Auctioncarbuyer - MichaelR
Hi all,

Anyone used Joe Dowds services recently? Do you know if he's still offering his services to private customers? I filled out his contact form a couple of days ago but have not heard anything and was wondering if maybe he doesn't do private punters now?

Any experiences?

Cheers guys.
Auctioncarbuyer - PW
Yes he does- I used him in May, but is normally a very busy chap- so might just be in process of getting back to you. He has been dealing with friends of friends very recently too.

Might be better to call if you are ready for him to start bidding for you.

Hope this helps.
Auctioncarbuyer - MichaelR
I'd call but it specifically states he requires contact via email first. He's obviously a very busy man and doesn't want private punters calling him when he's in the middle of something so I'm quite happy to respect that :)

Now I know he's still about, I think I'll attempt to change the direction of the thread a tad..

Any testimonials from satisifed customers? How did the process work - if he finds a suitable car does he call on the morning of the auction?
Auctioncarbuyer - PW
Process worked very well. Main thing to bear in mind he is an auction buyer- not a car sourcer. You will need to have access to the BCA website, and search for the cars you want Joe to bid on. Preferrably get the account with prices so you can judge how much it's going to cost, then send Joe a list of cars day/ night before for him to check out/ bid on.

My own personal method (given to me by a friend who uses Joe a lot) is to look mainly at Blackbushe as Joe will be there personally to check the cars out, and out of respect for the time he has available to go for 2-3 cars a day maximum.

The day before I would draw up a shortlist of 10-15 cars during my lunch break, then whittle this down to 2-3 in the evening, and mail it to Joe. We'd normally talk int the morning about the cars, then he would check them out, and he would call back mid morning with info about the car. You'll get comments on the car, and you decide if you want to bid and how much. And is best to look for a type of car, not one in particular as you may well have to adapt what you're going for,

Expect not to find a car on day 1, to spend a lot of time researching and you'll be fine. I think it took 2-3 weeks to find the Picasso, but am totally delighted with it, as I was with the Mondeo he bought for me. Yes you will need to do a fair bit of work yourself, but I really enjoyed that, and my colleagues used to come and look at BCA with me at lunch time.

Good luck.
Auctioncarbuyer - Gromit {P}
Have you spotted Vin's thread about his new S-type bought by Joe?
Auctioncarbuyer - MichaelR
Sounds excellent. I already have an account at BCA so thats no trouble - infact, that was how I was hoping it would work. I'd identify cars I wanted through Auctionview.

Even though they seem rather rare.

Gromit - no, thanks, will check that thread out now.

I note he also does Manheim auction - how do I go about getting listings from them? I am after a very specifiec model - BMW 530i Sport or 528i Sport - so may well need to be doing daly searches for a month or two. BCA's system suits this perfectly.
Auctioncarbuyer - MichaelR
Oh for an edit button - what embarrasingly awful spelling.
Auctioncarbuyer - Dipstick
Just to put my two penn'orth in - I used Joe recently, and I didn't do any checking of lists etc.

I just said what I wanted and every so often he rang me up and said there was one today, described it, or sent me some info via email and I told him whether to bid or not.

Painless and easy.
Auctioncarbuyer - Vin {P}
I've used Joe three times now. I've always looked out for cars then given him the details, but a friend I recommended on to Joe just asked for a Diesel Audi Estate of a certain age, then forgot about it till Joe called him with one coming up. Either way seems to work fine.

Two of mine (and the one for my mate) were bought away from Blackbushe. All were fine; Joe has contacts at all the sites and I guess they rely on quality of service for Joe's customers to keep the work.

Joe calls before th sale and lets you know what the condition of the car is. He steered me away from three S-types before settling on this one. One was rejected because the airbag light was on when it was driven into the hall, one because it had been repainted on one side (apparently in a sandstorm) and one because it had dents in the roof, which Joe told me are tough to fix. I might well have ended up buying any of these. Either that, or I'd have travelled to three sales and come home empty handed.

I will stress that I simply don't know what would happen if he bought a real lemon. However, he's been buying cars for 37 years, so might be better than me at spotting them. I suspect he's find a way to sort things out - he relies almost totally on reputation.

All my opinions, but I will unequivocally state that as long as he's buying cars, I'll be using him.

Auctioncarbuyer - MichaelR
I will stress that I simply don't know what would happen
if he bought a real lemon. However, he's been buying
cars for 37 years, so might be better than me at
spotting them. I suspect he's find a way to sort
things out - he relies almost totally on reputation.

My opinion on him buying a Lemon is that, well, thats life. Auction prices are cheaper for a reason - there is risk involved. No risk, no reward. It's hardly his fault if he selects a car which, to the best of his knowledge is sound only to find it has a hidden fault. If he doesnt spot a fault on a car, there is NIL chance I myself would have spotted it so I wouldnt be any worse off. Unless a car has something which reasonably he should have been able to spot, I think its unfair to blame him.

Looking forward to getting things in motion now - so awaiting his reply to my contact form!

Is it mainly the Southern auctions he does? I note a 2000X 528i Sport with 50k on the clock going through at Brighouse next week...

You say Blackbushe is the one he personally visits - what if you spot a car at, say, Bridgwater or Bell Vue?
Auctioncarbuyer - Vin {P}
"what if you spot a car at, say, Bridgwater or Bell Vue?"

Well, my S-Type came from Bridgwater, so I can tell you. He has contacts at every auction, so you just get the same service. They give you a condition report (via Joe) and you agree a price to bid. Up to now, I think every one has come in below my top bid.

If you get it, he'll arrange delivery. Manchester to Twickenham was £200 for my friend, iirc (I think it arrived about three or four days after the auction). Alternatively, you can do what I've done each time, namely pop on a train and pick it up - £21 to Bridgwater yesterday and a nice drive back. You pay off Joe's account using your switch card (you MUST have the PIN) and drive away - typically about ten minutes.


PS. You may get minor defects like my cracked door mirror glass. That's been the most expensive overlooked item to date. From your comment above, you have the healthy attitude required, namely that you're getting a bargain price, so fixing the occasional fault is up to you.
Auctioncarbuyer - MichaelR
I've been doing my homework for quite some time so I'm prepared for the pitfalls and really looking forward to getting going. Cracked glass, not a problem.

Is there a surcharge if I paid the account off using a credit card?
Auctioncarbuyer - Vin {P}
Ref Credit card - they won't let you pay with one. Must be a debit card (or cash). Possibly bankers draft, but you'll need to check that one first.

Auctioncarbuyer - Ian D
I recommended to a friend Joe's services based on what I had read on this site, he emailed Joe with his requirements, got a call a few days later then got the car a few weeks after that, a nice 3 yr old Galaxy TDi 115, my friend did no legwork himself just waited for the call from Joe, so as has been said above you don't have to do much yourself. He is very pleased with the car.

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