So, you found your dream car on an online auction—what do you do next? We have plenty of pages on Copart.com that let you know how to buy a vehicle in an auto auction, but today we’re doing something a bit different. We’ll be taking you through a typical buying process for an individual Copart Member—let’s call her Karen. We’ll explore Karen’s experience from simply looking for her dream car to bidding on it. And if she wins, we’ll give you an update on her next steps in the following week.
Vehicle Alert Email
Karen has been a Copart Member since 2017 (thanks, Karen). A few weeks ago, she created a Vehicle Alert for a 2019 Honda Accord. She’s been searching for a specific type of Accord (the Touring edition), preferably in white. She occasionally gets a text message letting her know new Honda Accords have been added to Copart’s inventory, but she still hasn’t seen exactly what she wanted—until earlier this week.
Her notification Monday morning let her know of a Honda Accord Touring Edition in an upcoming auction. And, after further inspection, she finds that it’s exactly what she’s looking for. The vehicle is going on sale in the next few days, so Karen has some things she needs to prepare in a short amount of time. Where will she start?
Checking the State Licensing Requirements
Before getting too excited, Karen makes special care to check where the vehicle is located so she can see what type of licensing requirements might be involved. She doesn’t have a business license, so she might have to contact a Broker if the state doesn’t allow the sale of clean and salvage titled vehicles without a business license.
Since the Honda Accord is being sold in her home state of Tennessee, which currently doesn’t require a business license to buy the vehicles she wants, she can bid on it without contacting a Broker. But Karen will need to do a bit more research before she’s ready to bid.
Viewing Vehicle Photos
One of the first things Karen does is navigate to the photos. Thankfully, Copart always provides ten HD photos that show the front, back, sides and inside of the car. The Honda Accord is a little beat up, but she thinks it might be fixable. She notices the primary damage is on the front end, but she checks the other pictures just to make sure there aren’t any other issues.
Requesting a Condition Report and/or Scheduling an Inspection
Since there is some damage to the front of the car, Karen decides she should look at a Condition Report for more information. It’ll be the best way to get a bigger picture of this particular car’s history. She could also possibly view the car in person before the auction, but her schedule is pretty packed, so she instead arranges for a third-party Inspector to go and look at the car for her. When she gets the results back (just in time for the auction to start), everything looks good. She’s finally ready to bid.
Starting the Auction
The auction is finally here and it’s time to bid. Since Karen is already a Premier Member, she doesn’t have to worry about adding an extra deposit if the auction gets higher than a certain amount. She sees that the Sale Status is set at Minimum Bid, which means that the auction will have to hit a certain price for her bid to be accepted, but since the auction is already at $3,000, she sees that the seller reserve has been met. She bids a few times in increments and stays on top of things. With only 25 minutes left on the auction, will she win?
Find out next week what happens to Karen in our follow-up blog. If you can’t wait, join an auction yourself and get in on the action!