Mustafa: We used to buy used cars from bonds only. People would import cars and immediately sell them off. But now, there is an internet explosion. There is this site, is it autotrader.com?
Jude: No, it is called tradecarview.
Mustafa: Now there are sites that directly link you to the auction. They list the cars that are going to be auctioned and the date. You can pay them and they make the bid for you, they give you the final price and even give you your balance after the auction. That is the level we are at right now.
Jude: How do you know the car’s condition before you buy it, or you just buy because it is cheap? But there are issues to do with your not knowing the condition of the car being auctioned.
Mustafa: I don’t know if you are talking about the state of the car aesthetically. There is a combination of factors. You can even buy from someone’s home. Then there are sellers who just upload their car’s details online. When there is an auction, they do an inspection of the cars as well. I think you have seen that image usually provided by tradecarview showing all sides of the car.
Jude: Yes, but it is in Japanese.
Paul: When it comes to that image, it shows you where the car has dents or which body parts need repair. Where there are dents, they put an X and there is a write up below that explains the dents. They show if the car has a big or small dent. But they will not go in details telling you how the gearbox works.
Mustafa: Okay, yes there may be a bit of a challenge. What is happening now is that these sites are connecting buyers to the auction.
Jude: There is this auction site called ebay. It is popular in Europe and in the US. I have seen cars on it as well. How does this one fare?
Mustafa: Ebay is just a site that connects buyers, it is like a market. But people make bids. Ebay has segmented them in categories such as ebay motors, ebay electronics etc. On ebay motors, you list your car and mention the reserve price. So, if people bid above that reserve price, you get the money. But in future, I foresee many people not buying from bonds and using the internet instead. People still buy from the bonds but along the way some have been disappointed. They are losing trust in cars from the bonds. The only problem with the internet is that you have to be careful. There are some tell-tale signs. Imagine a Premio of $100, yes it could be a good deal but you should be careful.
Jude: Definitely, there are some things that look suspicious.
Paul: You have to do some homework. Look at things like the mileage. It speaks loads about the condition of the car. Are you dealing with the trader or owner of the car?
Jude: Is there something like the best country to buy from?
Paul: It The issue should be what are you looking for? For instance, for manual cars, you go to the UK. But the UK market also has problems like corrosion and rust because of winter. If you want petrol engine cars, Japan would be the best deal. If you want diesel, try UK. If you want say a diesel Mercedes Benz ML or a diesel Land Rover; you may never find it in Japan.
Jude: You are right because you will be lucky to get a Toyota Fortuner in Japan. Fortuners are assembled in Thailand, among other Asian countries, and not Japan.