Bring A Trailer Auctions, or bringatrailer.com, is an online shopping site where users can buy and sell classic, unique, and vintage cars and motorcycles. The original website started in 2007 with fixed-prices and moved to a bidding-style system in 2014.
Enthusiasts can sign up to get daily email updates about current auctions.
So, how does Bring A Trailer work?
First, owners can submit their car on bringatrailer.com and the most interesting and unique vehicles are selected for auction within two business days.
Next, the company works with sellers to put together an informative listing. Sellers pay $99-$349 to list their ride. The submission and preparation process can take a couple weeks to get ready. The fee stands whether or not your car sells, and there is no additional fee when it does sell.
Finally, once it is live, the auction listing lasts seven days. When it is over, the purchase transaction is between buyer and seller. Bring A Trailer doesn’t facilitate. Additionally, there is a 5 percent buyers fee, charged to the winning bidder via credit card ($250 minimum and $5,000 max).
Buyers and sellers from all over the world are welcomed to sell vintage cars online through this site, or browse and bid on cars for sale.
Keep reading our Bring A Trailer review for pros and cons of working with this car auction site.
BAT Auctions specializes in classic, unique, and vintage cars. Anyone can submit a car for auction; however, not everyone will be able to list a car. The site serves to weed out lesser-quality cars to make sure that only the best, most interesting cars are put up for sale.
This helps potential buyers know that they are only seeing the cream of the crop, rather than searching through thousands of classified ads or sites like ebaymotors looking for rare, quality vintage cars.
Listings, written by Bring A Trailer staff, include tons of details about each car, including the current bid and the number of days and hours left in the auction.
Most include standard info about the car’s transmission, interior, exterior, engine, CarFax report info, mileage, and whether the owners manual is included, but some share extra information like:
In addition to car listings, BAT also offers the option to list parts for sale, like seats, engines, memorabilia, wheels, and more.
Premium Listings features high-value vehicles with listings that last up to 21 days. These 6-figure and 7-figure car auctions will still be held to the $5,000 max for anyone that ends up buying a car of this caliber.
Although this is an online auction site, owners can still set a reserve price, or the lowest possible sale price that they are willing to sell the car for.
Why does this matter?
It helps sellers rest assured that they are getting the car sold, at the very least, a certain amount of money, while still putting the car out there for the highest bidder.
If you are selling your car and need help taking pictures for your listing, the site offers a professional photography referral. Photographers can even request to be added to the network.
Additionally, with the Plus package, for $349, you can include professional photography in addition to the professionally written listing, which is already available in the Classic plan for $99.
The is also a White Glove service feature available for “significant cars and collections.” This is a concierge-type service where BAT will tailor the service to sellers’ needs.
Bringatrailer.com only facilitates the listing and auction. When you sell your car on Bring A Trailer, the site doesn’t facilitate the payment. The sale and any exchange of money are directly between the owner and the buyer. This is one place where we see Bring A Trailer has room for improvement in offering premium services.
It would be great if the company sponsored a pre-purchase inspection as a part of their service. This is left to the owner and prospective buyer to figure out.
We would also appreciate if the Bring A Trailer auction site could help facilitate shipping, if the current owner and new buyer live a long distance apart.
Not all cars that are submitted for auction are selected for auction. While this can be disappointing for some would-be sellers wishing to sell their collector car, it is probably a good way to keep the site’s inventory to a higher quality standard, rather than it becoming like ebaymotors.
While eBay uses a Buy it Now option, all listings on Bring A Trailer are auctions. There are no Buy it Now pricing options.
If you want to sell classic cars while avoiding auction-type selling and the rigid selection for Bring a Trailer Auctions, consider listing your car on Classic Cars or Hemmings Motor News. Both of these sites are specifically for buying and selling classic, vintage, and niche cars, while Hemmings also lists classic car parts.
I wanted to list my 1973 Mercedes 450SL, one of few collectible cars I have with BAT for sale. After full day of work to take lot of pictures of the car, and by end of the night over an hour on their website to upload all the pictures and fill an application and answer all the questions honestly accurately and finally submit them all. After three days I got an email without any said reason they just refused to list my car. Called the contact number on their website and sending few emails asked the reason for refusal I was totally ignored by BAT. At least BAT should have the courtesy of replaying to the customer whom ho has worked free all day for them to be able to keep their website, BAT and business running. This is not the way they should do business.
Not sure what their process is for selecting the vehicles they accept but I wanted to list my 2016 Acura RLX and they refused; yet today I saw a 1988 Dodge Aries Station wagon! Now who in the world would want that piece of junk? Understanding the RLX is not the most popular vehicle, but that could have been a strong selling factor. There are some dedicated Acura fans that would have jumped at such an opportunity. And they gave no real explanation; just that they cannot list every vehicle. BS!!!
BAT just had an auction that was listed as "No Reserve". In the end the seller bid and repurchased the car. That is completely unethical, buybacks are a way of jacking the price up on potential buyers. I was hoping to find a vehicle through BAT, not anymore.
I have emailed BAT and have found them very professional. It seems to me that people writing negative reviews of BAT must be playing with exaggerations that sound untruthful. I do hope sellers and buyers that use BAT will provide an honest review.
I requested to post a vehicle that was auctioned many times on Bring a Trailer. I looked at previous posts and the other vehicles were nice but I felt that fine was comparable in many ways and even better in some ways. I took many pictures, submitted a video and a car fax. I also submitted a list of additions I made to the vehicle with receipts. My listing was turned down and I feel it was for uneducated reasons.
I wholly recommend against using Bring a Trailer. My experience is that they discriminate against individuals like myself who are not classic car dealers. The evidence is clear, they rejected my submission yet I have seen two similar submissions of cars in evident worse condition but that did get listed on their site. Unbelievable, they selected Porsches with aftermarket body kits and some with ripped car seats, stone chipped damaged windshields, cracked fog lenses, engine leaks over mine which does not have of those serious issues. How can they claim they offer the best classic cars on their site? They are simply low life used car sales men! There are also dealers there that use their network to have others place bids for them on the final day of auction to artificially raise the price of their cars to just at the reserve price to then have the unsuspecting buyer pay the premium on the vehicle being sold that the dealer was seeking. FBI should look into it!
first i had never before heard of BaT until they took it upon themselves to steal my ad from another site and claim that it was a grey market vehicle that would be difficult to register or caught being driven and have the authorities crush it. ALL which was untrue! Again it was BaT that took my listing without my permission and completely downgraded my vehicle. consequently losing the sell because one of the potential informed me of my ad that was on BaT. I complained to BaT without a response from the "company" I don't feel that those folks are car people, just opportunists talk the talk but not the walk.
BAT has a crowd of talkies that ask you a million questions but the real buyers are silent ... real weird I sold one car there but never again I wonder what all those talkies gain by spending their time and commenting in something they won't buy my god this is really sad.
When I first tried to list my cherry Street Rod on Bringatrailer.com I had the reserve price set at $35,000. I had previously listed the Street Rod on eBay for $37,500. When the auctioneer contacted me about two or three days later about my listing he wanted me to list my reserve price at $25,000. He claimed the vehicle would not bring the $35,000. We sent several emails back and forth and then he said they do not want to list my vehicle and to try back in the fall, which is not prime season to sell a Street Rod. I was shocked that they did not want to list my Street Rod. In my final email to him I agreed to come down to a reserve price of $32,000 and asked if we could not come to an agreement how can I appeal their decision. His response was they do not want to list my vehicle - period. He did not tell me how I can appeal their decision. I looked all over their website and there is no Customer Service number to contact. There is only one phone number and that was for their while glove service. I can’t understand why they would not want to list my vehicle since they get their money up front to post your ad. The only reason that I could come up with is the so called auctioneer must get paid by the number of vehicles he sells out of the number cars he lists. A low-ball reserve price would benefit him in his sales record. Furthermore, if a vehicle does sell it would bring their overall statistics down for advertising purposes. This company only wants to advertise vehicles they are sure to sell. The company is certainly not customer service friendly. In my opinion appears Bringatrailer.com operates out of shoebox. I went to Classiccars.com and the website was super friendly to load all the information to list my Street Rod. My listing was even approved for submission on a weekend. They also have a customer service number – have not had to use it.