How Auctions Work
Upon completion of the public registration or dealer registration process, review the policies and the rules and regulations of the auction. It is very important that you understand what the “lights” and announcements mean. If you are unsure about any of the rules, announcements, procedures or auction policies, visit the front counter and ask a Georgia Carolina Auto Auction employee for clarification.
How to preview a vehicle at an auto auction:
- Begin by walking completely around the vehicle for a “visual” inspection. Upon completion of this, look closely at any areas that may have damage. Determine if the vehicle’s exterior meets your standards and expectations.
- Open the trunk, hood compartment and all doors. Confirm that all these items open and close properly. Inspect the interior of the vehicle to ensure that it meets your standards and expectations.
- Start the engine and let it idle while listening for any noises, squeaks or rattles. If anything sounds unusual, investigate until you are satisfied and have enough information to make a buying decision.
- While the vehicle is idling, engage the transmission to confirm that it engages in both “drive” and “reverse”. If the opportunity exists, take the car for short test drive within the time parameters, designated area, and speed limit on the vehicle auction property. If you are not sure what these guidelines are, go to front counter and inquire
- Once your examination is complete, utilize all the data gathered, research the market and book values, and determine your target acquisition price. Make sure to factor in the auction fees when setting a target price. Always know your target price range before you enter the “live” auction.
Things to know when bidding at an auction:
Above the auctioneer there is a light system. Make sure you look to see what light(s) are illuminated and that you understand what they mean.
- "GREEN" Light – the seller represents that the vehicle is sound and subject to all arbitration policies.
- "RED" Light – the vehicle is being sold "as is" mechanically. Please review auction policies and procedures for a more detailed explanation.
- "YELLOW" Light – listen to the announcement made by the auctioneer. The selling dealer must announce any item subject to arbitration, when these items are announced; they are no longer subject to arbitration. All other items not announced may be arbitrated if they fall in arbitration guidelines.
- "BLUE" Light – assignable title does not accompany the vehicle; seller has 30 days to provide an assignable title to the auction. Please review auction policies and procedures for a more detailed explanation.
How to bid on a car:
- Do your homework. Always know your target price range before you enter the “live” auction lane.
- Get in the auction lane early and listen to the auctioneer. They talk fast, and it takes a while to get in sync and understand what they are saying.
- There is usually a “ring man” in each auction lane. They are there to identify bidders and help them get the vehicle they are bidding on. Never bid unless you are sure that you are bidding on the right car and understand the amount the auctioneer is chanting. If you have any doubt what is being said, stop the ring man (or auctioneer), and ask them to clarify the bid amount. Once they are aware that you are having trouble keeping up with the bidding, they will make sure you understand subsequent bids.