In case you ever think about selling your car on Bring A Trailer - LotusTalk - The Lotus Cars Community
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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 06:20 AM Thread Starter
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In case you ever think about selling your car on Bring A Trailer

I recently decided to attempt to sell my car via BAT. My experience was disappointing.
First off, they pick the reserve price, what?! That’s right, they pick the minimum amount YOU are willing to accept for your vehicle. Why you ask? Because even though they charge sellers anywhere from $99 to $350 to list your car, that’s not how they make money. They make money off of a buyer fee which is a percentage of the sell price, just like every auction house out there. And the reserve price is around trade in value of the car, ie: too low. And they have a weird clause where if the car doesn’t sell they get the right to purchase it at the reserve price. So it’s a win/win for them no matter what the outcome is, but for the seller its a big fat gamble.
And they have zero skin in the game, they’re out absolutely zero no matter the outcome, but you the seller could be forced to sell your car for way less than what it’s worth. So here’s an example of why they want your car to have a low reserve price; lets say you want your reserve price to be $45K, they counter with $41K.
To you that’s a $4,000 difference or loss you could potentially take, for them? Lets say their buyer fee is 4% of the sale price, if the car were to sell at the reserve price YOU want ($45k) their commission is $1800, now lets say you list it at their reserve price of $41K and that’s what it sells for, what’s their commission on that? $1640
So, you’re short $4,000 dollars, and they only had to sacrifice $160 of potential earning. So now do you see why they want to control your reserve price. They know the likely hood of your car selling is much higher if the price is around wholesale, so what, they make a little less money, but you as the seller may end up selling your car for way less than you wanted and loosing thousands. They have zero skin in the game, essentially they’re getting to gamble with your currency and they’re rigging the game to earn no matter the outcome. I told them to pound sand. But I see a lot of cars auctioned on there every week so there must be a bunch of people that are way more risk tolerant than I am.
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 06:42 AM
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Not only that, but I don't think the Evora is a good auction car. A good car to auction is either something you don't care about what you get for it or a car that the general public is much more knowledgeable about like a Porsche. Not enough people are familiar with Lotus, especially an Evora to just bid on it. This is why the one guy who sold his 400 on there a year or so ago got such a terrible price.

Thanks for information.
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post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 06:49 AM
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Thanks for the heads up. I will stick to CL and ebay to sell cars.
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post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:01 AM
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I was waiting to see your car get posted on BaT. I think your asking price in your for sale thread here is very fair. I wouldn't want to take any less either. Looks like a great car that was well cared for.

The other thing about BaT is it only takes one bad seed to derail your auction. They've gotten better about this lately but I have seen a few cars not meet reserve that were getting torn up in the comments over nothing.

I also agree with Likuid about the Evora not really being a good auction car. Auctions are meant to make a quick sale, but the type of buyer looking for an Evora is few and far between. For me, BaT is just a good place to go every so often to drool over rare and pristine cars.
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post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 07:05 AM
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Thats nuts! It is deff a strange process but it depends on the car you are selling too. I just sold a my 73 VW Thing on BaT and my experience was the complete opposite. I was able to pick my reserve and they were super helpful. The listing process did take awhile tho.

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post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 08:23 AM
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That's why I sell my Lotus on this forum!!
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post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:11 AM
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I've heard literally nothing good about selling a car on BaT. The last three cars I bought were found with auto ad aggregator sites like AutoTempest. One was an ebay auction car from an estate (private sale, sold by the daughter/executor), one was found on AutoTrader (private sale, listed on AutoTrader - owner had 100K on it and wanted something else), and one (the Elise) was bought from a new/used car dealership.

Of the three, the Elise was the most painful, because it kept falling through the dealership's cracks as it wasn't something they moved a million of.

If I decide to sell the Elise, I'll advertise it here first. If it doesn't move after a couple of months, I'll put it up on Ebay. There doesn't seem to be anything about BaT that the other sites don't offer, except stupid policies and more griefers, both of which I can do without.

I would never sell anything of significant value on Craigslist. Too local, too hard to put together a really good ad with, and there's no barrier to entry for the idiots and scammers.
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post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 09:27 AM
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I tried to sell My Superlite SL-C on BaT last year. I had the same experience, except the reserve they wanted me to accept was about $25K below market value.

It seems like classic trucks, Porsche, Miatas, and really rare collector cars sell well there, but I'd never list a Lotus on BaT. It is a great place to BUY a Lotus, because they tend to go cheap.
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post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 11:19 AM
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I like to watch the BAT auctions to see some cool cars and read the comments from people knowledgeable (and some no so much knowledgeable) about them. I have seen cars go for way more than I think they should and others for much less than they should (in my opinion). If I was selling, it would be BAT only if I needed it sold ASAP, especially if it was a unique vehicle that needed a wide audience. Otherwise I would list it here and wait for the right buyer.
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post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 12:02 PM
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Gotta wonder how they come up with a reserve on some of these older/rare cars that do not show up on any of the trade-in tools. For example an 85 Turbo Esprit with 3,500 miles on it...

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post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-16-2019, 01:50 PM Thread Starter
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I ended up listing it on Ebay, no reserve, $45K. 1 bid Im sold and satisfied.
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post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:30 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dus10 View Post
I ended up listing it on Ebay, no reserve, $45K. 1 bid Im sold and satisfied.
thats a quick sale but was the BaT reserve not higher than that?

I sold my Elise on there last year. I fought with them on the reserve and got it close to where I wanted. The car sold above the reserve and I got very close to what I wanted so was happy. For me it was the painlessness of it. My Elise had a few issues so I was happy with the price but it probably would have made a little more on here. On a side note if I had listed it on ebay/Autotrader/here, I'd most likely still have it as if it didn't sell in the first week or so I would've thought about it and/or got tired of dealing with people and pulled it....

The comment section on BaT can make or break a car. One poster (who is on here) raised some unnecessary and unwarrentied questions about my ownership of the car which really pissed me off. He does something similar on every Elise listing and the questions are asinine to make him sound like he knows everything Elise. I had a legit answer but I think it still may have hurt my final price a little. Those type of keyboard warriors are the only thing that bothers me about BaT.

I think they have a handle on the Elise market as they have sold quite a few - saying that it seems like a number of the ones that sold recently have went under what I would consider market which means the reserve on them was quite a bit lower than mine.

I looked at selling my Evora S on there and they wouldn't budge on the the reserve. The N/A Evoras that have sold on there went relatively cheap but the cheapest ones had issues and adding in the buyers price (ie with the fee) I think they were market value. The reserve they wanted for mine plus the buyers fee would be what I consider market value for my car, meaning a fair price for the buyer - but you're right, I should have, and I'd rather have that $3000. I think thats why we're not seeing any 400s or Ss on there. The one 400 that sold was an odd car as it was the YouTube one so I'm sure any loss on it could be written off as a business expense. I think it is telling that the other two 400s didn't sell - although it looks like the silver one got close based on it's ebay listing.

I asked a friend who knows about this stuff recently about the low reserves and he said something about the sell rate of the listings. Ie the more cars sell, the better for the auction companies reputation. Or to look at it this way the more cars that sell, make them more attractive to sellers, which in turn means they get more listings. He said all the auction houses work the same.

So I think BaT has a place, the comment section can be a rat hole if the wrong person gets a bone up their behind, getting the reserve you want may not happen but as a method to quickly shift a car with no headaches it is great.
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post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 06:13 AM
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I want to thank you for posting your experience since I was about to recommend a friend to put his car up for sale in BaT... on that note I wish your car would have been available in April (not sure if it was) because itís priced right and it is a fantastic car, GLWS!!
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post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 12:47 PM
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I looked to sell my Evora S last fall on BaT and their reserve price that they wanted to list it with was borderline insulting, fwiw.

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post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 02:29 PM
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BAT doesn't list unlimited cars so they want your car to sell so they actually make money. It's just business. Lotus cars are simply not great cars for auction and BAT knows that. They don't want to waste a slot listing a car they know has a high chance of not selling. That is a reflection of the Lotus market and not BAT. They get top dollar for popular cars. There is a ton of stuff on that site that sells for way more than it has any business selling for but not every platform is right for every product. Lotus cars are just not good to sell on BAT. This is from the guy who bought iDuc's Evora 400 for an absolute steal on BAT.
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Last edited by Ryan_G; 08-19-2019 at 07:07 PM.
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post #16 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-17-2019, 03:38 PM
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The comment section can quickly escalate for no reason, hindering a sale, for no reason. Most people commenting are not even buyers.
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post #17 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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Ahhhhh steal....that's it.

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post #18 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-18-2019, 07:10 AM
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This post deserves to be a sticky pertinent to all Lotus cars. @Admin
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post #19 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-19-2019, 12:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dus10 View Post
So itís a win/win for them no matter what the outcome is, but for the seller its a big fat gamble.
Big fat gamble? You know exactly what you'll get before you put down your $100 (not $350) to get your car in front of a target audience. Yes they take a cut and yes they want a reserve that they feel is reasonable because nobody likes seeing "reserve not met" listings. As you said, negotiate to a reserve you are comfortable with or walk away, no one is forcing you to use them. Many cars go for much higher prices on BAT than they would elsewhere, it's often called the BAT tax.

BAT is a business, not your friend or a charity. Quite a few Evoras have gone through BAT, some sold for less than I expected, a few for significantly more.
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post #20 of 26 (permalink) Old 08-20-2019, 06:16 AM
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looks EBAY is a better business to use to sell your car.
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