The Cuomo admin announced today that state pulled in a little more than $1.6 million in final bids for the eBay auction of surplus 454 state vehicles. (It closed this morning.)
We stopped by the lot on the Harriman office campus earlier this week to check out the inventory. We were especially interested in the 2008 Priuses (Prii?) that were available because even though they had a lot of miles, they seemed like they were in pretty good shape. Of course, if you were to buy one, you'd have to do it "as is" -- without driving it.
So, what sort of discount might people expect for buying under that situation? And did they score a deal?
To get some sense of that we compared the final bids for the group of 2008 Priuses against the Kelley Blue Book value for the vehicles.
You know what that means -- bring on the table...
We rounded some of the mileage and price numbers. We used the "good" condition private sale value from KBB. (*We were told by an OGS guy at the lot that this vehicle's check engine light was on.)
Somewhat surprising to us, the lower mileage vehicles turned out to be better deals -- or, at least, they had the biggest spread between the Blue Book value and the final bid price. And that last vehicle -- with 116,000 miles -- actually sold for more than book value.
If you look around online (one example), pretty much all the used Prii are listed for higher prices, though also with lower miles. (That is, if you can find one -- apparently they're very in demand now). We're still not sure if the discount is enough to balance taking the car without a test drive.
And, of course, this was a very small sample. The results might be different for other types of cars -- especially models that aren't in such high demand.
Just something to keep in mind if the state does this again.
By the way: Casey Seiler had the best name for this vehicle auction: "Uncle Andly's Used Car Lot"
photo: NYS OGS
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