The thought of buying a car via an online auction often means heading to eBay Motors or Bring a Trailer . But, there's another open bidding platform that offers an alternative. It's Cars & Bids , and we'll explore what this website is all about.
What is "Cars & Bids"?
Cars & Bids is an online car auction platform that allows owners to list and sell their vehicles. The idea here is that a seller can hopefully move their car more quickly than the traditional private sale route. The platform emphasizes selling both old and new cars, particularly from the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond—anything that aficionados tend to call "cool." The site calls these "enthusiast cars."
You're likely not to find any hum-drum offerings on Cars & Bids. Every featured vehicle offers something a bit "extra." Some examples might include a 1990s-era BMW M5 or a retro SUV such as a 1997 Toyota Land Cruiser. Other options might consist of a 2011 Dodge Challenger SRT8 or a classic VW Camper. It's a unique and eclectic mix of cars.
Car & Bids also features reviews by well-known automotive YouTuber Doug DeMuro.
Who is Doug DeMuro?
Doug DeMuro is a well-known automotive reviewer who has built a following of more than four million fans on his YouTube channel . DeMuro distinguishes himself by not only commenting on the latest vehicles but also on classic and quirky vehicles. Some of these reviews look at autos from Cars & Bids (C&B), which DeMuro launched in 2020.
While not every C&B car gets the Doug DeMuro treatment, those that do enjoy significant exposure among his legion of followers. It's an excellent way for buyers to gain greater insight into these vehicles.
Cars and Bids: How It Works
The website is straightforward and user-friendly. Here's how it works.
Buying a Car
Buying begins by first registering on the site; it's free to do so. Remember that Cars & Bids makes its money from buyer fees. So, you'll need to provide valid credit card information as part of the registration process. The costs for a successful auction are charged to this card.
The site cautions prospective buyers that they are responsible for doing their own due diligence on vehicles. A buyer can review each listing and ask the seller questions through the "Contact" feature. Buyers can also arrange an in-person viewing of the car or coordinate a visit by an inspector.
The bidding process then goes like this (after registering):
- Step 1: Find a car that you like on the site.
- Step 2: Click on "Place Bid."
- Step 3: A hold is placed on your credit card for 4.5% of the bid amount.
- Step 4: The auction timer ticks down, and any new bids placed at the last moment reset the timer to one minute.
- Step 5: Upon successful completion of the auction, the platform will automatically exchange information between the seller and buyer.
- Step 6: Contact the seller and arrange the closing of the deal.
Paying for the car can involve your own funds or arranging the financing through the C&B platform via a partnership with Lightstream. You'll have the opportunity to apply for a LightStream loan before bidding to ensure eligibility and determine bidding limits.
The 4.5% buyer's fee is charged to the registered credit card at the end of bidding. There's a minimum rate of $225 and a maximum of $4,500, so six-figure purchases are capped when it comes to the fee. Any credit card holds are released if bidding is unsuccessful.
Selling a Car
Selling on Cars & Bids is absolutely free, giving the site a significant advantage over other platforms that charge listing fees. C&B asks for the VIN, quality images of the car, and a brief description. It's vital that the photos be high-definition images that show as much detail as possible.
After the initial intake, the site will request additional information, including extra interior and exterior images, service records, and ownership history. Cars & Bids also requires that the vehicle not be for sale on any other platform. These listings will have to be removed before the vehicle can go live on C&B.
The website team then creates a draft listing of the car for the seller’s approval. Once this information is authorized, the listing is scheduled to go live. A seller needs to be ready to answer buyers' questions when bidding begins. C&B encourages sellers to rapidly reply to inquiries to ensure maximum bids.
Sellers have the option of creating a reserve—a minimum acceptable bid level—for their auction, but Cars & Bids discourages this practice. The claims no-reserve listings tend to get better overall results. In the event of an unsuccessful reserve auction, C&B puts the highest bidder in contact with the seller to see if a deal can be worked out. However, the seller is under no obligation if the reserve isn't met.
The seller should receive full payment within one week of the closure of a successful auction. At this point, the seller and buyer stay in touch to arrange the transfer of the car and title.
Benefits of Cars and Bids
A Review from Doug DeMuro
Undoubtedly the most unique aspect of Cars & BIds is the opportunity to get a plug from Doug DeMuro. It's something that Craigslist , eBay, or any other platform can't offer. DeMuro brings a built-in following that instantly expands the potential pool of buyers.
Adding high-definition photos and a video walkaround of a vehicle is appealing, but a showcase by DeMuro can take auction awareness and the selling price to another level. It's every seller's dream to have their car be the center of a bidding war.
Wide Range of Model Years on Offer
The Cars & Bid platform offers a wide range of vehicles, from the quirky and eclectic to the fast and powerful. The site can be the go-to place for a shopper looking for a unique car that best reflects their personality. A C&B listing also details any modifications that may have been made to the vehicle. This keeps bidders informed and helps the car stand out in the crowd. Similarly, most listings detail the included options. So, for instance, a bidder on a BMW 3 Series will know or not if the car has the M Sport Package.
Fast Listings and Easy Scheduling
From start to finish, the listing and selling process is convenient. Plus, the Cars & Bids team helps at every stage. The initial step involves sending only basic information to determine if the car passes muster. The approach is relatively easy once the vehicle is approved for a listing. Sellers can also add input about the best selling time, which C&B will consider as it prepares the listing.
Sellers Answer Questions
Buyers enjoy a helpful line of communication with sellers via the contact feature. It's an easy, painless way of getting questions answered that may not be addressed within the auction listing. At the same time, C&B encourages sellers to be readily available to respond to these inquiries.
No Listing Fee
Sellers enjoy a fee-free platform, in contrast to many other auction sites that charge sellers listing fees and commissions. Even the 4.5% buyer's premium is reasonable.
Image: via Doug DeMuro/YouTube