No, I was not referencing salvage auctions. Local auto auctions are extremely tricky, and I would never recommend them as a thrift-shopping device to anyone by an expert. I work for several dealerships, and each and everyone one sends cars to auctions ONLY if they think they would do the dealerships’ reputation harm. I’m glad you think you got a great deal and I really hope you’re one of the exceptions, but I would proceed very carefully with the new car, and I would take it to the best mechanic you can find immediately.

K – Your assertions may be true for your stores, but that is not the case for the bulk of vehicles at auction. Many dealerships will send off brand trade ins to the auction (ex: Chevrolet dealer takes a Ford in on trade). Additionally dealerships will often “turn” their inventory sometime between 60-120 days. If they’ve purchased a car and it’s not moving many dealers will move it to get their cash back out of the car and put it back into another car that they might be able to retail, and make a profit on.
Watch the mood and trend of the crowd in the bidding before your vehicle comes up for sale. I've noticed that at auctions there are frugal crowds and there are spendy crowds. I don't know why this is. I've seen furniture, tools, and kitchen cabinets sell for 10% of retail. But I've also seen them sell at what you'd pay for full retail in a store at the same auction house on different days. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to it. Always be prepared to walk away. There'll be another auction in a week or two.
Over 600 lots of fresh to market antiques, collectibles, fine art, furniture, decorative arts, Asian, much more!!!! Follow the end of the Rainbow to William Bunch Auctions for your pot of gold filled with Sports items, clocks, fishing rods & reels, Waterford stemware, large variety of table lamps, jewelry, watches, stained glass panels, old photographs, books, modern & antique toys,   [ View Full Listing ]
You will be required to bring all of your paperwork (Bill of Sale/Receipt and Dealers License, if needed), Identification, and gate fee of $30 to your assigned pickup date and time.  Important note: If you are sending someone else to pick up your vehicle (including a shipping company), you must call Corona’s Auto Parts and Towing to inform them of who will be picking up the vehicle, and you must send a notarized letter of authorization that the individual picking up the vehicle must have with him/her upon pickup.
Immediately after the bidding, the high bidder will be required to provide their deposit check as the initial earnest money deposit on the property. In most cases, the second high bidder (back-up bidder) will also be required to make a deposit. If you are not the high bidder or second high bidder, we do not collect your deposit.  The Terms of Sale will explain deposit requirements for each property. This deposit is non-refundable. Personal or business checks, money orders, cash, credit cards, bank letters, or letters of credit will not be accepted.
U.S. Marshal's Service Auctions : And finally, the U.S. Marshal's service auctions off some true bling as part of its mission to "combat major criminal activity by disrupting and dismantling illegal enterprises" and "depriving criminals of the proceeds of illegal activity." Once again, there is real estate, but also businesses, cash cars, collectibles — and more. 
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