Who'll auction off my old beater for me?
April 22, 2011 2:28 PM   Subscribe

On the heels of this recent question, I'm wondering -- can I have my old car sold in a [non-eBay] auction?

The stock answer for getting rid of old wheels has become, donate it. Maybe you'll get a tax write-off. My understanding is, whatever charity you donate to has your car sold at auction, and the winning bid is then the amount of your donation.

So how can I omit that non-profit middle-man and get my car into one of these auctions directly? I live near a place that has a vehicle auction every month. I asked them and they said, "We only auction our cars. You should try eBay or Craigslist." Hassle! Do any auction places exist where outsiders can submit their old vehicles?

Of course I'm assuming some commission/percentage would be deducted for providing this service (and I'm in NorCal, if you know a specific place).
posted by Rash to Shopping (4 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Copart Direct runs a service like this, and they have several locations in NorCal. I have no direct experience with selling a car with them, though I've owned salvage title cars that came through their auctions.
posted by zombiedance at 3:15 PM on April 22, 2011

Response by poster: Not much I can discover about Copart and this Yelp review isn't all that promising. Still, I'll be giving 'em a call, and will report back here with my findings.
posted by Rash at 4:52 PM on April 22, 2011

It depends on your area -- I sold a car in a local car-auction. The ones like you called generally sell impounds and reposessions and such, so their business model isn't to fit you in. The guy I used advertises a public car auction, under usual auction terms, every couple months and more frequently in the summer. I went to watch the auction (took my daughter, she was interested in seeing it sold, plus it let me tell the auctioneer to drop my reserve), and based on the people I knew the customers were small car dealers, mechanics looking for something to fix and flip, and people looking for cheap cars. The auctioneer wasn't specifically an auto auctioneer, he mostly did estates, but he did the car one every couple months.

So, my story aside, I'd say you should call around to your non-auto-focused auctioneers, and the term you're looking for is a vehicle consignment auction. Don't let them fit it in to a non-vehicle auction, IMHO the car people don't show up for one car and two hours of carnival glass. Vehicle consignment auctions like the one I did might have non-cars, too: farm tractors, snowmobiles, boats, etc., but they're still likely to get the right bidders.
posted by AzraelBrown at 6:28 AM on April 23, 2011

Response by poster: Copart offered me only $150, although Blue Book value can be four - six times that. I may still donate the thing, or contribute it to burners for a Black Rock City conversion.
posted by Rash at 8:16 AM on April 28, 2011

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