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Purchasing a collector car at an auction is becoming more and more popular every year, and, although we’re frequently seeing tasty models going for astronomical prices, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you can’t snatch up a real bargain – if you’re savvy enough. There are some major differences between actual on-site auctions and online car auctions, however, including the requirements for bidding on each. And, since your recourse if something goes bad on these trans- actions differs as well, it's best to arm yourself with knowledge.  “Going once, going twice, gone!” These are the words you hear just as the gavel drops, fol- lowed by "Sold to bidder number (whatever your number is) for the high bid of (whatever the final amount is)." If you’re the high bidder, you get a huge adrenaline rush as the realization that you just won the auction sinks in. You are now the proud owner of the car that was your car the minute you laid eyes upon it. But you didn't just show up with a pocket full of money and join the bidding; there were several things that led up to this happy ending. As I noted earlier, there are on-site auctions and then there are online auctions; both are sub- stantially different from each other, so let’s take a good look at each. ON-SITE AUCTIONS On-site auctions are held by such companies as Kruse International, Barrett- Jackson, Mecum High Performance Auctions, Silver Collector Car Auctions, and Carlisle
Auctions at the various events held at Carlisle, PA, among others. These are well-known and well-respected auction companies with excellent track records and reputations. The advantages of purchasing your collector car at an on-site auction are that you'll have a good opportunity to inspect the vehicle in person before it comes on the block, there will be a lengthy description of the vehicle and its features and options, and the auction company will have done some due diligence to make sure that the cars credentials (VIN number matches title, etc.) are in order. In the event of some misrepresen- tation, the auction company may also intervene and solve such problems if they are reported by the buyer within twenty-four hours of the sale. Other advantages of on-site auctions are that they may (but not always) have services available that could be useful to buyers including financing, insurance and vehicle transport services. And, if you’re the buyer, another advantage is that the expenses of the sale, including the commission the auction company gets, are usually paid by the seller, which is good news for you. Be aware, however, that some auctions do charge a "buyer's premium," which means that you'll have to pay a percentage of the final bid price to the auction company (this is in addition to the actual final bid price). Since these companies also charge a "seller's premium," they collect on both sides of the sale, and this is known as "double-ending." The downsides of on-site auctions are that
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