Online car auctions can be intimidating for new bidders. Everyone else seems to have an idea of exactly how much a car is worth, and you can’t see the car to make your judgements in person. If you’re going in for the first time, you don’t want to wind up missing out on a good deal, or worse, overpaying for a lemon. At Car Transport Austin, we’ve helped hundreds of people ship their auction wins all over the US. Over that time, we’ve amassed some expert knowledge on how the auction pros approach online car auctions. Here are the best ways to ensure you keep a level head.
Set a budget and stick to it
Setting a budget ahead of time is a great way to ensure that you don’t wind up overpaying for a good-but-not-great car. Auctions are like a form of gambling, and it can be easy to get swept up in the fun of the experience. It’s not so much fun to wind up with a huge bill for your car afterwards, though. So, as the auction progresses, make sure to stick to your budgeted funds. Of course, in order to set your budget beforehand, you’ll need to do a fair bit of research.
Do your research
Research is a necessity for online car auctions. Using sites like Kelly Blue Book will tell you how much a given car should cost, helping you set your budget. In addition, your research will tell you what problems a given car usually has. This can help you get a better picture of how much the car will cost over its lifetime. All of the information you’ll amass during this stage will give you a leg up on the competition. And it will also help keep you within your budget.
Watch before you bid
Online auctions are unique spaces with their own sets of norms and behaviors. For new bidders, we recommend watching an auction unfold before bidding on a car. This can mean only bidding on a car that comes at the end of the auction, but it can also mean watching an entire separate auction before you try to buy a car at one. By doing this, you can get a good idea of how the bidding usually goes. You’ll also learn the signs of suspicious bidders whose only purpose is to drive up the price of a vehicle, so you can avoid them. Looking before you do is great advice to follow for an online auction.