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.
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.
Automobiles, which are auctioned in US government car auctions, come from Internal Revenue Service, US Customs Service and US Marshall Service along with other government agencies. The cars in these local vehicle auctions are bided for the best price and then sold off. It is only a matter of right information in relation to the schedules and cars, which can help you in walking off with the best deal from these vehicle auctions.

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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.
All items are sold “AS IS-WHERE IS” without any guarantees or warranty expressed or implied, statutory or otherwise of any nature whatsoever in respect of the lots offered at the auction. Specifically, but without limitation, Auctioneer makes no representation or warranty that any of the lots conform to any standard in respect of safety, pollution or hazardous material, or fit for any particular purpose. The Auctioneers, sellers, or any member of their staff make no guarantee as to the authenticity, of any particular age, year of manufacture, model, make, mileage, hours, condition, or defect of any lot or item being sold. Bidders are encouraged to make their own physical inspection and rely solely on that inspection before bidding. Failure to inspect does not negate that Bidders responsibility to perform under the auction terms and conditions.

Do the homework, sometimes even ‘bad’ car can be a great deal at an auction. I recently bought a minivan that was listed as having a blown transmission. A little research discovered this is a common problem for that make and year. At the preview, I had my mechanic (whom I trust) on speed dial and got an estimate on the spot to replace the transmission with a new, 5-year warrentied rebuilt one. The bids on the van were low (who’d buy a vehicle with a bad transmission?), and even with the purchase price, the cost of the new transmission and towing to my mechanic, it still came in way below KBB value. And I know it has a worry-free transmission for the next 5 years. So don’t let even a ‘problem’ car scare you off if you’re willing to do the homework and hassle of getting it fixed.
It is strongly recommended that you attend the open houses/inspections that are scheduled prior to sale. The bidder is invited, urged, and cautioned to inspect the property prior to submitting a bid. Failure to inspect property shall not constitute cause for cancellation of sale. Property will be available for inspection only at the times specified.  At their own expense, potential bidders may have property inspectors examine the property during regularly scheduled open houses. 

In economics we tend to think of auctions as a good way to get at the true price of an object. Of course, it isn’t quite perfect as there’s still problems with information asymmetries, and people can get a winner’s curse because the people who err in thinking the car is worth more than it actually is are the ones who are likely to win. On the other hand, the price can go lower if there just aren’t enough people at the auction for that to happen– you need at least two people over-valuing the object and willing to pay for it for one of them to over-pay.
Cashier’s or Certified checks made payable to CWS Marketing Group, Inc are the only forms of payment accepted. Forms of payment that are not accepted include: Personal or business checks, money orders, cash, credit cards, bank letters, or letters of credit. Click here to view a sample check. Please check the Terms of Sale for the specific instructions regarding payment. A link to the Terms of Sale can be found on each property’s webpage.
As you browse the government auction sites above, you'll notice some link you to additional sites run by private contractors. These contractors have legitimate relationships with the government, but bidder beware: other private companies will try to make their auctions seem like government auctions as a marketing ploy. Always start with the legitimate links provided by the government itself. Good luck!

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