Van Dam says students are also let in on some tricks of the trade to help them navigate auction lanes.
For instance, sometimes seasoned buyers who spot rookies in the lane may make comments -- such a vehicle being "a piece of junk that was here last week" -- to discourage a potential competitor from bidding on the vehicle.
Or an inexperienced buyer will get into a bidding war that may result in him or her paying too much for a vehicle.
"Knowing when to say when is critically important," Van Dam says. "If you get someone with more of a gambler's mentality, they don't stop. They're excited; everything is going crazy."
Tom Alexander, 62, a managing partner at Aubrey Alexander Toyota in Selinsgrove, Pa., attended the sessions with his 29-year-old daughter, a school psychologist who is considering a career change.
Alexander, who appraises trade-ins and visits an auction at least once a week among his other dealership duties, says the sessions are educational and can be social and networking events for participants.
One session he attended with his daughter focused on post-sale inspection, explaining how auctions inspect and test drive vehicles efficiently.
He says he wanted his daughter to learn about the world of the used-vehicle department because it is the side of retail automotive where "you can make the biggest mistake or the most money."
Alexander says he'd be surprised if his daughter changes careers but adds, "I want her to know that the door is open and available to her."