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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im going to be going to the manheim dealer auction in about a month with a dealer. how do they work?
how much info do you know about the car beforehand? im assuming that you cant get it inspected and have to trust that its running well, but how do you know?

also, how much cheaper is it at these auctions? Im looking to get an 02 or 03 330i.

if anyone could help that would be great.
 

· The Original Dr. Phil
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Manheim is a huge auction site. I do not know the actual number of lines they run but there are several areas...i.e., reg sales, off lease, repo, etc Some of the cars you can do more inspection on while others will be as is and no opportunity to start them etc.

While auction pricing is lower, keep in mind that Manheim pricing will be a bit higher then other locations b/c of the volume of ppl bidding and the perceived higher quality of vehicles (this is my opinion). The higher pricing does help those who like to trade cars in b/c the real pricing at many dealers is driven by the Manheim price guides.

It will be an experience for you and you will see a TON of cars.
 

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I've gone to the Newburgh, NY Manheim auction twice and actually bought one car there - my 2001 Ford Explorer. I know they have auction houses all over.

It basically works like this.. ask the dealer you are going with for his information on what they are putting up for auction on the day you are going. You can either get a booklet at the auction house, or perferrably go online to look at what they are putting up. You need his log in info in order to look online on manheim's site (if he is set up to do that - not sure on that).

What I did was pick about 10 explorers to look at from the huge list of vehicles online, and printed out the info for each. Then, I paid for carfax and ran each through it and if anything came up on any of them, I crossed them off. Then, on the day of the auction, we got there early before the start of the auction and looked over each. Each car has a number, and you have to go out into the mammoth parking lot and find the car and look at it. The keys are in each car, and you can start it up, drive it around the parking lot if you really want (the attendants get pissed because you mess up their order) and look under the hood, etc. After the initial look through, I had narrowed it down to 4 cars from about 8.

Then, you look at where the car is in the order of cars to be auctioned, and find the lane where it will come through. Newburgh has like 10 or 12 lanes of cars running the whole time. Then when the car comes up, only the registered dealer (with a dealer sticker that he gets for the day) can bid on the car. So you have to be standing right next to him and paying REALLY close attention to the auctioneer. They talk really fast, and often you lose track of where the price is at, since its not like they put it up on a board or anything. You dont want to be bidding against 3 or more people for a car, because that will drive the price up.

Then, once you manage to buy a car, they DO have an inspection place onsite, and that costs $100. They go through the whole vehicle, and will report any problems that they find. That takes a while if you buy a car in the middle of the day, since many cars bought in the morning are getting inspected. Another thing is.. as far as payment, I believe that only the dealer can pay for the car, and as far as driving it home, it needs to have his dealer plate on the car.

Last thing is.. I dont know what kind of car you are intending to buy, but from my experience, EVERY car there has some kind of problems. It would not be there unless it did. My explorer had to have the window motor replaced, cd/radio fixed, and the tires needed replacing. I will say that it's a good place to save some money if you can deal with some problems. Be sure to inspect the car closely before you drive away in it. I think that anyone that is a registered dealer can sell a car there, so pay attention to who is actually selling the car you are interested in.

Good Luck if you go.. its an experience :)
 

· Premium Member
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I bought my car in their PA site. I guess that is where you are going. If you are looking for a 330i, than you can get it from the BMWFS line, or the private dealers line. About 60 lines in PA.

If you get a car from BMWFS and there is a mis-representation about the car, you have 6 months to return it. (!!). Unless it says "AS IS".

If the description says "unibody" stay away. The chassis is damaged.

Don't make eye contact with the auctioneer... Or you'll be buying the car you didn't bid upon... It happened to me and he got pissed off... :rofl:

Pay close attention to cars sold before your car, so you learn what is going on.

Bottom line - it's a zoo out there.

Make a desicion ahead of time how much you are willing to spend. You will have no time to think when the car you want is up.

And good luck! :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
thanks for the info. im getting the feeling that this isnt going to be like a christies auction. better get a big cup of coffee. :yikes: and ill remember those tips about test driving, and about eye contact. dont want to get smacked by a fast talking auctioneer.

i forgot to mention that the dealer who is taking me is asking for $500 cash for his "time". does this sound reasonable?

Because now, i have to figure that into the price of the car, and if i dont buy, then im out 500 bucks. Then, depending on how low the prices are, I figure i can only go back a couple more times before its not worth it. Its a risk im willing to take, at least the first time.
 

· Caveman
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One more thing you have to consider, the auction house will charge you a fee after you won the bid. The amount of this fee depends on the selling price of the car. If I am not mistake, it ranges from about $150-300, or even $400. I bought 2 of my Honda Accords from them in the past and each time I ended up paying $500-600 on top of the bid price of the car for all kind of fees. This also includes $150 which I paid the dealer for bringing me there.

I do have access to their site (friend's friend). Let me know if you need any info on their site that requires a log-in.
 

· The King of Common Sense
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doctordl said:
Im going to be going to the manheim dealer auction in about a month with a dealer. how do they work?
how much info do you know about the car beforehand? im assuming that you cant get it inspected and have to trust that its running well, but how do you know?

also, how much cheaper is it at these auctions? Im looking to get an 02 or 03 330i.

if anyone could help that would be great.
I've been to serveral large auto auctions in LA. Most of the cars that make it to the auctions are rejects, left overs for the mama and papa dealers. You will not find a good BMW at these auctions. Those are taken up by the trade-in dealers and put up for sale on their lots. If there are BMWs, they will be over priced by bidders.
 

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doctordl said:
i forgot to mention that the dealer who is taking me is asking for $500 cash for his "time". does this sound reasonable?

Because now, i have to figure that into the price of the car, and if i dont buy, then im out 500 bucks. Then, depending on how low the prices are, I figure i can only go back a couple more times before its not worth it. Its a risk im willing to take, at least the first time.
Well, if you are able to look at what cars are available beforehand, and get a really good idea of what's for sale, what each is worth and whether or not you want to spend the time to bid on the cars, I guess the $500 is reasonable. The potential for him (since you need him to bid on and buy the car) is that he spends the entire day there with you ($500/8 hours = $62.50/hr). This is why it's important to have a game plan on what cars you really want to look at/inspect, and more importantly once you decide to bid, have a firm number on what you want to spend on each car.

I definitely would not go there if you only see 1 car that you would bid on. Which is why you want to look at stuff online first so that you are not wasting your time and his (even though you are paying). I had the luxury of having my bro-in-law as the dealer, so even though he grumbled about being there all day, I didnt have to pay for his time, except for dinner afterwards :)

Umm, and I will agree on what is said above.. I would not buy a BMW that I intended to keep for myself at the auction. The potential is far greater that a car bought there will have problems. The only reason I bought my explorer there is because it was coming off a lease, from Ford, and I knew that I would have to deal with some problems. Thankfully, the problems have been small up to this point.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thanks for all your help guys. this forum is really great.

it seems more and more that this doesnt sound like too good of an idea. It was actually confirmed yesterday, when I talked to another dealer who said he would take me for $200. That sounds much better.

Dave and TJS, I have a question for u guys or anyone else. Do you think its more risky to buy a bmw at one of these auctions or from a private dealer, in terms of things wrong with the car. I think u guys would say auction. I really want to avoid paying the extra ~1500 for CPO, and get one still under the man warranty.

sk330i, thanks for your offer. once i get closer, and I know which one im going to, ill drop you a pm.

and as for the 02 or 03 330i, are there any huge problems I should be on the lookout for. Ive read about varied problems with engine coils, windows, clutch...are there any others?
 

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doctordl said:
Do you think its more risky to buy a bmw at one of these auctions or from a private dealer, in terms of things wrong with the car. ?
Definitely a car bought from the auction is more risk. At least at a BMW or private dealer you have the opportunity for a more thorough test drive and inspection. And you are directly negotiating with the dealer selling the car, whereas at the auction you are bidding against other people for the same car (and the price only goes up, not usually down).

My advice is to purchase a car from a BMW dealer. They have many cars that are not CPO cars, but there again, the reason they are not CPO is because they do not meet the criteria, and require a closer look as to why. I have purchased a CPO car myself in the past, and with all the stories about how it's just another way for the dealer to screw you out of additional $, I have to say that I never had any problems with the car (2000 328). My mother owns the car atm, and except for a flat tire, has had no problems at all with it, she loves it.

Ideally, if I were going to buy a used car, I would probably look around and get one coming off of a lease that is probably CPO. The $1500 is really not all that much in the overall scheme of things - you were willing to shell out $500 to have someone take you to the auction where the potential for problems is much higher. Yes it's more money, but you are also buying peace of mind on a car that you are going to have for a while and enjoy.

My $0.02 anyway. Good Luck. :)
 

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it depends what kind of car you are buying...in terms of year and mileage...if its still under warranty then you shouldnt worry much...Also, it is important who the seller is. If you are buying a BMW that came off lease from BMW Financial, then it is the same cars that the dealers buy so there is the same risk as at the dealer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
thanks for all your help guys. you made some good points, stuff that I have to think about. i still havent really decided if im going to go to the auction. if i do go, ill write up a little review for everyone.

thanks again
 
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