Public/Repo Auction Guide – Cincinnati

Planning for a Successful Auction Day

Join us for our public auctions, held regularly. We recommend registering early to ensure you have ample time to thoroughly inspect the vehicles before bidding. Please review all the information on this page for a smooth auction experience. For additional queries, refer to our Frequently Asked Questions page.

Before Auction Day

Conduct Thorough Research

Starting the afternoon before the auction, you can access a detailed list of repossessed vehicles available at our upcoming sale. This list will provide key information for each vehicle, including make, model, year, mileage, color, and transmission type.

Use this list to identify which vehicles you might be interested in bidding on. Once you’ve made your selections, research the blue book values for each vehicle to understand their estimated market price, both at the low and high end.

To assist with your research, numerous apps are available that provide access to vehicle history reports and up-to-date blue book values. These tools are particularly useful while you’re inspecting the cars on-site.

Prepare for a Successful Auction Day

  • Valid ID Required: Ensure you have a valid, non-expired ID ready to register for a bid badge. This is essential for participation in the auction.
  • Registration Agreement: Print, sign, and bring the registration agreement with you to expedite the check-in process. Don’t worry if you don’t have access to a printer; we’ll have extra forms available at the registration desk. View Registration Details
  • Set Your Budget: Decide on a budget beforehand and commit to sticking to it throughout the auction.
  • Arrive Early: Registration begins 2 hours before the auction starts. Arriving early will give you plenty of time to complete registration and get settled. Keep in mind, a typical repo sale lasts about 45 minutes.

Financing and Payment Information

  • No Financing Available: Please note that Dealers Auto Auction does not provide financing or payment plans.
  • Arrange Financing in Advance: If you require financing, it is essential to arrange it independently and ensure that you have the necessary funds available prior to auction day.
  • Payment Requirements: Upon winning a bid, you are obligated to pay the full amount immediately using either cash or a cashier’s check.

Auction Day

Registration Details

  • Timing: Registration opens 2 hours before the auction begins. Arrive early to complete the necessary paperwork and receive your bid badge.
  • Bid Badges: Each bidder is allowed one guest per bid badge. To participate in bidding, you must obtain a bid badge by placing a $500 cash deposit, which will be applied towards any vehicle purchase.
  • Deposit Information: If you do not buy a vehicle, your $500 deposit will be refunded. However, if you win a bid and fail to complete the payment, you will forfeit the deposit.
  • Multiple Purchases: If you intend to bid on multiple vehicles, you must register for a separate bid badge for each vehicle.

Vehicle Inspection Guidelines

  • Access to Vehicles: Once you have your bid badge, you will be allowed onto the auction floor and lot to begin inspecting the vehicles.
  • Visual Inspection: Take the time to thoroughly examine each vehicle. Start by walking around the vehicle to check for any significant damage that could affect your decision to bid.
  • Interior and Engine Inspection: Open the vehicle to inspect the interior. Check the upholstery, controls, and overall condition. Then, lift the hood to evaluate the engine’s condition.
  • Further Details: Confirm the transmission type (automatic or manual) and verify the color of the vehicle to ensure it meets your expectations.
  • No Test Drives: Please note that test driving is not permitted; however, vehicles will be driven through the auction floor, allowing you to see them in operation.

How to Bid on a Vehicle

  • Bid Badge Requirements: Only the individual registered with a bid badge is authorized to place bids. Ensure your bid badge is clearly displayed on your person, as the auctioneer will not accept bids from those whose badges are not visible.
  • Auction Process: Pay close attention to mechanical announcements and verify that you are bidding on the intended vehicle. Adhere to your preset budget; remember that winning bidders are responsible for the full bid amount plus any applicable buyer fees.
  • Making a Decision: Trust your instincts. If you have any doubts about a vehicle, it may be wise to consider the next one on your list.
  • Completing the Purchase: If you win a bid, proceed to the auction block clerk with your bid badge to sign the sales ticket and receive a pink buyer’s order, which confirms your obligation to purchase the vehicle.

After the Auction

Post-Auction Procedures

  • Exiting the Auction: Once the auction concludes, please leave the auction floor and head to the front office.
  • Completing Payment: If you’ve won a bid, proceed to pay the total amount due for the vehicle, including any applicable buyer fees. Payments must be made using cash or a cashier’s check. You’ll need the pink buyer’s order, which you received after bidding, to finalize the transaction with the front office clerk.
  • Unsuccessful Bids: If you did not win any bids, return your bid badge and receipt to the front office to receive a refund of your $500 cash deposit.
  • Vehicle Collection: After full payment, you are cleared to take the vehicle from the lot. For temporary tags, visit the Bureau of Motor Vehicles (BMV).
  • Vehicle Registration: It is your responsibility to register the vehicle at the BMV and pay any relevant taxes once you have received the title.

Additional Information

Understanding Light System and Auction Rules

Repossessed vehicles will be sold under the following lights:

“As-Is” Red Light

Under this condition, no guarantees are made by the seller except that the vehicle is free from frame or flood damage and equipped with proper emission devices and airbags. The following vehicles are typically sold “As-Is”:

  • Vehicles explicitly announced as “As-Is.”
  • Vehicles sold for less than $1300.
  • Recreational vehicles, boats, buses, motorcycles, dune buggies, trailers, snowmobiles, jet skis, antiques, and kit cars.
  • Push or tow-through units.
  • All taxis, government, or municipality vehicles.

“AG” Green Light

Vehicles under this category are guaranteed by the seller to have good head gaskets and a sound driveline, which includes: lower engine block, rods, crank, transmission, transaxle, transfer case, 4×4 and read end. Note that clutch, CV joints, oil and coolant leaks, and hub bearings cannot be arbitrated.

“If” Sales Explained

Dealers Auto Auction operates on a conditional basis, not as an absolute auction. This means that if a vehicle does not reach a pre-set acceptable selling price during the auction, it may be categorized under “if” status or marked as no sale. In the case of an “if” status, we will consult with the seller to determine if they are willing to accept the highest bid received. This bid can then be either accepted, rejected, or countered by the seller.

If you place the highest bid on a vehicle that is subsequently placed on “if” status, it is your responsibility to follow up on the status of the sale. Please note that “if” sales are subject to cancellation within one hour following the end of the auction.

Rules & Regulations:

  • No individuals under the age of 18 are permitted on the auction floor.
  • Animals are not allowed at the auction.
  • Only registered bidders may place bids.
  • Each bid badge entitles the holder to bid on one vehicle only.
  • Full payment is required upon winning a bid—no exceptions.
  • After the auction concludes, all public buyers must leave the auction floor and proceed to the front office.


Buyers Beware

It is the buyer’s responsibility to make their own inspections as to the condition of any vehicle they wish to purchase before bidding. These vehicles may have major mechanical issues costing thousands of dollars to repair. They have not been checked out or reconditioned, but are in the same condition as they were when repossessed from the last owner. Vehicles sold AS-IS, under the red light, most probably have bad motors or transmission. Vehicles sold Auction Guarantee, or White light, have a very limited 2 hour guarantee but still may have very expensive to repair mechanical problems.

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