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Cars & Motorcycles

How many years would it take you to be able afford that hot ride you’ve been talking about? For most of us, paying full price isn’t an option and the math is painful. So how do you get a luxury car or motorcycle for less?

Answering an ad in the paper or Craigslist is risky — you could get burned. And buying from a dealer means you have to pay the middleman.

The way to do it is to start thinking like a dealer — and go to an auction. You’re basically benefiting from someone else’s misfortune – someone couldn’t pay their bill, got into trouble with the law or had their car stolen. And you’re cutting out the middleman.

“Anytime you’re able to buy a car and not have to pay for that showroom price, you’re going to save a substantial amount of money,” said Deb Weidenhamer, CEO of Phoenix-based Auction Systems Auctioneers & Appraisers,one of the biggest auction houses in the country.

Still, she advises, do your homework — and attend the preview period the day before the auction. No one’s going to hold your hand at auction and you’re running with the big dogs — people who know what they’re doing.