Flash Auctions
Try out our new feature. Be fast. Save Big!

How to Handle Ghost Bidding at Car Dealer Auctions

Date: 06/29/2017 |Category: Car Auctions

Have you ever been to a car dealer auction where you just couldn’t get a good deal? Maybe every time you placed a bid, you were driven up, till your budget was blown and you had to back down. In most cases, this is just the result of a very competitive market, filled with lots of newcomers who don’t always know when to call the bidding quits.

But in some cases, even at online car dealer auctions, a practice called ghost bidding can be what’s making you spend your cash.

What Is Ghost Bidding?

Basically, ghost bidding is another way to say “fake bidding”, and it’s a shady practice that no auctioneer is going to admit to. The auctioneer will create a fake bidder, one who does not exist, in a crowded area. As you bid, the auctioneer will point to the “other bidder”, who keeps outbidding you until the auctioneer deems the price high enough, or you stop bidding.

There’s a similar system that doesn’t involve the auctioneer (instead, the vehicle rep keeps the ghost bidder in the game), and of course, it’s just as easy to do online with a bidding bot. What it all boils down to is that someone is getting paid to make you spend more money at car dealer auctions by creating competition that does not exist.

What Can You Do?

If you are at a car dealer auction in person, the best way to avoid ghost bidding is to position yourself in such a way that you can see the crowd. Granted, most auto buyers don’t jump up and down when they are bidding. But you should at least be able to tell if the auctioneer is even pointing in the direction of real activity.

Whether you are in person or joining in an online car dealer auction, stop bidding if you suspect ghost bidding is going on. First of all, there’s no way to win against a ghost bidder. They don’t care about the car or its resale value; their only goal is to force you to spend more than you should.

Second, think about it: there’s no way that a person whose goal is just to make a quick buck is going to end up actually taking possession of all the cars they ghost bid on. Most of the time, they’ll No Sale the vehicle, and you’ll be able to pick it up for your last sensible bid.

Online Auctions Get Smarter

The practice of ghost bidding is another great reason why online car dealer auctions should be your go-to. Websites have feedback systems and aggressive tracking that helps weed these bidders and bots out much faster than an auction lot can in person. If you have experienced problems with ghost bidding in the past, you may want to consider switching totally to online car dealer auctions.

Auto Auction Specialist Used car expert The largest salvage & insurance vehicle auction marketplace online.
Bid on over 200,000 vehicles for sale right now.
1-800-680-8010

Ready to get started?

Register a free user account and start bidding on your dream car right now!

Sign up for free

Unfortunately we are not in the office right now

Let us call you back during our business hours

Thank you!
We will contact you on:

{{cbTime}}am {{cbWeekday}}

{{phoneNumber}}

Ok, got it!
We speak your language:
English, Spanish, Portugeese and Russian
< Back
  • Auction Process
    • Do you offer live bidding?
    • What is the difference between, “auction” car, and a “buy now” car?
    • What is a Reserve Price?
    • What does the bid amount include?
    • How does the auction process work?
  • Deposits and Pre-Bidding
    • Is the security deposit refundable?
    • How do international customers make a deposit in their account?
    • How does the security deposit process work?
    • Can I cancel a bid?
    • Can I inspect vehicles prior to auction?
    • Is automatic bidding or pre-bidding available?
    • What is the total bidding amount?
    • What is a bid in active status?
    • What is a bid in pending status?
    • What is the best way to win an auction?
    • How do I search for a car available at auction?
    • How does the auction process work?
  • Post-Auction and Payments
    • What does a customer need to do to get the title to a vehicle?
    • How do I pick up the car I purchased?
    • Are there storage fees if I cannot pick up my vehicle immediately?
    • Do you Issue Temporary Plates?
    • Can I pay in cash?
    • Are there late payment penalties?
    • What are the payment terms?
    • How do I pay for an auction?
    • What if I fail to may a payment as required?
    • When is the balance due on a purchase?
    • When will I be notified of the results of the auction?
    • Bidding has ended. Is my bid the highest?
    • Why did I receive notice after bidding ended that my bid is no longer the highest?
  • Shipping and Delivery
    • How will it be mailed to me?
    • When will I receive the title?
    • Can I have the title mailed to an address/name different from the address/name on my account?
    • I have an agent working on my behalf can this person pick up my vehicle?
    • Do you offer delivery?
    • When can I pick up a car I have won at auction?
  • Understanding Salvage Titles
    • What is NMVTIS and how is it used?
    • Understanding the salvage title/rebuilt title distinction
    • What are the different types of titles a vehicle may have?
    • I received a different type of title than the one in the description. I received an equivalent title from a different state. Why?
  • User Registration
    • What are the rules regarding new customers and customers not in good standing?
    • Can I just buy one car?
    • I do not have a dealer license; can I bid or buy a car?
    • What information do I need to provide to register?
    • Do I have to pay to register?
    • Do I need to register to bid?