Collector and enthusiast car auctions are a lot of fun to follow, and with the expansion of online auctions it is now possible to buy your dream car at a price you can afford.
Years ago, you had to attend a live auction with the hope that a car you wanted would cross the auction block. Now, several really good collector car auctions are 100% online and even some of the traditional ones (like Barrett-Jackson and Mecum) provide an online avenue that coincides with their live auctions. Some great options exist, with a new one called Cars & Bids that just might fit the bill.
Let’s first explore the established players in this segment:
Key Online Auctions
Barrett-Jackson and Mecum tend to draw high dollar cars to their auctions. That’s great if you are into that sort of thing. As you may gather, I am not. I enjoy pursuing fun cars at a price that fits a smaller budget. Luckily, several options exist.
eBay Motors has been around a long time, and provides an auction format for used and new cars. It also offers parts and accessories for sale by multiple vendors, so it can be a busy place. I bought a 1984 Corvette from eBay in 2004. It was an exciting event, made even more so by my then 10 year old son yelling at me to “put another hundred in it, Dad!”
Barn Finds typically features unrestored classics or unfinished projects–vehicles that may be found neglected or forgotten in a “barn.” There are nicer cars on that site, and it is a mix of auction cars and classified ads. Fun to watch the kinds of cars that post to that site.
Bring A Trailer provides the quality of a Barrett-Jackson auction to the digital world. The auction process starts with sellers submitting their cars through the website. BaT team members select the most interesting and work with the seller to compile a thorough listing for the vehicle. Auctions typically run for 7 days. They craft transparent auction listings that present the vehicles as they are—without superlatives or dubious used-car-lot language. The users on the website will ask pretty pointed questions of the seller and offer other commentary (some of it actually good!) during the auction. The end result provides a safe environment to purchase.
A New Player Emerges: Cars&Bids
The above auctions tend to feature older antiques, classics and muscle cars. The budding enthusiast community (those younger adults I like to support) respects those older cars, but is more interested in the modern classics–vehicles 1980 and newer. It’s been hard to find good examples of these affordable classics on those auction sites noted above, so necessity becomes the mother of invention for Doug DeMuro and his new website, CarsandBids.com.
Doug DeMuro is an automotive reviewer, whose YouTube Channel has over 3.8 million subscribers. He noticed many car enthusiasts started turning their attention to newer vehicles – cars from the 1980s, 1990s, and beyond; however, an auction site devoted strictly to those vehicles did not exist. He and a team launched Cars&Bids.com in June 2020.
The following excerpt from the CarsandBids.com site captures the essence of the service:
- We’re focused on modern enthusiast cars: the 1980s to the 2020s. That means anyone interested in the next era of exciting cars will come here first to buy and sell.
- Our fees are low. The buyer’s fee is 4.5%, with a minimum of $225 and a maximum of $4,500 – far below other auction houses and enthusiast car auction websites. Our seller’s fee ranges from $49 for a no-reserve auction or a repeat seller to $89 for a first-time seller with a reserve auction.
- We believe that every vehicle should come with a vehicle history report – so we provide one, for free, instead of asking sellers to pay for their own.
- Doug DeMuro will bring extra eyes – and extra buyers – to your cars, periodically reviewing cars offered on Cars&Bids. If your car is chosen, you’ll get far more eyes on your vehicle than any other auction platform on earth.
- While other car auctions take weeks or even months to get your car listed and available to buyers, we’ll get your car listed quickly – and we’ll even take your input on scheduling your car’s auction.
- Cars & Bids makes it easy to submit your car for sale. We value your time by asking for only a few crucial details before letting you know whether or not we’re accepting your vehicle. That means you don’t have to waste your time providing initial information only to have your car rejected.
- Cars & Bids is the most user-friendly online automotive marketplace, with easy sorting and searching – and simplified auctions that tell you exactly what you need to know about each vehicle.
I think Doug has done a nice job of removing the normal auction pain points, and offers vehicles to the new breed of car collectors and enthusiasts. I encourage you to check it out!
As with most of these online auctions, you can subscribe to a daily email showing current listings or auctions about to close. It is great fun and enables you to be inspired on a daily basis.
Supporting Automotive Youth Programs
Cars&Bids.com is tailored for the new/younger automotive hobbyist (or those looking for affordable, modern classics), which aligns nicely with the purpose of Vehicle Nanny.
Ongoing support of automotive programs designed to inspire and educate young car enthusiasts comes from the sale of items in the Vehicle Nanny Merchandise Store. All proceeds go directly to the Hagerty Automotive Youth Program.