Here’s the last installation of “Where do Salvage Vehicles Come From?” In Part 1 of this series we talked about how salvage vehicles get branded, and where they end up afterwards. In Part 2, we talked about the benefits of using AutoBidMaster as your broker. Now, we’re going to go over the whole bidding process, so you’ll be better equipped to get your own salvage vehicle at auction.


It’s easy. Just head over to and click the ‘register now’ button in the top right-hand corner of the screen. Fill in your contact information or sign in with a Facebook or Google account. Then you’ll choose your membership type, and that’s it!

The bidding process

Before you can start bidding, you’ll need to place a refundable security deposit. Your deposit is 10% of your buyer power, or maximum allowed bid. You can place your deposit by credit card or bank wire transfer.

AutoBidMaster members can bid during preliminary bidding phases or, if they’re an Advanced or Premium member, participate in live auctions. Pre-bidding means placing a bid on the vehicle prior to the live auction. If your bid is the highest, you will be represented in the live auction by our software. We’ll bid incrementally on your behalf, so you won’t reach your maximum price if it’s unnecessary. So, for example, if you place a maximum bid of $9,000 on a vehicle but the live auction only reaches $7,500, we won’t bid all the way up to your maximum bid! For live bidding, however, you’re bidding in real-time. You can bid as high as your deposit allows.

There are vehicles listed with a “Buy It Now” option, which means you can skip the entire auction process and pay for the vehicle at its listed price. It’s important to note that the bid you’re placing doesn’t include auction fees. Each listing has a fee calculator below the bidding field, make sure to use it to figure out what your total costs will be.

Auctions are held between Monday and Friday throughout the day. There are also Night Cap sales, which are held Monday through Thursday at 9:00 PM Eastern Time. Night Cap Sales feature vehicles that didn’t sell during regular auction or a second chance pre-bidding period. They typically have less participants because of their time, so they are often great opportunities to find a vehicle.

You can also inspect a vehicle at the yard before placing a bid (and you should!) either by yourself or through a certified inspector.

If you win the auction, we’ll notify you right away.

Paying for your vehicle

Once you’ve won an auction, payment is due the next business day after the end of the auction by 5:00 PM PST. We only accept bank wire transfers for vehicle payments, and the invoice we’ll send you has all the instructions you need for a wire transfer. Make sure you pay before the next business day is over or you’ll incur late payment fees.

What about picking up the vehicle from the yard?

Vehicles need to be removed by a licensed tow provider from the yard. Most auction yards can load the vehicle for you, or if it rolls or drives easily, the driver who is picking it up will be able to load the vehicle. Generally, vehicles are to be loaded by whoever is picking the vehicle up, so make sure that the shipping company you use can arrange loading. It’s always a good idea to contact the yard directly to make sure loading the vehicle is taken care of.

For shipping, we recommend using EasyHaul, and every listing on AutoBidMaster has a field on the right side of the page that’ll give you a shipping quote!

Storage Fees

Typically, Copart yards begin charging storage after the second calendar day from the sale date. So it’s important to make sure the vehicle is paid for and shipping is taken care of as soon as possible to avoid racking up extra storage fees. The timeline may change from yard to yard, so check directly with them to make sure. It’s best to avoid fees altogether by paying for the vehicle and arranging shipping as soon as possible, though.

All storage fees incurred need to be paid in full before the vehicle can be removed from the yard. Sometimes, the driver that is picking up your vehicle pay the storage fees, and you can reimburse them when they deliver the vehicle. Just be sure to ask for a receipt.

Once you’ve paid for your vehicle and arranged shipping, all you need to do is sit back and wait for your vehicle to arrive. We take care of all the paperwork in our office, and then we’ll send you all the documents by FedEx.

If you have any questions, we’re happy to help. Give us a call at +1 (503) 298-4300 between Monday through Friday, 6:00 AM and 4:00 PM Pacific Standard Time, or email

AutoBidMaster Staff Writer

AutoBidMaster members purchase auction vehicles without dealer’s licenses. All-inclusive support & global shipping make AutoBidMaster your one-stop shop.

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