Auto Auction Announcements

Auto Auction announcements are displayed on a screen behind or in front of the auction block. For online Dealer Auctions, the announcements will be displayed with the vehicle listing.

Branded title – The title is stamped. Usually marked “salvage” “rebuilt” “TMU” or “buy back”. The specific types of branding vary by state, but the most common ones include:

  • Salvage: The vehicle has been damaged to the point where repairs would cost more than the vehicle’s market value.
  • Rebuilt: Vehicle has previously deemed a total loss (salvage) and has been repaired and inspected by a state authority, passing its safety standards.
  • Lemon or Buy Back: Branded as a lemon or buy back, usually means it has repeated, unfixable issues (often defined by the state’s lemon law) and was purchased back from the consumer by the manufacturer.

Buy Back – Vehicle at one time was bought back by manufacturer.
Green Light – The seller represents that the vehicle is sound with no Major Mechanical issues and clean paperwork.
INOP – (Inoperable)  A vehicle that cannot be driven, cannot start, or does not include keys.
Lien Letter – A Lien release letter comes with title. The lien release letter is a critical document because it’s proof that the lender’s financial interest in the vehicle has been resolved.
Major Mechanical Issues (MMI) –  Bad Automatic Transmissions, Internal engine damage, Bad Transfer Case, Frame Rot or Cracks.
Odometer Descriptions

  • TMU – True Mileage Unknown
  • Exempt – By Federal Law, no odometer code is required to be displayed.
  • Exceeds Mechanical Limits – The true mileage of the vehicle cannot be expressed because it has exceeded the capacity of the odometer to measure it.
  • Mileage Discrepancy – AutoCheck or CarFax shows a mileage discrepancy.

Red Light – AS IS
Reg Only – Some states don’t create titles for vehicles past certain years.
Reserve – A seller can place a minimum on a vehicle, and unless bidding reaches or exceeds that price, it won’t be sold.
Runs and Drives – The vehicle starts and moves.
Title Absent or Title Attached – Title is absent, or is pending. “Attached” can be confusing to new dealers as it means the title is in possession of the selling dealer, but not currently available at time of sale.
Yellow Light – Caution. Pay attention to auction announcements.

4×4 – The vehicle is equipped with four-wheel drive. This is an important message that is frequently overlooked in the auction lane. In a crowded fast moving lane, especially if you can not get close to the vehicle, some 2 wheel drive trucks can look like a 4 wheel drive. The 2WD Toyota 4Runner is a perfect example.

These will not appear on the screen but are items related to the winning bid. Some auctions will have a printer by the auction block, that will produce a buy sheet for the winning bidder, and a sell sheet for the selling dealer.
Buy Sheet – A sheet a winning bidder receives, either digital or physical. Proves winning bid amount, has seller, buyer and vehicle information.
Gate Pass – Physical auctions issue a gate pass after the vehicle has been paid. A gate pass allows the purchased vehicle to be released from the auction premises.
Sell Sheet – A sheet the seller receives, either digital or physical, similar to buy sheet.