The best auction to go are dealer/broker auctions requires a license (or somebody with one to accompany you). Manheim is the largest car auction in the US. If you have a broker/dealer license and go to their website and see what is available, what was sold (the prices) and bid if you don’t want to go in person.
I just took a college class at our local city college named “Used car salesmen certification course”. The last day (actually weekend since they were night classes) we went to a broker auction. I took the course to understand the entire car sales process (new, used a lease) to better prepare myself on my future car buying/leasing.
There were over 4K cars and the auction process is totally chaotic. Those auctions are where 80% of the good cars you see at ALL dealerships (reported by the auction office discussion).
I met this guy who’s primary job is to get cars for dealerships in which he sells to them with a profit for himself. Also, since the guy has a broker license, he gets good cars from auction, puts the dealership plates (pays no tax, DMV fees etc. until he sells then its up to the buyer to pay) on and after three or more months sells at a pretty decent profit. He was driving a 2018 Dodge Ram Limited 4X4 he got at auction (had dealer plates).
I saw a 2017 MBZ S550 coupe with 15K miles sell at auction for $50K. I also saw a 2017 Cadillac ATS 3.6 go for 12K. However, the place was so crazy that I would have to go many many times to get an idea how to bid and win. Its very intimidating if you do not know the process. My instructor is going on another field trip next month and I plan to attend (this time in Pomona CA).
Although it looks like the dealership makes good money on used cars, if they get a great deal, they don’t because of all the prep work they have to do to the car prior to getting it on the lot. Then there is the time on the lot to get it sold.
BTW, after talking with