In the past few months we have seen the emergence of a number of new on-line European Classic Car auction sites, perhaps trying to mirror what would now appear to be the transformation of a well-established UK classic market, which is currently wearing a new digital on-line suit. The UK auctions sites are renowned world-wide, but can these new European on-line platforms really compete? More on this later…
May and June saw a vast range, and indeed volume of cars on offer through the very active UK classic auctions, with many of them LHD but, are they all what they make out to be? With personal viewing very much restricted due to Covid, and auctions taking place in empty rooms, it takes an experienced eye to read car descriptions and decide whether the vehicle on offer is from a private vendor or simply a dealer trying to move a car he can’t sell. And from someone who writes car descriptions for a living, this is usually a casual glance that decides either way. But I have to confess that one did recently get the better of me, thankfully, before a bid was offered and funds were flying away. Descriptions that include “we believe” and “we understand” should be questioned as to who wrote the description and where did this (sketchy) information come from. The UK is well known for classic car auctions with some household names holding the highest reputations, but one must be careful of vague descriptions and ask accordingly to specify the details required. So why are some vague descriptions appearing? Is it down to sheer volume appearing on these transformed on-line platforms, or are the writers just running out of words? Or is it because the quality is not there? There are some incredible cars on the market right now and, if funds are available, some outstanding bargains too. But be careful my classic car friends – and choose wisely! If I can be of assistance with buying, selling or just damn good advice let me know.
I’ve never been one to deny anyone earning an honest dollar. In fact, I encourage any budding entrepreneur who is willing to feed the fire because they’ve grasped the fact that the more wood thrown on the fire, the more warmth it creates. Equally, I’ve known many who’ve stood next to the wood and refused to feed the fire because they’re just too lazy. But I do find myself questioning where these new European on-line classic auction sites are going? Although I admire – somewhat – their favourable dealer terms in comparison to other established classic auction terms and conditions, I am curious to see whether this can be sustained. I’ve no doubt they will evolve as they pursue appropriate cars from both dealers (I believe predominately) and private vendors alike, to sell. It will be interesting to see how they evolve over the coming weeks and months. Despite not necessarily agreeing that this is the best way to sell classic cars, (and I am open to persuasion) I do wish them well and look forward to a personal review later in the year.
Finally, there appears to be a distinct lack of good old British cars being offered to us these days. A couple of years ago, there wasn’t a week went by without being offered a Triumph, MG or Jag. So where are they all hiding? If you have anything British to offer then do please get in touch.