Glossary of Auction Terms

Common terminology used on RunBidSell and at most dealer auctions in the United States.


Green Light – The seller represents that the vehicle is sound with no Major Mechanical issues and clean paperwork.

Yellow Light – Caution. Pay attention to auction announcements.

Red Light – AS IS

Runs and Drives – The vehicle starts and moves.

INOP – (Inoperable)  A vehicle that cannot be driven, cannot start, or does not include keys.

Major Mechanical Issues (MMI) –  Bad Automatic Transmissions, Internal engine damage, Bad Transfer Case, Frame Rot or Cracks.

Title Absent or Title Attached – Title is absent, is pending.

Lien Letter – A Lien release letter comes with title.

Reg Only – Some states don’t create titles for vehicles past certain years.

Reserve – A seller can place a minimum price on a vehicle, and unless bidding reaches or exceeds that price, it won’t be sold.

Branded title – The title is stamped. Usually marked “salvage” “rebuilt” “TMU” or “buy back”

Buy Back – Vehicle at one time was bought back by manufacturer.

Buy Sheet – A sheet a winning bidder receives, either digital or physical. Proves winning bid amount, has seller, buyer and vehicle information.

Sell Sheet – A sheet the seller receives, either digital or physical, similar to buy sheet.

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.

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.