Large, established car auction companies such as BCA have live bidding on some of their auctions. Perhaps the most commonly known online car auction websites is Ebay Motors.
How Online Car Auctions Work
Companies such as BCA, Central Auctions and SMA have regional centres – look for your nearest one on their websites. You may have to pay an entrance fee, and you’ll pay a percentage of the sale price if your car sells. If it doesn’t, you’ll sometimes still pay an ‘unsold vehicle charge.’
You’ll need all the usual car paperwork to enter it such as the V5C and MOT certificate (if applicable).
Reserves – you can specify a reserve price: the amount the bidding has to reach before you agree to sell the car. Some auction houses won’t allow reserves on older cars so check their terms and conditions.
If your car sells, then the auction house will pay you, usually within a few working days by either bank transfer or a crossed cheque less their commission.
Some auction companies offer other facilities such as transporting your car to and from the auction if you’re unable or unwilling to do it yourself. Check auctioneer’s websites for their facilities.
Much like preparing an advertisement for sites like Auto Trader, with Ebay you make up a ‘listing’ containing the usual details of your car plus some photos. Your auction runs for a certain length of time with the highest bidder ‘winning’ the auction and buying your car.
Selling on Ebay is a little like selling privately in that you may have to show various people over your car before they make a bid. You should make it clear in your listing if you’re not prepared to listen to offers before the auction finishes.
You should also make it clear if the car is being advertised elsewhere as a warning that your auction may abruptly finish should it sell.
Online Auctions (Except Ebay) – Advantages and Disadvantages
Quick – at an auction centre, your car could sell there and then with the money hitting your bank account a few days later.
Straightforward – the auctioneer’s terms are clearly laid out on their websites, so you’ll know what the costs are and the procedure to follow.
Price – your car might not fetch as much as you’d hoped which may mean going through the process again and paying more entrance and administrative fees.
Time Taken – there’s the time taken to contact an auction centre, book your car into an auction and maybe travel to attend and perhaps bring your car back again afterwards. While potentially quick and easy, auctions may not be as simple as selling to an online dealer.
Ebay Pros and Cons Of Car Selling
Speed – can be quick to sell your car compared to print and even online advertising.
Instant Feedback – you’ll soon know if your car is likely to sell by the bids coming in.
Flexible Advertising – you can say as much as you like about your car and upload several photos if you wish.
Price – it’s possible your car could fetch a good price. Possible ‘auction fever’ can sometimes drive prices up as can the bidders’ reassurance that they may have spoken to you and viewed the car before bidding.
Time – it can be time consuming. You may have to field questions and show various people over your car. Also, if your car does not sell or your buyer does not complete the transaction, you may have to re-list it and start again.
Security – like selling privately, you have to exercise caution with strangers visiting your home and ensuring you receive payment properly.
In Conclusion To Places To Sell Your Car
Online auctions can be a straightforward way of selling your car, but there is the uncertainty of not knowing how much it’ll fetch or if it’ll even sell. The same applies to Ebay, plus the potential time wasted and risks of dealing with strangers and payments.
It’s possible that an auction is not as quick, easy or maybe even as profitable as using other methods such as online dealers.