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How does a mecum auction work?

Michael_

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Last week i noticed there will be a mecum auction in las vegas on october 17-19:

So now i'm toying with the idea of flying to vegas and attending.
(If so mainly as a visitor but i would register as a bidder just in case.)

This would be my first time at a mecum auction and with that any car / in person auction.
I checked mecums website but found the info there to be pretty thin.

I mainly have 2 questions at this point:

1. How exactly does the bidding process work?

I watched this video


And the guy explains if i raise my arm i do bid.
But how much?
And how do i keep track of the current bid?
Can somebody explain the process like i'm 5?

2. Car Inspections

Can i only inspect cars at the day of the auction or already a day, week etc. prior?

How detailed can you inspect the cars?

AFAIK looking at the body/paint, under the hood, the interior and crawling underneath is possible but what about:
- Starting/hearing it run
- Checking if it moves forward/backward
- Using a magnet on the body?
- What about checking AC, Radio, Windshield Wipers etc.?

I'm pretty certain you can't "test drive" (lot drive) any cars ?

Just trying to get some basic knowledge at this point.
 
Get the brochure when its available for that auction. It will list which cars are having a reserve and others that will have a price. Yes, you can inspect the cars before they go on the block, no you can't test drive them unless the owner agrees(which is rare). Usually the owners of the vehicles will start the car up for a listen. To be a bidder, bring your bank statement of your account to show how much is in your account. There is a minimum that needs to be there in the account. When bidding, listen to the auctioneer and the number he is calling out. If its starting at 25k, you raise your hand. The auctioneer will then raise to 30k. You then wait to see if anyone goes at 30k. After a few short minutes, if no one bids at 30k, the gavel will come down and the car is yours at 25k. Call them when you want to register and they will let you know the amount allowed to start any bidding. You can also do all of this, except the inspections, over the phone or email. If you plan on bidding and you make a purchase, make sure to line up a carrier to ship to your port of choice(except Baltimore :lol: ). Good luck. You will enjoy.:drinks:
 
Can't stand going to the 'big' auctions.....after about 6 minutes of listening to the monotone dribble, I'm ready to leave.
 
Can't stand going to the 'big' auctions.....after about 6 minutes of listening to the monotone dribble, I'm ready to leave.


I went to a Barret-Jackson auction at Foxwoods in CT several years ago & looking around at all of the cars was fun, but when I got into the auction arena, I too could only take so much of the auctioneer's babble-noise & had to leave.
 
When bidding at any car auction it is good during the sale to simply stop bidding.
Watch and listen,
All auctioneers will pull bids out of the air you are at that point bidding against yourself.
A good auctioneer will continue on as if there are a couple more bidders on the car.
The ring man will keep looking your way hoping you jump back in.
Meanwhile your 5k on down the road bidding against yourself.
Forgive me Michael but mecum is not a good place to learn the auto auction game.
As far as a visit and a place to have fun Vegas will be a blast, just be careful what you test drive . :rofl:
Go to the auction as a learning / recon trip.
 
Make sure you drink plenty of alcohol before you go in and preferably have an "escort" with you who you are trying to impress with your wealth and carefree attitude to things.
 
I bought a car at a Mecum auction over 10 years ago. It worked out well for me, but it may have been beginners luck as I’ve heard and seen enough sketchy activities there that I feel it’s a similar environment to a casino. Sometimes a buyer or seller wins, often they lose, but the house always wins!
They have bidders assistants stationed throughout the bidder seating area, you get one of their attentions when a car you want to bid on is hitting the stage, and they will work with you and actually signal your bids to the auctioneer.
I still haven’t figured out how to fully vet a car before bidding.
The owners are rarely present so you can’t ask questions. The trunks are locked and the keys are zip tied to the steering column so how do you look at the trunk?
If you search online you can sometimes find cars that will be at an upcoming auction listed somewhere. A Charger at Mecum Indy next month caught my eye, and last week I found it listed online at a broker with many more pictures than Mecum shows, including one that unfortunately showed a fender that the paint seemed off from the rest of the car indicating the fender got repainted, which dimmed my interest.
There are inspectors who can be hired to inspect and attempt to verify cars. Dave Wise and others for Mopars. For well known cars it might be fine to consider the car to be good. Otherwise paying a pro can be invaluable as there are many sketchy cars at auctions, and buyer beware, you are typically screwed if you buy a car that turns out to be a turd.
I had a HELOC with checks when I bought my car, I went to the business office there and simply wrote a check after winning. Drove my 4.10 rear 6 pack car home the next day (I lived 25 miles away which made that task easy and cheap!)
HELOCs don’t do checks anymore and I’m not sure how one sets up for having money ready to go for a possibly 6 figure purchase. You have 24 hours to pay after winning I believe, so figure that part out before going there.
If interested in a car, decide beforehand the max you’ll go, and if it exceeds that during bidding, be disciplined enough to say NO! when your bidder assistant tries to twist your arm to bid higher.
Be aware they often shill bid cars up. They will chandelier bid it up near reserve and hope a sucker bidder will throw out the next bid and magically “reserve is met”. Don’t get caught up in the hype and be that sucker.
Oh yeah, sometimes a car you bid on sells to a higher bidder, and lo and behold you get a call a few hours later from a Mecum agent with some sob story about the supposed winner flaking out and gee maybe you’d still be interested in buying it? Again, buyer beware, they are playing you. Work it like dealing with a car salesman, which they are, play hardball with any offer you make, and plan to walk if they don’t bite!
 
I’m doing work for a guy who just paid about 80 grand for a 69 4 speed GTX, at Mecum. It was supposedly a few year old restoration. This was the first Mopar he’d ever bought. He has nine Ferraris, other European exotics and about 8 American classics. He did buy it online, which surprised me, being we are about 45 miles from where the auction was in Glendale. After having it taken to his mechanic to have it looked over. Numerous issues, he’ll have it done right and sell it. Even if he doesn’t break even on the original price. That’s the kind of man he is. He’s already looking at another one. He wants a driver, but it has to be perfect and he’s soured on this one. Unfortunately there is nothing he can do to the seller. Be careful sir!
 
What Does It Cost To Enter A Car In Mecum? – Road Topic While you can get a deal, it's most important to know that the deal always goes to the house. They don't care as long as they make money and they do. I don't like auctions, unless I don't care what it cost, because if I want it, I will out bid you. See where I'm going with this, wanting with deep pockets will make anything expensive. The ONLY thing goods about a car auction house is, the amount of cars to pick from. There is no extra pride in ownership because you got it from Mecum. It cost everyone, just to say you got a car from Mecum. If you don't pay someone or you don't know cars, buyer beware, just like buying at a street corner, just a bigger audience. Just my opinion.
 
I went to Kissimee. I also got pre approved for bidding up to $100k. i had lunatic dreams of buying a new 300C from a flipper when they were hard to find last year. Enjoyed the Mopars and had fun. Also spent about $100 to get in, have a bite, a few beers. Didn’t even get a T Shirt. Heard some horror stories from sellers. Rich mans game from this perspective. To do again I’d wait til one came available. Still paid too much for an out of State car and had hell to pay at DMV. Morale: don’t get involved in the frenzy/emotion. Never pays off unless funds are unlimited.
 
Don’t know much about it either, but heard there is a rigid commission price the buyer pays on top of the sale price not discounting cost to the seller to put it up for auction. Maybe around 10% commission? Also heard that in order to close a sale, there has been some bargaining by the auction house lowering their commission. Not sure, but if it’s around 10% gets to some serious dollars on an expensive ride. Can’t be cheap to set these auctions up..
 
Don’t know much about it either, but heard there is a rigid commission price the buyer pays on top of the sale price not discounting cost to the seller to put it up for auction. Maybe around 10% commission? Also heard that in order to close a sale, there has been some bargaining by the auction house lowering their commission. Not sure, but if it’s around 10% gets to some serious dollars on an expensive ride. Can’t be cheap to set these auctions up..
Yes sir, 10% from both sides. That’s a good markup, especially considering the amount of cars that go through a typical auction. Glen had bought quite a few cars from various auctions. He has Reggie Jackson’s 56 Chevy, in the 5 car attached garage. I was doing a small job for his son, he’s the one who told me about the 69, he’s now looking at a 70, from a private owner. I’ll be back at Glens in a couple weeks, I’ll get the full lowdown.
 
Maybe around 10% commission? Also heard that in order to close a sale, there has been some bargaining by the auction house lowering their commission.
A buddy of mine sold a car at the MAG auction in Reno in 2022. When a car comes up, they ask for the identity of the owner and a bidding assistant hangs out near/with him. When my buddy's car neared the reserve and bidding slowed, the assistant started talking to him, trying to get him to lift the reserve. He did and the car sold $2,500 under the reserve. I learned later that the seller can use this opportunity to ask the house to lower the commission if he lowers/lifts the reserve. We also learned that he could have paid a fee to have a more desirable time slot for his auction, and could have paid a fee to reenter the auction the next day if he hadn't lowered the reserve and the car did not sell.

This is not useful to the OP asking about buying but y'all covered that pretty well above. I will add that I have seen, in my opinion, some good purchases made at auction, but they are rare. I threw out a single bid, and when I was outbid, simply stopped. Good deal or no deal! Don't be a dick swinger - unless that's how you roll.
 
Yes sir, 10% from both sides. That’s a good markup, especially considering the amount of cars that go through a typical auction. Glen had bought quite a few cars from various auctions. He has Reggie Jackson’s 56 Chevy, in the 5 car attached garage. I was doing a small job for his son, he’s the one who told me about the 69, he’s now looking at a 70, from a private owner. I’ll be back at Glens in a couple weeks, I’ll get the full lowdown.
I believe it's 10% for the seller if there is a reserve, but 5% if they will list it "no reserve". On top of that, there is a fee to enter a car into the auction which varies depending on what day one lists it. If on a Wednesday or Thursday for example, it might only be $500 to enter it. But for a prime Friday or Saturday afternoon slot, it might be $1500 to schedule your car to run then.
When a reserve car runs across the stage they will often pressure the seller to drop the reserve in return for lowering their cut to 5% to sell the car.
It's also been alleged that Mecum sometimes short hammers cars where they think the seller set the reserve too low, so they can buy it. Then they put it in later auctions trying to sell for a nice profit. Many cars that run at Mecum are actually "owned by the house". Sometimes from buying them at their own auctions, other times they will buy collections from estates and such rather than the owners having to have the cars shipped, be there during the auction and other hassles.
 
I’m doing work for a guy who just paid about 80 grand for a 69 4 speed GTX, at Mecum. It was supposedly a few year old restoration. This was the first Mopar he’d ever bought. He has nine Ferraris, other European exotics and about 8 American classics. He did buy it online, which surprised me, being we are about 45 miles from where the auction was in Glendale. After having it taken to his mechanic to have it looked over. Numerous issues, he’ll have it done right and sell it. Even if he doesn’t break even on the original price. That’s the kind of man he is. He’s already looking at another one. He wants a driver, but it has to be perfect and he’s soured on this one. Unfortunately there is nothing he can do to the seller. Be careful sir!
I was watching the car you describe. Out of curiosity because it has a bit in common with my former A33 GTX which I consigned to Mecum in 2020. Cancelled because of Covid, sold it a year later, privately. Buyer flipped it at GAA Auctions in North Carolina for 63K. I had been offered 50K by a deep pocket collector locally, who had seven Porsches and about two dozen American classics. Wife didn't care for him, said don't let him have it. Car went across the block within a year after the first sale, bid to 81K, no sale. Showed up at the Volo Museum shortly after, priced at 89K. Sold recently, don't know the price.

My point is, the auction environment puts prices in a whole different universe than the mainstream market. I put that same GTX in the for sale section here on FBBO twice, and my highest offer was 43K. Whole different crew of potential buyers at the big auctions, and I'm in no position to compete at that level.
 
This one was a very light metallic green with black stripes. I haven’t seen it yet. I will when I get back over there. Kevin (his son) was showing me pictures. They both were very disappointed. Glen nearly bought one from Volo. I told him, I knew the owners. I don’t know why he passed on it. It could be the one you’re writing about. I’ve been to a few, never wanted to buy a car. I did buy a truck once, it does get pretty heated in the process. I got it for what I wanted, so all was good.
 
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