Buy a code reader at Harbor Freight for $60 and familiarize yourself with what the codes mean. Do a half way decent job of looking the cars over and don't buy anything unless you tested it first. As for what to buy I have no idea. I buy whatever I think I can make money on within my price point. I get to the auctions a couple hours before they start so I can take my time test driving and looking the cars over. I buy probably 5-6 cars most weeks and get 2-3 bad ones per year.
Knowing the best price point and value is one of the most important places to start. You can do your research ahead of time, but having accurate pricing and valuation info on each car while it's "quickly" going through the lane is extremely important. Check out the mobile valuation tools from BlackBookUSA.com. They can help in this area.
Patience is key. The other respondent is correct, do some homework by arriving early and walking the lot. Use the run lists to target certain vehicles. I might invest in a mobile product that captures market data scans VIN's and provides VHR reports. If you want to know what is selling you need to look at your market and sales history as well as days supply currently in your market. Over my years, long before there was data to help, you would buy the right car, right color,good mileage, and it would not sell because there were a lot of similar cars in my market. Knowing this info. or seeing it after you scan a VIN tells you to be aggressive or not when the car is on the block. Most all mobile technology today i supported on iPhones and Droids. Less choices on Blackberry platforms. Best of Luck,
Stu Zalud Director Dealer Services NADA Used Car Guide Book Co.
Dont limit yourself to one auction. It sounds to me like you're one of the guys that goes to the same auction week after week. Remember the definition of insanity - doing the same thing again and again and expecting a different result.
Learn to utilize online sites like openlane.com, ove.com, and smartauction.
Between those three sites, you should be able to find a plethora of cars in your price point with full condition reports.
Thanks everyone for all the great information. I am going to buy me one of the code readers.I use NADA vin scan.
What is the best book to use? It seams that NADA isn't always the best app to use because everything goes for Nada retail value? How can you make money if your paying retail for cars?
The banks in my area use NADA.
Do you have a dealership, or are you just acquiring cars wholesale and flipping them to retail customers?
Yes I have a small dealership.
I sell two to five cars a month.
I have a warranty and a finance company I work with for customers to.
I am really small time compared to a lot of the bigger lots in my area so I have to sale as if I am a private seller to make money.
In Utah if you cant buy cars for rough to avg trade in of NADA then its hard to sell them fast.
I have been thinking of going down to the Vegas auction but not sure if its much better?
Try to do it on line. The Auctions will help you set-up and finding transportation if you purchase a unit or two is not difficult. Remember run lists really help so you know what is going to sell on a particular day. OVE Smart Auction , and Open Lane are also good sources as someone else indicated earlier. The condition reports are much more accurate today than in previous years.
I should mention that if I sale 2 to 5 cars a month its only because my profit is low around 200 a car.
Thanks, I just registered for open lane and ove.
Do you have to have a floor plan to use smart auction?
You do not need a floorplan.
From their reg page: https://www.smartauction.biz/sign-up
Phone: (877) 273-5572
Fax: (954) 968-9836
Phone: (888) 345-0600
Fax: (866) 929-3431
Phone: (978) 482-4050
Fax: (800) 317-6899
Phone: (866) 571-3721
Fax: (877) 874-0714
Phone: (810) 600-1946
Fax: (810) 736-3351
Phone: (678) 645-2543
Fax: (678) 645-2766
SmartAuction can withdraw and deposit funds via commercial bank automated clearing house (ACH) transactions.
Based on the size of your operation the best advise is to just buy something you know you can sell fast with a minimum of reconditioning. I'd spend a little time with a good mechanic and have them school you on what to look for in terms of major problems. The Denver sales are better than Vegas in terms of quality of product generally but also more cost all in. Good Luck.