All About Auctions

Chapter 3. Planning An Auction Visit

Choosing an NAAA Auction

Both buyers and sellers usually choose an auction based on their specific needs, which may include:

• Vehicle types being consigned
• Reputation of the auction operators
  • Geographical convenience
• Services offered at the auction

NAAA Auction Members
Auctions come in all sizes and shapes. The largest have more than 20 lanes, the smallest, one or two. Internationally, 360 auctions belong to the National Automobile Auction Association (NAAA). Members meet certain requirements and operate secure, neutral auction settings. A list of NAAA auctions can be found on this web site.

Auction Formats: Open and Closed Sales
There are basically two kinds of wholesale auctions:

Open: An open sale means any registered dealer may attend. The majority of auctions are open. Open auctions usually offer a range of vehicles from various sources. However, an open sale may be specialized and concentrate on a single class of vehicle, such as special dealer consignments, off-lease, rental or fleet vehicles.

Closed: A closed sale limits who may attend. For example, a manufacturer may hold a sale that is only for its franchised dealers.

In certain circumstances, to meet government requirements, auctions open certain consignment sales to the public.

Auction Calendars
Most auctions schedule regular, recurring sales on the same day of the week (e.g., a regular “open” Tuesday sale and a biweekly “closed” factory sale, etc.). Special sales may be scheduled for other days of the week. Most sales are during the day, though night auctions do occur; weekend auctions are rare.

The calendars most often indicate what kind of vehicles (off-lease, dealer consignment, factory, etc.) will be offered for sale and may even include information on who will be consigning the vehicles and the number of units in the sale.

Many auctions advertise their calendars in trade publications and on auction web sites.

Auction Web Sites
Auction companies usually maintain Web sites that include information on:

• Travel directions and maps
• Registration information
• Sale-day lane schedules
• Pre- and post-sale inventory lists
• Market reports
• Internet inventory
• Events calendar
• Services
• Contact information
• Financing options
• Airport/hotel pickup

Auction Tours
Auctions welcome the opportunity to show customers how the auction works and are willing to provide a tour of the facilities, as well as spend time with an individual explaining the details of the operation, the bidding process and more.

Identification Cards
Auction Access Card

Dealers who complete the registration process (and their registered representatives) are issued a permanent identification card, shaped much like a credit card and called an Auction Access card. These cards grant access to dealers to buy and sell vehicles. Auction Access cards may be inserted into kiosks placed around the auction site to receive bidder badges and other information.

Auction Kiosks
Throughout most auctions are electronic kiosks. By inserting an Auction Access card into a kiosk, a dealer can obtain the following:
• Run List of Sale-Day Vehicles
• Run List of Upcoming Sale Days
• Buyers Summary
• Make and Model Summary
• Bidder Badge
• Driver Badge
• Gate Pass
• Block Summary
• “If” Sale Summary

Bidder Badges
A bidder badge is typically required for a dealer to bid at an auction. It is worn in plain view so the auctioneer can see it. To receive a bidder badge, a dealer can simply insert his or her Auction Access card into a kiosk at most auctions.

The badge displays:
• Auction sale week number
• Dealership name
• Name of dealer attending
• Bidder number

Run Lists
Auctions make available computerized lists of the vehicles running in each sale. These lists are segmented by the selling group, such as the commercial consignor, dealer consignment and such. These lists, often referred to as run lists or block summaries, can be obtained in person, from the auction kiosk or via fax or e-mail. In some cases, auctions maintain customized Internet sites for individual dealers and automatically post the sale lists to their private sites.

Run List data may vary, but the following typically will be indicated:
• Lane in which the vehicle will be for sale
• Vehicle run number (this is an auction-assigned number given to the vehicle or group of vehicles consigned
by one source)
• Vehicle year, make, model and body style
• Vehicle color
• Vehicle mileage
• Vehicle equipment such as air-conditioning, power steering, etc.