Howdy, Stranger!

It looks like you're new here. If you want to get involved, click one of these buttons!

ONLINE AUCTIONS: Would You (Have You)?

MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
I'd like to know how many of you would actually
buy a classic car in an online auction, or if you
have actually done so.

Please let me know your concerns or experiences
with this!



  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    That's when I'll buy a car sight unseen. It's not just larceny I'm afraid of. When I see the butchered crap that gets shown at club meets by proud owners, I know we're not all on the same page.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    I am sometimes hired to inspect cars for buyers out of state, and I must say I am sometimes truly shocked at the difference between the ad and the car. And who said car dealers were dishonest?

    Of course, I've seen nice cars, too, but I can't say I ever saw a car that was BETTER than the ad!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,359
    Awhile back, I saw an ad for a 1962 PV 544 Volvo.

    Dumb, I guess, but I had one at a young age and maintain a mis guided soft spot for them.

    If you've ever owned one or driven a nice one, you might understand.

    I called the guy, and was impressed both by him and his graphic discription of the car.

    Since he was 100 miles away, I asked a lot of intense questions that he was happy to answer.

    Well, I guess the condition of the car to be a seven on a scale of ten. I went to the bank, got green cash, and headed north.

    The car turned out to be a TOTAL P.O.S.!!!

    In fact, when I pulled up to his house, I saw the thing and figured that this was a parts car for the one advertised!

    It was all I could do to bite my tongue and remain polite...

    But here is the real problem...He HONESTLY thought it was a nice car! The "minor surface rust" was so bad the car was probably unrepairable. The interior that had been redone "As close to original as possible" looked like garbage! The engine was incorrect for the car, and the "new wiring harness" looked like it had been installed by The Three Stooges!

    I left slowly shaking my head..." Make an offer" He yelled at me as I drove away!

    Still, I was nice to him as he truly thought he had "almost" a show car!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    Yes, the Rocky Horror Picture Show!

    I like 544s A LOT! Great car, tough as nails and really fun to drive, too. Semi-collectible these days, you can usually find a beauty for $4k-$5K.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Posts: 765
    This doesn't just apply to auctions either. As someone who doesn't live close to a major urban centre I have found the growth of the internet a real benefit when it comes to buying - online auctions, classified ads, retailers etc.

    When we are talking about a major purchase however it is a different ballgame. Would I buy a car online - no, but I would (and do) use the internet as a valuable resource to reduce costs of research.

    If I want to view a car in California then I don't really want to fly from Ontario on the off chance that it might be worth it, what I can do is get lots and lots of photographs, etc before I ever think about viewing in person. This really is the only option unless there is someone who you know to be reputable who can view the car for you.
  • sgaines1sgaines1 Posts: 44
    I got my '73 Mk. IV from the web. I know this is a question about auctions, but it seems like most people are talking about online classifieds. I would say my experience was just about as good as buying from anywhere else. I guess I paid more than the car was worth ($2500), but it was cheaper than anything else but the parts cars, and probably in better shape than a lot of the ones going for $4K . It wasn't falsely advertised, although the seller made a minor misrepresentation, which could have been an honest mistake, when I went to look at it. Of course, it was almost 9 hours driving out to OH and back, and I would have had to eat a huge cash advance fee if I had decided not to get it. One last thing, which could serve as advice to sellers. I only considered it because there were pictures. I know a lot of people who won't even look at anything on eBay, etc. if there isn't at least one picture.
  • chris396chris396 Posts: 53
    Andy that's what I did when I bought my '69 RS SS L78 Camaro convertible. I was able to get all the info I needed to check out the car online. But I still flew down to look at the car before I bought it.
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,359
    The pictures are a help but they also can hide a multitude of problems.

    I also love the word "restored". That word has a lot of different meanings to diffeent people!
  • sgaines1sgaines1 Posts: 44
    Sometimes anyway. It does give you a good idea of what you'll see. You know, like what you'd see from the street when you got there, but then it would be too late to run, because the guy would be out front to meet you. For instance, when I was shopping, I discovered that someone's idea of a 'nice' '76 Mk. IV was that it had been pimped out with stupid mag wheels and dark tint on the windows. Oh well, I guess the tint hides the incense crowns on the rear window shelf.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390
    On e-bay and similar sites can't you escrow the purchase price pending inspection?
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    Yep. Costs to do that, though.

    Another thing.... I never found public auctions to be a very good deal. People start bidding and bidding and often pay over retail for just about everything. I'm not so sure there are that many "good deals" online when it comes to cars at least. You remember our discussion in Sportscars about the guy who offered a 1993 I think it was Mazda RX7 with very low miles. Well, somebody bid it up to $25,000, which shocked me, and THEN HE TURNED IT DOWN! I almost fell off my chair.
  • C13C13 Posts: 390

    It's hard for the average amateur to keep track of numbers and connect them with other key numbers, like their gross annual salary for example.

    I look at so many ads, but I don't really grasp anything till I make a chart, to compare apples and apples. Every time I do it, I find some things that surprise me.

    And yet when I finally make a purchase (or a sale), what do you wanna bet it'll be an impulse; not something I've studied?

    I should have majored in psych and minored in business, or the other way around.
  • andy_jordanandy_jordan Posts: 765
    I have been a regular auction goer form many years (all types), and never go with a certain item in mind - that way the heart doesn't rule the head.

    With cars it isn't so easy though, so I always make sure wife has the credit cards !!!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    Best way to approach an auction is to have a spending limit in mind and stick to it no matter what! If you want an MGB and you won't spend more than say $4,000, well, that's it then.

    I don't like to rush a car purchase. You have to remember the old saying "every car at auction has been abandoned by its owner".
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,359
    Watch out for shills! Quite often, there are shills in the audience bidding along with you. These people know that emotion has a LOT to do with the bidding.

    Thse people might even be bidding on their own cars!

    The BEST thing that can happen (for the seller) is when a couple of egos get involved!

    The bidders aren't about to lose the car and give the other bidder the satisfaction of the win!

    Lots of cars sell for more than their worth that way!
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    Ah, yes, the "financial pole vault" I call it in real-life auctions. How high can you jump with your checkbook in front of all those people. A deadly business!
  • isellhondasisellhondas Issaquah WashingtonPosts: 17,359
    Sounds like you've seen the same thing. It's funny and sad at the same time.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    Hey, it's their money. Buyers are generally pretty savvy at the collector car auctions, but I don't think they are online. Great cars bring great money in the big auctions, but cars needing work go begging for buyers.
  • speedshiftspeedshift Posts: 1,598
    That true of real estate, too. I think there's a great truth here.
  • MrShift@EdmundsMrShift@Edmunds Posts: 43,683
    At least with real estate you have a *chance* of getting your money back! :)
This discussion has been closed.