Any Auto Auction Experiences to Share?

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Main Forum' started by PriusCamper, Sep 5, 2018.

  1. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    Hey folks, A friend just sent me this link to a local government vehicle auction in Washington State:
    2007 Toyota Prius (ID #6412) (Off-Site) (18-2439 IslTransit) - govdeals.com


    If anyone wants to buy this one I'd be excited to help you get all the batteries tested and reconditioned / repaired so you can be sure it will be a reliable vehicle for a long time.

    But in general, what have people's experiences been when it comes to buying Prius at auction? Any tips for folks who may want to get into this?
     
  2. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Many auctions only accept bank checks. How do you do that if you don't know how much you'll settle for? Get a few in different amounts and pay with a combination of them, like cash. Bid in amounts you can actually pay with the "change" in your pocket. Return unused checks to the bank for redeposit.
     
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  3. PriusCamper

    PriusCamper Senior Member

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    The auction I linked to does the transaction via wire transfer... When you're saying "bank checks" do you mean cashier's checks that have a max limit so you have to have more than one of them?
     
  4. ITBland

    ITBland Active Member

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    GovDeals is a lot easier to use (and pay) than most sites--credit card up to $4000, but you need to wire funds if paying more than that. (I'll add more here after work.--I did buy thru them last year.)
     
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  5. Kevin_Denver

    Kevin_Denver Active Member

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    I've bought a 2006 Honda Element off of Copart.com, another auto auction site. I paid $1500, which came out to almost $2k with fees, put roughly $1000 of parts into it.

    Keep in mind the true price to receive the car - all fees, transportation, etc. From their description it might just need a 12V, but it might need the high voltage battery as well. Inspect in person with a code reader that can read Toyota specific ECU codes.

    Generally you want to calculate your worst case repair bill plus the total cost to purchase and get the car. Then add another $1000. If that's less than the KBB value, I'd stay away. Most people who buy salvage/auction cars lose money or just break even on their first couple of cars.
     
  6. Leadfoot J. McCoalroller

    Leadfoot J. McCoalroller Senior Member

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    Actually I'd meant it for flexibility. They want the payment right then and there, it's a weekend and the bank is closed. Say you struck at $1700. You didn't bring a check for $1700, because you had no idea what the price would really be. So you pay with a $1000 check, a $500 check and two $100 checks because you did have those (and presumably a few others) made up in advance.

    I haven't been to one in a long time. It's good to hear that there are credit card and wire options now.
     
  7. ITBland

    ITBland Active Member

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    My feeling, Copart and the Insurance auctions have cars that have been thrown away. GovDeals and the other government auctions have cars that have been "retired". Buying from a government agency that has full service records and (likely) a legal requirement to disclose everything they know about the conditions AND give you access to the current owner's representative (they don't always know everything about the vehicle) is the best option short of buying from a friend or family member. You might get a "car pool" vehicle that has been used by many different users, or you might get a car that was assigned to one user and actually cared for.
     
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