My Car Quest

September 28, 2023

How to Sell Your Classic Car On The Internet

by Mike –

Owning a classic car is a lot of fun but when the time comes selling one can be a challenge. Finding the right buyer for your car can take some work.

There are many options and here we are focusing on selling on the Internet which has the advantage that your car stays in your garage until it is sold and paid for. This is different than an in person auction or dealer consignment where you will have to deliver your car to the auction or dealer location.

Used Cars - Kurt Russel

Online auction

Buyers who bid for your vintage car will likely have already made up their mind that they want it and in trying to win the auction, hopefully, will increasingly offer more in order to win, in competition with other bidders.

The auction company will provide information that includes how to value the car you’re auctioning as well as the seller’s commission you’ll have to pay in the event that your car sells.

eBay is a big seller of cars both new and old. It is, however, not always a real auction. The seller has options on how to sell and the auction option is not really a committed auction even though there are sellers who would have bidders think they are committed to buying if they win the auction.

Some eBay listings will have language like this,

Your bid constitutes a legally binding contract to purchase this vehicle.

This is not really true because there is not a firm commitment by the seller to sell.

For example, some listing will also have language similar to this,

We reserve the right to cancel bids at anytime for any reasonable reason.

and/or this,

We have this vehicle listed locally and reserve the right to cancel this listing.

Advertisement for GTO 4219 from December 1963 Road & Track

Advertisement for GTO 4219 from December 1963 Road & Track

Under eBay’s User Agreement, Section 7 (Purchase Conditions) it says,

For motor vehicles and real estate, a bid or offer initiates a non-binding transaction representing a buyer’s serious expression of interest in buying the seller’s item and does not create a formal contract between the buyer and the seller

This above eBay language contradicts what some sellers write in their own Terms & Conditions.

Other eBay listing are merely classified ads with an opportunity to make an offer.

Bring a Trailer (BaT) is a true on line auction site. They are listing about 150 cars a week and each car remains up for auction for 7 days. The seller can set a reserve price, to be agreed to with BaT, that is not disclosed to the bidders.

The bids are made public in real time so all interested parties can follow along. But they do not announce when the reserve price has been met.

They also have a soft close where bids placed in the last 2 minutes will delay the ending time by 2 minutes until there are no more bids so all bidders have a chance to get their best and final bid in.

Classified advertisement sites specifically for classic cars

It’s easy to get lost in the crowd when you post on general marketplaces that sell just about everything. Sites whose target audiences are shopping for classic cars will connect you to buyers who aren’t as distracted and are more motivated to buy the make and year of car you’re selling.

The best online car market places will let you post your ad for free or nearly free such as certain car forums focused on specific marques. They’ll be a source of useful content on information on topics such as car equity and how to export your car if an overseas based buyer wants it.

You’ll see how other sellers are positioning their vintage vehicles and you can pick up tips to make your car stand out. Better yet, you’ll become more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of the sales process.

Hemmings, Classic Cars and Craig’s List are three of the most popular classified listings services. Craig’s List is free and the other two change a fee for listing a car for sale.

Aston Martin DB 4 Zagato

Aston Martin DB 4 Zagato Advertisement

It can be helpful to visit these sites and search for cars similar to yours to get a feeling for pricing and availability.

Social media

Sites such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook aren’t just where we go to share photos of our kids or post our opinions on the latest news. They can be used to advertise your vintage car to those actively searching hashtags that lead them to one. The advantage of using interactive selling strategies such as social media platforms is that they let you go back and forth with others who have photos of your vintage car and want to talk about it via private message where you can answer their questions.

In the event that they’re not interested, they may have friends who also collect classic cars and they can easily share information about your car with them.

No matter which route you choose when selling on the Internet great photos, and lots of them, along with a detailed description of the car are essential. And set the price right – one of the major reasons why a classic car takes a long time to sell is that the price is too high.

Let us know what you think in the Comments.



Camaro and women

How to Sell Your Classic Car On The Internet
Article Name
How to Sell Your Classic Car On The Internet
Finding the right buyer for your car can take some work.


  1. I bought and sold several vehicles (cars and bikes) through eBay, but in reality I listed more than actually sold. eBay is a very good advertising vehicle as it is really quite boundless. Anyone in any part of the world can view listings in other parts of global eBay. The issue with eBay is that it has absolutely no legal and/or financial mechanism to enforce a deal. I was rewarded with a number of sales only to find a potential scammer or a b.s. artist on the other end of the winning bid.

    BaT is very good especially for well known (in US) euro brands. They also do well with domestics but the sellers of euro hardware fare much better in relation to the market. BaT has a selection process whereas you submit your vehicle for sale and it has to be “accepted” for the auction. One difficulty I found with BaT is that they don’t like reserves (especially on motorcycles) and if you insist on having one they will usually give you an option to accept the reserve they feel is correct or “hit the road”

    In selling over the internet, one should utilize every means of media one has access to and is comfortable with. Classic vehicles are not objects of need but rather of want. Therefore the more exposure you give your vehicle the better the results. One thing certain of, if the buyer is serious he/she will make an effort to reach out to the seller with pertinent questions. Don’t worry, you will get yahoos too.

    Last advice, don’t be mean in your ad or throw out ultimatums. Again, no one “needs” a classic vehicle so be courteous. Remember, you are not selling elixir of youth here. Phrases like “serious buyers only” and “low ballers will be sent to purgatory” don’t do much to help your ad. My favorite ones are what I call “veiled threat” – “If I don’t sell it in a week, it will go back into my collection”. Really?

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