Tips for First Time Car Auction Buyers - Pickles Auctions Asia

Tips for First Time Car Auction Buyers

Buying at auction can be a great way to get that car you’ve been wanting for below-market-value prices. If you have never bought at auction before, following are a few tips to help you bid with confidence.

Do your research.

Research is key to successful bidding. Browse to identify the car or cars you are interested in. Look at the photos, specifications, service history and condition report (if available) before attending an auction. If possible, view the car prior to auction during published inspection times.

As part of your research, understand what the car you are interested in is worth. To do this, research the wholesale value of the vehicle, or what it would sell for by a private dealer. If you can, find out what similar models are selling for at auction.

Also, we recommend that you attend an auction or two as an observer – either in person or online.  This will help you become familiar with the process and give you confidence when bidding.

Set a budget and stick to it.

Once you have done all of your research, set a maximum amount you are willing to spend and commit to not going over that amount. Be sure to factor in the Buyers Premium, shipping, and delivery, as well as money you may need for any repairs. Remember that auction cars are sold “as is”.

Be prepared.

Register to attend the auction before you arrive. Have your research with you, including the lot numbers of the car(s) you are interested in. Cars will be auctioned in a set order, so understand where the cars you want to bid on fall on the list.

Get pre-approved financing prior to the auction, or be prepared to pay with a credit card or cash if your bid wins. Contact the Pickles Auction team for assistance with your options and information on pre-approval.

It is also a good idea to learn the auction lingo. Here are a few common terms you’ll hear:


A Bid is an offer to the auctioneer at a price.  To bid for a car you put your bidders car high in the air where the auctioneer can see your request to bid OR activate and tap the bid button in the app.  A bid accepted can not be retracted, even online, so be prepared to bid and bid with confidence.


A LOT is an item for sale.  Lots are usually in order and each lot is sold individually.


A reserve price is the price set as the lowest acceptable by the seller for an item sold at auction.


When the highest bid price is over the Reserve Price, the car is considered sold at auction.  The highest bidder wins the car.


When the highest bid does not meet the Reserve Price, the highest bid price becomes the highest offer made to the seller.  Pickles Auctions will work with the you and the seller to negotiate a fair middle ground so you can purchase the car.


Vehciles sold at auction are literally “as is”. This means the car you are bidding on is is exactly what you see. There are no warranties or guarantees on any vehicle sold at auction.  The car you purchase may be eligable for an extended warranty from one of our partners.  Ask and we’ll be happy to help you.



Some vehicles sold by Pickles are specifically sold as salvage to repairers and parts recyclers.  These vehicles are classified in order to determine if the insurer believes that the vehicle may pass a future PUSPAKOM inspection in the future IF the repairs meet their standards and guidelines or not.

  • WRECK vehicles are sold as potentially repairable vehicles.
  • SCRAP vehicles have been de-registered with the JPJ and may not be returned to the road.
  • THEFT RECOVERY vehicles will require special inspections and paperwork to transfer the title.

Be sure you know the laws before bidding on a Salvage Auction as there no refunds or guarantees in any way whatsoever.


A Buyers Premium is the amount you pay to the auction house on top of the winning bid.


A list of Lots for sale that describes the items available for sale at the auction, often including photographs, descriptions, and the terms and conditions of the sale.


An auction is a face paced environment and it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement. Doing all your research prior to bidding and having a firm budget is key. Be ready to walk away – there is always another deal waiting for you!

Explore our current inventory to get started.

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