How it Works
Formula Auctions is an online auction platform open to all enthusiasts, collectors, first-time car buyers & dealers alike looking for their next extraordinary vehicle. Everyone is welcome. We work hard to find and curate vehicle listings into one cohesive and comprehensive marketplace.
An online auction platform has proven to be the best way to buy and sell a vehicle. Auctions are great for buyers as it allows everyone an equal opportunity to purchase the vehicle. Sellers benefit from negotiation-free and hassle-free sales as a result of exposure to thousands of pre-qualified bidders.
We accept listings from sellers whose vehicles are located in Canada. Worldwide bidders are welcome. We are uniquely positioned to offer transport quotes, import/export support and information to all sellers and bidders when shipping their new vehicle within Canada and from Canada to the United States. This grants Canadian sellers access to confident US bidders, and allows US bidders the support they need to buy a car in Canada.
Our auctions offer bidding in CAD. For US residents, we also offer the option to bid in USD with live exchange rates.
All of our auction listings go through a thorough and comprehensive approval process so you can confidently bid knowing our experts have reviewed all of the information in each listing. Every listing is presented honestly and free of bias, in an easy-to-read format.
Formula Auctions is an online-only car auction platform. All bids are placed online. We do not operate a physical auction house location.
Formula Auctions has two types of auctions: Reserve and No-Reserve. The type of auction is indicated in the auction details box on each listing page.
An auction with a reserve means that there is a private minimum value that a vehicle will sell for. We keep the Reserve value private throughout the duration of the auction.
An example of a Reserve Auction: If the agreed upon reserve value between Formula Auctions & the seller is $30,000 and the highest bid at the end of the auction is $31,000 then the vehicle will sell and the auction will display as "Sold for X amount".
Alternatively, if the highest bid at the end of the auction is $29,000, the vehicle will not sell to the highest bidder and the auction will display as "Bid to X amount" The highest bidder and the seller will then receive via email each other’s respective contact information to attempt and finalize a sale post-auction. Formula Auctions does not collect a fee for this service. As a seller, once the reserve price is agreed upon between you and Formula Auctions, you may decrease the reserve once the auciton is live but not increase it. You may not increase it because it is unfair to bidders if a seller is changing the reserve based on the bids.
In a No-Reserve auction, the vehicle will sell to the highest bidder regardless of the final bid amount. Because bidders are aware of this, No-Reserve auctions have proven to bring more bids towards the end of the bidding period.
This creates heightened excitement in the final minutes, resulting in an environment that can lead to a bidding flurry as the auction comes to a close. This has the possibility of resulting in higher prices.
Auction Time Frames
There are two different time frames for auctions: 7-day and 10-day auctions. (The 10-day auction time frame is available for Platinum listings exclusively).
The Last Two-Minutes
During the last two minutes of the auctions, there is a functionality built into the platform to restrict users from attempting to place a bid in the final seconds and consequently winning the auction.
Thus, every bid that is placed within the final 2-minute window, will reset the auction clock back to two minutes. This functionality allows everyone to have an equal opportunity to be the successful bidder.
Formula Auctions’ fee is a 5% buyer premium. This means that when the vehicle sells, the buyer will pay Formula Auctions 5% of the final bid amount. Our buyer fees are a minimum of $250 CAD and a maximum of $5,000 CAD.
For example, if the final sale value on a listing is $30,000, the successful bidder's credit card will be charged 5% of $30,000 ($1500). The successful bidder will also pay the full amount of $30,000 to the seller. There are no other fees and specifically no fees for sellers.
Congratulations on choosing Formula Auctions to bid on your vehicle! We’re ecstatic to have you. Before you place your bid there are a few things you must do.
1. Register to Bid
In order to bid on one of our auctions, you must first create a profile and verify your account with a recognized credit card. To do this, click the "Register to Bid" button, fill in the information, verify your email address, then login. Once logged in, click your username on the top right hand side of the page and select "My Profile". Once you are on your profile, click "Edit profile" and it will take you to a page where you can enter your credit card details. Remember to save before you leave the page and then you are ready to bid!
2. Review the listing and engage
Once you're a verified Bidder, and have found a vehicle you’re interested in, we recommend you review the listing thoroughly before placing your first bid.
Thoroughly examine the product photos and videos, read the comments, and if you have any questions, ask the seller or reach out to us.
Our auction specialists spend many hours creating each listing to ensure that you, the buyer, have the most information possible and can bid with confidence.
The comments section can contain a wealth of knowledge. The Formula Auctions community is full of knowledgeable car enthusiasts that often share their own experiences and common things to look for on specific models.
If you are a bidder located in Canada, but you reside in a different province from where the vehicle is listed, we suggest you request a transport quote from the listing page and then read our “Transport & Import/Export” page for out-of-province vehicle registration information.
If you are a bidder located in the USA, we also offer transport quotes to the United States. Please visit our “Transport & Import/Export” page to read up on our detailed import guide located here.
3. Place your bid
Now, you are ready to place your bid! Don't wait until the last 2 minutes to place your first bid. Show your intent early!
All bids are authenticated by placing a hold on your credit card for 5% of the bid amount. This is a hold, not a charge. This is done to ensure verification and intent of all bidders.
If you are outbid, then the hold on your credit card is released. Your credit card will only be charged if you are the successful bidder and the auction time has expired.
In the case of a Reserve Auction, if you were the highest bidder but your bid was lower than the Reserve of the auction listing, your credit card will not be charged, and the hold will be released.
If you need to arrange financing, please have this in place before you place a bid.
4. Finalizing the sale & Arranging transport
When an auction ends, and there is a successful bidder on Formula Auctions, the buyer and the seller then collaborate to finalize the sale privately.
If you are a successful bidder on an auction, you will receive a notification email from us with both the new buyer’s contact information and ours.
If you had the highest bid but it did not meet the reserve, you will receive the seller’s contact information and you may have the opportunity to work with the seller privately to come to an agreement.
Don’t hesitate to get in-touch with the seller after the auction has ended and feel free to contact us as well. You are part of our community and we are here to assist you!
If you are a successful bidder on a Formula Auction, we recommend taking the following steps to finalize a vehicle sale:
1. Reach out to the seller as soon as possible!
Very often, the transfer of ownership of a vehicle can be an opportunity to cultivate a meaningful relationship. Be respectful, polite and meet your new vehicles ex-owner!
2. Arranging payment
All buyers are expected to complete payment in-full within one week of the auction ending. Before proceeding to transfer payment for your new vehicle, we strongly suggest that you request to see Proof of Registration from the seller. Prepare a Bill of Sale with your personal information and send it to the seller or vice-versa. Take your time filling out the Bill of Sale. Ensure that all of the payment Terms and Conditions (if any) are agreed upon by both parties.
For payment of the vehicle, we recommend a Wire-Transfer or a Bank Draft.
If the vehicle has a lien:
If there is a lien on the vehicle (money owed to the seller’s lender by using the vehicle as collateral), the lien must be paid-out in-full to the lender before the transfer of ownership can be made. As soon as the auction ends, we recommend that the seller pay off the lien immediately. If the seller does not have the funds available to fully pay-out the lien, the buyer will be able to pay the lien by wire-transferring the lien holder or meeting the seller at their bank to discharge the lien.
1.Submit your vehicle
Simply click on the “Submit your vehicle” tab in the header of any page to begin the submission process. You will be offered two package options to choose from while submitting your vehicle:
1. Gold Standard Package: We are currently offering this package free of charge and includes a professionally written custom auction listing that will be available on live auction for 7-days. If your submission is accepted, you will receive a confirmation email informing you as well as next steps.
2. Platinum Standard Package: This package is $189 CAD and comes with a professionally written custom auction listing and a professional photographer/videographer that will come to your door and photograph your vehicle in the best way possible. With the Platinum package your listing will be live on the auction for 10 days. If your submission is accepted, you will receive a confirmation email with a payment link to pay the Platinum package listing fee.
2. Prepare your Media
If your vehicle submission is accepted, get ready to capture your vehicle! (If you choose the Platinum package, we will take care of this for you.)
Taking photos and videos of your vehicle can be fun and rewarding.
The greater the effort you put into your photos and videos, the greater the confidence that bidders will have in purchasing your vehicle without seeing it in person.
3.Engage with our community in the forums and answer questions in the comments.
If users in the community ask you questions about your vehicle, we encourage you to answer promptly and politely. Potential buyers are curious and they want to know what they’re buying!
The more you engage with users the more trust you will build with potential bidders.
4.Finalizing the sale with the buyer.
When your vehicle sells on Formula Auctions, you will receive an email with the successful bidders’ contact information. Don’t hesitate to reach out and initiate conversation with the new owner of your vehicle
If the highest bid on your vehicle did not meet your reserve, then you will still receive an email with the highest bidder’s contact information in hopes that you can both come to an agreement privately.
Please read below our recommended steps in finalizing a vehicle sale:
1.Reach out to the auction highest bidder ASAP!
Very often, the transfer of ownership of a vehicle can be an emotional event for the buyer as well as for you and this may be an opportunity to cultivate a great relationship. Be polite and meet your vehicle’s new owner! They are probably very excited!
2. Arranging payment
All buyers are expected to complete payment in-full within one week of the auction ending. Fill out a Bill of Sale with your personal information and send it to the buyer, or vice-versa. Take your time filling out the Bill of Sale, and ensure that all of the payment Terms and Conditions (if any) are agreed upon by both parties.
For receiving payment for the vehicle, we recommend Wire-Transfer or a Bank Draft.
If the vehicle has a lien:
If there is a lien on the vehicle (money owed to the seller’s lender by using the vehicle as collateral), the lien must be paid in full to the lender before the transfer of ownership can be made.
As soon as the auction ends, we recommend that the seller pay off the lien immediately.
If the seller does not have the funds available to fully pay out the lien, the buyer will be able to pay the lien off by wire-transferring the lien holder or meeting the seller at their bank to discharge the lien.
General User Information
If you do not intend to bid on or sell a vehicle, and you still want to watch & engage in the fun, you are a valued member of the Formula Auctions community. We encourage you to register as a user, create a profile and engage with the listings. We all gain from our shared experiences.
Frequently asked questions
Q1 How do I place a bid on a vehicle on Formula Auctions?
In order to bid, you must register as a user and verify your account with your credit card. You may then place bids on vehicles.
Q2 How do I know if there is a Reserve on a vehicle auction?
In the “Detail’s box” underneath the first picture of the vehicle listing, you will find a field that will tell you if there is a Reserve on the auction.
Q3 How can I tell how much the reserve is?
We do not publicly disclose the reserve value on our listings. They are kept private throughout the duration of the auction. This value is previously agreed upon between the seller and Formula Auctions.
Q4 Can I proxy bid?
No, you cannot bid by proxy. If you are outbid during a live auction, you are required to manually enter a new bid.
Q5 What increments can I bid in?
Auction listings have different minimum bid increments. For example, a vehicle that has a market value under $10,000 will have smaller minimum bid increments than a vehicle that has a market value of $100,000. There are no maximum bid increments. The best way to identify the minimum bid increments for each listing is to scroll down to the bid box near the bottom of the vehicle listing page where the minimum bid increment is displayed.
Q6 How does my credit card get charged?
All bids are authenticated by placing a hold on your credit card for 5% of the bid amount. This is a hold, not a charge. This is done to ensure verification and intent of all bidders. If you are outbid, the hold on your credit card is released. Your credit card will only be charged if you are the successful bidder and the auction time has expired. In the case of a Reserve auction, if you are the highest bidder but your bid was lower than the reserve of auction listing, your credit card will not be charged.
Q7 Can I contact the seller directly?
Yes, you will be able to contact the seller directly during the auction. By clicking on the mail icon beside the seller’s username underneath the heading picture, you will be able to send the seller a personal message via email. You may also send the seller a personal message from their user profile. You may also ask the seller questions in the comment section of their listing.
Q8 Can I see the vehicle in person before I bid on it?
Absolutely you can see the vehicle in person and we encourage it! Be respectful and ask the seller in the comment section or via personal message if you can schedule a time to view the vehicle before the auction is over.
Q9 Are you a dealership?
We are not a dealership; we are a platform for buyers and sellers to buy and sell.
Q10 As a seller how are funds forwarded from the successful bidder?
The final transaction and transfer of ownership is conducted privately between the successful bidder and seller outside of the auction platform with our assistance.
Q11 What kind of vehicle submissions does Formula Auctions accept for auction?
We carefully consider many things when deciding whether to accept a vehicle to our platform. We look at the quality of the submission content, the mileage on the vehicle, the vehicle’s history, and the “cool” factor, among other things. We’re always searching for unique and well-cared for vehicles that we think car enthusiasts like ourselves would be interested in.
Q12 What happens if I was the highest bidder but the seller won't respond to me?
In a rare occurrence like this, if the buyer has done everything in their power to purchase the car but the seller is being unresponsive or unwilling to complete the sale. Formula Auctions will issue a full-refund to the buyer for their 5% fee.