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“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.”
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. 

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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.

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.
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.
Private auctions are held on-site at your dealership. Each vehicle is driven either underneath the tent in front of a self-contained mobile operations unit. In some cases we can even transform a building at your dealership into an auction arena. These dealer only auctions are conducted live by an auctioneer and are designed to sell 40-200 vehicles. Operated much like a conventional auto auction, these private auctions are easily adapted to the specific needs of your dealership, with even simulcast sales available.
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