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What to Expect From an Auto Auction

Check out our auctions and car donation program

An auto auction is an entertaining and even exhilarating experience in which everyday people have the chance to buy vehicles for amazingly low prices. However, it’s not always as simple as showing up, bidding on the car you want, and driving away happy. The auction environment takes a little getting used to, and there are some tricks that the pros use that aren’t always obvious.

So what should you expect?

1. Most vehicles will probably need some work

Rarely will you find a car or truck in pristine condition. Most of them will need some repairs. However, that doesn’t mean you won’t find good value at an auction. Quite the contrary, auctions can provide attendees with some amazing deals. Just be aware that you may have some kinks to work out before your new vehicle is ready for long-term use.

2. Kelley Blue Book prices are rough estimates

While Kelley Blue Book is the tried and true standard for researching the value of a vehicle, know that the numbers are just estimates, and might not account for things like zip code, damage and vehicle history. It’s best to also consider price estimators like DriverSide, Edmunds, and Nadaguides so you can see if there are any big discrepancies.

3. There’s going to be a lot of competition

Some auction attendees do it for a living, and know how to nab the best bargains. Veteran auction-goers are going to be johnny-on-the-spot when it comes to vehicles they’re really excited about, so be prepared to put your pride aside if you get outbid, and gear up for your next shot.

4. The auctioneer might miss you

If there’s a big crowd or a popular vehicle, it might end up being a madhouse of people shouting and vying for attention. Even if you’re doing everything you can to get your bid in, it’s possible the auctioneer might not see or hear you. To prevent this, get as close as you can to the auctioneer or one of the bid catchers so you can attract the most attention to your bid.

5. You might need some practice

If you’ve never been to an auto auction before, you might want to feel it out before heading in with an intent to buy. They are fun, but they are also fast paced and can be a bit difficult to get the hang of at first. That’s why you should go once or twice just to observe and get a feel for how they work before jumping in and bidding.

Buy a vehicle from one of our auctions, or give to our car donation program

If you want to try your hand at your first auto auction, don’t miss the next Volunteers of America of Greater Ohio auction on October 25th at 10 a.m. at the Auto Donation and Auction Office 5640 West Broad Street.

Do you have an old or unused vehicle you want to get rid of in Ohio? We’ll take nearly anything with a motor, including cars, boats, ATVs, RVs, motorcycles, and tractors. Just fill out our online vehicle donation form or call (800) 225-0732. We offer free same-day towing, and you might even get more money for your automobile as a tax-deductible donation than you would selling it on your own.

And remember, when you donate your vehicle in Ohio, you’re helping us fund our social service programs, including sheltering the homeless, job training and veterans programs.