Great questions for which I wish I had better answers. I started this website because I felt there was too much misinformation on the subject. The couple of books that I have started to read were way off base… usually applicable to some other state but not CA, or to out of date.
As for having someone buy for you there are certainly those that will do it. There are a lot of questions that need to be carefully thought through like division of risk, handling of title, transfers of cash, etc. It’s pretty tough to find a way to do it without a high degree of trust due to the nature of the sale, the need to pay in full and in cash, yet to have nothing more than a receipt until the deed shows up a week or two later. To find someone simply go down to the steps and ask around. Start by asking the auctioneer who the big dogs are vs. the newbies. If you are going to do it better to do it with someone who has “been there, done that”.