Free online car liquidation auctions are a unique side of the online auction market. Struggling car dealerships may sell their inventory at liquidation auctions in order to pay their debts. Other auction listings come from repossessed cars, vehicles seized from criminals, and useable vehicles that have been totaled for insurance purposes. No matter what the source, they offer a chance for great bargains.
Finding Free Online Car Liquidation Auctions
PropertyRoom.com, a site dedicated to selling unclaimed items from police property rooms, offers a small selection of car liquidation auctions. In addition to cars, buyers can also find car parts and accessories. The site's set-up is similar to other auction sites, making it easy to use.
Insurance Auto Auctions
Insurance Auto Auctions specializes in totaled and salvaged vehicles. Because of the nature of insurance laws, totaled cars can't be sold at auto dealerships, regardless of their overall condition. This leads to some totaled cars in perfect working order, while others are only suitable for parts. The site offers two ways for non-local buyers to participate in its auctions. They can submit a bid through pre-bidding, and that bid will be represented at the auction. They can also participate in the auction in real time through the I-bid LIVE service.
The eBay Motors division also includes some liquidation auctions. Search the listings for liquidation or salvage vehicles. Buyers can also search by location to avoid transportation hassles.
Research Car Auctions Online
Perhaps because of the difficulty in transporting cars around the country, many liquidation auction services haven't moved their auctions online. However, their websites are still useful resources to search for local auctions and to find out more about the auction process. The U.S. General Services Administration sells used cars, trucks, vans, and SUVs to the general public. Use the website to find auction times and locations and to search current stock. The Internal Revenue Service offers similar auctions at sites around the country. While ADESA typically only sells to dealers, the auction service also opens select auctions to the public. There are also numerous local auctions, like the Alameda County Auction in northern California. Search for auctions within driving distance of your home for convenient liquidation buying.
Tips for Buying Liquidated Cars
If you're used to participating in smaller auctions on sites like eBay, recognize you're entering a completely different level of bidding with free online car liquidation auctions. Some sites may offer similar features, but the bids are more binding, the restrictions may be more stringent, and the products require more knowledge to make an informed bid. If you keep this and a few other tips in mind, you'll be on your way to a more successful liquidation auction experience:
- Research the costs involved in transferring the vehicle's title.
- Before you place a bid, know how you will get the car from the auction site to you. Consider the cost of transporting the car when setting your maximum bid.
- If possible, check the history of a vehicle before you buy it. Your state's Department of Motor Vehicles or Secretary of State office may be able to perform a title check, and services like CarFax can find out information about a car's history by using the vehicle identification number.
- Watch out for scams. Research companies before giving them your money. This includes the auction site, the company or individual selling the car, and any third-party payment sites, like an escrow service. If a company isn't on the up and up, a quick online search should find reports of its past misdeeds.
- Complete all auctions through the auction site. If you set up private transactions, you may not be protected if the deal goes bad.
- Pay with a credit card whenever possible. This will usually afford you more protection than direct deposits of cash into an account.