The Auctions Of Today

If the car of your dreams is high on your bucket list and it’s time to treat yourself, the auctions of today are an excellent tool for finding what you want, be it a vintage classic or your father’s old model that brings back happy memories.

Restricting your search to what is available locally will significantly reduce your chances of finding your desired vehicle. At the same time, if you have a special car to sell, you can list it in newspapers, magazines, online, or in an auction! Having lived the experience, I can assure you that it is advantageous to expand one’s geographic reach, especially since the passion for cars is much more widespread in the USA and Europe than it is here.

A festive atmosphere reigns at the Amelia Island Concours d’Elegance
Kérastase
Lambert
Fiat 600 beach car styled by Pininfarina: an exclusive model, only two were ever built

There are multiple auctioneers to choose from, depending on the country, the time of year, the vehicle category, and the type of buyer. For example, if you have a beautiful Ferrari to sell, you will get a better price if you choose an auctioneer that targets buyers of European models rather than one who specializes in American muscle cars.

A new kind of auction has recently appeared in the used car market. It features cars of all kinds, at all price points, offered every day of the week, without an audience or festive atmosphere, and without you even having to leave the house: online, of course! One such service is called Bring a Trailer or BaT Auctions for short. Imagine buying a car without seeing it in person, talking to the owner, or examining it up close. Nonetheless, with very little fanfare, BaT managed to sell 450 automobiles in its first year.

Ferrari 275 NART Spider on display at Amelia Island, worth an estimated $25 million
Bardagi - Remax du cartier
Frederique Constant
Avenue Design
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An auction room set up in Windsor Hall, Montréal

Seven years later, in 2021, they sold 17,846 cars in a single year! In January, they sold a particularly interesting vehicle—a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT—for just under US$2 million. Impressive! Fear not, online auctions also offer more affordable models that won’t require you to sell your house. The market is actually very busy, despite the pandemic. Aficionados are obviously not immune to the attractions of collectible cars!

Prestige auctioneers, could definitely learn something from BaT Auctions. With BaT, sellers don’t have to transport the vehicle to the auction location, which already represents significant savings, and the basic listing fee is only US$99. Meanwhile, the 5% buyer’s premium is capped at US$5,000, i.e., for vehicles sold for over US$100,000. There are no other fees. By way of comparison, most auctioneers charge sellers a commission of up to 10% of the final sales price, in addition to charging buyers a premium of at least 10%. Sellers can set a minimum bid or reserve during the auction. An interesting aspect of online auctions is that sellers don’t have to bring their vehicles back if they don’t sell, as they never leave home!

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General Motors bus restored by some Quebecers, purchased for $10,000, repaired for an estimated $500,000 over 5 years and then sold for $4 million—an incredible profit!
IMG_7279 copie (Custom)
General Motors bus restored by some Quebecers, purchased for $10,000, repaired for an estimated $500,000 over 5 years and then sold for $4 million—an incredible profit!

Although it’s interesting to see what’s happening on the Internet, I enjoy in-person events. One of my favourites is the March car show on Amelia Island (Mixte Magazine M27), which I attend every year with my daughter and friends. A multi-day event, the Amelia includes various auctions, presentations of new models, expert seminars, fine dining, a classic car show, and manufacturer ride and drives. It’s the ideal place to meet and chat with fellow car enthusiasts. The best part is, even when I come home without having dipped into my savings, I’m just as happy as I was when I was five and my mother took me to the toy store!

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