Buyer Tips

3 Easy Ways to Increase Your Chances of Success at a Dealer Auction

By Mike Richards Updated: 12/11/2017 Posted: 04/17/2017

If you’ve ever come away from an auction with nothing to show for it, you understand the frustration of being outbid over and over. There are times when it might feel like you’ll never get anywhere shopping dealer auctions, whether online or in person. But it could be that you aren’t utilizing some important bidding techniques. Here are three to try at your next auction:

Proxy Bidding

Proxy bidding is generally only applicable to certain online dealer auctions. This is a system that is very popular because it allows buyers to stay in the game without needing to be physically present. You simply set your maximum bid as well as your starting point, and the website will automatically increase your bid as others come in, all the way up to your maximum. As long as no one else has met or exceeded your max price, you will always be the top bidder. Whatever the bid is when the auction closes is what the car sold for.

Bid Sniping

Bid sniping can be done at either physical or online dealer auctions; however, it is likely to be most effective at physical auctions. Here’s why: Bid sniping means to put in your bid at the very last second, right before the bid closes. Online, this means hovering over the bid button till the last second, hoping that no other bidders are doing the same and will outbid you. In person, this means waiting till the auctioneer is wrapping things up to call your bid.

In person this can work, so long as the auctioneer doesn’t just start accepting more bids. Online, however, this can be a problem because of proxy bidding. You never know if a bidder has a high maximum set, and by leaving yourself no time to counter-bid whatever their next increment is, you’ve made it impossible to compete.

Buy Now

This may be cheating a little, but it’s a surefire way to come away from a dealer auction with something to show for it. Most online auction sites will have a “buy now” option, where bidders can avoid the auction altogether and just buy the vehicle for the price the seller has indicated. At certain physical auctions, this may also be available. While you won’t be getting the best deal possible with this option, it does allow you to get out of a dealer auction with a new product or a new car for your own needs. Most auction sites remove this option once the bidding begins, so be sure to grab these deals quickly.

Arm Yourself for Your Next Dealer Auction

The next time you are ready to explore a dealer auction, keep these three types of bidding in mind. You may find that you’ll have much more luck if you take the time to strategize before diving in to a physical or online dealer auction.

Explore our Vehicle Auctions, as well as finding more information about How These Auctions Work.