to Lubbock on the same model with same mileage.
That would be the way to flip vehicles...with that kind of a spread, a person could make a decent living in good times just driving 5 hours.
 
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what is eBay's policy when buying a car off the site.
It's been awhile since I purchased one off of Ebay, but even then it was pretty much "buyer beware". They would help you out if it was flat out a fraud listing, but as a buyer you still had to use your due diligence and CYA.

On a new car/truck/RV purchase you are pretty safe if you simply use common sense.

And as with any auction, late night bidding while abiding in adult beverages can get expensive in short order...hence the one bad used kit car purchase. The new vehicle purchases on Ebay were a Ford F-250 from a dealer in Davenport, IA. A Plymouth Prowler in Tulsa, OK. Jayco Class C 30' motorhome in Tulsa, OK. National RV 40' Pacifica diesel pusher from up on the Mason Dixon Line in PA. Ford Focus STV in Cleveland, OH. And my favorite was my Kenworth T300 toter-home conversion we picked up in Newark, NJ. Oh, and our last 5th wheel that we had shipped down from IN.

To be honest one or more of the above may have had to do with adult beverages and late nights on the internet. But, everyone of them came with a memorable trip home after flying up to take delivery.
 

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OH, then there was a trip to KCMO that involved a Classic Car Auction. Much along the line of late night internet shopping, they offered an open bar. Life lesson learned!!
 

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I have bought a couple totalled vehicles from IAAI insurance auctions. Pretty good luck so far, I know the previous owner was driving it right before I got it. I don't much care about pretty, so a slide hammer, porta-power and BFH are all I need to get them back on the road. (usually have to buy either front or rear light assemblies as well) Been driving my $700 2009 focus for a couple years now. My son turns 16 in April so I will be buying another in the near future.
 

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Here, we have auctions open to the public. And we also hae "Dealer Auctions" where the only bidders are licesed dealers who maintain premises and sales lots (some small, 4-5 vehicles, some large like 5 acres of cars) .

Either one can be good, IF you have done your due diligence as previus posters have stated. Or you can really get taken with somebody else's junk. Know what you are lookig for - - - - - - - know what it is worth, and what it is selling for - which may be two different figures.

My neighbor up the street has, for years, gone to the dealer auctions with his fried/employer as a drver and has see the same automobile auctioned off three or four times in six weeks. Some great luxury models go through for incredibly low prices, because they have issues with power-windows, power door locks, codes, etc, but LOW prices. His dealer will also buy for friends who want a particular make/model and set a price limit.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I bought a little 5 speed Mazda 6 for 2400 bucks with 120,000 miles on it with a clean body, leather seats, and damn good shape. Only thing I had to do was change plugs and the valve cover gasket. I was gonna flip it really quick for a profit but I might keep the little bugger. Its a fun little car. I'm in it 2460 bucks all together
 

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I try not buy used cars because of the way people do not take care of their vehicles around here.

Once we were able to buy a really nice garage kept low mileage Mercury Grand Marquis that had been traded in by an older lady that only drove it when her husband was not able to drive her. It was 6 years old and only had about 5500 miles on it. Great driving and riding car. Had it 6 months and a guy rear ended my wife and totaled the car. So much for that. The insurance paid more than I owed on it, so I had a good down payment on the next one.

If I do get a used vehicle, I get a mechanic I can trust to really go over it before I purchase it. I don't think you can do that at auctions.

But, most used vehicles I have looked at were in such bad shape they would not be worth it.
 

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I try not buy used cars because of the way people do not take care of their vehicles around here.

Once we were able to buy a really nice garage kept low mileage Mercury Grand Marquis that had been traded in by an older lady that only drove it when her husband was not able to drive her. It was 6 years old and only had about 5500 miles on it. Great driving and riding car. Had it 6 months and a guy rear ended my wife and totaled the car. So much for that. The insurance paid more than I owed on it, so I had a good down payment on the next one.

If I do get a used vehicle, I get a mechanic I can trust to really go over it before I purchase it. I don't think you can do that at auctions.

But, most used vehicles I have looked at were in such bad shape they would not be worth it.
I'll bet that when you saw that damage you were really glad that she was in that full sized Ford product rather than a Japanese or Korean import.
 
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