Diary of a Used Car Salesman: How to Shop Public Auctions

We had a public sale close up shop in Atlanta not long ago. This was a place I called ‘The Red Light District’ for the whorific dealers and management team that ran it. These putzes used to steal keys after the cars ran through, knock out odometers (to hide real mileage), put racing oil in the engines, and did everything short of telling the truth to their customers. But for every jerkoff at this place that bought a near dead car at the impound lot sales and sold to a clueless public, there were other public sales that did offer some (not all) good vehicles. How can you tell the difference? Here’s one clue. Look for the names of the sellers. If new car dealerships, credit unions, banks and rental companies make up the bulk of their business, it’s generally a good operation. It doesn’t mean the car you eventually buy will be worth a flip. But if you’re willing to play the automotive lottery you deserve to dream. Just make sure you don’t buy anything too shiny or hip.

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