Take Time to Pre-Inspect the Car of Your Dreams
Some auction houses open their doors for previews several days before an auction. Others open only a few hours before each auction. It’s smart to review buyers’ guides to learn about prices and how to spot fakes. If you keep a few price guides in the trunk of your car, you can also do some quick research while you’re at the auction house.
While you are attending the pre-inspection, you’ll need to pre-register and be issued a bidder’s number. Most auctions require that you post funds or have an irrevocable letter of credit from your bank before you are allowed to bid. Some firms now offer financing, and a few even take credit cards, but most are still established around cash sales. They will also issue documents describing the terms of the sale. Read them and make sure you understand the commission arrangements, as most sales require the buyer pay a portion of the auction house’s fee. This “Buyer’s Premium,” usually 8-10%, must be added to your cost of the car and should be figured in when you are assessing your maximum bid.