View Full Version : General TR Selling on Bring a Trailer?

02-14-2017, 07:17 PM
When Craigslist, BCF, and/or Ebay, etc. don't "work out", has anyone actually *sold* a car on Bring a Trailer auctions?

The listings are usually "talked to death" in comments by knowledgeable (?) car guys. And it costs $250 to list on BaT for a week's auction.

BaT does get a *lot* of viewers, but do most of the cars listed there actually sell?

Or is it just a way for BaT to get another $250?

I'm just interested in if BCF members have ever sold a car on BaT, and how it went.

Tom M.

Marvin Gruber
02-14-2017, 09:06 PM
I had a TR4 posted on craigslist last year, after about a week it showed up on BaT from someone that sent it to BaT. Apparently a freebie. As you listed, lots of comments but no action on the car. Didn't know there was a $250 cost to list one. Don't think I will be using BaT.


02-14-2017, 09:14 PM
I have a friend that sold a MG Midget on BAT. The car was perfect, and he was very happy with the price. It sold for several thousand more than I would have guessed.

I personally bought a car from BAT. Everything went great, with a great seller.

The bidding process is very fair, not like ebay where people have software to ensure their bid is the last bid. On BAT, the countdown clock resets to two minutes if a bid is placed within the last two minutes, similar to a live auction where everyone has the opportunity to be the last bidder.

While it is true that the comments on the auctions seem to be from a bunch of old guys with nothing else to do each and every day, at least half of the comments are informative.

Overall, the bidders seem knowledgeable, and sure of what they are doing. There are also bidders/buyers that are just flipping cars. They buy them, "fix" them up a bit, and resell them on BAT, or another source, in less than a year.

As far as the fee, the buyer pays far more than the seller.

02-14-2017, 11:07 PM
I'm watching the TR3 up there right now; I will not be bidding.

I enjoy BaT very much. Interesting cars and a wide range of comments.

02-15-2017, 07:47 AM
Thanks gentlemen. The cars on BaT are always "interesting" - they don't take boring cars! (unless there's some historical significance I think.)

I've often wondered if they're being sold by Average Joe's who've taken care of a classic and are ready to move on (like me), - or by flippers who recycle after less than a year.

I guess that's the same on any online site. But does BaT "accept" many more cars than it sells? just to get the $250 listing fee? You have to submit history, details, photos, etc just in hope they'll accept your car for listing. And they keep the $250 fee whether or not your car sells. Can't list on BaT if the car is listed anywhere else online (CL, Ebay, Kijiji, Hemmings, etc.).

I'm ready to get back into a Little British Car.

Tom M.
PS - Kevin - Doomsday is quite a show. (Is there something we should know ...?) :banana:

02-15-2017, 10:10 AM
Kevin, I am watching the TR3 as well. I am surprised at how high the price is with 6 hours to go. Based on that, it could go for 30k.

Tom, I had a 1960 American when I was in college. Not srue if it was a Deluxe. It was 4 door, 6 cyl, 3 speed with a real overdrive; in the "wonderful" flesh color. I paid $100 for it probably around 1972 or 1973.

02-15-2017, 10:19 AM
Ron - here's my '58. Hope it's worth more than $100 now!


02-15-2017, 10:29 AM
Great loking car, Tom.
Now that I have seen your pictures, I realize that my car was a Rambler Classic. My older brother did have a 1960 American, wihch I think he still has.

02-15-2017, 11:36 AM
Great looking car. I had to drive to the Richmond VAMC last week during our brief warm spell for work, and saw a fella with '59 Rambler American just like yours. It was a pale green color, really well done. He said it was his uncle's car and he restored it after he found it sitting for a few decades in an old garage on the back of a relatives property.

02-15-2017, 01:02 PM
Kevin, I am watching the TR3 as well. I am surprised at how high the price is with 6 hours to go. Based on that, it could go for 30k.

Unlike eBay, this approaches a real auction and hence reflects real values, in my opinion. Downside is that the pictures are not as good as a personal inspection. If you can get it inspected, seems a good place to buy.

02-15-2017, 06:44 PM
You can look over completed auctions, at the end of the auction page, to get an idea of the fraction of successful sales. From what I've seen, it's probably over 50%. I don't think they are accepting cars that won't sell, just to collect the fees. They make more money on a successful sale, so there is no incentive to do that.

I tried to list my restored MG TD on BAT, but they turned it down, with the standard-label explanation that it wasn't the kind of thing their viewers would be interested in. A couple weeks later, they listed a nearly identical car, and shortly after that, another that was much the same. It left me with some uncomplimentary feelings toward the BAT organization, and I wonder if they have any consistent idea of what they are trying to be.

02-15-2017, 07:08 PM
Thanks Steve. So far, my experience with contacting them seemed to concentrate on (1) knowing the complete history of the car, and (2) how "original" is it. The contact guy wanted details on whether I'd added things or modified things that weren't appropriate to the car when new. Non-standard paint colors, wheels, upholstery style, floor cover, instruments, "upgraded" carb or starter, etc. would be big negatives.

Tom M.

02-16-2017, 01:54 PM
BAT seems to be great for European cars. However, I've seen some American cars, particularly pre-war cars, get less interest, and less bidding $.

Point being, if you go BAT with a mid-century American car, you may want to be sure to set a decent reserve.

02-16-2017, 02:03 PM
Thanks Mike. When I contacted them, they asked if I'd be willing to list with no reserve.

Why would anyone do that? I'm not experienced in these things - so can't figure why anyone would list with no reserve, whether on Ebay, or BaT, or ... whatever.

Tom M.

Mickey Richaud
02-16-2017, 02:43 PM
Thanks Mike. When I contacted them, they asked if I'd be willing to list with no reserve.

Why would anyone do that? I'm not experienced in these things - so can't figure why anyone would list with no reserve, whether on Ebay, or BaT, or ... whatever.

Tom M.

Because it guarantees a sale.

And they make money.

02-17-2017, 10:38 AM
I'm watching the TR3 up there right now

Did not meet reserve at 25.5(?) k...

02-17-2017, 10:58 AM
The second highest bidder posted this comment early on: " Just returned from viewing and driving this TR3. Some might categorize the car as the highest quality driver, I would give it museum quality status. The shifter and knob appear to be Triumph so the Toyota transmission offers no evidence other than being quiet and of course the overdrive. Interior …perfect. Engine compartment …perfect. trunk perfect. The chrome wire wheels may not be correct, but who wouldn’t want them. This car easily qualifies among the absolute best Triumphs in the country."

But it has a Toyota transmission, new steering wheel, oversize carbs, oversize exhaust, and incorrect wheels? Why would this be a museum quality TR?

02-17-2017, 11:22 AM
I've been watching BAT auctions for years . I was close to bidding on an MGA a few weeks back but decided not, here's why: BAT is representing cars for a seller just like a broker would: by re writing ad copy to appeal to a buyer but without verifying title or facts. According to BAT when I asked what mechanism they had in place to protect the high bidder they said ," we will work with the buyer and seller to resolve any issues".
What that means to me is: they will send the seller a few emails and I'll be trying to find out how to get my money back!

By all means buy the old cars of your dreams but deal with somebody who will gladly give you their real name ,location, and a way for you the buyer , to be comfortable with the transaction.