The ads are enticing, whether you spot them in local newspapers, view them in an infomercial or come across them on the Internet. And, for many people who are looking to purchase a car, advertised auctions appeal to their desire to avoid price negotiations or comparison shopping among dealerships.
Before even setting foot at the auction, some consumers fall victim to fraudulent marketing of auto auction guides. They are led to believe that, for a $50 or $100 fee, they will receive a priceless guide listing hundreds of auctions and the secret key to saving thousands of dollars. If they do in fact receive the promised guide, it is typically filled with only general information about auto auctions and their addresses and phone numbers. This information is available free or at low cost from the federal government!
Before responding to an ad promising the inside scoop to government auctions for automobiles or any other property, the Better Business Bureau advises consumers to:
If you do decide to purchase your next vehicle at a government auction, the BBB advises the following:
Become familiar with the common types of auction sales (sealed bid, auction, spot bid and fixed-price sales) and know which method will be used by the government agency that is auctioning the vehicles you are interested in.