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CV traders warned of online auctions

Despite the convenience of using online auctions to purchase used commercial vehicles, traders are being warned of the potential pitfalls of buying remotely.

Glass’s Guide said more and more buyers are opting to buy commercial vehicle stock on the internet but not being physically present at the sale does present problems.

George Alexander, editor of Glass’s Guide to commercial vehicle values, said: “Mistakes can be made if a vehicle has not been assessed accurately or completely. Potentially, this could be the Achilles heel for online bidding, as recently demonstrated by one lot that sold online for good money, yet had damage to the lower nearside that was not visible on the buyer’s screen.”

Alexander added: “Probably the best way forward is to have a contact or colleague present at any auction to give the heads-up on anything that might influence a purchase decision.

“Failing that, dealers might choose to visit an auction site prior to a sale to cast an eye over the lots that will be of interest.”

Used with caution, online technology can bring a great deal of flexibility to any business, said Alexander.

But he maintains auction halls will still be populated with a wide mix of buyers for many years to come.

“In reality, all active buyers need to keep their hand in by visiting auctions on a regular basis to stay abreast of price trends and the gossip.”


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