Pebble Beach Auction Update - "Uh Oh"

After Weeks of Hype and Announcements The Auctions 
Have Started With a Massive "Face Plant"

While the overall results will not be available until Monday, the results of various completed auction days reflect significant caution and resistance to "over bid" on both Classic and Collectable cars. The question is therefore, "Why"?

All forms of measurement and expert opinion indicate the market remains strong, but one does not have to look far to begin finding rather obvious clues to why there is a noticeable pause. 

The first is that after experiencing year after year of impressive increases in both volume and price, it seems the 2016 market does not support double-digit price increases of years past. That would indicate a certain percentage of the buying market has been satiated. This point is very noticeable within the market for 911's which have recently gone backwards.
The second observation is Pre-War through cars of the "60's remain "soft". For whatever reason, they are not resonating with buyers who seem to prefer Classics that are easier and less expensive to maintain and offer a more desirable driving experience. 

Yes, it would be quite an experience to drive a '29 Packard through town, but longer drives may be impractical. And if it breaks down, who do you call to fix it, how much will it cost?

“Ladies and Gentlemen, if you need me to slow down, hold your bid card up and I’ll slow down a bit. But, please, don’t worry about how much you’re spending: our cashier is keeping track for you”.

If you follow the market and watch televised auctions, you probably scratch your head every so often in absolute disbelief as you watch the "hammer" drop ending the action at a price that is so low, you feel bad for the seller. Maybe your brain screams out in absolute disbelief.

There are a few things to keep in mind here; many if not all auctions allow for an "agent" of a buyer or seller to bid on a car. Yes it does require paying all of the fees, but they can be written off as marketing expenses and if the bidder interest falls far below the 'estimate" the car can ultimately be returned to the seller. While this can work well in a "no reserve" setting, it is complicated and expensive. As such, it is not practical for the majority of sellers.
As we predicted, there is a noticeable growth in the use of "reserve" pricing, although most auctions don't really like the idea. As a result of changing market values, if a seller does choose to use a "reserve", the auction will require them to stay within the bounds of their "estimates".  Reserve pricing is the choice for many sellers who just won't risk selling a Classic far below what has been invested just because bidder interest is mismatched. But risk avoidance is also affecting buyers.

While all of these items can contribute to a "No Sale", we view the lack of available documentation validating the quality, condition and rarity of auctioned vehicles as a major influence for buyers. For whatever reasons, most auctions force buyers to rely on the assumed credibility of an auction when the above criteria in in play.

Today's buyers are far better informed than in past years. They have easy access to auction results, price guides and thousands of related articles, video and blogs which can afford a view into the values of Classics, trends, quality and condition. Unfortunately nearly all auctions make the evaluation of a Classic a guessing game. Cars are sold "where-is, as-is" meaning the bidder is responsible for inspections and verification of condition, authenticity, and completeness of any vehicle purchased.

Likewise, auctions never represent the Classics themselves. They state, "To be abundantly clear: cars are never ‘represented by the auction house’; in all actions, any statements or representations are strictly and solely those made by the seller.” They do make the effort to insure that all details contained in the catalog are accurate and true, but if these details are as limited as the "garden variety" classified ad, pumped up by glorious words and pictures, the objective is clear. To drive your emotions in an effort to close the deal at the highest price possible - period.
Garagistry has two main purposes. First, to preserve automotive history by allowing owners to collect, organize and protect the details, stories and photos of their Classic. And second, to build a comprehensive dossier of a vehicle to validate the quality, condition and rarity necessary to establish value.

Once completed, a Garagistry dossier can be fully validated during an inspection to offer unparalleled transparency to deliver the highest quality method possible to set desirability, interest and a fair price. We invite you to start your own Garagistry for these very purposes. For more info, click the following "Start Today" button. You can thank us later.