Preliminary bidding, a.k.a pre-bidding, is available to all SCA members. It's a convenient type of bidding that allows you to place your maximum bid up to 1 hour before the live auction starts; it's then submitted in increments by an automated bidding system to outbid other bidders.
To place a pre-bid, go to a vehicle's listing page, enter your maximum bid, and click "Bid Now." Once the live auction starts for that vehicle, the automated system will bid on your behalf using your pre-bid in small increments to outbid other bidders. You will win the vehicle if no other bidder outbids your pre-bid during the live auction, and you'll only have to pay the amount you outbid with. For example, if you place a maximum pre-bid of $10,000 and the live auction ends at the max bid of $4,500, you will only pay the $4,500 for the vehicle plus all applicable fees.