Regardless of their mileage or whether they’re running properly or not, most vehicles at auctions tend to get labeled “as is” in order to prevent any headaches for the auction house down the line. So don’t go in expecting warranties or the ability to sue someone for selling you a total piece of crap. Auctions are like gambling in a lot of ways, and the only way to win is to pay to play.
“We usually send [PropertyRoom] our jewelry - since they appraise it - and things like high-end Coach purses,” said Robin Neal, property officer with the Fremont, Calif., police department. “My experience of them is that they are very honest with the condition of the item they put online. We have also had officers who work for our department utilize the site for purchase and were very happy with it.”
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.