Is it safe to buy a used truck online?

Lifestyle | 12 Mar |

There are several online auctions for land, homes, equipment, collectables, art, and commercial property.  Many items come from foreclosures, family farms that cannot weather the current climate and political storms, seized cars, decommissioned police cars, and estates.  There are two things that buyers and sellers need to keep in mind.  One is that there are no laws dictating sellers to disclose any flaws, outstanding recalls, or damages about any item that goes to auction.  Buyers are always getting items “as-is” with no guarantees about the condition of items on which they bid. 

Risks

While most reputable companies that conduct auctions online provide excellent and accurate descriptions of any and all items, that may not be the case with every auction website presented.  Land, home, and commercial property are often bid upon by experienced investors.  They have relationships with brokers and auction houses that build trust and allow each party to work with the other.  Many car and truck auctions are only open to dealerships that also have experience and relationships with top auction houses.

Individuals

For individuals and independent business owners the risks around on-line truck auctions, and those for other vehicles such as cars and equipment, there are some things they can do to make online auction buying safe.   This is helpful since auctions are quick, cost-effective, and typically have a wide selection of vehicles.  Auctions usually have a live component and an online one.  People who are close to the auction location can register in-person, view vehicles before the auction begins, and ask questions. 

Those bidding online are provided with a complete description of the vehicles, pictures, an opening bid, and the amount of time allowed for bidding.  This can be in real time or over a few days leading up to the auction date.  Registering online is required to bid.  Removal of items is the responsibility of the buyer and a time frame is noted by the auction company.  Experienced companies will have representatives that will follow up with buyers to answer questions and explain how the paperwork and title get transferred. 

Preparing for an Online Auction

It is wise to find a live auction and go to it just to get familiarized with the process.  If you know nothing about trucks, bring a friend with you who does know about trucks to point out what to look for and what questions to ask.  Research any trucks or cars that are of interest before the auction.  Most descriptions provide the vehicle identification number (VIN) which is easy to google.  It is also recommended by U.S.News to search out the cleanest cars and trucks. 

Finding a Classic

In addition to getting a car or truck for much less money than via a dealership or private seller, it is possible to find a classic truck in the mix.  On the website, The Drive, a guide for buyers seeking classic trucks offers suggestions of which ones currently fit that description.  The first piece of information presented is that classic trucks offer a fraction of the profitability associated with classic cars.  Trucks can be restored and sold or put up for auction, just do not expect to retire on the return on the investment.   

Light-duty pickup trucks built after World War II are trucks currently considered classics.  Examples include 1973-1987 General Motors trucks, 1993-1995 Ford F-150 SVT Lightning trucks, and 1963-1988 Jeep Gladiators.  These should not be excessively expensive.  The author indicates that in 2015 three similar 1970 C 10s were sold on the same day for $44,000, $51,000, and $8,000.  Have fun, bid on trucks that appeal to you, and do not break the bank over the pricing.

Bidding online for trucks, cars, and equipment is safe if the bidder takes the time to do some research on vehicles of interest.  These vehicles are sold “as-is”, so be diligent regarding the actual condition of the vehicles.  A bit of time will save buyers money, disappointment, and hassle.  Enjoy the purchase instead of regretting it.

Comments
Show Buttons
Hide Buttons