There are a variety of different strategies bidders can use to bid smart at Augusta GA auto auctions. Along with a few general tips which apply to all bidders, it is equally important to consider what type of car is being purchased. There are several key variables unique to different types of available cars which will affect the bidding process and how the best values are identified.
3 General Tips to Bidding Smart at Auto Auctions
1. Don’t Get Caught Up in the Hype
No one plays a more central role in the prices at an auto auction than the auctioneer. Their job is to create a lot of hype and excitement around each vehicle and extend previous levels of energy across multiple units. This is why you will often see one or two premium cars followed by a handful of average or common cars. An auctioneer tries to leverage the excitement created by the premium cars to drive up the prices of the common cars. It is the responsibility of the bidder to stay in control of their emotions and not overbid. This is one of the hardest components of smart bidding that newer auction goers need to master.
2. Don’t Deviate From “The Plan”
Before every auction you should have a fairly clear idea of which cars you are interested in and how much you are willing to pay for each of them. By creating a clear plan ahead of time, it becomes much easier to bid smart at Augusta GA auto auctions. While remaining flexible is important to accommodate unpredictable variables, such as how much interest other bidders will have in your target vehicles, flexibility doesn’t mean uninformed bidding. Once you create a plan for a car auction, try to deviate from it as little as possible. This will provide the best opportunity to spot the best values and take advantage of them.
3. Don’t Be Afraid to Walk Away Empty Handed
Most people show up to an auto auction in Augusta GA expecting to go home with a new vehicle. While this is the ideal situation, you don’t want to overspend on a car just to bring one home. If the bidding gets too intense or if the average prices are too high there is nothing wrong with walking away empty handed. It is much worse to be the winning bidder and instantly realize you made a mistake and overpaid. Just like dealing with car dealerships, if you don’t find what you want at a price you are satisfied with remember there will be other opportunities. While auto auctions don’t take place every day they are common enough that you shouldn’t feel overly pressured to make a purchase immediately.
Tips for Smart Bidding Based Upon the Type of Car
When discussing bidding types based upon the type of car, it is important to understand what “type of car” means. It isn’t in relation to a specific make, model, or set of features. Instead the types of cars should be distinguished by what category they fall into within the realm of each auction. This is a closer look at the common types of cars and how they should affect your bidding.
1. Cars with Minor Damage
The first type of car found at Augusta GA auto auctions are those with minimal damage. In most cases, the damage is simply classified as “minor dents/scratches”. This type of damage can often be equated to the same level of damage which occurs in parking lots. They are small scratches, door dings, and backing into another object. The key factor to remember is minor dents rarely affect the drivability of the vehicle or reflect the level of prior maintenance. It just means the damage was minor enough the previous owner didn’t want to fix them. The benefit of focusing on this type of car is the price is significantly lower than the retail value on the secondary market but still offers a durable, reliable vehicle with no mechanical problems.
2011 Honda Civic LX
A great example of this type of car at recent auto auction in Augusta Georgia was a 2011 Honda Civic LX. It was a white, 4-door sedan with only 23,000 miles on it. While the secondary market value is estimated to be around $16,000 the winning bidder paid only $6,000. While the scratches were obvious the car functioned excellently and will be a great car for a long time. This represents an excellent value purchase. The perceived value was lower because of the cosmetic damage but the overall quality of the car was still very high since it had only 23,000 miles on it.
2. Normal Wear and Tear
The next type of car is referred to as a “Normal Wear and Tear” car. This means there is likely no cosmetic damage to exterior but the normal interior damage you would expect from a car that used by the average commuter. If it was well maintained, this type of car can actually be in better condition than the average car found at a used car dealership. Of all of the different types of cars at an Augusta Georgia auto auction, this will be the most expensive. While you shouldn’t hesitate to pay slightly more for a car in this category, you also shouldn’t be retail secondary market prices.
2005 Bentley Continental
A great example of this type of car is a 2005 Bentley Continental recent sold at auction. It had 135,000 miles but was otherwise in great shape. While it retailed for $55,000 on the secondary market, the winning bidder paid only $15,000. This is the ideal situation for any bidder who wants to avoid cosmetic damage but still save money.
3. Rebuilt Title
The final type of car commonly found at auction is the rebuilt title car. A rebuilt title means at some point there was enough damage to issue a salvage title. It has since been rebuilt and passed all of the necessary state tests to regain a street-legal title. This type of car offers the best opportunity of savings, but also comes with the highest level of risk. Just because it has been rebuilt doesn’t mean it will run perfectly for another 100,000 miles. This type of car is best targeted by people who can look under the hood and accurately determine how well it was rebuilt. If you fall into this category is a huge potential to save money.
2008 Mercedes-Benz S550
At a recent auction a 2008 Mercedes-Benz S550 was fully rebuilt to garner an estimated value of $47,000. The winning bidder paid only $9,000 because of the rebuilt title. Any vehicle with a rebuilt title will have damage history which is why many people will avoid bidding on it. This presents an excellent opportunity to save money if you can accurately determine how good the rebuild was.