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  1. #1

    Default My Mecum Auction experience

    I bought a Trans am last October, because I always wanted one to replace the one I had "back in the day". I figured I would replace one of my other cars with it. After working all winter on it, and replacing the entire interior, I drove it a few times and found that I didn't enjoy driving it. It didn't make me happy. I enjoyed my other cars much more. I could have kept everything, but storage/garage space was a problem. The fact that I havenít driven any of them in six months was also a factor. It just seemed silly to have another car that just sat for the majority of the year. Since I enjoyed the Trans am the least, I figured I would sell it. Normally I would do the Craigslist, or eBay thing, which is what I think you should do. That is what I would do in the future as well. This particular time, I made the decision to sell, and Mecum auction was coming the following week. So I figured what the heck...

    This is what I learned during my experience selling my car at the Mecum auction. First, they make a ton of money. They have all bases covered. They make money from the seller, when he LISTS the car, and if he SELLS it. They make money off the buyer, when they REGISTER to buy, and each time they BUY a car. They make money off spectators just coming to LOOK at the cars. Let me explain.

    First, as a seller, you pay to LIST your car. $250.00 -$750.00 depending on what day and time you pick. The better the day and time, the more expensive it gets. Thursday is a little cheaper, but there are not as many bidders there. As you can see, prime time on Saturday is more expensive.

    Thursday 4/25/13

    Star Entry * - $500
    3pm - 7pm
    ($20000 suggested minimum value)

    Feature Entry - $250
    12am - 3pm and after 7pm
    (No minimum value)

    ∑Friday 4/26/13

    Feature Entry - $500
    12am - 3pm and after 8pm
    ($25000 suggested minimum value)

    Star Entry * - $750
    3pm - 8pm
    ($35000 suggested minimum value)

    ∑Saturday 4/27/13

    Feature Entry - $750
    12am - 2pm and after 7pm
    ($35000 suggested minimum value)

    Star Entry * - $750
    2pm - 7pm
    ($50000 suggested minimum value)


    Remember...these fees are just to LIST the car. If your car does not sell, they still make this money. The money you pay on top of that, the commission, is based on if you have a reserve or not. That fee structure is as follows:


    Sellers Commission


    Vehicle Selling Price

    Option - (Reserve)Commission*
    Up to $7,500
    $500


    $7,500 and Up
    7 percent


    Absolute - (No Reserve)Commission
    Up to $7,500
    $500

    $7,500 and Up
    5 percent

    commission only applies if the seller accepts last bid.

    As you can see, this can really add up. Now as a BUYER, you are subject to a $100.00 registration fee. Thatís right. You pay $100.00 just to REGISTER to bid. If you donít buy anything, you are out $100.00. Then, as a BUYER, you are also subject to the following fees if you BUY a car. Thatís right; you pay Mecum a commission also if you BUY a car.

    Buyer's Premiums

    Final Price
    Buyer's Premiums
    Up to $5,499
    $300
    $5,500 to $9,999
    $500
    $10,000 and up
    6 percent of final price
    Boats and Motorcycles
    10 percent of final price
    Road Art
    18 percent of final price
    15 percent if paid in cash, certified funds, or check


    If you just want to go in and look, it will only be $20.00 per day. Of course there is a fee for parking, and that varies on parking lots.

    They also sell food and drinks there. They are priced about what you would expect to pay at an NFL stadium. Now this money I am not sure if it goes to Mecum or if it goes to the owner/operator of the venue. They also have kiosks around selling alcohol. This is a particularly good idea in my opinion. People can get caught up in the whole bidding process and not wanting to get beat by the ďotherĒ guy. Combine that with a little alcohol, and you might get someone to overbid. At the very least, you made money on the overpriced alcohol. I think loosening up peoples wallets with a little alcohol is really a brilliant strategy.

    Speaking of strategyÖ in the future, I would sell my vehicle the way I have in the past, using Craigslist, eBay, auto trader, and other similar ways. I am not saying I would never use Mecum; I would just use them as a last resort. I think you just give up too much money.

    As far as Mecum auction strategy, based on what I have learned, I would pay the $750.00 and get a good spot on Saturday. The reason for this is simple. When I was there on Thursday, there just were not many bidders. No bidders equal low bids. Friday is better than Thursday, but I believe Saturday is the best. You could go cheap and get a $500.00 slot, but when you are talking about $15K-$20K cars, why cheap out right here in the end, trying to save $250.00? Pay the extra money; get a good day, and a good time slot. Too early, and people either havenít gotten there, or have not warmed up to the whole process. Maybe they are just getting their feet wet, or seeing how it goes. Maybe they just havenít drunk enough alcohol yet. Too late in the day, and people are getting tired and going home. Maybe they have already spent their money.

    Okay, once you have made the decision to sell your car, you have picked the day, filled out the forms, paid your entry fee, and dropped your car off. They want your car there no later than Wednesday, since it starts on Thursday. You will have time to do that last minute cleaning, and detailing of your car.

    Did I mention that as a SELLER, you automatically get registered to BID? Thatís a $100.00 value. That way if you sell your car, pay the 5%-7% SELLERS commission, and then you can turn around and buy another car and pay the 6% BUYERS premium. Like I said, they have thought of everything, and have ever angle covered.

    The big day has arrived. As a seller, you have to be there when your car crosses the auction block. They drive your car around and into position. They push it across the auction block to cut down on the gas fumes. Once it crosses the block, they start it and drive it away. When it is your turn on the block, they push your car up there, and a guy immediately comes over to you, identifies himself, shakes your hand, and immediately starts to lowball you. He says things like whatís it going to take to sell your car today? I know your reserve is $XXX, but what would it REALLY take? Would you sell it for this? Donít you want to sell it? Now while he is doing that, the auctioneer has already started the bidding. You are trying to listen to the auctioneer, and talk to the guy talking to you. You are on stage with hundreds of people looking at you. There are bright lights shining down on you. There are neon lights every where. You feel like you are on stage at some Las Vegas casino. It is very intimidating. Everything is happening very quickly. They schedule a different car every five minutes. That is for the complete process. Rolling your car up, auctioning it off, dropping the hammer, and rolling it off. They want to stay on schedule, so there is no messing around. Any way, with all the bright lights, and the guy talking to you, then another guy came over, and started talking to me, so they were kind of tag teaming me. I couldnít hear the auctioneer, and all the while they are trying to get you to lift your reserve. You are not even really sure were the bidding is. Once you lift your reserve itís over. Honestly, once I lifted my reserve, they smacked the hammer about ten seconds later, and it was over. Their whole goal is to sell your car. Once your car sells, they make the 5%-7% from the seller and the 6% from the buyer. There is no real reason to continue to squeeze out another thousand or two. Their time is just too valuable to try and get another thousand dollars for your car, so they can make another $50.00. All they care about is lifting or meeting the reserve so that they know it will sell, and they can make their money. The entire time you are up there it is super high pressure to lift your reserve and sell.

    What I learned from this, is to set your reserve much higher (at least $5000.00) higher than what you really want. That way, you make them work hard to get it up there. Stand your ground, and donít lift your reserve. Make them work at it. They want to sell your car. I watched a lot, and they would really try to sell a car if it hadnít met the reserve, and the owner was holding pat. They would put out a lot of effort. You can always lift the reserve once it gets close to the reserve. The main thing is to get them to work to get the highest price you can get. Iím sure a lot of those people have sold many cars through there and know all the tricks. Being new to the auction game, I felt I left some money on the table. Lesson learned. This is why I am writing this. Maybe someone else will learn something and not leave money on the table for someone else.

    Donít get me wrong. This is not a bash Mecum thread. This is simply my experience, and much of it was an eye opener. I am not recommending it or campaigning against it. I am not unhappy with my experience. I do think I left money on the table. I do think I could have made more money on it. No, I am not upset. It was a learning experience. Just trying to share my experience, in hopes it might help someone else.

    In conclusion, once your car sells, they would like the buyer to pay for the car within an hour. The reason for this is they will not release the funds to the seller, until the buyer has paid. That way, Mecum is protected, and they havenít stuck their neck out. They are not on the hook for anything. This is pretty smart on their part. After about an hour, you go to the counter, they have you sign the title, and assuming the buyer has paid, they give you a check, minus the seller commission of course. You are done, and the car is gone.

    If you have any questions about the whole process, please ask. If you have an experience with an auction, please share it. If you are still reading thisÖthank you for you perseverance.
    Last edited by FoxChassis; 05-10-2013 at 11:43 AM. Reason: changed color
    1982 Dominator GT
    *1st Dominator ever sold and
    autographed by Jackie Stewart *
    1993 Corvette
    2005 Roush Mustang
    2008 Escape
    (DD)

  2. #2

    Default

    Sorry about the color...not sure how I managed that...
    1982 Dominator GT
    *1st Dominator ever sold and
    autographed by Jackie Stewart *
    1993 Corvette
    2005 Roush Mustang
    2008 Escape
    (DD)

  3. #3

    Default

    Thanks for the insight. On TV you can see the assistants pushing to get the reserve dropped. When Dana shows up and sees you won't drop the reserve he makes the seller seems that he's stupid.

    I too have noticed once the reserve is dropped the hammer comes off, even though Dana has said that removing the reserve can get the bids going. Well not if the auctioneer hammers it.
    1989 Mustang GT Convertible 22K Miles
    1969 Mustang Grande 428 CJ 1 of 37
    1969 Mustang SportsRoof

  4. #4

    Default

    Barrett Jackson is the same way, with fees for both the buyer and seller, etc. I think all the big classic car auctions work this way. One thing I've noticed from watching on tv is if you hold strong to your reserve and the bidding is close (to that reserve) Mecum will work with you on the sellers commission percent (they lower it all the time if the bidding is close). This makes sense because, like you mentioned, they need to sell the car to make their big money.

    I totally agree with 82GT2NV in that they really make you feel stupid if you don't lift your reserve. Honestly, I think Dana Mecum is a huge douche bag that has made a lot of money by bully'ing sellers into lifting their reserve against their better judgement. You have to be strong and fight off his henchman to make sure you get a price that you are comfortable with. The worst part about the televised auctions is how the announcers make Dana Mecum out to be this great guy, when all he really is, is a glorified sleazy used car salesman. I do like watching all those classics on tv though.
    Last edited by TopGear85; 05-10-2013 at 12:06 AM.
    Cheers!

    Mike (TopGear85)



    Have:
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    ***August 2015 ROTM Winner!***

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    86GT-9L,TuTone,5spd,T-Tops,Sand Beige
    86GT-9L,TuTone,5spd,T-Tops,Charcoal
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  5. #5
    FEP Power Member In2Fords's Avatar
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    Yeah, a lot of auctions are like that, big or small. I used to go to the police auction on seized vehicles in Colorado springs. I noticed the guys running the auction had their favorites and would "ghost bid" or "wouldn't see" you bidding depending on how it suits them and their friends that want the car or if they want a higher commission.
    When I took some stuff to a place to be auctioned you choose if they would get a flat rate of their cut whether it would sell or not or a percentage of the item. if you choose the flat rate option the hammer would come down while there would still be bidding going on and your stuff got shoved out of the way!
    1979 tangerine capri, 40k miles, sn95 8.8, spindles, eibach v8 springs, caster camber plates, manual steering and brakes, Lincoln master cylinder, rebuilt 2.3t/t5 from 85 tbird, nothing much!

  6. #6
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    With all that the OP explained in mind, Mecum usually gets more for your cars than you
    would normally see from the classified ads. So you have to factor in what you believe to
    be the actual market value (not your dream price). If you tested CL and AutoTrader and
    eBay before Mecum you should have a good estimate of its market value before heading
    to the auction. So did the bid exceed market value? Did it sell?

    I've seen good buys, and I've seen crazy profits!

    It's all in how you work the deal

  7. #7

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    That was an excellent write up. When I was on the floor of the Barrett Jackson auction back in 08 it was the same way.
    1985 5.0 Coupe - will eventually be hated by Ford purists

  8. #8
    FEP Senior Member biz jet tech's Avatar
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    I sold a car at Mecum in Kissimmee, FL. It was the same thing for me as you described, however, I sold the car and had to WAIT two days and drive back over to the fairgrounds while they were packing up, stand in line for over two hours to get my check for the car. It really pissed me off. Yeah, they make a bunch of money for sure. But if you have a really good car at a fair price, your pretty assured it will sell at the event.

    Throw up some pics of the TA, I had one years ago.
    Previously owned:
    85 GT 20K mile original
    85.5 SVO 22K mile original
    86 GT
    82 GT

  9. #9
    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    I first went to BJ in 1988 and have been there MANY times since. While I have never consigned a car or bought at BJ I have bought as many as 7 cars in one week while in Scottsdale for the auctions. A week in Scottsdale in January is not to be missed. Well worth the time and expense even as a spectator as there are many auctions to see, events to attend and 100's of cars for sale on CL and in the newspaper.

    I have been to 25% of Dana's auctions for the last 3 years. I have bought and sold at Mecum. The popularity of Mecum auctions is due to their success at SELLING cars. This has also presented a problem for consignors. Just the VIP's (me included) accounted for over 600 consigned cars for the January Florida auction. This means that over 2 FULL days of auctions spots were filled by VIP consignors who want and will pay for the best auction spots. The best spots are filled BEFORE "Joe Public" even has a shot at a good spot! My group of friends has 6 cars running at Indy. We had 12 in Florida and we STILL get jacked around on spots. Yes one of those cars at Indy is a "Star" car running on Saturday. Bubba expects the car to do $150K+!

    Mecum raised prices this year for selling. The decent $500 spots are now $1000. The "Star" car spots are now $1500. Even with our 20% discount this is still EXPENSIVE! You can expect to SPEND between $5500-$6000 to sell a $50,000 car at Mecum. It's more expensive at Barrett Jackson. That's $1000 for a good spot, 8% commission which is $4000, $500 in transportation for your car and at least $500 for room & travel. That's $6000 to SELL a $50,000 car! All you have to do is get $44,000 for that same car at home! The BEST deal going right now is Russo Steele with no entry fee and 5% sale commission. Bring a bunch of cars and they might even pay your shipping bill. Yes we were there at Russo Steele when the tents fell in 2010. Squished 2 of our cars. It took time but insurance covered the cars.

    What time of year and where a car is located has a LOT to do with what that car is worth. January in Iowa ain't the center of the collector world so a car in Iowa is worth nowhere near what that same car is worth in Scottsdale Arizona in January. Want top Dollar? You have to go to where the money is at and the money is at these auctions. All you have to do is watch TV to see that!

    These auctions are expensive to produce. The venues, the staffing, setup, teardown, transportation and everything else associated with an auction is not cheap. Therefore the buying fee's and selling fee's ain't cheap either!

    Mecum is an AUCTION. Barrett Jackson Scottsdale is an EVENT! You really cannot compare the two. About the only thing these two have in common is that there is an auction onsite. You would be amazed how BJ has changed since my first trip 25 years ago!

    The collector car auction game is ALL about having your car at the CORRECT auction on the CORRECT auction day and in the CORRECT auction time slot. After you have been to enough of these sales you learn many of these things including such as the time everyday that the money leaves the room, what cars do well at what auctions and which auction crews are the best JACKERS!!!! This is not a game it really is a science! The reality is most sellers have NO CLUE what is happening as they are selling their one car. The selling Pro's know what's going on and that's the reason they want and are willing to PAY TO PLAY!

    The guys making the real money at these sales are auction companies. With few exceptions that are making between 15%-20% of the sale price on every car they SELL! Entry fee's charged by the auction companies do not pay the bills. They MUST sell cars! That's their job. If they can get you as the seller to drop the hammer and lift the reserve that what they want and need to do and by the way they are good at it!!!

    You can make a LOT of money flipping cars at these auctions. You are NOT going to make any real money taking just 1 or 2 cars to these auctions. Expect to take 5-10 cars to make any real money. Some will lose and some will ring the bell! Average it out and there are many BIG winners at these sales. Hence you will see many of the same sellers at these auctions time after time. Yes there can be some single car exceptions as is always the case. I have one friend who will take 10-15 QUALITY BIG BUCK cars to every one of the Mecum premier auctions and he does very well. He will only BUY at the smaller Mecum auctions like Kansas City, Iowa and Bloomington. Why? Because the cars are cheaper there!

    Like anything else the collector auction business is now a BIG BUSINESS! If I remember correct BJ sold over $100MM in cars in January. BJ's 20% cut was over $20MM! Not Bad at all! Television has changed the game for all the auction companies. The business is much more visible to the public and many find the auctions entertaining. Just yesterday Craig Jackson was at the New York Stock Exchange and on CNBC talking about the huge rise this year in collectible car values. Just more fuel to the fire that the collector car world is not just a HOBBY but a BIG BUSINESS!

    So why don't you jump in and participate in the American Dream of Cars!
    Mike
    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    1979 Ford T5 Ghia Coupe
    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

    I like "Cut & Coach Built" vehicles!

    www.musclecardeals.com


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    FEP Senior Member biz jet tech's Avatar
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    Thanks for posting, that was a very interesting read
    Previously owned:
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    86 GT
    82 GT

  11. #11
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
    I first went to BJ in 1988 and have been there MANY times since.

    ...... (excerpt)

    So why don't you jump in and participate in the American Dream of Cars!
    Well, I think the answer for most of us is, we don't have the cash to ante up!
    This is not the car hobby that I grew up with in the 70s (being taught by the
    DIY guys of the 60s) back then the car hobby was mainly working class guys
    building and trading their cars. Today is more of a car hobby for high rollers,
    and I seem to share little with them other than my love for cars. That seems
    most evident when I attend a large car cruise. I prefer the small town shows
    where the old school guys still bring out their junk.

  12. #12
    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaceFever79 View Post
    Well, I think the answer for most of us is, we don't have the cash to ante up!
    This is not the car hobby that I grew up with in the 70s (being taught by the
    DIY guys of the 60s) back then the car hobby was mainly working class guys
    building and trading their cars. Today is more of a car hobby for high rollers,
    and I seem to share little with them other than my love for cars. That seems
    most evident when I attend a large car cruise. I prefer the small town shows
    where the old school guys still bring out their junk.

    This is what I find so wonderful about our Hobby/Business as everyone can participate at whatever level they choose to do so. Sure we all have a love of cars however cars come and go. It's the people involved in the car hobby that are the best and why I have and will continue to be heavily involved in our hobby at so many different levels!
    Mike
    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    1979 Ford T5 Ghia Coupe
    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

    I like "Cut & Coach Built" vehicles!

    www.musclecardeals.com


  13. #13
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    I suspect they may be creating a hobby bubble that could backfire.

    Not just auctions, but the marketing machine that drives the car hobby industry.

    It doesn't really concern me though, I'm not involved.

  14. #14
    FEP Power Member BigSkyGT's Avatar
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    I can't see anything that you wrote, it is all blank.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by PaceFever79 View Post
    Well, I think the answer for most of us is, we don't have the cash to ante up!
    This is not the car hobby that I grew up with in the 70s (being taught by the
    DIY guys of the 60s) back then the car hobby was mainly working class guys
    building and trading their cars. Today is more of a car hobby for high rollers,
    and I seem to share little with them other than my love for cars. That seems
    most evident when I attend a large car cruise. I prefer the small town shows
    where the old school guys still bring out their junk.
    You know. There is a lot of truth to this.

    At the 5.0 Mustang and Superfords car show I hung out with a guy that was obviously loaded and his wife worked at the mag. He had a 08 GT Vert in the show. This guys bud shows up, walked through the 'VIP" entrance and they were long time friends. THAT guy had some expensive Porsche and thought of it as a daily beater, but was still anal about where he parked it and babied the car. I knew I was the obvious poor man in the group. But, we all had our love for all things cars and THAT is what mattered. Coarse, I was also the ONLY LTD LX in the show. I also feel 5.0 Mustang and superfords wont show that car in their mag when they review the show they had! lol
    1985 Mustang GT Mild 331 4bbl 5 spd, 1985 SEFI LTD LX AOD.
    Cardomain: http://www.cardomain.com/ride/565542
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  16. #16
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    Honestly, I'm not happy with the modern car hobby industry.

    I think I liked it better back when most proper people didn't like gear heads.

    Now it's their "lifestyle", and being diplomatic can be trying.

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    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaceFever79 View Post
    I suspect they may be creating a hobby bubble that could backfire.

    That "hobby bubble" has burst 3-4 times already in just last 30 years. That's nothing new. Just as the resurgence of the car market over and over is nothing new!
    Mike
    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    1979 Ford T5 Ghia Coupe
    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

    I like "Cut & Coach Built" vehicles!

    www.musclecardeals.com


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    FEP Supporter 75coug's Avatar
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    Very illuminating. Thank you so much for taking the time to post such thoughtful insights.
    Robert

    1986 ascMcLaren SC 5.0 -red
    1985 Capri GS (w/ 5.0) - red
    1985 Capri 5.0L - black
    1984 ascMcLaren SC 5.0 - white
    1984 Capri GS (w/ 5.0) - white
    1983 Capri RS Crimson Cat - red
    1982 Capri RS Black Magic - white
    1982 Cougar wagon

  19. #19
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    Yeah I also appreciate you taking the time to write such a lengthy insight!

    Don't let my old school nostalgia make it feel unappreciated!

  20. #20
    The Dominator Guy! bluesfannoz's Avatar
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    Very nice write up Craig. Sorry to hear you had to sell one of the stable, but do understand. You just confirmed my thoughts on Mecum.

    Vintageracer, Thanks also for your perspective and your interest in our cars as a collector.
    Steve
    "Taillights in Your Face Jack? You've just been Dominated!"

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    Previously owned:
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  21. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by In2Fords View Post
    Yeah, a lot of auctions are like that, big or small. I used to go to the police auction on seized vehicles in Colorado springs. I noticed the guys running the auction had their favorites and would "ghost bid" or "wouldn't see" you bidding depending on how it suits them and their friends that want the car or if they want a higher commission.
    When I took some stuff to a place to be auctioned you choose if they would get a flat rate of their cut whether it would sell or not or a percentage of the item. if you choose the flat rate option the hammer would come down while there would still be bidding going on and your stuff got shoved out of the way!
    That is interesting! There seems to always be an "angle". I can see what you describe happening rather easily. Now that I think about it, I think that is what is going on at a nearby auction house that sells household items, and stuff when people pass away. I have been several times, and it seems that the "regulars" get good deals, or they don't "see" you bid, as you mentioned.

    Quote Originally Posted by PaceFever79 View Post
    With all that the OP explained in mind, Mecum usually gets more for your cars than you
    would normally see from the classified ads. So you have to factor in what you believe to
    be the actual market value (not your dream price). If you tested CL and AutoTrader and
    eBay before Mecum you should have a good estimate of its market value before heading
    to the auction. So did the bid exceed market value? Did it sell?

    I've seen good buys, and I've seen crazy profits!

    It's all in how you work the deal
    I decided to sell the car, and the auction was the very next week. I made no effort to sell it on my own. I decided I wanted to try Mecum, since I never had. I knew going in it was a risk. In hindsight, I wish I wouldn't have done it. I would have tried to sell it on my own first. I didn't have to sell it. I could have tried selling it on my own until the next auction came to town. Yes, I sold it. No, I didn't make a lot of money. I really feel I left a few thousand on the table, by not selling it myself. I will say that I believe it is hard to sell a high dollar car on Craigslist. I think if you have a high dollar car your chances are better on eBay or auctions like Mecum. Like someone said, you have to go where the buyers are. I just don't see high rollers checking out the neighborhood Craigslist ads.

    Quote Originally Posted by foxbody guy View Post
    I sold a car at Mecum in Kissimmee, FL. It was the same thing for me as you described, however, I sold the car and had to WAIT two days and drive back over to the fairgrounds while they were packing up, stand in line for over two hours to get my check for the car. It really pissed me off. Yeah, they make a bunch of money for sure. But if you have a really good car at a fair price, your pretty assured it will sell at the event.

    Throw up some pics of the TA, I had one years ago.
    I would have been unhappy having to wait two days as well. I agree with you, that it's a good place to sell your car. I seen a lot of people with wads of cash. I was really surprised at the fact that so many people were dealing in cash. Mecum told me they took personal checks, but not debit or credit cards. You can't go many places and find that many potential buyers that can actually afford to buy an old car. The ideal situation would be if a couple of people just "had" to have your car, and they drove the price up.

    Here is a link to some pictures of my T/A:
    http://vb.foureyedpride.com/showthre...ighlight=trans


    Quote Originally Posted by vintageracer View Post
    I first went to BJ in 1988 and have been there MANY times since. While I have never consigned a car or bought at BJ I have bought as many as 7 cars in one week while in Scottsdale for the auctions. A week in Scottsdale in January is not to be missed. Well worth the time and expense even as a spectator as there are many auctions to see, events to attend and 100's of cars for sale on CL and in the newspaper.

    I have been to 25% of Dana's auctions for the last 3 years. I have bought and sold at Mecum. The popularity of Mecum auctions is due to their success at SELLING cars. This has also presented a problem for consignors. Just the VIP's (me included) accounted for over 600 consigned cars for the January Florida auction. This means that over 2 FULL days of auctions spots were filled by VIP consignors who want and will pay for the best auction spots. The best spots are filled BEFORE "Joe Public" even has a shot at a good spot! My group of friends has 6 cars running at Indy. We had 12 in Florida and we STILL get jacked around on spots. Yes one of those cars at Indy is a "Star" car running on Saturday. Bubba expects the car to do $150K+!

    Mecum raised prices this year for selling. The decent $500 spots are now $1000. The "Star" car spots are now $1500. Even with our 20% discount this is still EXPENSIVE! You can expect to SPEND between $5500-$6000 to sell a $50,000 car at Mecum. It's more expensive at Barrett Jackson. That's $1000 for a good spot, 8% commission which is $4000, $500 in transportation for your car and at least $500 for room & travel. That's $6000 to SELL a $50,000 car! All you have to do is get $44,000 for that same car at home! The BEST deal going right now is Russo Steele with no entry fee and 5% sale commission. Bring a bunch of cars and they might even pay your shipping bill. Yes we were there at Russo Steele when the tents fell in 2010. Squished 2 of our cars. It took time but insurance covered the cars.

    What time of year and where a car is located has a LOT to do with what that car is worth. January in Iowa ain't the center of the collector world so a car in Iowa is worth nowhere near what that same car is worth in Scottsdale Arizona in January. Want top Dollar? You have to go to where the money is at and the money is at these auctions. All you have to do is watch TV to see that!

    These auctions are expensive to produce. The venues, the staffing, setup, teardown, transportation and everything else associated with an auction is not cheap. Therefore the buying fee's and selling fee's ain't cheap either!

    Mecum is an AUCTION. Barrett Jackson Scottsdale is an EVENT! You really cannot compare the two. About the only thing these two have in common is that there is an auction onsite. You would be amazed how BJ has changed since my first trip 25 years ago!

    The collector car auction game is ALL about having your car at the CORRECT auction on the CORRECT auction day and in the CORRECT auction time slot. After you have been to enough of these sales you learn many of these things including such as the time everyday that the money leaves the room, what cars do well at what auctions and which auction crews are the best JACKERS!!!! This is not a game it really is a science! The reality is most sellers have NO CLUE what is happening as they are selling their one car. The selling Pro's know what's going on and that's the reason they want and are willing to PAY TO PLAY!

    The guys making the real money at these sales are auction companies. With few exceptions that are making between 15%-20% of the sale price on every car they SELL! Entry fee's charged by the auction companies do not pay the bills. They MUST sell cars! That's their job. If they can get you as the seller to drop the hammer and lift the reserve that what they want and need to do and by the way they are good at it!!!

    You can make a LOT of money flipping cars at these auctions. You are NOT going to make any real money taking just 1 or 2 cars to these auctions. Expect to take 5-10 cars to make any real money. Some will lose and some will ring the bell! Average it out and there are many BIG winners at these sales. Hence you will see many of the same sellers at these auctions time after time. Yes there can be some single car exceptions as is always the case. I have one friend who will take 10-15 QUALITY BIG BUCK cars to every one of the Mecum premier auctions and he does very well. He will only BUY at the smaller Mecum auctions like Kansas City, Iowa and Bloomington. Why? Because the cars are cheaper there!

    Like anything else the collector auction business is now a BIG BUSINESS! If I remember correct BJ sold over $100MM in cars in January. BJ's 20% cut was over $20MM! Not Bad at all! Television has changed the game for all the auction companies. The business is much more visible to the public and many find the auctions entertaining. Just yesterday Craig Jackson was at the New York Stock Exchange and on CNBC talking about the huge rise this year in collectible car values. Just more fuel to the fire that the collector car world is not just a HOBBY but a BIG BUSINESS!

    So why don't you jump in and participate in the American Dream of Cars!
    Thanks for taking the time to write and add to the discussion. You have a lot of insight due to your involvement. This was my first time, and will probably never be big time involved. I won't say I will never do it again, but just never at your level. I cannot see myself having the money to take 6-10 cars at a time. It would be cool though.

    Some thoughts on your comments:
    It's interesting that there are that many people following the auctions around, taking all the good spots. You are right, it is big business, and the little garage mechanic really can't play the game. Of course, we do it more for enjoyment than we do to make a living. I guess that is the difference.

    I'm glad I did it before they raised the prices here. I don't think the average guy could afford to lose a $1K just to list the car. Once you pay that, most of your profit would be gone. You make a good point in, you might as well just lower your asking price the cost of all the fees, and expenses you will have selling the car at an auction.

    You also talked about how expensive it is to put on a Mecum auction. Interesting enough, I discovered the City PAID Mecum to come and put on the auction. Some sort of tourism incentive. I am not sure I agree with my tax dollars being spent on that or not. The surrounding hotels and restraunts probably loved it, but beyond that I am not sure it was the boost the City paid for.

    Bottom line, it was an experience for me. I am just a poor midwest boy trying to make a living and have a little fun at the same time. I will never be the high roller that can take $100K worth of cars in there and make big money. Heck, if I could sell a car and make a few thousand, I would think I was doing great!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaceFever79 View Post
    Well, I think the answer for most of us is, we don't have the cash to ante up!
    This is not the car hobby that I grew up with in the 70s (being taught by the
    DIY guys of the 60s) back then the car hobby was mainly working class guys
    building and trading their cars. Today is more of a car hobby for high rollers,
    and I seem to share little with them other than my love for cars. That seems
    most evident when I attend a large car cruise. I prefer the small town shows
    where the old school guys still bring out their junk.
    I agree. Some people do it for the money, and do well. Others, like most of us, do it because we find some happiness in it. It would sure be cool if we could do it for the enjoyment, AND make a lot of money doing it!

    Quote Originally Posted by drewpeltier View Post
    I can't see anything that you wrote, it is all blank.
    Sorry about that. Thanks FoxChassis for fixing it up!

    Quote Originally Posted by 75coug View Post
    Very illuminating. Thank you so much for taking the time to post such thoughtful insights.
    You are welcome. It was a learning experience for me. After going through it, I did a search, and couldn't find any threads about it, so I thought I would share, and maybe save someone else a few bucks, or at least shed some light on the whole thing. I learn a lot from all of you guys, thanks!

    Quote Originally Posted by PaceFever79 View Post
    Yeah I also appreciate you taking the time to write such a lengthy insight!

    Don't let my old school nostalgia make it feel unappreciated!
    No problem! I kinda feel like the average Joe is being left behind. It's almost getting to the point where every time you find something you enjoy, the prices to participate get so high the middle class can't participate any more. Going to NFL games is another example of that. Prices are getting so high it's a rich man's hobby.
    I think it's great when we can all discuss things without anyone getting too upset. We are all sharing our experiences, and learning from each other.

    Keep the discussion going...
    1982 Dominator GT
    *1st Dominator ever sold and
    autographed by Jackie Stewart *
    1993 Corvette
    2005 Roush Mustang
    2008 Escape
    (DD)

  22. #22
    FEP Power Member vintageracer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by foxbody guy View Post
    I sold a car at Mecum in Kissimmee, FL. It was the same thing for me as you described, however, I sold the car and had to WAIT two days and drive back over to the fairgrounds while they were packing up, stand in line for over two hours to get my check for the car. It really pissed me off.
    Sell at Barrett Jackson and you will get your check in the mail in 2-3 WEEKS!
    Mike
    Remember, "Drive Fast, Turn Heads, Break Hearts!"

    1979 Ford T5 Ghia Coupe
    1995 Ford Powerstroke F350 "Centurion" STRETCHED Crew Cab Dually

    I like "Cut & Coach Built" vehicles!

    www.musclecardeals.com


  23. #23
    FEP Senior Member Turbo Futura's Avatar
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    Thanks bull-vett and vintageracer for the great insight of auction process. This info will help anyone thinking about taking a car to auction. I am going to pass this on to a friend who is thinking of selling is restored Boss 429. I guess that's where the money is.
    Have
    1982 Mustang GT 2nd owner
    1999 Dodge Viper GTS Canadian model 2nd owner

    Had
    1966 GT 350
    1967 GT 500
    1980 Fairmont Futura Turbo 2nd ownerhttp://www.cardomain.com/ride/3818362

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    FEP Super Member 85GT-79FJ40's Avatar
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    I have always HATED selling cars. Buying them I like but I hate selling them. It's great to hear of this experience. Honestly I think I would have been literally sick if they lifted the reserve and then hammered it for a few grand below what I wanted. I hate being pressured into anything especially when money is involved. I have recently decided to part ways with my FJ40. I had tried to sell it last year on Craigslist and got nothing but scammers and dreamers with no money. So I decided to keep it at that point. Now I've realized I just don't use it and could really use the money. It's not an uber high dollar rig but probably worth in the neighborhood of 15-20 grand in today's market. I think I'm going to try eBay if the one seriously interested guy I've got from an enthusiast site doesn't pan out. To see it auctioned off live in minutes would make me sick. Unless it went for double I wanted or something.
    Soon to be on the hunt for another 4 eye
    05 Tacoma
    14 CBR500R

  25. #25
    FEP Super Member PaceFever79's Avatar
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    Your post says something about the difference between the classes.

    The average Joe tends to have a deeper, almost spiritual connection to his car, often it
    can represent a very large part of his passion, work and growth as a person. He tends
    to sweat the issues, to come up with creative solutions. Where a wealthy guy is really
    just looking for cool ways to spend his money, have fun, and get some thrills. We are
    coming at it from very different perspectives. When I was young, the guys I admired
    most were the guys that seemed to get the most results from the least money spent!
    Today, especially at large gatherings, it is really a money hobby. And because of that
    the gist of hot rods, and the car hobby has changed. I tend to avoid most of the new
    scene because it has little to do with me, and most of all, I can leave my garage with
    pride and joy, only to have it dashed when surrounded by high dollar cars and people
    that I have very little in common with. So I tend to fly solo these days. I head out for
    the open road and I don't spend much time around the new scene. I think that really
    says something when a lifer like me feels put off by the hobby.

    I do love to watch Mecum. Mainly for the parade of cool cars on my 52" HDTV

    Also, I think the AV production on Mecum blows away the BJ crew.

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