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I went by one on Saturday to take a look at a few trucks with the idea of going to the auction on Sunday.

However, that's not how it works. The late model vehicles aren't auctioned on Sunday. They have ongoing live bidding, so it works more like a regular car dealership - though you get to name whatever price (your "bid"). Then they tell you if there is another bid in.

Those are the basics. I will probably go back semi-regularly since they claim their inventory turns over fairly quickly. But has anyone actually bought a car from a public auction? Or known someone who has?

It's definitely an option for me. They don't fix anything if there's something wrong cosmetically with the car, though it must pass a safety & smog inspection. So it's quite a deal. The cars I was looking at will probably sell for about $1-2k less than I'd be able to buy from a private party.
 

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I've been to auctions 4 or 5 times..... but never actually bought anything. I think what happens is that the popular (quick-to-move) lower priced vehicles tend to go for their full price. So a lower priced pickup truck would be one of those. Higher priced obscure cars tend to be good bargains. Porsche 928 or Range Rover for example.

Also- they always tack on a 10-15% 'house fee'. Once you add that in there it doesn't seem lik such a bargain after all.

Now you want real bargain- try the charity auctions- these are cars people donate to charities (eg Goodwill). They are pretty junky as you can imagine. But for a patient man with some mech skills- there are bargains to be found here! You'll see every manner of lowlives and creeps in these auctions too ;);)
 
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