Classic car auction site Bring a Trailer's sales hit record .4 billion even as prices drop
Classic car auction site Bring a Trailer's sales hit record .4 billion even as prices drop

1967 Porsche 910


Bring a Trailer, the favored on-line auction site for collectible automobiles, posted record sales in 2023, even as classic-car prices hit the skids.

Bring a Trailer’s sales elevated about 2% final yr to over $1.4 billion from $1.35 billion in 2022, in keeping with the corporate’s CEO Randy Nonnenberg. Bring a Trailer bought over 30,000 automobiles in 2023, up 19% from 2022.

The progress within the variety of automobiles bought helped to offset a decline in prices. The common worth of a car bought on the site fell to $54,000 in 2023 from $59,500 in 2022.

The firm’s progress marked a uncommon shiny spot within the classic-car market in 2023, as prices fell from their feverish highs of 2021 and 2022 and rising rates of interest took a toll on collectors. Total auction sales of basic automobiles (for each on-line and dwell auctions) fell 3% final yr to $4.19 billion from $4.32 billion in 2022, in keeping with knowledge from Prices for a lot of fashions have fallen 10% or extra, in keeping with classic-car analysts.

592-Mile 2014 Pagani Huayra


In an interview with CNBC, Nonnenberg stated inflation, financial uncertainty, a risky inventory market and turmoil abroad have cooled demand amongst potential bidders. But he stated sellers are nonetheless providing trophy automobiles, and patrons are bidding, even if their affords are decrease.

“People have been a little bit nervous about their portfolio, so that may decelerate discretionary car shopping for,” he stated. “We thought we would see that folks would cease promoting or holding automobiles in the event that they’re nervous. Interestingly, we did not see that. We nonetheless noticed individuals desirous to commerce out into one thing else. It’s simply modified the pricing a little bit.”

Bring a Trailer’s low-cost, consumer pleasant platform additionally continued to draw car lovers. Its variety of registered customers grew to 1.2 million in 2023, up from 880,000 in 2022, in keeping with Nonnenberg.

The variety of lively bidders surged to over 520,000. Sellers on Bring a Trailer pay a flat price of $99, whereas the customer price is 5% of the car’s sale worth with a cap of $5,000 — a fraction of what conventional car-auction companies take. The site affords every thing from $3,000 bikes to $200,00 Porsches and $1 million Ferraris.

The massive draw of Bring a Trailer is the auction voyeurism. Users observe bids and sales in actual time, and examine images of and feedback on uncommon automobiles. The site has as much as 1,000 automobiles being auctioned at anyone time, and auctions for every car usually final a week, Nonnenberg stated.

For 2024, the corporate is launching a new suite of companies to hurry up the checkout course of, serving to patrons with paperwork, cash transfers and different necessities.

Nonnenberg stated this yr’s sales are shaping as much as be as good as or higher than these of 2023, as prices stabilize and bidders achieve confidence from potential rate of interest cuts later within the yr.

“The spring months are actually in style on Bring a Trailer as a result of individuals are type of popping out of winter, and opening up their storage and beginning to care about journey and automobiles,” he stated. “We assume we can be proper on observe for a typical spring for us, which is thrilling.”

While Bring a Trailer did not beat its earlier record for costliest car bought on the site — a $5.36 million La Ferrari bought in 2022 — it managed to promote two automobiles for over $2 million final yr. It’s costliest sale in 2023 was a 2014 Pagani Huayra that bought for $2.9 million. It additionally bought a uncommon 1967 Porsche 910 race car for $2.5 million, a 2020 “Liquid Carbon” Ford GT for $1.8 million and a 2005 Porsche Carrera GT with solely 601 miles for $1.8 million.

Nonnenberg stated extra newer automobiles from the 2000s and 2010s are beginning to go up for auction.

“Even automobiles from the 2000s are beginning to develop into collector’s gadgets,” he stated. “As every thing goes electrical, these automobiles from 20 years in the past develop into extra particular. Lots of people assume BAT is for Sixties automobiles. It’s really rather more fashionable.”

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