cars at copart auction

The Psychology Of The Live Auto Auction: “E,” Endowment

In this series, we have been shining a light on the live auction environment, the inspiration for our business. We spoke about the pulsing, tense frenzy of the auction floor. In the last post, we even compared the auction floor to a casino. The business of RideSafely – Auto Auctions evolved from our deep understanding of the auction environment, so we are able to take some of the cold sweat out of the process. Less stress means more buyers for your inventory, and if you are a buyer, less stress = better deals.

The business model that RideSafely – Car Auction is reinventing creates a CESSpool of panic, competition, desire, and fear. In this series, we have broken the auction floor into four psychological factors, which comprise the acronym “CESS.” In this post, we discuss the “E,” endowment.


As soon as you commit to bidding on a vehicle at auto auction, you begin to view it as yours. You see it in your garage, your lot, or your personal driveway. Then, because you feel “endowed” with the right to own that set of wheels, you “defend” it from other bidders as if they were raiding your daughter’s wedding gifts. This is what drives so many eBay buyers away, when they know that with less than a second left on an auction, a sniper program will outbid them by a penny and take the item away.

The fix

  • Think about your money when you place your first bid on a auto auction.
  • Think about something else that you could use that two grand for.
  • Do you need a new inventory management system?
  • Is your retirement puzzle still missing a piece that you had to pull out to survive the Great Recession?
  • If your business is buying autos at auction and selling them to the end driver, you need to make sure your time investment is paid for by the profit you will generate by reselling the car.
  • Think of your own day and the value of your time.
  • Are you starting to crave that repossessed Mustang little less now?
  • Keep reading; we have an answer if you still want that Mustang.

For the Dealer

abandoned convertible car

FORD MUSTANG at Car Auction

You probably found the cars that you thought about selling through an auto auction house as “ugly ducklings,” not imagining that a buyer or multiple buyers will bid aggressively on the “ugly duckling” when it gets its moment in the sun.

Think about the imbalance of information at the auction. You want as many people as possible to see the car, not just the men and women in the front row.

Next article in the sires of CESS: The Psychology of Live Auto Auction: “S,” Social Proof

At RideSafely – Car Auction, we find a wide array of Ugly Ducklings, which according to the rules of the retail automotive trade, can’t be sold to the consumer directly.

These are called “Salvage vehicles”, including cars that have been in accidents, suffered water damage in a flood, or been exposed to fire. You, as a person who knows cars inside and out, are better qualified to determine what constitutes a good ride than some bureaucrat in a state capitol.

You can find that Mustang, or several, because you know what to look for. – Car Auction provides the broadest range of cars, including perfectly safe vehicles that bear the “salvage” label, with a lowest-price guarantee on all “Buy it Now Vehicles”.


Research vehicle auctions


boat provides the broadest range of cars, including perfectly safe vehicles that bear the #salvagetitle label..

— Products shown: We Hold a Flat Rate of $299 Transaction.

Posted by on Monday, November 21, 2016


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