By: Gov Auctions | 22 December 2015

Buying From Pickup Truck Auctions - Tips and Tricks

Many people prefer pickup trucks for their solid body, firmness, and durability. They seem to be able to beat even the most difficult terrains, making them the perfect buddy in any adventure. They can be spacious enough with plenty of leg room and areas for storage. Moreover, depending on the load and weight, pickup trucks can be used to haul supplies or tow a trailer or a camper.

Pickup trucks, however, can be quite expensive. The 2016 Ford F-150, which is one of the best pickup trucks for 2016 according to Kelley Blue Book, has a retail price of around $26,000. If you’re looking something cheaper, you can join auctions.

In auctions, vehicles such as pickup trucks can be won with a discount of around 30% to 75%, depending on the pickup, among other things. This can be achieved because:

  • Vehicles are already used – Cars depreciate the moment they are driven, and they further lose their resale value when they’re used often or have experienced many accidents. In auctions, you’ll come across these cars that may still be in good condition.
  • Owners may be willing to depart from them quickly – Take banks, for example. Banks offer car loans to customers with the premise that if they default, they can seize the vehicle and sell the unit to recoup their revenue loss. Car selling, however, is not the main core business of banks, so if the asset is sitting idly in their facility for some time, they may be forced to offer it at a very low price.
  • There are potentially hundreds of cars up for bidding – An auction, especially a big and popular one, can have as many as 700 to more than a thousand cars that are available for bidding. This means bidders are spread throughout the lots. As fewer people bid on a particular vehicle, you now have the leverage when it comes to maximum bid price.

But how do you succeed in pickup truck auctions and get your money’s worth?

  1. Know the pickup truck you like. There’s no use in winning a pickup truck that won’t be useful to you later. You’re simply wasting money.
  2. Join the inspection. Because the vehicles are sold in an as-is basis, inspection is the most important part of any auction. Bring along a pickup truck inspection checklist with you, or tag along a professional mechanic. Check every nook and cranny, and test-drive the vehicle if it’s allowed. Ask questions to the mechanic or the auction staff anything about the vehicle.
  3. Use the VIN. The car’s VIN (vehicle identification number) can tell you so much about the vehicle, like where it’s been, previous owners, any major accidents, if it’s a lemon, or if it’s been stolen. You can also note if there are any physical changes done to the vehicle like a repaint.
  4. Compare prices. Now that you’ve inspected the vehicle, it’s time to know how much it’s worth in the market. You can use websites such as NADA or Kelley Blue Book as a guide. If the car has a couple of problems, then your maximum bid price should be around 30% to 50% lower than the vehicle’s market or trade-in value.
  5. Get information about the vehicle’s weight and load. This is because these two things can affect how the pickup truck is going to be classified, whether it’s a passenger or a commercial vehicle. Conditions can vary among states, so ask for more information from your DMV.