A Manheim Auto Auction is an auction of cars in bulk where the bidders are car dealers only and not members of the general public. In contradiction to a public auction, this is a closed bidding process wherein the eligibility of bidders is determined by being an authorized automobile dealer and be registered as a dealer with Manheim Auto Auctions. Even people selling cars out of their homes cannot enter a Manheim Auto Auction unless they are licensed auto dealers. It’s tough to get registration as car dealer because apart from a comprehensive car dealer test, one has to submit requisite bond, have a tax ID, ample insurance, in many cases get approval from city council, obtain an occupation license, and have warehousing space.
Previously, car dealers used to give secret underground entry into Manheim Auto Auctions to their premium clients, but now that’s not possible because these auctions have taken enhanced security measures to prevent this. Basically, unless you are a licensed, insured and bonded automotive dealer it is impossible to physically enter. The only other hope for such a purchaser without these credentials would be to befriend a car dealer and obtain advance list of all cars included in the auction, specify the car model one has an interest in, and work out the manner of payment to him. Manheim Auto Auctions require full payment of auctioned vehicles on the spot. Moreover, such dealers would also expect to be paid over and above for the trouble of procuring a car from the much sought after Manheim Auto Auction.
This craze for Manheim Auction cars is triggered by the following facts:
- These are very top end and high class auctions in which only cars in tip top shape are allowed to participate. This is not to say that cars which are rebuilt to pass off as original do not pass through these auctions, but with participants being car dealers, these frauds routinely get caught.
- Secondly, the popularity of the Manheim auction is because the rates there are wholesale and much lower than the fair market value that is obtained for individual’s cars at other auctions.
- The third reason for purchase of cars from a Manheim auction is that the auction vehicles have great value for the money, because mostly they are: leased cars returned after expiry of the lease, cars from car rental agencies, antique cars being sold by collector dealers, cars over 4 year old but in extremely good condition.
The high value for money that these cars can command is basically the reason for the huge public intrigue in Manheim Auto Auction vehicles.
The term auto auction generates huge excitement amongst car lovers, as it raises the perception of getting the best car models at the cheapest prices. In auto auctions, the cars are sold to the highest bidders during a public auction amongst the bidders at the best revealed prices, thereby protecting the consumers from getting cheated. Although to participate in the bidding, sometimes one has to pay a fee, yet in some auctions, this fee payment ensures that the car comes with a 30 day guarantee of the body and engine. In such auctions, one should never blindly rely upon the oral assurances of the seller because it could later prove to be unsubstantiated by facts, resulting in a possible financial loss for the purchaser. Caveat emptor or buyer beware is the guiding principles to be kept in mind by the purchasers who have nothing more to rely upon except their gut instincts and keen eyesight while appraising a car while bidding at an auto auction.
However in an auto auction one should not throw caution to the winds but be very careful while choosing the car model on which to bid for because in such auctions the basis of the bidding is ‘as is on the spot’. And in case the car brings with it unpleasant surprises in the future such as engine defects or frame/body damages, then the bidder cannot turn around claiming fraud and seek return of the car. This is a fail safe because in auto auctions the bidders do not have the option to taking the car to a mechanics garage and get it checked for any existing mechanical problems or other defects.
The auto auction does guarantee against defects in title of the car which is not present in case of private sale and purchase of cars in which the purchaser has no protection both under criminal or civil laws, such as if a stolen vehicle is palmed off by unscrupulous criminals posing as genuine sellers. Thus checking of the vehicle history report assumes vital importance in the sale and purchase of cars. Before participating in an auto auction for first time, it is very important to check the license credentials of the auctioneer to ensure that the bidders are not subjected to fraud. Though the object of auto auctions is to enable the purchaser to get the best car models at the cheapest price, but many times, if the buyer is too trustful, then racketeers masquerading as auctioneers do take the bidders for a ride by dumping rotten cars which are not even worth the sale price paid for them.