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  • Are Online Car Auctions Actually Safe? - 7 Car Auction Myths

Are Online Car Auctions Actually Safe? - 7 Car Auction Myths

Online car auctions are still veiled by some common misconceptions. Let's bust some myths together and learn how auctions can help you build the stock of your dreams!

Online car auctions have become increasingly popular in recent years, but there are still some common myths and misconceptions surrounding them. Are they a legit way to buy a car? Is buying cars online even safe? What kind of cars appear in these auctions? These are all the questions our sales team at eCarsTrade answers on the daily.

Online car auctions of European vehicles are at the very heart of what we do, so we’re happy to shed some light on how it all works and give them the credit they deserve!

Auctions are an excellent way for car traders and other automotive professionals to source high-quality vehicles at prices you propose yourself. And yes, you can also find a great deal on a fixer-upper in the damaged section and sell it for a higher profit with some basic DIY damage repair skills. 

In this article, we want to dispel some common misconceptions about car auctions and show you how they can be a safe and reliable way of sourcing cars for your car business.

Whether you’re in the business of selling, renting, or fixing vehicles, online auctions offer something for everyone! Read on to learn more about the benefits of online car auctions and how they can help you find exactly what you’re looking for.

Let’s get into it!

MYTH #1: Buying cars online is not safe.

FACT: Lots of people will, at some point, have a negative experience with buying something online. We’re very well aware of that, and that’s why we try our best to give our clients the best possible customer journey from the moment they register on our site to the moment they pick up their car. 

All our cars come from trusted leasing companies that accurately and extensively document the vehicles’ mileage, service history, and current condition. But don’t just take our word for it! When you register on our platform, you’ll be able to see the exact sources of cars and research them yourself if you wish.

The photos and appraisal reports provide an accurate description of any damages and our customers with confidence in the state of the cars. We highly suggest you check all of the photos thoroughly and trust those auctions where you can see the detailed state of the car represented through a lot of photos. The more photos a car has, the better you know exactly what you’re bidding on.

Additionally, we’re proud of our customer support, who is always here to guide you and answer any questions you might have. So, yep, we’re pretty confident when we say that buying cars through eCarsTrade is safe! But don’t just take our word for it - check out our reviews on Google and Trustpilot and read what our customers think about working with us.

MYTH #2: All cars on online auctions are actually very damaged.

FACT: All vehicles on our auctions are end-of-term lease vehicles. What does that mean? When a leasing vehicle reaches the end of its fixed term, it’s re-sold through various channels (one of which is auctions). That means these vehicles were once company cars or other rentals, often with low mileage and not many years of use

Keep in mind that any period of use inevitably results in some minor wear and tear on the car. Damages like scratches or dents are always mentioned in descriptions and documented in photos, and are a normal part of a car’s ‘life’. By fixing these small wear-and-tear damages, you’ll be able to increase your sales price, enjoy a higher profit margin and offer great cars to your own clients.

On the other hand, auctions allow you to also buy severely damaged cars if you’re in the business of repairing or selling car parts. These cars will be featured in the damaged cars category on our Auctions page!

MYTH #3: It’s very difficult to know how much to bid on a car.

FACT: If you've never participated in any auction, it might seem daunting at first. The images that immediately pop into mind are those high-stress auction houses where people shout numbers, and everything goes really fast. But that's fortunately different from how it works with online auctions. Here at eCarsTrade, we try our best to educate our clients on how to bid and increase their chances of winning.

To help you figure out how much to bid on a car, some auctions will suggest a minimum and/or estimated bid. Others will have an integrated bid suggestion tool. If you still need help determining how much to bid, you can always contact your account manager to help you! 

Bidding has a slight learning curve, but the rules are very simple! In Open auctions, you can see the current highest bid and place a higher bid for a chance to win. You'll need to follow the auction closely until it closes for the highest chance of outbidding other traders and winning. Don’t place your highest bid right away! Increase your bids by 100-200€ and see how the auction goes.

In Blind auctions, you can't see bids from other users like you can in Open auctions. You need to propose the price you're willing to pay for that vehicle right away and wait for the results of the auction. However, unlike Open auctions, in Blind auctions you can delete or change your offer as long as the auction is active.

MYTH #4: There are so many hidden fees involved in online car auctions.

FACT: While we can’t speak for our competitors, we at eCarsTrade are very transparent with any additional fees. Our commission includes an administrative fee and the cost of vehicle transportation to our facilities. The commission depends on your bid amount and the car's origin country. 

There are no hidden surprises here - the total price will be visible to you before you make an offer. For more information about the commission, check out our Costs page.


MYTH #5: Car auctions are not beginner-friendly.

FACT: Whether you’re a seasoned trader who participates in auctions all the time or you’re just buying your first car through online car auctions, we try to make the process as simple and smooth as possible.

Our account managers will guide you through the process of registering, and our site is made with user-friendliness in mind. Next to each auction, you will see how much time you have left, where the car comes from, and all other information you need to know before even making a bid.

Don’t know what to bid? No problem! As mentioned in the previous myth, our auctions are designed to make the bidding process easy and straightforward. You will either see a minimum or estimated bid or have access to an entire bid suggestion tool.

Online car auctions are a great way to fill your stock with high-quality vehicles for amazing prices, whether you’re a pro at this already or just starting out.

To make things even easier for you, our eCarsTrade account managers are always happy to have an onboarding call with you - to go through any questions or doubts you might have and see how the platform works in real time.

MYTH #6: Cars at auctions are very cheap.

FACT: While it's true that you can find fantastic deals at online car auctions, definitely don't expect ridiculously low prices. The cars offered at eCarsTrade auctions come from the biggest leasing companies, and as such, they're well-maintained high-quality vehicles. The prices will reflect that.

Keep in mind that leasing companies will decide on a target price before releasing the vehicle onto an auction. That means that even if you made the highest bid, the win is still not 100% guaranteed. If the leasing company doesn't reach the target price they have in mind, they still have the right to refuse the sale. A target price ensures the car sells for what it's worth and not lower than that. 


MYTH #7: Transporting cars won at auctions is very challenging.

FACT: Another myth we’re happy to bust! After you win a car at one of our auctions, we are responsible for getting that car for you and transporting it to our eCarsTrade premises in Belgium.

And even better - if you buy several cars from different leasing partners, you won’t have to go to a different location to pick your cars up. We pick them up for you and transport them to one singular location. All your cars will be in one place, under one transport order, and you’ll have your dedicated account manager to handle it all for you. Pretty great, right?

Once the car arrives at our parking, you’re free to pick it up with your chosen transportation mode. Most of our clients choose a truck to transport their vehicles from Belgium to their destination country. Our account managers are here to help with transport company recommendations. All you need to do is contact the company we recommend, and they’ll pick the car up for you.

Are online car auctions a good way to buy used cars?

Now that you know more about buying vehicles at online car auctions and eCarsTrade specifically, we hope we were able to bust some myths and clear some doubts!

Online auctions are still shrouded in mystery and some misconceptions. However, they’ve come a long way in recent years. As things get increasingly digital, we firmly believe online auctions will continue to grow in popularity.

By debunking the myths surrounding online car auctions and providing an in-depth explanation of the process, we hope to have given you a better understanding of how these auctions work and how you can benefit from them. We certainly see a bright future ahead for online auctions as they remain a reliable and efficient way to source high-quality vehicles for car traders. 

Remember to always do your research before participating in an auction so you can have a successful and profitable experience. And what a better place to start your bidding journey than eCarsTrade Auctions!

Happy bidding!