There’s no doubt that the starting price of a car auction listing draws in the crowds – everyone likes to feel they can get an amazing deal and that they’ll be driving away in a car that only cost a few pounds.
Price is far from the only factor which pulls attention, however, and making sure you prepare the car for a solid presentation can help raise interest levels and achieve the full financial potential when the hammer falls.
You can add hundreds of pounds to the value of your vehicle in auction just by taking some time beforehand to make sure it is top shape.
It is essential to stand out from the crowd in this busy marketplace, otherwise you might end up getting far lower than you expect to receive for your car and suffer loses and disappointment. It’s essential to take steps to prepare to get the best possible price.
Most sellers will bother to clean their car thoroughly before taking it to auction (though not all do!). If you want to find a buyer, however, it’s as important that your car looks good and is healthy under the bonnet.
Make sure you perform all the basic maintenance and fluid checks before putting it up for sale, and check that any persistent issues that you may have just become used to are fixed before inviting inspection.
The interior of your car needs to shine, and is so often one of the points which are neglected by those at auction.
If you have smoked in the car, be sure to invest in an air freshener to dispel the scent – the smell of stale smoke in a car can lower its value by as much as 50%! Every vehicle should be vacuum cleaned and have all stains and marks wiped away if possible before anyone views it.
If you are selling online rather than in person, the challenges are a little different. Make sure you write an outstanding description for your car, and take photos that are enticing. The impact of a good photo cannot be underestimated and may as much as double the effectiveness of your auction listing.
The photos should give the buyer the feel of inspecting the vehicle themselves. The more high-quality, detailed photos you take, the more they trust the car and you as a seller and the more likely they are to bid and bid high.
Buyer confidence is important, and this is gained by providing as much information as possible, both visually and in documents. Ultimately, strong images will lead to better results and fairer prices for sellers across the market.
Whether or not your auction is online or in the flesh, you must make sure that all associated paperwork is prepared and ready to be provided to the winning bidder.
Don’t assume you can find the logbook in the cupboard when the auction is over – have it out and ready before you begin.
You will need the logbook and full service history if possible. Make sure the documentation is up to date to the end of your ownership.
Make all of these documents available as part of the auction to help convert a brief glance of attention into a concrete offer.
Determining the start and reservice price for your vehicle in auction can be difficult, but if you are well prepared, you can pick more realistic pricing and still compete well in the marketplace.
People will be drawn to your vehicle and have confidence in its reliability. Decide whether you want a quick sale, or the best sale and judge your price accordingly. If you do want to target a higher price bracket, then go the extra mile and get repairs and a service done to make your car stand out – and don’t forget the MOT.
These little incentives will help convince a buyer to make an offer where they would normally pass you by.
Auctions are a competitive environment and there may be hundreds of cars competing for a small audience of potential buyers at one auction.
By having a solid grounding in some of these basic sales techniques and displaying an outward show of professionalism, any car can be polished up to perform at its very best for auction.