How to Win an Auto Auction

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In this blog series, we’ve already written about auto auction basics, but what about when it actually comes time to bid—are you prepared? We’re pulling together our collective experience to give you the best auction tips we’ve come across. That’s why we’re calling this blog: How to Win an Auto Auction.

Reviewing these car auction tips should help you level-set and be prepared to win your next auction. While we can’t promise 100% effective results, you can develop these ideas into best practices to boost your chances of winning your dream car.

Make Sure You Can Bid

Whether it’s paying attention to different states’ licensing requirements, completing the sign up process, or submitting your photo ID—it’s absolutely essential that you’re able to bid on an auto auction in order to potentially win it. If you spend most of the time searching for the perfect car but aren’t ready to bid on it, you’ll miss out. It 

Don’t Get Too Attached

Believe us, we’re visual people and we get attached to beautiful cars (it’s an occupational hazard). But because bidding can get a little intense at times, it’s best to not get too attached to a car until you win it (unless it’s a Buy It Now car—then you can get as attached as you want).

Don’t Put All Your Eggs in the Same Basket

Do people still use this expression? What we mean by “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket” is this: don’t stop searching, even if you think you’ve found what you want. Keep your Watchlists and Vehicle Alerts up to date to make sure you know what cars come in, and what cars are up for auction. So, if you lose an auction, don’t stress out. Unless the car is one-of-a-kind, there are probably more available. It might take a while for another car to pop up again, but it will happen.

Do Your Research

The point of an auction is to score a deal, right? But when you get into it, sometimes you might end up paying more than what you intended to pay. While that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it’s important to pay attention to the price of the auction compared to the monetary value. If things are getting too high above your budget, it might be time to look for another vehicle.

Bid on Multiple Vehicles

Auctions are notoriously competitive, so to maximize your chances of winning, try bidding on multiple vehicles at the same time. It’ll help you have a better view of the competition and during the auction you can always prioritize one vehicle over the other. In order to bid on multiple vehicles at the same time at Copart you’ll need to become a Premier Member, which gives you great benefits like not paying the 10% minimum deposit on your max bids (after a one-time refundable deposit of $400).


Hopefully you can apply these tips to your next Copart auto auction. Browse our vehicles and try it out. Let us know how you did in the comments below!

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