This past week I had the opportunity to attend the annual Spring Carlisle Auction held in Carlisle, PA. Montway is the official auto transporter of Carlisle Events so I knew it would be a busy couple of days for me, what I didn’t realize however, is just how much fun and rewarding attending an auction could be.
Here are a few tips that were passed along to me by some of the seasoned auction attendees that I was privileged to meet as well as some observations I made while watching the auction live.
Tips For Buying Car At Auction
- Know Your Budget: Make sure to review the inventory list of the vehicles being shown at auction. In the case of our auction at Carlisle, there were hundreds of available vehicles to choose from. You want to make sure that you are spending your time and energy on the vehicles that fit into your budget. Part of that budget should include either open or enclosed auto auction transportation costs to get your potential new vehicle back home.
- Inspect Your Target Vehicles: Once you identify the vehicles that fit into your budget you want to make sure that those vehicles pass an inspection checklist. Things to include on your checklist are checking for worn tires, fluid leaks, physical damage, etc. Some people even go as far to bring along a friend experienced with car mechanics to ensure no other inspection issues exist.
- Understand the Purchase Terms: Is a deposit required? If so, how much? Is it cash only? When is full payment required on a winning bid? Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into before placing that bid.
- Don’t Bid Too Soon: What I noticed was that auctioneer started many lots with a higher initial price. This served as an entry point, and if the auctioneer could not get anyone to initially bid they would ask for a starting point. This is generally how things work, so be patient not to jump in too soon and bid more then you initially have too.
- Don’t be Afraid to Walk: This seems the easiest and most logical thing to remember, but in practice it is one of the hardest things to do. People get caught up emotionally with the excitement of the auction and fall in love with a vehicle that you just have to have. Just remember that auto auctions are held quite regularly, so if you don’t get the deal you were looking for another auction is most likely right around the corner. Of course, if the vehicle you have targeted is rare, this might be a tough thing to do!
An auto auction can be a great experience for those who are looking for a fun and fast paced activity. Just know what you are getting yourself into and most of all just have fun. Here is a short video of the auctioneer doing his thing, and no I have no idea how he speaks that fast. Make sure to check out our Facebook page for some of our favorite cars we spotted at Carlisle.