My Car Quest

December 13, 2018

My Wife Was The High Bidder On A Bring A Trailer Auction – But Still No Car

by Mike –

As I mentioned in the post yesterday about the BMW Isetta eBay auction the eBay “auction” process is really not an auction at all when the seller can cancel all bids and remove the car. The reader comments on this post are interesting too.

Volvo 1800

A few months back my wife and I decided we wanted a Volvo 1800, actually we decided that a long time ago. We saw one on the Bring a Trailer auction this past January that we thought would satisfy our desires.

We loved the color combination and the automatic transmission. Although my wife has a lot of experience driving a manual transmission over the last several years she has really wanted to drive automatics, so her cars have all been automatics. Her last manual transmission was a Volvo Turbo that she drove for eleven years, but that was a long time ago. She does occasionally drive our manual six-speed 1996 Porsche 911, which we have owned from new.

Volvo P1800

Bring a Trailer

I admire what Bring a Trailer is doing with their auction process. They are completely different than eBay which, as I said in a comment yesterday,

“ebay is not really an auction but a glorified classified ad listing and in my experience it is where bargain hunters go to shop.”

On Bring a Trailer the buyer and seller are committed to selling if the reserve is met and to buying if they are the high bidder and the reserve is met. If they don’t follow through as agreed there are consequences.

My wife was the high bidder (at $20,900 USD) on this 1971 Volvo P1800 on January 28 but the reserve was not met. After the auction was over Bring a Trailer introduced my wife to the seller to see if she could make a deal – but then not much happened!

When I learned who the seller was (a dealer), I went to their web site and found the Volvo listed for a price of $25,000. I thought, we are not so far apart.

I stepped in to help my wife and had a phone call with the dealer, located in New Orleans, who had the car on consignment. I was concerned about potential water damage and rust. Born in Louisiana, I know what the humidity is like down there.

The dealer assured me this car was not a Katrina car and it had only been in Louisiana for one year. I asked about some rust visible in the photos on the listing.

I also had a few email exchanges with the dealer but he did not answer all of my simple questions nor did he get back to me as promised. One of the simple questions was “What is the minimum price?” Since we made the last offer during the auction and did not meet the reserve then it is up to the seller to tell me what it takes to buy the car.

The auction ended on January 28, we sent an email on January 28 to the seller and I spoke with the seller on January 29. I sent a follow up email on January 29 and had no response so I sent another email on February 2 and received a quick reply with a promise to “get in touch tomorrow”. I haven’t heard from this dealer since.

This Volvo P1800 is still listed for sale for a reduced price of $21,800 – only $900 above my wife’s bid five months ago!

I prefer a salesman who tries a little harder. I wonder what the owner of this Volvo thinks?

AC Cobra Mk IV

Having lost the Volvo we moved on. In March we acquired a beautiful AC Cobra. The AC Cobra cost a lot more than the Volvo but it is a wonderful car that is worth the price and is much more rare than a Volvo P1800. Our AC Cobra also was from New Orleans!

AC Cobra Mk IV

AC Cobra Mk IV

The Cobra seller was handling the sale for his client and this seller answered all of my questions and returned every email and phone call and made me feel at ease. I bought this AC Cobra without a pre-purchase inspection and did not have any surprises. However, I do recommend pre-purchase inspections.

I believe we will acquire a Volvo 1800 someday but not the blue one in New Orleans. As for the AC Cobra, it will be in our garage for a long time.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.

 

 

Summary
My Wife Was The High Bidder On A Bring A Trailer Auction - But Still No Car
Article Name
My Wife Was The High Bidder On A Bring A Trailer Auction - But Still No Car
Description
What is the best way to buy a classic car?
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Comments

  1. Georgeg20 says:

    Mike, your issue is with the selling dealer and not with BaT. Once the auction ends at “no sale”, BaT tries to bring The highest bidder and the seller together. Beyond that they can’t really do much elsE but I would advise BaT on the dealer’s attitude just in case that same dealer comes back with another car to sell.

    I too bid on BaT auctions once in a while. The only real gripe people have with that auction is inability to get the very last minute bids in due to website overload. That site is great for selling, with very few bargains to be found. In fact, some of the final bids really raise my eyebrows.

    What I’m really curios about are very few follow ups from the buyers on their experience.

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