Buying from Copart & IAAI


Sup friends,
I'm looking at a local Copart Cobalt, SC doesn't let me bid without a license so I'm looking at Better Bid, I have some questions that I haven't seen answered in researching. If there's a better/cheaper/easier more-local broker that someone's used or could recommend, feel free to do so!

I know there are signup fees for both Copart and A Better Bid, but do I have to register and pay for both?
IE: Since I have to use a broker, do I have to sign up for both my broker and Copart? Do I pay the fees to sign up and deposit with Copart as well as ABB? Do I have to pay the "increase your buying potential" deposit as well? in Copart before I bid or do I handle all of it with ABB?

ABB is located in Florida, the vehicle I'm looking at is in SC. ABB says they don't charge sales tax unless you're in Florida, but would Copart attach sales tax to my invoice to be paid anyway?

Do I incur the internet/gate fees if i use ABB? I am assuming yes on Gate fees if I physically pick it up... with that being said, in using a broker is there anything different about picking up a vehicle?

With an arbitrary final price of $2,000, ABB estimates the price breakdown to be:
Documentation Fee$50
Transaction Fee$250
Auction Fee$543
Total Price2,843 USD

Is the Auction Fee the Copart fee or an additional ABB fee of which Copart will add to? Copart fees for a 2k bid are $325, $415, $470, and $590 for a/b/c/d brackets.
If I bought privately it'd be C at 470, but does the broker being used cause Copart A bracket to bill me 325? Or is this just ABB making a few extra bucks off me and the listed fees are all that I'll incur (unless I am late paying or late picking up)

I've done my best to find these answers prior to writing, but there isn't much out there with different scenarios. Neither Dan nor error unknown's ABB post go in to detail on the fee structure combo with copart and ABB.
I've got some info that should help since I recently bought my donor through A Better Bid, from the Charleston, SC Copart location.

While Copart is the original seller, you are effectively a customer of A Better Bid, you're only dealings are with them. Even during the live auction you can view it from either website but your chance to up bids only comes through A Better Bid. Just a heads up though, if you buy from a lot in NC instead, you can buy direct through Copart since NC doesn't require licensed company middle men for private purchases.

Here's what my costs turned out to be for a 2006 Cobalt SS/SC w/76k miles and driver side wheel/fender impact damage:
deposit with ABB: $400 (minimum allowed to bid beyond $1k, technically allows bidding up to $4k, no need to increase this) - this gets refunded after the buying/title process is completed
winning bid at auction: $1450
auction fee: $438
, on my invoice from ABB this was combined with the bid value on a single row to show $1888
transaction fee: $250
documentation fee: $50

You might think you're done here and if you were buying in NC yourself then this might be true but when I asked ABB if I could pick it up myself when they called to discuss transport, they said a tow company had to remove it from Copart, I couldn't trailer it myself directly. So I would've had to pay a tow company to drive it 1/4 mile off the premises. I opted to pay the reasonable $520 transport fee they offered to have it dropped at my driveway just north of Raleigh, NC.
transport fee: $520 (varies by distance but this was on the absolute low end of pricing when I check to schedule it myself.

Total before arraigning transport: $2188
Grand total (including the transport fee): $2708

After I received the car at my house, they had electronic sale documents ready for me on ABB's website to sign and then they FedEx'd me the title. SC title, signed to ABB in Florida, signed to me as the end buyer.

No sales tax from Florida. All the underlined costs are what I paid, after receiving the title I submitted the request to refund the deposit, that was processed fairly quickly and since I did it within the 60 day limit of when I paid the deposit, it went straight back to my credit card (would've been a check mailed if it was over 60 days since deposit).

Notice that I never listed a fee to sign up with ABB, I just used their free account option since I was only buying 1 car. Hope this helps your understanding. A couple of the ABB info forum postings I had as reference were from before they offered a free membership level. I bought my donor at the beginning of May 2019. I appeared to me that there was 1 other person bidding on the same car and they stopped at $1400, so my limit of $1500 bumped the bid to $1450 and then won.

Other thing I noticed is there is a delay pre-live bid through ABB's website. I set my pre-bid limit at $1200. There was a pre-bid at the minimum of $200. ABB said I was winning at $250. A couple hours later Copart bumped the pre-bid to show that $1250 was winning, but ABB didn't update for another 1-2 hours. Once it updated I was no longer winning and decided to bump my limit to $1500. Again, ABB's website was slow to update but I could see from Copart that the bid stepped up to $1450 (and increases by $50 increments at that range) so I assumed that meant I was winning. I was at work at turned on the live auction and put on headphones to hear when my watchlist item was on the block. They had an estimate timer to show how long till it went active. Well. some of the cars prior to my interest must've sold without a fight cause I checked back since I hadn't heard it pop up (distracted by actually working) and my Cobalt had already been sold. I had no idea what it sold for or who won since I wasn't watching. 1-2 hours later I got a call from ABB about winning and setting up transport. Really they were pretty fast with info and paperwork, my mind was just wanting it to go faster. The live-auction page from either ABB or Copart was dead-on same timing, no need to worry about that, it was just the current winning pre-bid that was delayed in updating.


BAustin, thank you for clarifying. You've cleared up all my concerns, I especially appreciate your local-to-me experience.


Well-Known Member
You do not pay both. If using ABB they have a little calculator that shows how much you’ll pay.

The only thing not shown is the $50 “gate fee” to pickup and load the vehicle. I have used both services for two different vehicles.