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What are Online Car Auctions?

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  • Written By: S. Gonzales
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Images By: Deusexlupus, Monkey Business, Car Leasing Made Simple
  • Last Modified Date: 29 November 2016
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Online car auctions are the digital answer to the traditional live car auction. Consumers who opt to try their hands at online car auctions may enjoy some benefits that would be absent from live car auctions. For example, online car auctions make comparisons between vehicles as easy as the click of a button. Auction pressure is also reduced as bidders have the luxury of bidding from the comfort of their own homes.

Online car auctions can simplify the used auto auction process in a number of different ways. Instead of walking through an auction show and inspecting cars in the traditional fashion, consumers who choose to participate in online car auctions can save time by simply filling out electronic forms to find their dream car. A consumer can input the details of his desired car, including make, model, year, color and starting price and lists with relevant results may populate instantly.

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In addition, vehicle information is easily attainable when working from a computer. Any reputable online car auction will offer detailed information about a car, including its Vehicle Identification Number (VIN). With a VIN in hand, potential buyers of a car can then investigate the car's history by running a title search and checking its records. Many websites offer services that help consumers find a car's history and, since records can be kept digitally, the information can be provided instantly. Consumers can view information about previous owners, accidents, repairs and other pertinent details.

Those interested in using an online auction service to purchase a car should exercise caution and take extra measures to protect his investment. Conducting a title search is an important part of any live or online car auction, but online consumers should gather as much information as possible about a vehicle since they do not have the benefit of inspecting the car in person. Similarly, consumers should take advantage of escrow services wherein payment for a won auction is not dispatched until the buyer receives the car and approves of its condition. Potential buyers should be aware that having a third party, like a professional mechanic, inspect a vehicle before it is purchased is a common practice.

An additional benefit is that many websites that host online car auctions do so at no cost to the consumer. If websites choose to charge or tax members, it is usually the member selling the car. Should a buyer choose to purchase a vehicle though an online auction, he may save more money than he would have, had he participated the car in a live auction.

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