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Old 08-17-2013, 12:34 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Wacky Eco-Car auction prices

I go to a lot of car auctions, both dealer only and ones open to the public. People often ask me what kind of deals you can get at an auction, and my answer is simple - it all depends! Don't ask me on what it depends, as if I could figure that out I would be retired by now, but here is one that surprised even me. 2006 Civic Hybrid with 100k miles (160k KMs). It got towed through the auction as it has no brakes. There was some issue with the master cylinder. Now generally, a hybrid on a tow truck that you can't test drive is worthless at the auction. I have seen a 2011 Prius sell for about 1/3 what it was worth in that situation. I figured I'd buy this Civic for less than $3500. Nope, sure didn't - $7000 it sold for! That's way more than the 2011 Prius with 12k miles sold for! Retail on that Civic here is about $8000, and that's with no issues! Even the dealer selling it figured it was only worth about $2500. Just goes to show how carried away people can get at an auction! So if you go to one, my best advice is to do your research on the car you are interested in, and decide on a price ahead of time. Then stick to that price, don't get carried away by the action of the auction!

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Old 08-17-2013, 12:49 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Two of the last auctions I went to: at one of them people bid up boxes of shotgun shells higher than they cost at regular prices in a store. Fine, have at it! At the other, old car fever hit the boys hard and they bid #5 project cars- or in some cases, piles of parts- up to #3 prices. Needless to say,
1) I left empty handed
2) the value of all my current junk doubled in my mind
3) I don't go to auctions anymore.
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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The long answer:
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Old 08-17-2013, 01:15 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Yup, auctions are unreliable if you want to buy, that's for sure. For what it's worth though, if you stick with them you can average out on the positive side. Yes, that Civic sold for twice what it was worth, but I have also scored stuff like an '82 Chev shortbox pickup, 2wd, healthy small block, chopped roof, shaved door handles, frenched antenna and 32 Ford tail lights for $1400. It all depends on who is there, the weather (yes that plays a big role, if it's crappy out less people show up and you get better deals), the time of year, etc. They are kind of a commitment - if you want to take advantage of them you have to go to a lot of them. It's like anything else, practice practice practice. But whatever you do, don't think it's like those auction shows on TV where people roll in and score a bunch of good loot super cheap. There are 300 other people there expecting the same thing! Do your research, pick your price, and walk away when it goes over your price.

Edit: Haven't had a chance to watch the above post, but I will. Auctions bring out the crazy in people lol.
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Old 08-17-2013, 11:40 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Thats exactly what i witnessed yesterday! A 2006 civic hybrid. That have to be limped through, bad ima, rusted, very dirty went for $5600, a nice 2007 prius only minutes before went for $5400.... all i can say is someone got caught up in all the excitement.
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Old 08-18-2013, 01:08 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Sounds like I should go to an auction if i ever need another Prius!
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Old 08-18-2013, 12:26 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Auctions = Monetary Hare vs. frugile Tortoise mentality buying...ie:

adreniline ru$h from "...buying..." before the "...other guy/gal..." can get the item.
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Old 08-18-2013, 11:38 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vskid3 View Post
Sounds like I should go to an auction if i ever need another Prius!
No no, just hit me up when you need one ha ha. A Prius should bring a premium around here as all the taxi companies use them. But they sell cheap. A few weeks ago a 2001 Prius in nice shape, no battery issues, and 146k miles (234k kms) sold for under $2000. I bought my 2001 Prius last year with 96k miles (155k kms) for more than twice that. I guess the old saying is true - "If you can't see the mark in the room, then it's you." ha ha

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