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Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

General conversations about BMW E28s and the people who own them.
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Posts: 385
Joined: Feb 12, 2014 2:36 AM
Location: phoenix

Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by mitch5 »

The 80's early 90's BMW market has risen sharply in the last few years and it seems a good portion of the record setting sale prices come from BAT. It is common to see multiple ads in the FS section here advertising their upcoming BAT auction. All of this gives me the feeling that quite a few members on here have sold their car on BAT or might consider selling it their in the future.

Personally, i just went through the process of selling a 1980 firebird thru them and it was a nightmare. I'm curious to hear what experiences people have had on the site when it comes to selling/buying.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by toddness »

I sold a 1971 2002 in April 2017, and bought an E34 M5 in May of this year.

In both cases for me, the transaction ran smoothly.

This being said:

Once I sold the 2002, it only then became evident to me that BaT has nothing to do with fulfilling the transaction, other than sharing contact info between the buyer and seller. They are in the business for the 5% that gets charged immediately upon auction end to the buyer's credit card. The transaction itself still needs to be coordinated between the buyer and seller upon auction close and there is nothing to keep either from walking away at any time. Read the fine print.

What a great business model!
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by austin8753 »

seconding the aforementioned statement, by "Toddness", i have this to say...

i've sold two items through bring a trailer. neither yielded a successful transaction. bring a trailer doesn't give a shit what happens, after they get their non-refundable 5% commission fee, upon the close of the auction. they are not a legitimate auction house. they merely write a fancy sounding ad, post your pictures, and (potentially) pair a winning bidder with a hopeful seller.

*there is nothing in their fine print that makes you sell your item, and there is nothing in their fine print that makes the buyer fulfill their intent to purchase said item.*

lots of folks have had successful transactions through bat, and i wholeheartedly congratulate them. seems like a good place to get insane money for your items. i have not been that lucky. personally, bring a trailer can get fucked. they do not vet the buyers, the sellers, or, most importantly, any of the items, that they post on their website. there is a lot of misrepresented garbage that goes through there. i'm sure there are a lot of folks, who have had similar experiences to mine, that just keep their mouth shut.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by dsmith »

My experience echoes above. The only real differences to eBay are perception to the unknowing public that items, sellers, buyers are somehow “vetted” (always consider buyer beware) and the small hook to the buyer of the 5% fee if they don’t follow through.

It’s best if you only bid on cars you can go physically check out, like any car purchase.

BaT is good about relisting no charge and the $99 fee is good for the seller. Overall, I have no issue with the model or process. Only wish I did it first!

Edit: I have bought and sold on BaT
Last edited by dsmith on Aug 01, 2020 4:09 PM, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by Cactus »

Nothing wrong with the process, but the auctions are undoubtedly better for the sellers than the buyers. Don't go shopping there looking for bargains, because I haven't identified any.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by mottati »

my son and i have sold a few cars (maybe 6) thru BaT. All have gone smoothly, sold for more than i would have guessed, buyers paid almost immediately. All but one case the car was picked up within a couple weeks. That one case was delayed due to the buyer wanting to fly out and drive the car home across the country, but Covid delayed him by about 5 months.
I've bid on a few but never bought anything.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by RoyW »

I have sold 3 cars there over the last 5 or so years, all were very good experiences. I have bid on a couple cars but was never the winning bid. This model has its benefits for both the seller and the buyer, and the results are dependent on many factor, most importantly the quality of the car, timing, number of interested potential buyers, and luck! :)

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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by CSBM5 »

I sold my E39 M5 on BaT a little over 2 years ago now. It was the only way to find the market for that car (not typical daily driven M5 at all). The buyer and I talked shortly after the auction closed. I sent him an example bill of sale I intended to use; he had one minor change which made sense, and we agreed on it. He wired the funds ($34,000) overnight to my bank account. Once confirmed, I Fedex'd the signed title to him the next day. I kept the car for two weeks while he arranged transport to Texas. Overall, an outstanding, painless, super easy transaction.

My buyer ended up being transferred to the Bay area last summer, so he put it back on BaT and it sold for even more by about $2k, and it has now ended up in the hands of an industry veteran in LA.

A close friend sold two cars on BaT (E39 M5 and E39 M5 wagon conversion), and both transactions went very smoothly also.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by Foonfer »

I have bought (1) car on BaT and am very happy with the results.

Of course my opinion is colored by the fact that the seller was a decent guy and was (somewhat) local to me. I was able to *see* and *drive* the car prior to auction close, and was able to interact with the seller *in person*, which helped me ascertain whether he was a sleazebag or not (I generally think he was not).

I think BaT's strength lies in its appeal within enthusiast communities, and in the level of knowledge and sophistication of its commentariat. In a way I find it quite a bit like - no one lets anyone get away with any BS. If you're selling a 1986 Lada, a cadre of fans of old Soviet shitty cars will magically appear and grill the seller with demands for photos of *this* and questions about *this other known issue*, and the discourse will be so much richer. Sellers have gotten to know this, and buyers (I think) look for this as well.

"Buy the seller, not the product" is as true now as it ever was. I have been a bidder on a few auctions and a watcher on countless ones, and it's always the commenters who deliver the best feedback.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by mitch5 »

I am starting to get the impression that BAT is the same as selling a car anywhere else, in that the kind of people you deal with vary based on the price of the vehicle. Selling a sub 10k car nowadays attracts all the bottom feeders who seem to love wasting your time.

My personal experience was with this car, a very clean 1980 fireturd. Man are the looks spot on but everything related to performance is sub par ... irebird-4/

Besides having to fight off a few inaccurate comments from "experts", i found the comments to be positive. I swear it seems some people just sit on there all day and comment on cars.Either way the car ended up selling for below what i felt was market(6k), but hey thats the auction process and i was ready to see the car go. Now to the fucky part, i get the buyers information and things immediately start feeling like im selling shit on craigslist.

Conversation went something like this:
Buyer:Blah blah i love the car can you send me pics of title etc.

Me:send all the stuff, request to get funds via ACH and ask about picking up the car.

Buyer:Will you accept partial payment?

Me: No i will only take full payment and would like it in 3 days via BAT guidelines

Buyer: My application for a loan on the car got denied for a second time, i might have enough money in my retirement. I ll let you know in a week if i can get the money.

After sending the buyer a last message with some basic finance advise saying this car is not worth draining your 401k ,the sale was cancelled. I did get a refund but was given the impression that BAT does not give a shit about who they vet, only that they have a credit card. The amount of disputes they must have with credit card companies is gotta be high.
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by cek »

I bought Vlad via BaT long before they even took fees. It was a super smooth transaction because a) I did my homework and b) the seller was class. ... bmw-535is/

My other BaT story was when I first considered selling Uglina. I posted it on BaT and then immediately got cold feet and pulled the ad the next day.

I then changed my mind again 4 months later and ended up selling it to one of the people who had reached out to me initially on BaT. I still get people on BaT commenting that I should be ashamed for such behavior. :roll:
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Re: Bring a Trailer Selling/Buying experiences

Post by three5ives »

I've sold two cars on BAT, both transaction went smoothly.
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