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United States of America, Toano
This was my first auto auction, and it ended successfully today with the pick up of my vehicle. Throughout the process of locating, watching, bidding, winning the pre-bid, winning the auction, paying for the vehicle and picking it up, I read and re-read everything I could find on the SCA Auctions website about how this process works. I was also in regular contact with Scarlett, a helpful and knowledgeable SCA Auctions representative, by telephone. The auction itself, or more correctly, authorization to have SCA Auctions broker my bids, is easy to sign up for. The instructions are clear, the process is simple and the cost is minimal. I missed some follow-up emails that delayed my paperwork, but everything got caught up handily when I called the customer service number to ask why my membership had not resolved into an "active" status. With my freshly active status, I located an interesting car listed as being auctioned at some future date from Sealy TX, and decided I would bid on it. Another call to Scarlett and I was told that those future auction items were often simply awaiting titles and the delay averaged about 4 weeks. I kept an eye on the vehicle, and one day promptly it suddenly turned biddable. The next step was to pay a $1000 deposit to bid--chargeable to a credit card. Once I paid I was able to bid after just a few minutes. I won the item after a 5-day bidding period, with about $700 to spare in my high bid balance. To my utter surprise, I then got a congratulatory email for having won the "PRE-BID". Astounding. Next I got an invitation to watch the LIVE AUCTION. This was something that really took me aback. I understand now that I was the only most serious of SCA Auction's pre-bid bidders, so that SCA would bid on my behalf against all the other auction houses and dealers bidding in the live auction. What's worse, my pre-bid high bid limit was locked as the highest I could go in the auction. I couldn't change it. And the flip side of that was also true--although I thought I had won at a certain amount, I was now back on the block to pay more for the vehicle that the amount for which I had thought I had "won". Very confusing. The live auction took place promptly after the end of my pre-auction, and I could see it on line, but I could not participate. The list vehicles pre A couple of half-hearted raises came against SCA Auction's initial bid on my behalf, my "winning" pre-bid value, and then SCA won the live auction and I got a green "WON" note next to the vehicle on the auction list. The live auction bidding was for 171 vehicles; my vehicle was called up after about an hour, and the bidding took approximately 10 seconds. Pretty soon I got an email telling me I had to pay for the item, and I understood already that only bank transfers were accepted as payment. I went to the bank and transferred the purchase price plus 3 fees--all clearly outlined in the instructions--and made sure to note the invoice number in the transfer comments. I had determined that I would drive down down and pick up the car--it was listed as being located in Sealy TX. It was Friday. The bank transfer didn't show (more calls to customer service--Hello Scarlett!), but I couldn't delay getting on the road, so I loaded my trailer and headed south that very evening. Sunday in Texas with trailer in tow, still no emails, not surprising. Monday morning at the crack of 7:00 ET, I reached Scarlett once again, who confirmed the transfer was complete (it had a non-matching name that had caused a delay). She gave me the actual address of the vehicle, which was indeed Sealy TX (surprise! joy!), and she forwarded me the lot release papers. I went to the lot, dealt with the paperwork, loaded the car onto my trailer, and left. I assume the lot jockeys had moved the vehicle with a forklift, carelessly crushing the fiberglass body of the Lotus at the frame--something not reported on paperwork anywhere. That was extremely disappointing, but not something SCA Auctions would have known either. Anyway, now I am done except for one thing--I have to request the refund of my deposit. I do not anticipate any problems. Thank you, SCA Auctions, for a successful first bidding and winning experience with you.
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