Selling your collector car at a live auction can be an exhilarating experience, but it’s important to understand the process and make informed decisions to ensure a successful sale. In this guide, we will explore the steps involved in selling your car at a live auction, including important considerations and potential costs.
Choosing the Right Auction
Before diving into the auction process, it’s essential to select the right auction company. Research various auction results to gauge how much similar cars are selling for at different auctions. Narrow down your choices to two or three companies, contact their consignment specialists, and discuss your car’s details to get an estimate of its potential sales price. Additionally, inquire about the seller’s commission and related costs associated with each company.
Understanding the Costs
Selling your car at a live auction can be expensive. Keep in mind that auction companies charge higher seller’s commissions compared to online auctions, typically ranging from 8 to 15 percent. There may also be a consignment fee to include your vehicle in the auction’s docket. Additionally, consider the costs of transporting your car to the auction, which can range from $1,500 to $5,000, as well as travel expenses like hotel accommodations and car rentals.
Maximizing Your Car’s Value
To attract potential bidders and secure the best sale price, it’s crucial to provide detailed information about your vehicle. Ensure you have all the necessary paperwork, including the title, insurance, and any relevant restoration documentation or receipts for recent work. Professional auction companies usually have photographers and writers to create appealing catalogs, so let them handle these tasks. Additionally, discuss the auction company’s marketing strategies to ensure your car receives maximum exposure prior to the sale.
Choosing Between Reserve and No Reserve
Deciding whether to set a reserve price or sell your car at no reserve is an important consideration. No reserve auctions, like Barrett-Jackson, create a sense of urgency among bidders, often resulting in higher prices. However, if you require a minimum price for your car, setting a reserve may be necessary. Keep in mind that a no-sale at a live auction could impact your car’s perceived value in the future.
Preparing for the Auction
Once you’ve selected an auction company and arrived at the auction site, ensure your car has arrived safely and is in good condition. Check the battery and fuel levels to avoid any last-minute issues. If necessary, arrange for additional detailing services. During the auction preview, be available to answer any questions potential bidders may have, but avoid discussing reserve prices or personal expectations.
The Auction Process
During the auction, be present and accessible to auction personnel. If the bidding approaches your reserve price, you may be asked to lift or remove the reserve, often leading to higher bids. It’s crucial to remain focused and alert during this time. Refrain from consuming alcohol until after your vehicle has been sold. Once the auction concludes, complete the necessary paperwork and consider utilizing your sale proceeds to purchase another car at the same auction.
Selling your collector car at a live auction can be a thrilling experience, offering the potential for impressive sale prices. However, it’s important to thoroughly research auction companies, understand the associated costs, and carefully consider whether to set a reserve or sell at no reserve. By following these guidelines and being well-prepared, you can maximize your chances of a successful sale and enjoy the excitement of the classic car world.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about live auction
What are the costs involved in selling a collector car at a live auction?
Selling a collector car at a live auction can be costly. Auction companies typically charge a higher seller’s commission, ranging from 8 to 15 percent. There may also be a consignment fee to add your vehicle to the auction’s docket. Additionally, you need to consider expenses like transportation costs, hotel accommodations, and car rentals if the auction takes place in a different location.
Should I set a reserve price or sell my car at no reserve?
The decision between setting a reserve price or selling your car at no reserve depends on your preferences and circumstances. Selling at no reserve can create a sense of urgency among bidders, potentially leading to higher prices. However, if you need a guaranteed minimum price for your car, setting a reserve may be necessary. Keep in mind that no-sale at an auction can impact your car’s perceived value in the future.
How should I prepare for a live auction?
To prepare for a live auction, ensure your car arrives at the auction site in good condition. Check the battery and fuel levels. If necessary, consider additional detailing services. During the auction preview, be available to answer any questions potential bidders may have about your car. Stay focused during the auction, and avoid consuming alcohol until after your car has been sold. Complete the necessary paperwork promptly after the auction concludes.
What factors should I consider when choosing an auction company?
When selecting an auction company, consider factors such as their track record, reputation, and the results they have achieved for similar cars. Research auction results to gauge the prices cars like yours have fetched at different auctions. Additionally, contact the consignment specialists of a few shortlisted companies to discuss your car’s details and estimate potential sales prices. Inquire about the seller’s commission, related costs, and the company’s marketing strategies to make an informed decision.
More about live auction
- Barrett-Jackson Auction Company – Explore one of the renowned auction companies specializing in collector cars.
- RM Sotheby’s – Visit the website of RM Sotheby’s, an auction company known for high-end classic and collector car auctions.
- Hagerty Price Guide – Access the Hagerty Price Guide to research car values and gain insights into market trends.
- ClassicCars.com – Check out ClassicCars.com, an editorial partner of AutoMotorMart, which provides valuable information on classic cars and auctions.