Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Auto Auction

I've sold cars retail. I've bought cars new and used. I've also sold personal cars. One thing I've never experienced was a wholesale dealers auto auction. A good friend from church had some insight about a local auto auction and we went tonight to look at cars since we are a one car family. I learn on the way the this friend's step brother owns the auction. His brother in law buys and sells cars and owns a nearby car lot. And his sister works the Wednesday night auction. Talk about a family affair.

We arrrived at 6:30 to check out some cars. There were at least 150 cars running thru 3 auction lines simultaneously. I am looking for a car in the $3000-$4000 range. Once I find a car and win it on a bid I would still owe a purchase fee to the auction place and $500 to the brother in law since he would have to handle all the paperwork. This would turn a $4000 car into about a $4700 car. Not bad considering to buy a similar car on a dealer lot might cost at least $6000.

There were people everywhere scoping out their personal favorites. I'm sure there are many niches for dealers to buy for. I learned that $15 would get me a 12 oz. ribeye and I was tormented by the smell of good ol' fried foods. Next time I won't eat before hand. There was also plenty of beer being drank. It was almost like I was at a festival of some kind.

The following describes some of the cars I was interested in:

01 Jeep Cher. Sport, 105,000 miles, black, 4wd, auto-did not sell-reserve $5300
02 Jeep Liberty, 85,000 miles, blue, 2wd, auto-did not meet reserve-last bid $7950
01 Chrys. Town & Country van, Silver, 104,000-SOLD $4000
98 Jeep Cherokee, 124,000, 2wd, auto-did not meet $3800 reserve

I learned that many cars did not sell. A 2000 Hyundai sold for $800. A Dodge Conversion van with new tires that could hold 20 migrant workers sold for $1100.

If you buy a car you have one hour to check it out. Drive it off the lot and really test it out on the road. Upside is that you save at least $1500-$2500 on what it would cost on the open market. And just like a car you buy on the open market it would be AS-IS. If the 01 Black Sport wasn't 4wd and automatic it probably would have been in my price range. I'll go back next time a little more wiser.

No comments: