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Buying Cars Online Vs. Buying At Auction
As a motor trader, you have two primary options when it comes to buying your vehicles – buying them online, either from other dealers or dedicated websites, or going to car auctions and buying them there. Both methods have their pros and cons, understandably but it all boils down to how you would prefer to run your business and obtain your stock. The danger of buying used vehicles lies in things like lack of service history, no knowledge of any issues the car has, and an issue that seems to be impossible to find or fix.
Buying online brings up one immediate issue – there are only pictures to look at – the car is not right in front of you to look at and check every millimetre. Everyone knows deep down that pictures don’t always show a car’s true form – small scratches, dents and marks can very easily not show up on images. This depends on whether that sort of bodywork defect bothers you, but there is always the option to go and see the vehicle in person. Some sellers really do have short fuses about being “messed about” though, so turning up and realising that a vehicle is not up to the standard you were looking for, is a slight risk in itself.
Buying vehicles at an auction comes with the added bonus that you get to check out the car with your own eyes, look around it, under it, inside it – whatever you need. That way when it comes up for sale, you know whether you would like to buy it, and how much you believe it would be worth. This brings about the issue with auctions – the competitiveness. An uncountable number of motor traders use car auctions to obtain their stock cheaply, and the atmosphere can quickly turn competitive as everyone tries to get the best deal.
It goes without saying that you should never pay more than you think a vehicle is worth, and try to find out everything you can about its history, and previous faults. Some issues and defective parts can cause others to fail and affect their performance so you can never have too much information. Cars that have issues nobody seems to be able to diagnose are well worth steering clear from, as you could inject plenty of money into it and get nowhere. Looking at cars with faults that are simple to fix can be worth buying sometimes, as the drop in price caused by said fault will cost peanuts to repair, and lead to a profit when you sell the car.
In the end it’s all about being strategic, planning your purchases and doing your research on faults to see whether the cars they’re affecting are worth investing in. If you end up with a vehicle that is as they say “a nail”, and proving problematic, it’s worth cutting your losses, getting rid of it, and realising it’s a lesson learned. Whether you choose to go to auctions or try finding potential vehicles online, just take all precautions you can and make sure the vehicle you’re after is worth your money.