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Wholesale Auction Vehicle Brokerage Services

 

Auction Process

What are the advantages to buying a car from a professional dealer auction?

The selection of vehicles of all varieties is enormous in quantity and quality. Vehicles here are typically offered at 10-20% below what you would expect to pay in a retail facility. It is where dealerships, leasing companies, and financial institutions look to release their surplus inventory on a national scale. Trade-ins, lease returns, repos, and surplus inventory gets traded at these auctions.

Everything from the newest Aston Martin to a decades old Lada is available on a daily basis. Independent unbiased quality reviews are posted on-line. Try and get that information from a Carfax report, an Internet vendor, eBay Cars, or the Autotrader!

 

Can you get me a BMW X3 3.0i 2006 or 2007? A Volvo XC90? Audi Q5? A Honda CRV? Mercedes B200? Toyota Matrix XR?

Yes. We can locate any vehicle, of any year, in any market. You name it, we'll find it, and bring it to you. We purchase across Canada, the USA, and Europe.

 

Which cars are available and when?

Some manufacturers have sales monthly, others every two weeks, some just whenever they feel like it. Each auction facility has a sale at a prescribed weekly day and time. Some sales are on in mornings and others in evenings. There is an auction every day of every week.

We constantly monitor auctions at over 300 different locations in Canada and the US. Listings change on a daily basis. If we discover a vehicle within your criteria, we will inform you right away.

Toronto has an auction every Tuesday and Wednesday morning plus a small, special, older model auction on Monday and Thursday nights. Philadelphia, Los Angeles, and Atlanta have high-line auctions every other Thursday. Manufacturers off-lease, limited-release auctions occur online daily.

 

How many suitable vehicles will come up at auction?

It's always a little hard to say. It varies with the vehicle, how popular it is, how common, its age, and seasonal trends. The larger auctions have about 7000 vehicles go through their lanes every day.

 

Who can bid at these auctions?

Only registered dealers can bid on and inspect cars at wholesale dealer auctions. Retail clients are not permitted to conduct any transactions at these auctions. It's much like needing a broker to buy a stock on the TSX or the Dow Jones. We act as your professional eyes and ears.

 

How do auctions work?

Most vehicle auctions are real physical auctions where a car rolls down a lane to an auction block and an auctioneer starts chanting out bid numbers. Typically we enter maximum proxy bids on behalf of our clients via the world wide web prior to the physical auction. We can also monitor most auctions by a live Internet video/audio feed where we can bid on-line. In limited circumstances we can bid live by attending an auction. However, this is rarely done as it's a chaotic place to be on the floor. We like to settle our bid parameters long before the any auction starts.

With proxy bidding, the night before the auction, we submit your maximum bid to the auction. The computer bids to our max as if we were a physical person at the auction. However, it bids in increments only slightly higher than the last bidder until we are the highest bidder or the other bids exceed our max. The bidding does not necessarily end at the maximum proxy bid. It can stop below this value. However, it never exceeds our maximum bid price. Proxy bidding is a good way of avoiding the hype and euphoria of live bidding.

 

How quickly do vehicles sell at auction?

Typically, about 60 cars are sold per hour in each lane of an auction facility. An auction facility may have up to 30 lanes of vehicles running concurrently and will sell 7000 cars a day. A car enters the block and sells in about 45 seconds.

 

Should I be anxious about buying a car from auction?

No, not at all. The auction houses prepare condition reports on the vehicles they sell. The reports are done independently of any input from the vendor. Vehicles in good shape are labelled as such. Damage on vehicles is fully disclosed. You will know of any potential blemishes long before we bid on or see a vehicle.

Dealer auctions are not anything like the typical public or police auction where junk shows up and is of dubious quality. The auction houses that we deal with stand behind their product. The cars do not belong to the auction, but the condition reports are their responsibility. They take that task seriously. If there are any material discrepancies, the auction house is responsible for setting it right by way of price adjustments or by way of unwinding the deal.

 

What sort of information is available in an auction report?

Vehicle information pages available from auction houses give us vehicle photos, specifications and unbiased condition reports.

The condition reports are prepared by the auction house's professional inspector. Details include: exterior and interior colours, trim level, options such as heated seats, leather/cloth, satellite radio, available keys, tread depth measurements, manual/automatic transmissions, sunroof, etc.  They will list: mechanical problems, body work imperfections, paint problems, replaced panels, dents, scratches, interior cuts, wear, and odours. The reports will give us the severity of each problem and an estimated cost to repair each problem in terms of labour hours. We also see what items have already been repaired.

This information is very detailed. It allows us to quickly gauge the quality of each available vehicle and if it will suit your needs. A sample vehicle report and detailed condition report are available for your review. We can see if a vehicle has a condition report or seller's disclosure report by icons or links from a typical vehicle list.

As we prepare to bid on vehicles, we'll pull the vehicle and condition reports and forward them to you.

 

What does CR mean?

This refers to a Condition Report. It is a very detailed report of the vehicle. It is prepared by the auction house. See our sample condition report for more info.

 

What does SD mean?

This refers to a Seller's Disclosure report. It is prepared by the vendor.

 

What does MMR mean?

Auction houses calculate an average value based on historical data. See our MMR note on the bidding page for more information.

 

How do we know the quality of a vehicle?

The information pages and condition reports, along with detailed information and photographs on each vehicle, sometimes includes a grade or rating. The grade is a numerical rating for the vehicle. It is another piece of information we use in our total assessment of a vehicle.

Each auction house has it own system. Typically the scale ranges from 0 to 5 where 0 is very poor (a vehicle being sold for scrap) and 5 is excellent. Some houses use whole numbers; others use fractions.

5 = extremely good or excellent
4 = very good
3 = fair
2 = poor
1 = very poor or scrap
0 = very poor or scrap

The highest rating, 5, is usually an indication that the vehicle is very close to being perfect as a used car of the age and with the mileage shown can be. Bear in mind these are pre-owned vehicles verses a brand new from the dealer. A vehicle rated 5 may have some blemishes and some wear and tear. These are typically documented in the vehicle report and detailed condition reports.

We'll let you know, for a particular vehicle, for a particular auctioneer, how to interpret the scale.

The Manheim scale is illuminating. They describe a 5 vehicle as "extra clean." In particular, a 5-rated vehicle may have some minor dings and dents but these can be easily repaired by PDR. The vehicle may have had previous repair work done but the work performed was very high quality. The tires are nearly new. And so on.

 

What happens if the vehicle has minor damage?

Damage on, things missing from, an auctioned vehicle is highlighted in the vehicle report and condition report. We relay this information to you, in advance, so you know what you're getting, exactly.

Typically with major manufacturers, they authorize the auction house to affect repairs to the vehicles. The auction company has a professional body shop and will repair things like minor dents, paint chips, wet sanding, wheel rash, etc. The manufacturer may supply missing objects like manuals.

This will be exposed on condition reports of what is outstanding and what has been done already.

 

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Page last edited on November 24, 2011.