What to Know Before Participating in Your First Car Auction

Selling a car can be a headache. There are advertisements to run, callers to screen, and the hassle of having strangers come to your home. The best way to avoid all the irritation is to take your car to an auction. But, as glamorous and exciting as auctions are, they can be intimidating for first-time sellers. Here’s what to know before participating in your first car auction.

Research Your Auction and Venue

There are multiple types of auctions, each with their own requirements. Public auctions, as the name implies, are open to the public. They do not require a dealer’s license whereas private auctions do. Some venues also have the option to do live or online auctions. Different auction venues also have a unique basket of protocols and fees that you will have to follow, not to mention different clientele looking for different cars. Consider attending an auction at a venue before trying to sell your car there to get a feel for how the venue operates and what kinds of cars do best there.

Know Your Car

You have to really know what you’re selling. Be sure you have all your car’s paperwork and familiarize yourself with the nitty-gritty facts of your vehicle. Acquaint yourself with not only make, model, and year, but also mileage and vehicle history. Be honest—trying to cover the details won’t help. You will also want to know what your car is worth. Consult the Kelley Blue Book or have an appraiser come look at it; that will help you set a reserve price. Once you know what you’re working with, you will know better how to make your car stand out.

Car auctions are great ways to sell a car quickly and as close to the original price as possible without having to deal directly with customers. It’s simply a matter of getting over the hurdle of your first auction. If you know before participating in your first car auction what you’re getting into, though, you’ll be riding in the fast lane toward enjoying the wonderful world of car auctions.

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