What auctions do dealers buy from

In the Sunshine State, if you want to buy a car for the lowest price possible, you should attend a wholesale car auction. On the flip side, if youre hoping to create a lucrative ca

What auctions do dealers buy from

In the Sunshine State, if you want to buy a car for the lowest price possible, you should attend a wholesale car auction. On the flip side, if youre hoping to create a lucrative car selling business based on ongoing relationships with other dealers, you should look into hosting wholesale car auctions.

Whichever role appeals to you, theres one thing you need to do first: get your dealer license with the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles (FLHSMV). You cant sell cars at a wholesale auction without a license. And, perhaps more surprisingly, you cant buy at these auctions without a dealer license, either.

So, how do you get the license you need to attend Florida wholesale car auctions as a buyer or a seller? Lets find out.

What kind of license do you need to sell cars at a wholesale car auction?

To host a car auction in Florida, youll need a motor vehicle wholesale (VW) license. With this license, you can sell vehicles at wholesale to other licensed motor vehicle dealers. You can also auction those vehicles, selling them to the highest bidder  assuming that bidder has a motor vehicle dealer license with the FLHSMV.

Keep in mind that the VW license only allows you to sell at a wholesale price. If you want to sell or auction vehicles at retail, youll need a vehicle independent (VI) dealer license.

Getting either your VW and VI licenses is a multi-step process. You can see from the official application that youll need to show a lot of information to the FLHSMV, from proof of your dealership location to your business registration details. You also need to complete some pre-license education hours, but you can knock those out online. And youll need to pay the $300 license fee.

Ultimately, getting licensed to host wholesale car auctions in Florida requires a bit of legwork, but it can pay off literally. Car auctions offer you an opportunity to make a large sum of money in one day.

Additionally, as you auction cars, you can build relationships with local dealers. As they need specific vehicles, you can work to locate them, making the sale to that dealer while helping them best serve their clients.

To do this type of work, though, you first need to get properly licensed. To understand all of the FLHSMVs requirements for VW and VI licensees, check out this checklist from them. For a quick step-by-step guide to the process, check out the numbered list on the Florida Auto Dealer Requirements section of our Florida dealership training page (scroll past the courses to find it).

What kind of license do you need to buy cars at a wholesale auction?

To buy cars at an auction in Florida, you dont need a specific license type, but you do need to be a licensed motor vehicle dealer. Basically, you can choose from any of the available license types to qualify for car auction attendance.

No matter which license type you choose, youll be subject to some pre-license requirements. Youll need pre-license dealer education, bonding and insurance, an approved business location, and a completed application. Youll also need to pay the FLHSMVs license fee, which is $300.

If you have your dealer license and hire employees to work at your dealership, your employees can represent you at a wholesale auction. They need to be authorized by you to bid on behalf of the dealership. With your approval, they can attend auctions for you and, that way, you dont have to personally show up at any auctions that interest you.

How do I maintain my Florida auto dealer license?

Just getting your license to sell cars at auctions or to bid at those auctions isnt enough. You also need to take steps on a regular basis to maintain your license with the FLHSMV.

Renewing your license is fairly straightforward, provided you keep all your insurance and bonding in place. If you dont make any changes, all you need to do is complete eight hours of continuing education and fill out the renewal application. Send it in along with your $75 renewal fee by April 30 each year.

Can you buy cars at a Florida wholesale car auction without a dealer license?

Technically, no. But if youre looking to score the low prices youll find at a wholesale car auction without going through the process to get licensed, you can explore hiring a proxy bidder. Basically, this is a person with a dealer license who acts on your behalf, bidding on the car you want at the auction.

Keep in mind, though, that youll need to pay your proxy bidder for their services. Make sure you have a clear understanding of that cost. Then, crunch the numbers. You might not save very much money when all is said and done, and finding a proxy bidder and working with them in real-time during the auction can be challenging.

Can you make money buying cars at auctions?

If youre a dealer with a good understanding of your local car market, absolutely. Youll want some mechanical knowledge, too, so you can appraise the cars youre thinking about buying for resale. You dont want to get stuck with a bunch of issues to correct before you can sell the car.

Ultimately, a wholesale car auction is probably your best bet at buying cars at the cheapest prices possible. But it does come with some risk. Be sure youre ready to check the cars out before you bid on them to protect yourself.

Think through demand in your local market, too. If you live in a snowy climate, for example, your buyers probably arent clamoring for a 2WD sedan.

Assuming you come home with quality, in-demand cars you snagged at a low price, you should be able to mark them up enough to pocket a sizeable amount of money.

Wholesale car auctions can give both parties  the buyer and the seller  good opportunities to make money. But youll need licensure from the FLHSMV to host an auction or attend one. Make sure you have your paperwork in order first.

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