Copart Auction History


Copart’s auction system makes vehicle purchasing online possible through registration and bidding on vehicles in real-time auctions. Basic membership provides limited Buying Power; Premier Membership gives access to more extensive Buying Power as well as additional benefits. Get the Best information about free vin check.

Copart is one of the largest junkyard chains in America, starting with one location in California in 1982 and now spreading nationwide. Specializing in providing value-added products to car dismantlers, body shops, dealers, and individual consumers alike.

Willis Johnson

Willis Johnson made headlines after returning from Vietnam by purchasing a five-acre auto dismantling yard in California with no cash saved away. To raise enough capital to invest in his business and focus on growth, Johnson sold his house and moved his family into a trailer on the property. Since then, Copart has expanded globally with 243 junkyard locations worldwide and online auctions for wrecked, salvaged, and used cars worldwide; Johnson also published an autobiography entitled Junk to Gold detailing both his life story and business philosophies.

John Johnson used his early business instinct to establish highly organized yards that stood in contrast with the typical “bunch of cars in a field” model. Additionally, he utilized an industry catalog as a customer communication channel that gave him an edge in customer communications, made smart acquisitions, and executed intelligent growth strategies – buying when the opportunity presented itself and building when appropriate – which were all vital ingredients in his company’s success. Speedwell Research strongly endorses Johnson’s early decisions to drive success for his business venture.

Johnson’s decision to focus on online bidding in 1998 was transformative. He quickly recognized the benefits of selling vehicles and parts via the Internet to increase his revenue stream—something no other business had attempted at that time. Through sheer hard work and determination, he turned this endeavor into a success story.

Copart’s online auctions

Copart’s online auction platform makes it easy to purchase cars, trucks, and other vehicles. Members enjoy many benefits, including free condition reports, arbitration protection, and Sale Lights that let you quickly assess vehicle condition at a glance. In addition, Copart offers educational tools and resources designed to make you an informed bidder.

Copart is unlike traditional consignment because they take a fixed percentage from each vehicle sold at auction and have an interest in its resale value. To maximize this return, they use technology to track every car through its lifecycle and provide this data directly to bidders using Copart’s exclusive Salvage Lynk tracking software.

Copart first introduced their retail auction-entertainment experience in 2016, followed by the acquisition of National Powersport Auctions a leading powersport remarketing provider with locations spanning North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia in 2017.

Copart Members can participate in live auctions from either their computer or mobile device by visiting the Auction Calendar, vehicle details pages, or location websites. Preliminary bids (pre-bids) on vehicles prior to or during live auctions can also be placed; if your pre-bid is higher than the virtual highest bidder, then you could become the winner of that vehicle!

Bid on & buy vehicles

When it’s time to bid on vehicles, Copart offers an online platform and free app that make bidding easy. Both allow users to search inventory and set Watchlists. You can also review Vehicle History Reports, inspect photos, and evaluate market values. When bidding, be sure to set your budget and maximum bid amount accordingly; professional inspectors are available if needed before bidding.

Copart auctions sell vehicles totaled by insurance companies as well as stolen, recovered, and damaged in natural disasters. Salvage companies then determine whether these cars can be repaired and sold or if repairs would be too expensive; if uneconomical to repair, they are sold at auction and shipped off to members.

Copart’s inventory offers vehicles for every need, from daily drivers and project cars to trucks and commercial vehicles. You can search for vehicles by geographical region, saving time and money when selecting nearby options and arranging transport for your purchases.

The Buy It Now option offers an efficient means of purchase for buyers who wish to bypass bidding altogether. Be aware of your state’s licensing requirements, as some require using a Broker when purchasing vehicles.

Member benefits

Copart is an exciting and rewarding auction platform for car enthusiasts and budget-minded buyers alike. However, it is essential to understand the risks involved with purchasing vehicles at auction. Conduct thorough due diligence by inspecting or hiring professionals as much as possible. Furthermore, set a budget and adhere to it – successful purchases on Copart depend heavily upon your bidding strategy and ability to conduct due diligence.

Copart’s Sales List page features all upcoming auction inventory sales, which can be sorted by sale time, date, location, or name criteria. Furthermore, members can increase their buying power by adding deposits prior to bid submission; Copart also offers Premier Membership, which brings additional advantages to each auction sale.

Copart began its auction success story in 1982 when Willis Johnson purchased the majority stake in a small salvage yard in Vallejo, California. Through acquisitions—such as that of NER Auction Group in 1995, which doubled its locations—Copart ultimately became the leading online vehicle auction marketplace and eventually made a global footprint with locations in Europe and Brazil by 2015. Copart has continued its legacy of innovation within this industry with technological innovations that set it apart from competitors.