How to Be Successful at Auto Auctions

woman Sign Contract with car dealer after a auto auctions

Are you interested in buying cars at a discounted price? Auto auctions online sales are your go-to place! Whether you’re a car dealer, savvy investor, or a private buyer, auto auctions offer an opportunity to purchase vehicles at a fraction of their retail value. With the rise of online auto auctions, you can effortlessly browse and buy cars from the comfort of your home. However, how do you ensure you succeed at these auctions and get the best deals possible? 

In this article, we’ll share tips and tricks on being successful at auto auctions online and in person. From researching the vehicles beforehand to attending previews and setting a budget, we’ll cover everything you need to know to ensure you get the most out of your auction experience.

10 Valuable Tips and Tricks 

Whether you’re a pro or new to auto auctions, there are always new strategies to learn. At, we want to equip you with the essential tools and knowledge you need to be successful at auto auctions. 

1- Do Your Research 

Before you start bidding, it’s essential to do your research. Gather all the information you can about the car you want to buy. Read up on its make, model, condition, and estimated value. It will help you understand the competitive landscape and make an informed decision during the auction. 

2 – Attend Previews 

Attend a preview of the car before the auction. It’ll enable you to inspect the vehicle in person to understand its condition better. However, online presentations are done through videos and photos. 

Take pictures of your preferred car displaying its exterior and interior, the engine, and everything that matters to help you make an informed decision before bidding.

3 – Get to the Auction Early 

Arriving at the auction earlier is even better. It gives you ample time to wander around and identify the car you’re enthusiastic about and interact with people. You’ll have the time to inspect the vehicle and look for any issues to avoid last-minute rushes. 

Furthermore, getting to the auction earlier gives you time to research the vehicle’s history. You can request a CarFax or AutoCheck vehicle history report to provide insightful information about the car. Once you’ve understood the data, you can make an informed bid, protect yourself from fraud, or buy a damaged car. 

4 – Let Someone Accompany You to the Auction 

Used vehicle auctions can be overwhelming. And going by yourself reduces your chances of securing a great deal. Therefore, bringing an experienced buyer to help you learn the ropes would be best. 

5 – Make Good Use of Your Eyes and Senses 

Cars at a public auction sell exclusively on visual inspection. Therefore, you must observe them closely with a keen eye for detail. Focus on any signs of repair, like paint overspray, scored brake discs, rough sheet metal, and uneven stance, among other indicators. Furthermore, a musty-smelling car is not worth bidding on. Walking away is the best option in such cases.

6 – Know What You Can and Can’t Fix 

While you can repair minor damages such as broken mirrors and burned-out headlights, major repairs like leaking head gaskets can be expensive. Don’t place your bid on a vehicle with significant mechanical damages unless you’re confident enough to make a profit from it. 

7 – Set Your Limit

Sellers at an auction thrive on the excitement of the competition that encourages buyers to bid to win. It’s normal to get excited at an auction, especially when your dream car is available. Don’t get caught up in the excitement. Set a comfortable price limit before walking into the auction. It’ll help you keep your emotions out of the way and not overpay. 

8 – Take Note of Other Bidders at the Auction 

Patience is key. Take your time to observe the actions of other bidders. Pay attention to any suspicious activity. There might be bidders who participate in every lot to hike up the price of cars. We recommend you attend a few auctions before participating in one. 

9 – Understand What “As Is” Means in an Auction

Understanding what ‘As-Is’ means can help you get the best deal from an auto auction. In other words, ‘As-Is’ means the vehicle is sold with all existing faults and imperfections. There are no guarantees or warranties once you drive that car off. 

You can’t return the vehicle after discovering that you’ve purchased nothing but a chunk of metal. Therefore, avoid bidding if you’re not ready to incur such losses and disappointments. 

10 – Know the Rules

Auctions have different rules. Each auction is unique. Therefore, it’s up to you to know these rules – how things work at each auction, whether you’re a buyer or a seller. 

In a nutshell, it’s essential to know the ins and outs of auto auctions. Once you’re well acquainted with these tips and tricks and more confident in placing winning bids, navigating around car auctions can be an enjoyable experience. And, if you’re unsure how to maneuver your way into profit, the auction can make you run into losses faster than you can declare “out of business!” 

Online Auto Auctions

Contrary to conventional auctions, auto auctions online platforms use a catalog-style interface to draw online rather than foot traffic. You don’t have to travel distances to an auction house. You can quickly bid on your favorite car from the comfort of your home. Furthermore, you can place bids on multiple vehicles simultaneously. 

Auto auctions online are simple. To bid, you should:

  • Create an account on the auction website. 
  • Located the auction page 
  • Register for the auction 
  • Get approval from the auctioneer 
  • Place your bid on the car you’re interested in
  • Pay for your winning, and 
  • Plan how you’ll get your vehicle with the auctioneer 

Are You Ready to Be Successful at Auto Auctions? 

Knowledge, adequate preparation, and discipline are the key to success at bidding. With these valuable tips and tricks, success at auto auctions is effortless. Check out’s inventory today. Our comprehensive vehicle reports make it easy to find the car of your choice. Get in touch online with us or visit one of our live auctions. You can also call us at (877) 824 3337 or text us at (877) 8BIDDER for more information.


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