The current coronavirus crisis brings a sudden digitalization change for the market. The classic car market does not suffer such as the market for new cars, it only makes a quick change from the offline events into the online world.
The traditional auctions are too expensive. Also the online ads are already too rigid and not flexible to the changes in the market and thus not efficient. The new winners of the corona crisis are the online auctions! The only flexible and efficient way to sell and buy classic and collectible cars in these days.
Also the traditional auction houses see the need for a change to go online. RM Sotheby’s (RM), Bonhams and others are launching their first online auction events. But with their still too expensive fees that they were charging in their traditional auction events, although they don’t bring almost any added value over fully online platforms like for example Bring a Trailer (BaT). The current trend is to buy the cars online only without even seeing them in person with the use of financial services like Trusted Checkout / Escrow account, which are covering the risks of buying a classic car without a personal visit. The statistics of online auction houses are talking about 95 % of sales without a personal visit from the buyer.
The classic car market suffered only a short couple of weeks period when the demand set back and only the cheaper cars were selling, you could see it on
BaT, when the sale rate dropped from almost 75 % to some 55 % or at the online auction of RM, comparing a great result at Amelia Island of selling 93 % of cars to half of it at the Palm Beach. Also the average sale price dropped from ca. 50.000 USD to a half at BaT. But those were only the panic weeks at the end of March/begin of April.
In the last weeks the number of online auctions raised from ca. 1.050 to over 1.200 monthly at BaT or from a little over 20 before the crisis to almost 80 auctions monthly for the UK based Collecting Cars (CC) platform. And with selling again around 75 % cars at BaT and a still nice rate of ca. 60 % at CC, when you consider it was established only a year ago and is almost only for the RHD UK market. And the average sale values are also rising again.
Our goal is to monitor the classic car market, the traditional events, but much more to focus on the online market, where we see the future. Each week we will pick the most interested deals, the interesting battles when selling similar cars among the platforms and also vs. the traditional houses and much more.
Last but not least, we will also give the continental Europe an online auction platform in euro for the much cheaper commissions as it is already a standard for the US based platforms. The first cars will be presented in June.
Author: Auctomobile Team