Auction Stages and Bid Types

Every auction has two stages: Preliminary Bidding and Live Auction.

Stage One: Preliminary bidding

When Copart receives a new vehicle, the vehicle is assigned a sale date and enters Preliminary Bidding.

  • Bid now - Enter your max bid price for the vehicle. If you are the highest pre-bidder, our BID4U program places incremental bids on your behalf during live bidding (a second stage). If the bidder is outbid they will receive an email notification and are provided with the opportunity to increase their maximum bid.
  • Buy it now - In the case of some vehicles, the seller has opted to provide the opportunity for buyers to buy the vehicle at a listed price, rather than go through the auction process.
  • Make an offer – the seller has opted to provide the opportunity for buyers to make an offer to buy the vehicle, rather than go through the auction process. A buyer can make an offer on any lot with the “Make an Offer” button.


Please Note: Once an Offer, Bid, or Buy it Now request is made, it cannot be retracted or canceled. If your bid or offer is accepted, you will be contractually bound to purchase the vehicle for your bid/offer price plus any applicable auction and AutoBidMaster fees.

The items are available for bidding until one hour before the Live Auction start. The highest bid during Preliminary Bidding determines the starting bid of the Live Auction.

Stage Two:  Live auction

When the sale date is reached the Live Auction begins that day. Live auctions move very quickly and typically have a length of only few minutes.

  • Bid - This is the incremental bid you place in real time once the Virtual “Live” Auction starts. You can also increase the amount one or more increments over the current bid
  • Bid4U - will only bid one increment over the current bid to maintain your position as the highest bidder. This allows you to purchase a vehicle below your maximum bid if bidding doesn't meet or exceed your maximum bid.
  • Monster bid - you can bypass the standard incremental successive bid amount with placing a bid that is greater than the next standard increment.


Live bidding is only available for "Advanced" or "Premium" Members. You can join a Live Auction from the "Vehicle Finder" or by clicking the Join Live Auction button, located in the "Bid Information" section of the lot page. Basic members must upgrade their membership to join a live auction.


Was this article helpful?
0 out of 0 found this helpful
Have more questions? Submit a request