Vehicles Auctions at Copart and IAAI

Bidding History on Vehicles Auctions at Copart and IAAI (2024)

Every auction consists of two stages: Preliminary Bidding and Live Auction. This article will try to explain everything you need to know on this topic. 

Stage One: Preliminary Bidding

Preliminary Bidding on cars


Upon receiving a new vehicle, Copart and IAAI designates a sale date, and the vehicle enters Preliminary Bidding. Vehicles can be listed with the following options: “Bid now,” “Buy it now,” or “Make an offer.”

  1. Bid now – If the status displays “Bid now,” you can enter your maximum bid price for the vehicle. If you become the highest pre-bidder, AutoBidMaster’s Bid4U program will place incremental bids on your behalf during the live bidding phase (the second stage). If you get outbid, you’ll receive an email notification and have the chance to increase your maximum bid.
  2. Buy it now – For certain vehicles, the seller may choose to offer buyers the option to purchase the vehicle immediately at a listed price, bypassing the auction process.
  3. Make an offer – In some cases, the seller might provide the opportunity for buyers to make an offer to purchase the vehicle, rather than going through the standard auction process. You can submit an offer on any lot with the “Make an Offer” button.

You can view the sales history at auctions on our website

Bidding is available until one hour before the Live Auction starts. The highest bid during Preliminary Bidding sets the starting bid for the Live Auction.

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

Stage Two: Live Auction

On the sale date, the Live Auction commences. Live auctions move swiftly and typically last only a few minutes. During the Live Auction, the following bid types are available, each serving a specific purpose:

car bidding online


  1. Incremental bid – This is the bid you place in real-time once the virtual Live Auction begins. You can also increase the bid by one or more increments over the current bid.
  2. Bid4U – This bid will only raise the current bid by one increment to maintain your position as the highest bidder. It allows you to purchase a vehicle below your maximum bid if bidding doesn’t reach or surpass it.
  3. 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 become the winning bid if no other bidder submits a higher bid during either the pre-bid phase or the live auction. In the event of a tie between pre-bid and live bid amounts, the virtual (live) bidder prevails as the highest bidder on the item.
  4. Monster bid – With this type of bid, you can bypass the standard incremental successive bid amount by placing a bid greater than the next standard increment.

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