Private Auction Buyers - Vin {P}
Just read HJs comments on yesterday's auction at Blackbushe, and they rang utterly true.

I was up there on Friday, buying a car for my father in law (99T Mazda626 for £2600) and in the interminable wait for the provisional bid to be sorted out - two and a half hours, for God's sake - I watched the action.

Why don't private buyers keep an eye on who they are bidding against? I watched a couple of blokes drive a Focus up by nearly £2000 after the point where the traders had stopped. The Interleasing rep who was down at the front was shaking his head in bemusement by the end of it; they ended up paying around forecourt price.

Also, why won't they buy a car with any kind of damage whatsoever? Have a ten minute look at, say, all the Vectras that are going through. You can tell that the best looking one will sell for a fortune more than others that have utterly cosmetic £50 fixable damage, because the better looking one will draw all the private buyers into a bidding war.

I don't claim to be the world's best auction buyer, but it's not too hard to keep an eye on the price you're prepared to bid and who you're bidding against, surely?

Private Auction Buyers - John S

Last auction I went to (Westbury) it was virtually impossible to spot the buyers! The other worrying thing was he seemed to be taking bids off us at one point; we were not bidding, and no-one near us was moving. Was it a case of the auctioner taking bids off the wall as HJ has suggested can happen? If so it was for a very large proportion of the cars.

In the end my pal and I moved round so we got ourselves facing out in the same direction as the auctioneer, and still could spot few buyers. Maybe I need more practice, or is there a knack to this?


John S
Private Auction Buyers - Steve G
I'm sure some leasing companies see Blackbushe as their own retail outlet.The high prices achieved one week will be reflected in the reserves set the following week.Hence two and half hour wait for a provisional bid to be sorted out.
The number of times i've seen traders walking out of the halls cursing the ridiculous retail prices paid by private punters.
You are spot on Vin its the clean cars which everyone bids for pushing the price to retail. Go for the slight cosmetic damaged car and you might still get a bargain.

Private Auction Buyers - Steve G
Every auctioneer takes bids off the walls.
The only way to protect yourself is know your price and stick to it.

Private Auction Buyers - PB
I bought a car on Monday at Blackbushe, no trade was in the bidding (no docs on a 3 yr old Merc), just one private couple & me. The first bid definitely came off the wall, and as I went out of sight once I confirmed the other bidder, I figured the auctioneer could have had me bidding against myself. So I slowed it down once we were getting towards the reserve and got it provisionally below my price limit which suits me.
I watched a fair amount of the top car sale - so many private bidders there paying top whack. The reserves are high too, often surprised to see a bid of top book price be declared provisional.
Private Auction Buyers - Thommo
Are there many cars in the top car sale without docs/warranted mileage? Might be just the thing for me.
Private Auction Buyers - PB
>>Are there many cars in the top car sale without docs/warranted mileage? <<

The problem is you don't know there are no docs until the auctioneer tells you, though if the catalogue shown unwarranted mileage you know it might have no docs. A look at the service indicator (if the car has one) tells you that it has almost certainly been serviced... it's then up to you to track down the dealer that serviced it and get them to stamp up a book for you. That and waiting for the V5 is too much time and trouble for a trader.
Private Auction Buyers - Vin {P}
When I think back, I didn't really have a firm price in mind when I bought the Mazda - I sometimes feel that you can tell if the price is right by the speed with which the bidding slows down.

I think there were only about six or eight bids in total; my belief is that that sort of sale is likely to get you a reasonably fair price. It's the ones that drag on for a couple of minutes that bemuse me.

I also think it's a help that I've generally bought less mainstream cars: Mazdas, very high mileage fleet and a big-engined Omega (though that was through an auction buyer) which probably also cuts out private bidders.

I must also add that I go rarely enough that I still find auctions incredibly interesting places. I have popped in once or twice when passing just for the ambience. I'd recommend them to anyone, even if not buying.
Private Auction Buyers - Robin
I also find car auctions fascinating. Only ever bought one car there and it was a real bargain. What amazes me most though is the speed at which the cars go. At the time I bought my auction car I also used to go to a general auction house that had plant (the flowering type) sales. In the time they would sell a begonia for a fiver the car auctioneer would do 2 or 3 cars for thousands.

Value my car