My (miserable) experience with Bring A Trailer

Discussion in '308/328' started by Futureman, Sep 6, 2016.

  1. Futureman

    Futureman Formula 3

    May 16, 2007
    So, since I kept seeing more and more mention of Bring A Trailer, I thought I'd share my experience. Hint: I'm embarrassed for them.

    Right off the bat they lost the original email to request an auction. After pinging them again after two weeks, they just simply said they didn't get it (even though they had responded). Then they proceeded to come back with question after question dragging out the whole process for another several weeks rather than just giving me a list of things they needed. They insisted on a lower reserve when they clearly don’t have an understanding of the Ferrari models. They demanded certain pictures and then didn’t use them. They asked for a write up and then cut out all the most descriptive and important service related information. My car has been serviced by Dave Helms and is loaded with his upgraded components, but they stated they wouldn’t allow mentioning products or businesses. They decided when to hold the auction and without any warning held the it over a holiday weekend. I sent them a bunch of pictures thinking they’d use the best ones when in fact they used the worst ones. if I had had known this then I would have given the bare minimum but then it would have drug the process out more. I never talked to the same person through the whole process; Three different people to set it up and then a completely different person informed me the auction was live. After it ended there was a bidder that had a timing issue on his screen. How does that happen? Timed web auctions are about the simplest thing to build. Ebay never has this problem. Their response to the failed bidder: “too bad”. They won't give me the contact info for all the bidders, only the winning bidder.

    Quite frankly, I don’t know how they have any business. I can't figure out if they are just a bunch of arrogant, uninformed idiots or they are all chromosome deficient.

  2. Dbacr

    Dbacr Karting
    Rossa Subscribed

    Jul 1, 2015
    Ft lauderdale, FL
    Full Name:
    I saw your listing. Quite the drama. Ferrari's receive no love on that site.
  3. wildcat326

    wildcat326 Formula 3

    Dec 10, 2012
    Chicago, IL
    Full Name:
    Are you obligated to sell? Why not just go the eBay route or try fchat?
  4. ricmat

    ricmat Formula Junior

    Aug 29, 2016
    London, UK
    Full Name:
    Saw your listing as well: was shocked at final value. Hope you close the deal with the highest bidders!

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  5. Meister

    Meister F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed

    Apr 27, 2001
    Duluth, MN
    Full Name:
    The Meister
    exactly. ebay is fairly reliable and has (assuming, but pretty certain) much more exposure. Sure it can be a hassle at times with idiot/fake bidders but in the end its a pretty reliable place. I've bought and sold several cars there.
  6. carguyjohn350

    carguyjohn350 F1 Rookie
    Silver Subscribed

    Mar 7, 2007
    Houston, TX
    Full Name:
    John P
    I'm interested in this as well. I watch their site regularly. Fascinating insights.

    Sent from my SM-G900P using Tapatalk
  7. plugzit

    plugzit F1 Veteran
    Rossa Subscribed

    Dec 1, 2004
    Redondo Beach, CA
    Full Name:
    Bruce Bogart
    Watched the auction. Saw it was Dave Helms serviced with upgrades. Nice car. Maybe could have sold for more elsewhere, who knows? Unusual well cared-for t coupe, hard to value as few comparables available. Sorry to hear about your experience. Looks like they have a fairly large audience for the unusual.
  8. ForzaV12

    ForzaV12 Formula 3

    Sep 15, 2006
    Laguna Niguel
    Full Name:
    I watched the auction(and commented once) and thought the buyer stole a great car. I had some issues with BAT as well(took a while to list, multiple requests for various items, too low reserve,etc). I will say this though-their system(if working correctly) is far superior to Ebay's as everyone has skin in the game. If you bid, there is an immediate hold on your CC for the BAT percentage. This eliminates the game playing and idiocy that has overtaken Ebay of late. I have had multiple bogus bids and "winning bidders" in Ebay that never followed through. Ebay does very little about this and actually make it difficult to even get your auction fees back. Ebay still has a huge audience and sales do occur after an unmet reserve auction, but it's still a hassle.
    oelboxer likes this.
  9. Jdubbya

    Jdubbya F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Dec 28, 2003
    Full Name:
    I don't see many of the cars they sell reaching what I'd call good sales prices for the seller. But I don't track it regularly either. If I was ready for another project I'd kinda like to grab the Pantera GTS project they have up now. Looks like a lot of missing parts too though so it could get spendy to fix up.
  10. Qvb

    Qvb Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 9, 2003
    Newport Beach Ca.
    Full Name:
    John Dixon
    I am assuming that Futureman's car was the 328GTB that did not reach reserve yesterday. I too would have been annoyed with the timing of the holiday, a lot of people are not paying attention to BAT when they are not at work, or at least not on their daily routine.
    I am sorry to hear that the process sucked, I spend a lot of time on that site and a lot of people seem pretty happy with the selling process. I don't feel like it is the best place to sell a Ferrari right now, I don't know why but I think it may have to do with the typical Ferrari buyer. I think in general, when someone decides to buy a Ferrari, they know just what they want and search it out, and it can take a long time. The one week duration on BAT doesn't give someone very long to make their decision. On the other hand, I think when people are buying other interesting cars, they may be more open to what is put in front of them. An orange 240z is awesome, if it was green, that would be OK too. I think condition is the draw on those other cars but the Ferrari needs to be the right one.
    I'm glad your reserve was not met at that low price, your car seems really nice, I am sure you can sell it for more elsewhere.
  11. Futureman

    Futureman Formula 3

    May 16, 2007
    Yes, mine was the GTB.

    I thought the watcher/bidder comments were on point and valid. They have the audience, they just seem like they are in over their head. I thought I'd give it a try before going the Ebay route since I've really been in no hurry to sell the car. (maybe that's a subconscious thing) But winter is coming and I don't want it taking up space in Dave Helms shop again this winter.
  12. SteveG75

    SteveG75 Formula Junior

    Nov 23, 2010
    Full Name:
    I have considered trying to put my '77 GTB on BAT. Interesting info. I will say that I have noticed that they have gotten much bigger in the last year or so. I wonder how much of the issues are growing pains.
  13. luistino

    luistino Rookie

    Apr 10, 2016
    Full Name:
    Luistino Marazzi
    The discussions around BAT auctions are quite informative. Some good insight.Alfas especially are well discussed. Ebay, is good advertising platform. interested parties not willing to show their hands will contact seller off ebay. that's was my experience. Mostly wheeler dealers but serious buyers also
  14. tinterow

    tinterow Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2014
    Houston, Tx
    Full Name:
    Chaya Tinterow
    No one got a great deal, except Futureman. IT DIDN'T SELL! Nice car, no need to panic. Nothing lost...nothing gained. BTW, if our cars are just flying out the door at exorbitant prices (Hemmings), why is he having trouble selling it for his price?...Answer...because they're not selling! Bubble has burst!
  15. sltillim

    sltillim Formula 3
    Silver Subscribed

    Nov 22, 2009
    San Diego
    Full Name:
    Spencer Tillim
    #15 sltillim, Sep 7, 2016
    Last edited: Sep 7, 2016
    My observation of BAT is that they are looking for cars like yours, with documents and records. You do have to be realistic as to what you will accept in the current market conditions. As Tinterow stated the prices are falling. I am quite surprised they would not let you share the maintenance history as that adds value to your car, along with those upgrades. These are typically the things their readers are looking for. I would have escalated that to the top of their org and not proceeded if they did not allow you to essentially share the history and modifications of the car. If you don't share those then you diminish the value.

    I personally paid them for advertising a Lotus I sold. The car sold on ebay but the winner did find the car on BAT. I only had correspondence with one person. BAT did not offer auctions at the time.
  16. INTMD8

    INTMD8 F1 Veteran
    Silver Subscribed Owner

    Jun 10, 2007
    Lake Villa IL
    Full Name:
    James Moran
    Sorry it didn't work out for you. I sold a car on BAT a few months ago, everything was easy, no issues.
  17. 308gtsqv

    308gtsqv Formula Junior

    Feb 12, 2008
    Mass/Cape Cod
    Full Name:
    I don't really agree with that. I don't think the market has burst, it's cooled down. Cars are still drawing Much stronger numbers than they did just a few years ago. Are they continuing to rise? Probably not. But to say the market has "burst" implies the cars are drawing numbers from years ago, when in fact they're still pretty high. You're going to start seeing cars that need work and have miles really get hit on values.

    The day's of a 60k GTS QV that needs a major or really isn't all that clean with an asking price of 70,000 "BUY IT NOW" are pretty much gone. (or at least the buyer for it is)

    As for BAT, i've heard a lot of mixed things. It seems to be hyped up waaaayy to much. I had a friend list his Porsche and like others they wanted the reserve to be crazy low. It's a way they can advertise such a high sell through rate. I see why they do it, and it's the owners taking the risk not them. I do like that they hold bidders accountable. Wish eBay did that..
    TheDiffuser likes this.
  18. mike996

    mike996 F1 Veteran

    Jun 14, 2008
    Full Name:
    Mike 996
    I have never used BAT but have a friend who is a bit of a car collector and he uses BAT quite a bit for both buying and selling. He has been quite happy with it over several years of use, most recently (a couple of months ago) buying a 1938 Packard and selling an MB G wagon.

    He had a big issue with a 1956 Caddy he purchased last year but the issue was with the seller not following through on some specific items he had agreed to, not with BAT per se.
  19. Newman

    Newman F1 World Champ
    Professional Ferrari Technician Owner Consultant

    Dec 26, 2001
    ON, Canada
    Full Name:
    I would say the if there is a bubble its a selective one. Just like the boxers and Testarossas, great cars bring the money rather than people throwing money at any example that comes for sale. So if most 308's are drivers with mods and aftermarket stuff (which I believe is the case) then they'll be the ones that sit or sell at a bubble burst price.
  20. TJsBeer

    TJsBeer Karting

    Apr 10, 2016
    Valley Forge, PA
    Full Name:
    Jeff Miller
    I think it'***** or miss with BaT. They had a 355 a couple weeks ago that did well. But then a 308 and 328 one right after the other didn't sell.
    But a couple of months before they had a 328 that sold fot 108k.
    I've sold three cars on there. None of the three met the price expectations I had for them. (They were not Ferraris)
    I think it's just hard to tell what's going to light it up on there sometimes.
    Sunracer likes this.
  21. miked

    miked Formula Junior

    Feb 7, 2001
    Cincinnati, Ohio
    Full Name:
    Mike Dawson
    IIRC, BAT has been a great place to find non-running or project vehicles, barnfinds and odd or unusual cars viewed by someone on a local Craigslist or Ebay and shown on BAT as a friendly "heads-up". Somehow it seems to have changed to an auction site for high end restored cars and the project listings have all but disappeared. Too bad, I liked it the original way. Maybe they should change their name from "Bring A Trailer" to "Bring Your Checkbook".
  22. Jack-the-lad

    Jack-the-lad Three Time F1 World Champ
    Silver Subscribed

    Jun 22, 2004
    Isle of Luci
    Full Name:
    My impression is that BAT isn't really capable of running the number of auctions they do right now. Some of the cars they select are sketchy, in my opinion.
  23. lagunacc

    lagunacc Karting

    Aug 24, 2013

    Bat went from a glorified aggregator to an App version of an auction site. Hype, bugs, little if any accountability sugar coated in eco, trendy, pc talk. In a transaction it's important that all parties are held accountable, including the site.

    Btw, you can hold Ebay buyer/sellers accountable by suing.
    Did that a few years ago on a pre-war motorcycle that the seller tried to sell to someone making a higher post auction offer.
  24. JG333SP

    JG333SP Formula 3

    Mar 24, 2010
    N Shore, MA
    Full Name:
    Jim G
    Yup. It seems they started getting a lot of eyeballs (I was easily baited early on) then decided to try and morph into something other than their branding indicates

    I'd say the original spirit was their cars were supposed to be sketchy, that's where the trailer part comes in. When they started moving more legit cars it gets more complex and you're right they don't look very capable. Should have stuck with the trailer!
  25. jmaz

    jmaz Formula Junior

    Jun 27, 2011
    Full Name:
    Futureman's GTB is a beautiful, well-maintained example, so I don't see it fitting this characterization at all. As someone else mentioned, auctions are often very hit-or-miss in terms of who's looking, and when. Maybe posting a notice on the FerrariChat market thread (if that's allows) regarding the ongoing auction might have generated more action.

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