It's a crapshoot - there's lots of reasons a car/truck ends up on an auction lot. A friend worked at a Toyota dealership and any trade-in they got that was either over five years old or was not a Toyota went to auction no matter the condition. They sent a lot of really good cars to auction, they also sent quite a bit of complete junk. A regular Joe such as you or I is at an extreme disadvantage because the typical auction bidder is experienced and knows exactly what to look for. If the pros aren't bidding up a specific car, you can bet there's a darn good reason,a reason you probably aren't aware of.