Registered Brokers Help Buyers At Copart Auto Auctions

by Don Elliott on December 14, 2011

Regulations in most states prohibit public buyers from bidding on damaged vehicles sold at salvage car auctions. Only licensed car dealers and salvage yards are eligible to bid on salvage vehicles in 31 states. There is a good reason for the regulations. Repairing severely damaged vehicles is a complicated business that requires special skills and expensive equipment. Vehicles that are not road worthy are a hazard to other drivers and should be kept off of the highway.

With that disclaimer out of the way, Copart auctions has figured out a way for public buyers to participate in their auto auctions in most states using what they call registered brokers. Copart recommends registered brokers to represent unlicensed buyers at Copart auctions. These registered brokers not only bid on behalf of a private individual, but also provide advice, inspection services, repair services, and transportation for the purchased vehicles.

Copart sells 50,000 vehicles every day. About one third of the cars sold are titled vehicles or cars that may not have any damage. By any measure, this means a large selection of vehicles is available from a resource you may have overlooked or been unable to access.

Copart recommends that the first step you should take is to locate a vehicle that might be something you would like to own. If you are new to Copart, it is necessary to register. This is the point where you find out whether you will be eligible to bid on your own or will need a registered broker. You will also need to start tracking the fees at this point.

Basic Copart membership is free with up to $1,000 worth of buying power. An upgrade to a Premier Membership requires a non-refundable registration fee of $200 and a fully refundable $400 minimum deposit. Car auction buyer fees apply to any vehicle purchased regardless of the membership type. If you use a registered broker, registration is not required. However, the registered broker will charge a fee for their services and require a deposit.

Each registered broker has a page accessed through a link on the Copart website under “Industry Links.” Information about each broker is listed including terms, fees, and method of payment.

Bidding at Copart auctions is all done online. Buyers can use Internet preliminary bidding to enter their maximum offer prior to the auto auction event. Bidding on the vehicle will proceed until you are the highest bid, not necessarily at your maximum offer.

Another option is to bid online live during the online auto auction event. It is as simple as a click of the mouse to enter your bid. If you are using a registered broker, that person will be bidding on your behalf. In either case, when the virtual auctioneer says “Sold,” you own the car or truck. Payment to the auto auction or to the registered broker is required within 2 days after the sale. After those days, late fees begin to accrue.

Copart has taken a big step by officially offering the registered broker program to private buyers. It is not uncommon for car dealers and wholesalers to buy cars at an auto auction for individuals. However, locating a trustworthy wholesale buyer has been the responsibility of the individual. Copart has just made the process easier by recognizing the relationship.



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