This... Is my Cars and Bids Review

Cars and Bids ranks pretty highly based on my AnsonScore. An in depth look at buying at the popular new auction site.

People in an office watching an auction while at work.
AI's take of what the office looked on the day of my bidding war.

Bidding is Fun

The thrill of participating in an auction is electrifying. I had spent months pouring over auctions and local classifieds trying to find the perfect match. When the diesel Porsche Cayenne I had been looking for was listed I immediately knew it had to come home with me. The auction process is a week long rollercoaster of anticipation and adrenaline. Cars and Bids lists cars for seven days which gives you ample time to do research and prepare for your purchase.

The final moments are the most intense, with bids coming in rapidly until the clock closes in on zero. I told my co-workers that I would be bidding on this car during my lunch break so I was truly in a hot seat with all eyes on me. Every bid by me was met with cheering across the entire floor.

I had tried to win a few cars in the previous weeks but I was always beat out by someone with a much larger budget. Not this time. The energy was so electric that I threw my budget out the window. I needed this car. I was outbid in the final seconds, delaying the close of the auction. So I came back with a large final bid, blowing everyone else out of the water. It worked, I won. That was fun. I can't imagine buying a car any other way.

Cars and Bids Review

I won, Cars and Bids hit my credit card with their fee, now what?

I had imagined that Cars and Bids would just set me up with the seller and then silently vanish into the background with their fee in hand, but they were actually very keen on being involved every step of the transaction. They leave it to you and the seller to figure out the logistics of money and getting the car. They provide a guide with steps that was helpful but in my case me and the seller were able to get on the phone and hash things out pretty quickly. I decided what worked best for me was to fly from Denver to the East Coast to get the car myself and drive it back since shipping cars is apparently an incredibly scummy business. I also wanted to put my money where my mouth is calling my Porsche a road trip machine.

After wiring some money, taking some last second PTO, and flying across the country the seller was nice enough to pick me up from the airport and take me somewhere that we could finalize the paperwork. They picked me up in my new Cayenne which was fun, but there were a ton of warning lights on the dash that weren't disclosed earlier. I asked about it and the seller told me the car had been sitting long enough for the battery to die, and this is just something that happens when the battery dies in these cars. They assured me that once the alternator gets the battery topped up that everything will be fine. Seems reasonable enough. I document the issues with the car, we do all the paperwork and I'm on my way.

Side note, the paperwork was not done correctly and ended up causing me a ton of trouble with the Colorado DMV. Double check everything!

After a quick stop for some coffee and food I am officially on my way! Unfortunately, the moment was quickly ruined as this is where the problems really start to show up. I had no cruise control, which is something I really wanted for my 29hr road trip, and almost all of the steering wheel function weren't working. The seller had been super responsive and helpful up until now so I reached out about the issues. They said they worked with Cayenne's a lot so I asked a super non confrontational question about if I needed to do any sort of reset to get things working again. Of course the seller had not vaporized into thin air and didn’t reply 🙄. I was visiting my friend in D.C. for a few days so I figured I would drop the car off at a local dealership and have them take a look at the car. The Porsche Dealership in Tysons Corner was incredibly understanding about me being on a road trip and got the car in immediately for some diagnostics.

In the meantime Cars and Bids was involved enough in the process so far that they actually checked in to see how the pickup went. I told them my concerns with the state of the car at pickup and they immediately stepped up their involvement and asked for me to send the full diagnostic from the dealership. This felt amazing. I immediately felt like even if my car was a complete lemon, I would be taken care of.

Unfortunately the dealership didn't have luck.

iMessage from Porsche techs telling me the cars software is beyond repair
Not a great way to start my road trip.

I shot this text off to Cars and Bids along with the paperwork the dealership gave me. Since the techs didn't find an issue they topped up my fluids, checked a few other road trip things and sent me on my way without charging me anything. Bunch of class acts.

Shortly after Cars and Bids got the documents the seller wanted to chat again, funny how that works! They were coming across as super apologetic, but were trying to gas light me into seeing these issues as a positive, and that I should be happy to have custom software breaking everything! Now being the overly patient person that I am I told the seller and Cars and Bids to hold tight until I got a second opinion back in Denver.

The rest of the road trip was a breeze, the lack of cruise control was brutal at some points but the car was otherwise running beautifully, diesel is awesome for road trips.

Cars and Bids continued to check in with me regularly to make sure that things were progressing, and anytime the seller wasn't responding to me they wanted to know and they corrected it. The support was really incredible and helped me stay calm.

The good news is Porsche Littleton and Berg Performance (both in Denver) both came to much better conclusions about the issue than Porsche Tysons Corner. What a relief. The local dealership said that it was just a module that needed to be replaced for around $1000. Berg came to the same conclusion so they gave me a discount on the diagnosis because they are awesome like that.

Now I was relieved that we had a simple fix, but I still thought that the seller owed me for the repair. There were pictures on the listing showing that now broken features were working before I picked up the car. Obviously the seller disagreed, but Cars and Bids was still keen on getting me a good solution. I provided my proof comparing the listing to what I had picked up and Cars and Bids agreed with me. They barred the seller from access to the platform until they made things right with me.

Now being the super chill nice guy that I am, I only expected the cost of the repair, and not any of the diagnosis I paid for. The seller obviously disagreed. We ran the normal gamut of excuses to stall, but in the end I got a check in the mail.

Cars and Bids really went above and beyond here. The fee I paid them for the transaction was well worth the mediation and care that they provided me during this process. Had this been a private party craigslist transaction, or even one with a local dealership I likely would have had to get an attorney involved and at that point I would just be spending money to punish someone without a chance of me coming out break even. It's rare to get any customer service on the internet outside of a business to business context these days, so to have a company working hard to take care of you after a transaction has been completed and they have nothing else to gain is a really rare sight.

I can't promise it will be soon, but as long as Doug owns Cars and bids I will be buying my 911 from the site in the future. 🏎️