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Buying a Car at an Estate Sale: Dangers to Avoid

classic carAre you interested in buying a car at an estate sale? Maybe you have your eye on a vintage gem. Or maybe you came across a newer model that is perfect for you or a loved one. It doesn’t matter what type of car you are considering, when buying at an estate sale there are some key items you should keep a close eye on.

1. Condition. Are you able to judge the overall condition of a vehicle by simply looking at it? Most of the time the answer is no. For this reason, you should inspect the car as thoroughly as possible, inside and out.

Tip: if you know someone who is experienced in the world of car maintenance and repair, ask them to visit the estate sale with you. This can help take some of the doubt out of the buying process.

2. Authenticity. There is no denying the fact that classic cars are in high demand when it comes to estate sales. However, an inexperienced seller may not know the full history of a vehicle. You should do your own legwork when researching a vehicle. Don’t take someone’s word for it. You don’t want to think you are buying a particular car from a certain year, just to find that this is not the case.

3. Paying too much. Just like buying from a dealer, you don’t want to pay more than what the car is worth. If an inexperienced seller is in charge, he or she may set the reserve too high. Subsequently, this means that any bid will result in you paying more than what the car is worth.

Along the same lines, bidding can really heat up at an estate sale – especially for a highly desirable vehicle. Only you know how much you are comfortable bidding. If you are not careful, you could find yourself blowing past this number and regretting your decision down the road.

It can be a lot of fun to search estate sales for a variety of items, including cars. Just make sure you do whatever you can to avoid the three potential dangers detailed above.

Buying cars from a good and reputable estate sale company is recommended. They price the car accurately for its true condition and are willing to share any defects it may have. If they are serious about their business, they will also have spent the time and money to provide a CARFAX for the vehicle.  In the end, this makes the life of the buyer much easier.

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