Tuesday, July 14, 2020
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Hunting down bargains in the Melbourne suburb of Altona. Car auctions and used furniture

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Car auctions Altona

This week’s article features Altona auction companies and those situated in the nearby suburbs close to Altona. This includes vehicles, timber and office furniture and used household items items that have been unclaimed forfeited the Victorian police and a list of websites and companies that you can try searching for these items.

Vehicles – Those in Melbourne looking to buy a car auction suburb of Altona has a number of auction companies available to check out. Altona is a suburb situated around 13 km from the Melbourne CBD.

Altona auction houses for vehicles include Mannheim’s which is a national company holding on-site and online auctions of vehicles, SUV, four-wheel drives, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, plant and equipment, machinery, recreational vehicles and damage cars. Mannheim’s Brisbane outlet regularly auctions damage vehicles and household vehicles which I will endeavour to write an article on.

Altona car auction companies worth checking out include:

  1. Mannheim’s Altona
  2. Pickles auctions

Mannheim’s website features a comprehensive search of models and makes available currently for sale on bid now by now basis.

The Melbourne head office is located at Altona North you can telephone them on (03) 9922 6555. Weekly auctions are generally held on Wednesdays at 10 AM but the times and days vary depending on whether to salvage vehicle truck and machinery or motorcycle being auctioned at their Altona auction depot.

We wrote about Mannheim’s here in our donate your car article and as personal preference I like Mannheim’s auctions but for some people buying cars through Mannheim’s it’s a bit hit and miss in terms of the Google reviews.

Not quite Altona, but nearby is another large national company during regular weekly auctions as Pickles auctions in the nearby suburb of Sunshine which is not far from Altona North. Pickles auctions also have a salvage and industrial division at Tullamarine.

Pickles Avenue a comprehensive website offering both online and on-site bidding of motor vehicles as well is salvage vehicles. They also have exgovernment, end of lease vehicles for auction.

Smaller auction companies within the same area are BG option group, Breen auction group and Egan’s.

Timber auctionsBG auctions situated at Sunshine West largely deal with timber and building materials and from memory hold auctions every Monday. I don’t know too much about BG auctions but you can telephone them for those looking for building materials and timber supplies on (03) 9311 2666.

Breen auction group are an established firm at Footscray. You can sign up with a mailing list on their website. The company largely focuses on catering auctions, office furniture auctions, and Victorian police auctions. If you’re interested in buying office furniture then you might pick a bargain on used office desks, filing cabinets and the like. What is of particular interest is the Victorian police auctions that Breen option group regularly hold auctions for. They handle forfeited goods and unclaimed goods of Victorian police. At each sale there is regularly 300 400 lots of goods selling an average of 100 lots per hour. Is goods include electrical products such as plasma and LCD televisions, laptop computers, home theatre systems, stereo systems, mobile phones, food processors, power tools, bicycles, perfume, domestic furniture, prints, clothing, shoes and much much more of goods that have been forfeited and unclaimed.

At the time of writing Breen’s were also conducting a sale of jewelry, gold chains, rings, bracelets, and necklaces as well is designer watches which was a sale of over 200 lots for the upcoming auctions.

Breens normally take a $250 (cash only) registration fee which is refundable no purchases are made. There is a buyers premium of 16.5% GST inclusive which will be added on top of your bid price. Remember my article on the dos and don’ts of bidding at auction which mention that you should take in account is additional fees including credit card transaction fees.

Egan’s – The last firm to mention is Egan’s situated in the nearby suburb of Footscray. If you’re looking to buy office furniture such as chairs, tables, used office desks then that’s what Egan specialise in as well check out their website for more information for upcoming auctions activity.

The do’s and don’ts of bidding at auction’s

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biding at an auction

For those collectors and bargain hunters out there, there’s nothing like the excitement that is produced in the crowd when you’re bidding at a live auction. Auctions can be for many things from a property, artwork, collectibles, surplus options, vintage pieces, ex-government and police related auctions and more. It’s the excitement of picking up a real bargain for fraction of the price what would be paid out there in the marketplace.

Here’s a quick checklist of the dos and don’ts before you start bidding at an auction:

  1. Check the payment terms before the auction day. Make sure the auction house can accept the payment terms that you wish to pay whether it be cheque, cash, credit card. You need to also ask about the extra chargesas some option companies require a refundable deposit when you registered to bid and others may add a buyers premium to the fall of the hammers price which is the bid price that you won the item at.
  2. Find out what the pickup and delivery options are. Some auctions require you to take possession immediately or within days and pick up the items from the location of the auction. So it’s no point in say bidding for an item online that is located in Sydney and you find that they cannot post the item to you and say Melbourne. There may be storage charges also if you don’t take possession of the item within the required time and awesome penalties.
  3. Attend the previews and inspect the goods before you bid. I’m not really one from bidding on photographs and live auctions and would rather attend physically to see the goods that I’m bidding on. You need to look at such things such as repairing of damage and make a note of the box lot items for example how many items there are in there if you’re planning to bid on them and making sure that the contents in number are what is described. I have seen an American situation where bidders could not inspect the product they went about bidding for, a jet ski which didn’t have a motor (so they found out after winning the bid!), so be careful to make sure that you know what you’re bidding on prior to the auction. If you have that gut feeling is something wrong is wrong then it probably is.
  4. During the preview of the items that you want bid on you need to show that poker face and be discreet so as not to announce your intentions to the other bidders that may be also looking at the same items. You may end up increasing your competition on the bidding day if you are calling to the attention of the other bidders the specific pieces that you will be bidding on. You don’t want to give those bidders reason to go back for second look as to what you are gasping at with excitement.
  5. On the day of the auction do a doublecheck of any box lot items between what was there on inspection day and on auction day when you inspected the items during the preview. It is not unheard of for items to be switched from box to box by unscrupulous bidders etc.
  6. You’ll need to register as a bidder and do this early soon as you arrive. You cannot participate in the auction without being registered and having a bidders registration card or number.
  7. Always set a maximum price you are willing to pay for the item that you are interested in and stick to it. It’s all too easy to get caught up in the fever of the auction and bid for more than you intended but remember you have to pay a bidders premium on top of the fall of the hammer price.  Maybe if you have any problems with your willpower sticking to your maximum price you can arrange something with a friendly the bid on your behalf keep you in check to remind you of that price is preagreed.
  8. Do your homework on price, know what the product sells for eg. cars are selling for in the used car lots.
  9. Always be prepared to walk away. Don’t get caught in a bidding war with other buyers. There’s nothing worse than paying over the top for something and especially paying more than your maximum by price.
  10. If there’s a lot of goods going for auction, and it is lasting all day sometimes a best deals are often had in the afternoon as the early-morning bidders may be the run out of money or energy, as soon as the bidding begins don’t shout your maximum price. The auctioneer will increase the price incrementally until there is no more bids and sometimes going to quick to fast will mean that you end up paying more than you should have.  But, you need to jump in on the bidding when the item is on as auctions move fast and if you hesitate the hammer may come down before you’ve worked up the courage to bid on the item.
  11. Take position of the items as soon as possible and take them to your vehicle and lock them away.
  12. Don’t bid if you’re not absolutely sure you won’t buy, you don’t have an idea in price, because if you are the winning bidder you’re committed to purchase and you cannot change your mind after the hammer falls.

Want to donate your car to charity? Here’s how.

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How to donate a cart charity
*Image license: free to share news commercially

So you want to get rid of your old vehicle and don’t know what to do with it? While there are various options and perhaps if the vehicle is not of a standard that you could trade into a used car dealership or sell registered online you might want to consider donating the car to charity.

There are number of charities that advertise for vehicles online but they are not technically set up to receive vehicles and sell themselves and pocket the cash for their charitable organisations. They would rather you sell the vehicle or offload  it to say a wreckers will come and pick it up and give you around $200 for the car and then  you hand them the cash for the sold vehicle.  This is all just too complicated and in Australia there are not many charities are geared up to take the vehicle off your hands and process themselves.  At the time of writing there are only around two charities that have a fully functioning system in place for accepting charitable donations of vehicles at no cost to the donor.

It doesn’t matter whether your car is going or not going there are a couple of charities that are geared up for receiving vehicles in Australia. It’s a far cry from the United States that has many active charities receiving vehicles and a taxation system in place for the donor of the vehicle to get tax concessions.

I have had cars in the past and have just sold them unregistered or have the scrapyard come and pick up the vehicle on a flat big bed truck and take it away to be sold for parts.

In respect of Australia the good news is that some charities have taken the lead in setting up a service where you can donate your car to charity.   Bad news is that the donation service may not be available in your area. These charities have joined forces with auction houses to the likes of Manheim auctions.

Car donations allow you to offload the no longer wanted car motorbike,  car,  ute etc. to a charitable organisation and have that warm fluffy feeling that you’ve helped someone or an organisation in need.

Kids under cover are setup to receive vehicle donations

Kids undercover is a service that have a pickup service for those in Melbourne. Advantages  are that there is no time wasted in dealing direct with the charity concerned as well is no cost in offloading the vehicle i.e. auction costs or advertising fees. As far as tax deductions go you will have to check out with your accountant or Australian taxation office has more about this on their website.

The website Cams reported Kids Under Cover had received over 15,000 vehicle donations through their program since its inception in 2006.  The program definitely has proven a winner and a win win for people looking to donate their vehicles to a good cause without incurring cost.  100% of the sale proceeds of the vehicle auction by Manheims is given to the kids under cover program to help youth homelessness.

So if you want to make your car donation you can telephone the following charities.

Kids undercover – this organisation is located in Richmond in Victoria and you can find more information about the car donation services here on their website.

This article in the ABC features a Hobart school teacher who donated his vehicle to the Kids Undercover car donation program.

Handbrake turn – this is the second charity that is receiving vehicles that we know of.  These guys are located in Preston Victoria and also go under the name of concern Australia.  The telephone number is 03 9470 2972.

With the kids undercover program the vehicle does not have to be operational and going.  Don’t forget to take off the numberplates if you are going to donate the vehicle. Basically you can go on to the kids undercover website and fill out what is required and then the rest is easy, Mannheim’s come and will collect the vehicle and auction it off of which the proceeds of the donated two kids undercover.

Western Australia FIFO worker donates vehicle to bush fire affected resident

There have been other cases of people who have cars, organising their own vehicle donations privately and through social media.  These cars obviously are still able to be roadworthied where as many of the vehicles most likely sold to charities for auction are being sold “as is” for scrap and secondhand car parts and panels.

Yarloop was a Western Australian town affected by bush fires and a FIFO worker from Mandurah donated his car to a Yarloop resident following which he apparantly managed to spark another 14 donations of vehicles to Yarloop residents.

There are numerous cases of car donations as a result of people reaching out through social media.  In another case, a young Aulbury-Wadonga woman received a vehicle to help her find a job prompting a local 82 year old resident to donate his vehicle to the lady rather than sell it.