Online Car Auctions – What to Do, and What to Avoid

With online car auctions, you can get cars for much cheaper rates that what you would get at your local in-person dealer. That’s just a simple fact. However, it can get slightly more complicated than that. For one thing, with car auctions online, you’re not going to be able to test drive a car, and you can never be fully certain that the seller is being honest with you. That’s just a risk you have to take for the price advantage. But if you want to protect yourself and lower your risk of being swindled, keep these things in mind.

What to do

1. Shop around: There are good websites that do car auctions, and there are bad ones. Be sure to look around at all of them. Compare company policies and prices, and make sure to read web reviews from customers who have used these services.

2. Take your time: Don’t go on an a car auctions website and buy a car on the first day. Instead, monitor the listings for several days, and try to get a feel for the average rates for the cars that you’re interested in. This will enable you to make a smart decision when it comes time to make your purchase.

3. Research the VIN: Any time you’re interested in a car, get the VIN number, and get a report on that car’s history. This can be done at

What to avoid

1. Stay out of bidding wars: When you get locked into wanting a certain car in a car auction, you may feel like you’ll do practically anything to get it, and you may even be willing to raise your price. But this is the last thing you should do. Remember that online car auctions are unlimited. If you don’t get this particular car, another one just like it or better will come along. So set your highest price, and never go above it.

2. Don’t buy without seeing: Of course, in many types of online car auctions, you will not be able to see the car before you buy it. But it’s important not to rely upon descriptions alone. If the seller doesn’t have the time or the will to take pictures and put them online, then they’re probably not a good person to buy from. You need to see detailed pictures of the outside and inside of the car.