Is selling your air-cooled Porsche on Bring-a-Trailer (BaT) the place to sell for the maximum price? I think so, if you can be accepted.
What do I mean, if you can be accepted? Well, it turns out that it is an exclusive club to have your car listed on BaT. Only 10% of the cars submitted are accepted for listing on BaT. This was the first surprise for me because I had no idea that this was the case. I assumed it was basically an open sales forum. The popularity of the site now limits what they accept and when the car is listed.
The popularity of the site is exactly why I originally submitted my 1973 Phoenix Red Porsche 914 2.0 to BaT. I looked at my various options: BaT. PCar Market, Private Listings and had to make a decision. I knew I wanted to go the auction route. I have followed auctions, and bought and sold air-cooled Porsches through on-site auctions in Monterey and Amelia Island but I had never used an online auction.
My first thought was PCar Market because I wasn’t sure I wanted to go through the online commentary and requests that occurs on BaT. However as I studied the two sites in greater detail I came to the conclusion that PCar Market was stronger for newer model Porsches, but that BaT had a broader audience and greater appeal for a special model such as my Phoenix Red 1973 Porsche 914 2.0. It is a desirable year, engine and color so I thought it would do well on the site.
I submitted an initial 25 photos, a couple videos and a description through the BaT online application process. The big decision was would I make it a reserve auction or no reserve. For those of you not familiar with auction selling by setting a reserve you say that your Porsche has to reach a specific price for the auction company to have the permission to sell the car. This protects the seller so you do not get “hurt” at auction, but I had watched auctions long enough to know that a no-reserve sale really generates a lot of interest as the bidders know that this one is going to sell.
I knew I was ready to sell my 1973 Porsche 914. I had always wanted one since High School and I had the fun of searching for the ideal model, color and specification and then owning it and experiencing it for years, showing it at Amelia Werks, participating in Oketeenerfest and driving multiple drives in the mountains. It was time for something new in the garage to complement my 1986 Carrera 3.2 and 2009 911 twin turbo. My target for the next garage mate is a 1993 Porsche RS America.
Once I decided mentally to sell, then it was easy to go with a “no-reserve” auction. I am a believer in free-market economics in that the market will decide the value of the car in this case. An auction is the ultimate expression of this philosophy. Using BaT I knew I would have the right buyers and the marketplace to expose the car and maximize the sale price. I had no desire to go through the process of a private sale of one-on-one negotiations. Let’s just put it out there and see what the market says it is worth, sell it and move on.
My 1973 Porsche 914 was accepted. I was informed that due to the quantity of cars being auctioned, it would be three or four weeks before the car would go online. In the meantime BaT would assign an Auction Advisor and I should start to prepare with more photos, videos and a more detailed description for their Auction Advisor to work with. Of course, it costs to sell on BaT; but at $99 it is a fair price to reach their market of enthusiasts. BaT really makes their money on the “buy side” by charging buyers 5% on top of the sale price.
True to their word, I received notice 3.5 weeks later that the car was ready to hit the auction block and Andrew would be my auction manager. Andrew sent me the listing description that I had the ability to edit and comment on. I wanted several changes; some that BaT accepted and some that they didn’t accept. One that was not accepted was that I wanted to make the statement “rust-free”. BaT said they do not make this statement, which makes sense when you consider how difficult it is to ascertain this in some of the inner body panels.
Finally, my Porsche went up for sale on August 18 at 7:40 pm and the watching started. The first bid appropriately enough was for $914. BaT encourages the seller to be actively involved in the sale with responses to commentators, additional photo and video requests and and presenting a friendly responsive manner.
The bids quickly rose with the first day price going up to $4,750 with 375 people watching the auction. It was a good start in my mind to hit close to $5,000 in the first 24 hours. We’ll see how the auction progresses. Check AirBrigade.com for updates. The auction ends on Tuesday, August 25.
Bring a Trailer Listing for 1973 Phoenix Red Porsche 914 2.0: https://bringatrailer.com/listing/1973-porsche-914-2-0-29/
Tags: Porsche 914 for Sale, Porsche 914 on BaT, Bring a Trailer Selling