What are 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. Vehicles may be listed with “Bid now”, “Buy it now”, or “Make an offer”.

  • Bid now – If the status shows “Bid now” this is where you enter your maximum bid price for the vehicle. If you are the highest pre-bidder, AutoBidMaster's Bid4U program places incremental bids on your behalf during live bidding (a second stage). If you are outbid, you will receive an email notification and have the opportunity to increase your maximum bid.
  • Buy it now - with 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 – With some vehicles, the seller has chosen to give the opportunity for buyers to make an offer to buy the vehicle, rather than go through the auction process. You can make an offer on any lot with the “Make an Offer” button.

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.

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 must purchase the vehicle for your bid/offer price plus any applicable auction and AutoBidMaster fees.

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. Here are the possible bid types during the Live Auction, and what they can do for you:

  • Incremental bid - This is the 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 - This bid 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.
  • Pre-bids during the Live Auction - you can place a pre-bid during the live auction, as late as two minutes before the vehicle appears on the auction block. Your pre-bid will be represented during the live auction and could be the winning bid if no other bidder submits a higher bid during either the pre-bid phase or the live auction. Note that when there is a tie between pre-bid and live bid amounts, the virtual (live) bidder prevails as the highest bidder on the item.
  • 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 “Basic” “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.

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