As the action at public auctions has grown hotter, the cars have grown shadier. "I've personally seen cars with over 300,000 miles on their clocks rolled back to 120,000 and sold as 'Miles Exempt' meaning no guarantee of mileage," he says. "Most of the cars at a public auction are the worst trade-ins or very rough repos." And as in a government auction, you can't drive a public auction vehicle before you bid on it.
The best bargains are usually on the older less-than-perfect vehicles that dealers don’t want to spend time and money on. Dealers go for the relatively late-model higher-priced vehicles. Since dealers want to make a profit by buying low and selling high, you might be able to pick up a good car by bidding slightly higher than a dealer is willing to pay. Or bid on older vehicles that dealers don’t want.
We were in the process of downsizing when a friend attended a program by Mr. Will Farmer on appraising, auctions and today’s styles and trends. She relayed that our mid-century modern furniture was back in vogue. We were familiar with the Farmer name from Antiques Roadshow, but knew little about the auction business. We showed Will Farmer, now owner of the business, photographs of our furniture and he was interested. He came to our home, looked at the furniture, described the auction process and carefully reviewed the contract we would sign. From start to finish the entire process was very professional. The Salem, Virginia gallery is spacious and well organized with plenty of parking. The entire staff is very friendly and courteous. The movers were very nice and careful. We were kept informed at every step. We were given a possible range of prices each item might bring, but no promises were made. Auction day was fascinating and fun. Some items brought more than expected and some less. In the end it was a wonderful experience and one we would not hesitate to do again.