The majority of the vehicles found at local auctions will need some work done to them in order to be deemed “road-worthy.” Knowing this before you ever set foot on the grounds is a major part of deciding if this is the right way for you to source an automobile. A low bid on a crappy car has the potential to leave you stranded on the side of the road, so if you aren’t a savvy DIY wrencher, you’d better have one hell of a trustworthy mechanic.


General Disclaimer: Get Rich Slowly is an independent website managed by J.D. Roth, who is not a trained financial expert. His knowledge comes from the school of hard knocks. He does his best to provide accurate, useful info, but makes no guarantee that all readers will achieve the same level of success. If you have questions, consult a trained professional.
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"There are two types of public auctions," explains Steven Lang, who runs a used car dealership in the Atlanta area and once owned a dealer auction (not open to the public). "There are government auctions and there are public auctions." Both are full of potential pitfalls. Here's a quick rundown on both and 10 tips for getting the most out of either. That is, if you dare to venture into the auction pit.
To bid, you'll mostly need to go to an auction house on the day and bid in person. However, some auction houses now offer live internet or telephone bidding. You'll have to register to bid with the auction house, whether you're bidding in person or not. You should be able to find out when the next police auction will be held by visiting the auction house's website.
The majority of the vehicles found at local auctions will need some work done to them in order to be deemed “road-worthy.” Knowing this before you ever set foot on the grounds is a major part of deciding if this is the right way for you to source an automobile. A low bid on a crappy car has the potential to leave you stranded on the side of the road, so if you aren’t a savvy DIY wrencher, you’d better have one hell of a trustworthy mechanic.
Cars at public auctions are often those that wouldn't sell at wholesale dealer auctions. Yes, some are flood vehicles, and Hurricane Irene should still be fresh in your mind. Some are cars quickly reconditioned in dealership shops to fill in slow periods when there's otherwise little work to be done. And many are just flat out junk. "A car that goes across the block at a public auction that isn't spewing smoke is often packed with thick racing oil to ensure it doesn't," Lang continues. "Everything at a public auction looks shiny, but shiny doesn't mean much about the quality of the car."
Find an auction that sells newer cars where the public is allowed to attend. Most auto auctions are run for dealers only, but some are open to the public. Vehicles at an auction are generally ex-rentals, off-lease, repossessions, or government vehicles. Mine was a trade-in being sold by a dealership. A quick google search for “your area or city + public + auto auction” should do the trick to find an auction in your area.

As the action at public auctions has grown hotter, the cars have grown shadier. "I've personally seen cars with over 300,000 miles on their clocks rolled back to 120,000 and sold as 'Miles Exempt' meaning no guarantee of mileage," he says. "Most of the cars at a public auction are the worst trade-ins or very rough repos." And as in a government auction, you can't drive a public auction vehicle before you bid on it.
Agree with you. One bidder can not win an auction, because it is equal to the starting price. That’s why the cars must be posted to such auctions which has more potential clients or even partners. Car-Liquidation is an Auto Auction Association who helps sellers to gather bidders from all over the USA. So if one bidder will be from one state, from the other state will for sure appear another one. Because they have 1000s of auction partners and they share the sellers cars between them. So an auction car will be sold faster.
If a bidder is logged into the bidding page, a message will display on screen OUTBID. If you are logged out of the system, you will receive an email with the subject “You were outbid”. Within the email is a link to place another bid. If you have downloaded the CWS Auctions App on your phone, you will also receive a text alert when you’ve been outbid.
Cars at government and public auctions sell on visual inspection alone. So look at everything and look for telltale signs of repairs such as paint overspray, less than smooth sheet metal, puddles under the vehicle, scored brake discs, an uneven stance and a million other details. Use your nose, hands and legs, too. If a car smells musty or the carpeting is wet, run away.
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.
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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