Barrett-Jackson, one of the top classic-car auction houses, is coming to the Northeast for the first time from June 23-26th at the Mohegan Sun Casino. Around 550 cars are due to be auctioned, including around twenty Porsches ranging from a 1984 Porsche 928S to a wild 1996 911 Andial Turbo. The modern-day auction format puts cars in front of a wide range of interested parties, whether in person at large scale events such as this, or viewing and bidding from home on sites like Bringatrailer.com.
Why Sell at Auction?
Particularly with classic cars, determining the vehicle's true worth can be a very tricky thing. The effects of time and ownership are enormously variable, and can make setting a fair price for a vehicle a real challenge in conventional classifieds or when dealing with a dealership. One of the places where auctions shine is finding the fairest possible price to sell a vehicle. While a bidding war between multiple parties will occasionally push prices into the stratosphere, in general auctions are very effective at finding a car's true worth on the open market.
Why Buy at Auction?
Buyers and sellers face a lot of the same challenges when it comes to pricing a classic car. As a buyer at auction, one is always working towards the final sale price, rather than becoming embroiled in negotiations which may leave both parties frustrated. Depending on the crowd and interest in a particular vehicle, auctions can offer opportunities for deals for buyers as well.
How to Put Your Porsche up for Auction
Every auction house handles this process a little differently, but a few necessary items are relatively universal across the board. Sellers should be prepared to furnish the following:
- Basic Vehicle Information
- VIN or Chassis Number
- Supporting Documentation(where applicable)
Each service has a slightly different manner of presenting the car, and of using the information provided by the owner. Barrett-Jackson uses written descriptions provided by the sellers, and tends to use a few photos online to draw bidders in. For a physical auction, encouraging buyers to participate in the event itself is a large part of the appeal. For fully-online services a wide array of photos and photographic evidence of documentation are a must, and some online auction services have a dedicated staff helping sellers handle each auction from start to finish.
At in-person auctions like Barrett-Jackson, cars need to be present and are rolled across the auction block one at a time. As such, shipping the vehicle to the auction location needs to be considered as part of the cost of the sale. Barrett-Jackson charges an 8% Premium to the consignors(sellers) when the car is sold, and a 10%-12% premium to buyers depending on whether they are on-site or remote. Other auction houses, such as Sotheby's, have buyers premiums more than twice that amount, while online auctions are often lower thanks to lower overheads.
A large part of a major auction is the show and viewing times surrounding it. While the auction itself is the main event, just viewing cars you may or may not be interested in raising a paddle for is an event in and o itself. A major auction will feature hundreds of interesting cars which can be viewed before their turn on the auction block. In addition, major events will often have side-events, such as symposiums, where you can learn about a wide range of topics relating to the classic car hobby.
The scale and high profile of a large event can draw a wide variety of attendees, high profile cars, and causes. This month's auction in Connecticut is drawing not only cars formerly owned by the likes of Tom Selleck, Rudy Giuliani, Charles Kuralt, Richard Rawlings and Brian Setzer, but support for a variety of charities. Unfortunately none of the celebrity luminaries at this particular auction are selling Porsches, though Jerry Seinfeld recently sent several of his Porsches to auction, with great success.
Choosing the most effective way to sell your classic Porsche can be stressful. Taking a car to auction can take the weight of worry about whether the right person will lay eyes on your car off your back. Thanks to the large volume of viewers drawn by auctions both physical and digital it is easier and more effective than ever to sell your Porsche with fantastic results.