Tips On How To Sell Your Classic Car

With excerpts from an article by Paul Ebeling

Each and every year since 1971 hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of classic and vintage collector cars find new homes via the world’s prestigious auctions and private party transactions.

The Big Q: You have a vintage or classic car you want to sell privately or at public auction, what to do?

The Big A’s: From the experts in the sector, as follows:
  •  The Preparation: The longer a top auction house has to photograph, film, and market your car, the better. And if you want to sell your car through one of the world’s top auto auction houses, like say RM Sotheby’s (NYSE:BID) start now. Most are taking considerations for consignment for the Monterey, California auctions in August until the end of this month. And there is a lot of administrative, logistics and promotion work involved.
  • The Consideration: Your car should/must have the provenance and racing success that might make it appealing. That is because the top auction houses work hard to ensure that their sales and are very selective when choosing lots. It is a business, not a show.
  • Trust: A seller must trust the auction company to market the car and sell it in the best way possible. They know the market, they know the values, and they know their clientele. They turn cars away, even great cars if the owner/sellers are not realistic.
    How to go about it, as follows:
    • Do your homework Determine which auction house fits your sale. For instance, Gooding & Co. is known for selling the Tier 1 and Fine cars like the racing Ferraris, Bugattis, Jaguars.. Bonhams is renowned for unique models. RM Sotheby’s HQ’s in London. Mecum features American muscle cars. Call and meet the specialists at each House who your believe would be right for your car.
    •  Have a proper file that includes all the documentation for an diligent evaluation. That means ownership records, maintenance logs, information about any and all restorations and updates, lists of racing entries and wins, and any other document relevant to you car, including the minute details about your car’s life history, history and provenance are very important to each house.
    • Detailed HD Photos: Provide detailed photos, the house wants to see what they will be working with. Once the house determines it likes your car, it will send out a representative to evaluate it in person.
    How To Make The Preparation Easier
    While you may actually want to sell your Classic today, waiting until the desire to sell your car becomes overwhelming is akin to starting your taxes on April 14. Anyone who's ever done that understands the dilemma. Stress takes the place of logic, paperwork may be missing and the effort is rife for error. Presuming the lack of interest to repeat the process on a yearly basis, most people begin assembling the details well in advance of the deadline.

    It shouldn't be any different when it comes to the investment you've made in your Classic car - begin assembling the details well in advance of the deadline.

    Selling It Yourself
    While the above details reflect the process for contracting with an auction house, that may not be your preference. If you plan to sell privately, there are two choices - be your own salesperson or hire a third party agent. But the prep including choosing the most appropriate advertising resource or agent remains similarly important. As an example, choosing a classified site that focuses on dissimilar vehicles is likely to diminish attempts to reach the right audience. We noted this issue in a previous article regarding auctions.

    Choosing to sell your Classic privately does not diminish the need to organize, manage and protect your vehicle's history, documentation and photos. If anything it becomes more important. There is no third party that will evaluate and give your car a "stamp of approval". The job is yours alone.

    Remember these items develop trust between you and the prospective buyer. They support the rarity, condition and quality of your Classic. And they are necessary if you seek top dollar for your car.

    The Big Q: Presuming you now recognize the difference between a last minute rush and a planned approach, what to do?

    The Big A’s: From the experts in the sector, as follows:

    We'd like to invite you to begin organizing the details you will need down the road. Get the details here.