What it's like to sell a car on Bring A Trailer

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Bring A Trailer auction

Bring A Trailer auction

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It's a site that sends out a siren call to many auto enthusiasts.

It's called Bring A Trailer (BaT) and many of us spend too much time looking at it on a daily basis. It's a gearhead's utopia of rare, vintage, and unique vehicles for sale all in one location.

While the site features Craigslist, eBay, and other classified ads its bread and butter is its own auction system, BaT Auctions, which launched in 2014.

Like most of you, I daydream on BaT. I didn't know the reality of buying and selling a car.

That all changed recently when I sold my 1991 BMW M5 via BaT.

One simply doesn't list a car for sale on BaT

BaT isn't Craigslist. You don't just sign up and list a car for sale.

No sir, you submit a candidate for sale.

Peruse BaT—no broken-down jalopies or commuter specials. The site is meticulously curated and is kept clean by a screening process done by real live humans.

Cars are accepted behind these virtual velvet ropes.

Once I decided to take the leap—I cried, I'm not ashamed to say that—the process was simple. Sign up, enter a bunch of pertinent information ranging from mileage, records, and all the other information shoppers want to know when looking to drop cash on a car their significant other might not know about, and click submit.

BaT takes a few days to screen submissions and your approval can take up to three business days, they say. Thanks to a couple of friends in low places—and the legendary E34-ness of my M5—my approval was much quicker than advertised.

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So you were chosen

After reviewing my submission the team at BaT felt my E34 M5 was worthy to list. (How could they not? It has an S38 under the hood with ITBs. C'mon.)

I paid the listing fee of $250—it's worth noting that's the only money sellers have to pay throughout the entire process—and was assigned a friendly BaT staff member named Chris.

Let's be real, I probably drove Chris nuts with my questions, but throughout the process he answered each and every one.

Let's talk reserve pricing for a second: When you submit a vehicle you are asked if you want a reserve, which I did. When BaT was piecing together my listing, they wanted to talk about my reserve price. Namely, its crackpot-ness. We went back and forth a few times with their suggestions, logic, and mine, and finally agreed to what was a more than fair reserve price.

(For the record, I was right regarding the value, and my original reserve would've been irrelevant. Yes, I'll take my pat on the back now.)

It's worth noting that if a car doesn't hit the reserve price it technically didn't sell, but the highest bidder can connect with the seller to try and work something out. Further, if the final auction price falls just shy of the reserve price BaT reserves the right to make up the difference to complete the transaction.

Once my listing was put together the BaT team asked for my blessing. I gave it to them and we were off—sort of. Listings are staggered to keep from overwhelming the site.


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