Is Buying From an Auction Good For You?
By now you might be asking yourself “with so many potential risks, why would I want to buy at auction?” In spite of the aforementioned caveats, there are plenty of reasons to do so. First of all; selection and convenience. You may have the chance to inspect several, even dozens, of cars in one place that may fit your criteria. Then there’s the specter of competition. If a seller sees that he is competing with nine other ’66 Mustangs for the same potential buyer group, he may be a bit more realistic in his price expectation. No Reserve offerings are often a valid indicator of the current market, as they tend to gravitate toward current realistic values. If you don’t really know what you want yet, an auction is a good place to see a cross section of cars and learn their approximate values.
And occasionally, there is a genuine bargain; that proverbial hidden pearl. I once attended an auction built around the sale of a Chevrolet collection. All the Chevy experts, dealers, buyers, restorers, and groupies were there. The auction house tossed in a few odd-lot Fords and Dodges for variety, but the audience was there for Chevrolet’s and paid little attention to the other vehicles. The off-brand, No Reserve offerings found new homes at very friendly prices. As a buyer, you want to pay less, not more, so forget record sale claims.