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  • Nicholas Hinrichsen

Bring a Trailer - Reviews and Guide

Whether you are looking to sell your BMW M3, Jaguar, Ford Bronco, or another classic car, this guide will help you decide if Bring a Trailer (BaT)is a correct choice for you. This guide will also help answer any questions you may have about using BaT to buy a new car as well. The following frequently asked questions will be answered:

  • What is Bring a Trailer?

  • What Kind of Cars are Typically Sold on Bring a Trailer?

  • What is the process for applying to sell my car using BaT?

  • What is the Market Value or Price of My Car?

  • How does Bring a Trailer Compare to RM Sothebys, Gooding, or other auction companies?

  • What are the fees and expenses?

  • How do I know if I’m getting a good car?

What is Bring a Trailer?


Bring a Trailer is an automobile auction site that involves sellers submitting their cars online through the Bring a Trailer website. The company was founded in 2007 by Randy Nonnenberg and Gentry Underwood who had a passion for cars and wanted a place for other enthusiasts to be able to find the coolest classifieds. BaT is essentially an auction house for classic cars, whether it’s a coupe or an SUV--if it’s unique and interesting, they want to help you sell it.


The company will then select the most interesting cars that were submitted. Employees will work with the seller to compile a thorough listing on the vehicle to post on the site for buyers to read. Bring a Trailer does not just sell sports cars, it also has the following auction categories: boats, motorcycles, parts (steering wheels, etc.), projects (in-need of repair), race cars, vans, wheels, and trucks (4x4).

What Kind of Cars are Typically Sold on Bring a Trailer?


Only about 40-50% of the vehicles that are submitted to apply for an auction with Bring a Trailer are accepted. The company is very selective about their inventory and only wants to put their time into cars that they know customers will pay for. The cars can range from BMW M3’s to a ‘60s Shelby Mustang that potentially could come turbocharged (turbo) with automatic transmission. They post an eclectic range of vehicles, so the options are limitless. One common theme is that the cars typically have clean histories, with little to no accidents that may steer a buyer away from an offer.


What is the process to apply to sell my vehicle to BaT?

  1. Submit your vehicle here

  • Information needed: email, name, vehicle make and model, location (city), photos, and video links of the vehicle

  1. Basic Facts

  2. Details

  3. Contact information

Here is a helpful video on the application process:

Timeframe

Auction managers will review your submission and contact you within 2 business days on whether or not your vehicle will be auctioned. They are selecting vehicles based on the quality of the information provided in the documents, photo quality, reserve price, condition, and the number of other vehicles currently for sale as well.

  • Classic submissions typically take 2 weeks to go live

  • Plus submissions typically take longer (depends on the photo)

What are the fees for using BaT?

It’s important to know the fees ahead of time when deciding to do anything. For using BaT there are two different listing prices available for sellers. As a general note, you will not be charged until after BaT accepts your vehicle.


Seller Fees:

  • Classic submission: $99

  • No photos included

  • Plus submission: $349

  • Pro photos included

  • White-Glove Service

  • BaT takes care of everything (fee varies, email for more information as to what is specifically would cost)

Buyer Fees:

  • 5% in addition to the final sale price (to Bring a Trailer)

  • $250 minimum with a $5,000 max

Things you need to know as a seller and buyer

Below will include answers to common questions you may have about buying or selling a car on Bring a Trailer and the overall process. BaT is mainly in charge of getting vehicles posted and then hosting the auction. After the vehicles are sold, BaT is available for questions and assistance but does not directly participate in the transfer of ownership of the car. This responsibility is handled privately between the two parties, the buyer and seller, involved in the transaction


Important things for Sellers to know

  • Cannot cancel an auction once it’s live

  • The car must only be on BaT and no other sites at the time of auction

  • Responsible for responding to commenters about the vehicle

  • Re-listing is rare since most vehicles don’t tend to sell on the second time around.

  • A premium listing lasts 7 to 21 days which is a big difference compared to the 7 for classic submissions

  • Know the market value of your car beforehand so you can make sure the listing on BaT is appropriate. Use the Kelley Blue Book to find out more information.

How to buy a car on Bring a Trailer

Step #1 Register:

  • To register go to this link and you will then receive an email to verify your email.

  • Cannot place a bid if you are not confirmed

Step #2 Bidding:

  • Login to your account

  • Find the listing that you are interested in

  • Enter the amount you would like to bid in the “place bid” box. Once ready, confirm it.

  • Follow along on the video included on this page

  • Bidding continues until buyers stop placing bids

  • Can use a debit or credit card to pay

  • You can be anywhere, don’t have to be in the USA to bid

*If you want to inspect a vehicle before placing a bid, contact the seller by using the button on the listing. It is up to you to arrange it and ensure you are getting the vehicle exactly as listed. There are no post-auction inspections allowed.


Step #3 If you win the bid for a BaT auction:

  • A yellow box will appear above the comments section with instructions on how to proceed.

  • BaT will send you the seller’s contact information

  • You will work with the seller to complete the transaction and arrange pickup/shipping

  • Bids cannot be canceled, so be aware of this when placing a bid


How does BaT compare to competitors?


When selling or buying a collectible car, whether it’s a Mustang, Porsche 911(inline-six), or Datsun, there are multiple sites to consider. For example, Craigslist, eBay, RM Sothebys, and Gooding are just a few of the other auction/online sites available for use. First, you need to consider if you want an in-person car auction or an online one. Then, figure out the car market. What is selling? How much should you list your car for? A pro to using BaT is that they vet cars and can give you a good idea as to what will sell and what will have a lower probability of selling.


A few notable factors that make bringatrailer.com different from competitors:

  • Objectively written posts

  • Comprehensive photos

  • Auction Specialists

  • Comment threads to allow communication between the buyer and seller

  • Snipping protection

  • Auction clock is extended two minutes each time after a bid is placed

  • Fully transparent about costs

  • Can see for free the prices the vehicle you are looking at has gone for in the past

  • 76% sell-through rate

  • 275 auctions a week

Competitors:

  • Some don’t require an application to be approved to post vehicle (can sell what you want)

  • Can be more expensive for the buyer and seller (fees associated with the sale)

  • Sales events can be few a far between

  • These higher-quality cars are usually not accessible to the average buyer

Refinance or register your new Vehicle with WithClutch


Just purchased a new collector car? Check out WithClutch to learn about refinancing or how to register your vehicle. It doesn’t matter if you drive a BMW, Ferrari, Ford, Chevrolet, Mercedes-Benz, Corvette, Volkswagen, Dodge, Honda, or Land Rover, we can help you!

Photo and Video Help--The WithClutch App


Are you in need of high-quality photos and videos of your vehicle, but don’t have the time or money to spend on a professional photographer? You’re in luck! WithClutch will soon be releasing a mobile application (Apple IOS) to assist you with capturing the best angles of your vehicle. The mobile platform guides users to produce great automotive photography and video segments that can be easily used in third party auction and listing sites. Any footage that is taken will automatically be uploaded to your preferred cloud storage location and published to your own YouTube account to have easy access and management of your media files. If you’re interested in this tool, check back frequently to find out when the mobile app is available for download.


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