The art of buying cars from auctions
The art of buying cars from auctions

The art of buying cars from auctions

What’s the trick to buying cars at a good price?

Everyone wants to do this right? learn the art of buying cars from auctions. As an auction buyer, I also wonder sometimes if there is a trick or some magic to buying super cheap cars from Japan and distributing them to my customers.

I have been doing this for a very long time and it’s only getting harder to find that super cheap car, although I did buy an Aston Martin today for a bargain price and this car is a great one to start on so let’s go. Let’s explore the art of buying cars from auctions

As a car buyer in Japan acting on behalf of a client, our goal (well mine actually) is to buy any car at the best possible price within my client’s budget and hopefully for less than their max. I get paid either way so buying it for less is best for them and they have money to buy another car in the future hopefully.

I actually bought another Aston Martin on Thursday at USS Tokyo once again. So cool and sound great.

Some buyers say to us. How much do I have to pay to own this car? and this is where the problem starts. Our job as a buyer is to obtain the highest possible budget from you our client. Then it’s our job to try and buy the vehicle for your budget or less. 

We will always tell you the max price you should pay and you will say that it’s too much. Happens every time. Cars are worth X in one country and xx in other. In reality, the cost of a rare or classic car in Japan is irrelevant if the final price does not work for you once the car has landed on your sunny shores. The best course of action is to work out what the vehicle’s sale price is valued at in your specific country then deduct all importing costs that a relevant and the final price will be your actual auction budget price.

Remember that just because you give us a max budget you won’t have to use all of this most of the time.

The other solution is much easier and applies to popular mass-produced cars. Ask your auction agent to send you previous sales histories ( we can look back 12 weeks ) of the make and model plus auction grade and you will easily find your average price. Note: if you bid at the bottom end of this average your agent will get annoyed and dump you as it may take a very long time. Go for the higher value and hope it sells under the hammer for less.

Finally. If there is that very special rare car that you are after we must watch the auction closely. This is the job of your agent. If your agent is good they can easily tell if the car is being bid upon by real buyers or if it’s the computer auction pushing up the price. If it’s the car’s first real auction the seller may put a really high reserve price hoping to catch a large fish (You)

The art of buying cars from auctions

If the auction agent knows that it’s the computer rolling up the price they should stop bidding at a certain safe place and let the auction pass in. This tells you the seller’s hopeful price and also tells the seller the highest bid price. If you are lucky the car will come back to auction the following week with a far smarter reserve price and you may get the vehicle at the right price.

Example. Delta. We bid to 100k max even though we had a budget of 150K. We stopped at 100k as it was only us and the computer. The car kept going all the way up to 190K and did not sell. We waited for it to come back the following week and bought it for 98K. If I didn’t do this I would have told the seller we had 150K for the car.

Train your agent, seller, and yourself.


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12 weeks is that all?


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