NC NOW | Greenville Auto Auction | UNC-TV

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Kelly McCullen: With the economy the way it
is, some people who need a new vehicle consider car auctions as a place to find good deals.
Greenville’s U-S-L Auto Auction sells vehicles every Wednesday night to licensed dealers
AND the general public. If you’ve got the deposit, you’ve got a ticket inside. Will
Guttu/GM, Auction ’96 There’s a five hundred dollar cash deposit that goes towards your
purchase price. There’s also a once a year, $30 membership fee. Kelly Mc: The weekly auction
brings out all types of people with one thing in common. They want a used car and they want
it cheap. Steve Brumfield ’96 It’s all walks of life. All socio-economic levels, all education
levels. I mean, everybody. There’s no demographic line you can draw amongst a bidder here. I
see every walk of life, every person. Kelly Mc: There are dealers who come every Wednesday
and ordinary people who only come when they see a vehicle they hope to buy. The auctioneers
are full-speed sellers but know when to slow down the cadance. Liddy Brown/Auctioneer ’96
With our individuals, we want to be a little slower, a little bit clearer so they can understand
us as auctioneers. Your dealers are participating at the sales every week, where the individuals
might just come tonight and might not come for another month or two. Kelly Mc: We’re
focusing on the U-S-L Auto Auction because it allows the general public to compete with
dealers. Most dealer car auctions ONLY serve licensed auto dealers. The U-S-L team works
all week accepting vehicles. [Natural Sounds….Car Registration] Kelly Mc: The auction team signs
in the cars, assigns them numbers and lines them up. Steve Brumfield ’96 Cars are checked
in all week. The public can come at 4:30pm and they’re pretty much set up. They peruse
the cars at their leisure, crank them up, make sure they get in gear, listen for any
funny sounds, look for abnormal lights that shouldn’t be burning on the dash. Natural
Sound of Outdoor Car Inspection……. Kelly Mc: Many cars have been repossessed. Others
cars were traded-in when a customer bought a new vehicle from a dealership. Some cars
are ready to roll off the lot but many need a brief stop at a garage for mainenance, cleaning
or T-L-C. Steve Brumfield ’96 There are a lot of deals here if you’re knowledgable enough
about a car to know what you’re doing. Everything here is probably going to need a little something
done to it, that’s why it’s here. Jeff Robinson ’96 If you’re coming out here, most likely
what you’re going to look for is a mid-grade car with fair miles on it. I’m not going to
say all the miles are going to be perfect on it. Kelly: Fair being 50 to 100,000 miles.
Jeff Robinson: 50,000 to 100,000 ’96 maybe a little over 100,000 miles. Kelly Mc: If
you’re a private citizen who’s never been to a car auction, the pro’s say, ’93be careful.’94
It’s exciting out there. So exciting, you’ll forget you’re competing with professionals
and that every bid makes the price rise. Harold Jones ’96 You’re going to get bit on some
deals and the time you spend at the auction, watching other dealers, that’s just experience
you’ve got to pick up. And if you don’t go easy when you first start spending money,
somebody is going to eat you alive. Natural Sounds….Car Auctioneer Cadence Jeff Robinson
’96 Expect – You want to know what kind of car you’re looking for, you want to know what
kind of price range you want to be at and you certainly don’t want to be the first person
to bid on a car. You want to wait and see, you know, is there a dealer that’s going to
be hot on it? Are there going to be two dealers who are hot on it. You don’t want to get in
a bidding war with somebody who has a vast amount of experience with doing this every
day of their lives. Kelly Mc: In these wars, there’s no one to bail you out if lose control.
The auctioneer’s cadence, by design, lures you to bid higher and higher. It’s always
been that way. Kelly Mc: How long does it take before you’re not getting ’93charmed’94
by the auctioneer? Harold Jones: I would say it takes a good twelve months before you get
your feet on the ground and you know really what to expect and know that you’re not being
taken for a ride when you’re in there bidding. Kelly Mc: I understand you take yourself for
the ride. You’re the one raising your hand. Albert Jarman: You have to know what you’re
doing. Kelly Mc: But, if you do your homework, spot your target and keep cool, you might
buy a vehicle cheaper than a dealer would sell it you. Steve Brumfield ’96 Perception
’96 It’s a perception. If you feel like what you spent got you what you wanted, that’s
a deal. There’s no rule. It’s how you feel about it. Natural Sounds of Car Auction…..
Kelly Mc: Is there anybody in there to protect me from myself? Jeff Robinson: When the auctioneer
lays the mallet down, it is a contract. It is a law in NC, you’ve bought the car. Kelly
Mc: As our household budgets tighten and we seek a deal where we can find one, the car
auction might cross your mind. But, like anything else, the pro’s say do your homework and know
when to quit lifting your hand. You might just cruise out of Greenville with a bargain.

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