Trade Me car auction tips

If you are buying cars using Trade Me auctions, here are a few tips.

Get Prepared
Do all your homework before the auction closes. You can get AA car checks done almost anywhere and they can email you the results. Sellers are normally only too happy to take the car in if there isn't a mobile inspection unit available. If you need finance, get a pre-approved loan before you bid. Find out what it will cost to insure the car before you bid. If you have any questions, ask them well before the auction closes. And if you're serious get a VIR and a Red Book valuation certificate.

Your top price
Decide your top price in advance after reviewing similar cars on Trade Me and allowing for any work the AA report identified. Don't go beyond your top price. Reading the signs
Watch the visit counter on the auction as it approaches its closing time to get an idea how many people are interested in the auction. Check out the question and answer facility, does it look like there's a good amount of interest?

Bidding
Experienced bidders start bidding in the last five minutes of an auction and then bid solidly up to their top price. Hit the 'refresh' button on your browser regularly to keep up to speed with bidding. Remember that auctions may extend if bids are placed in the last two minutes. Consider using auto-bid if you don't want the pressure of last minute bidding. If the car fails to sell via auction you can ask them to relist or make a fixed price offer.