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How to sell your collectible automobile

Classifieds’ broad approach will present you with thousands of not-so-qualified buyers, picture collectors, test drivers and tire kickers. In many cases sellers give up their quest and keep their collectible another season. All that being said, with enough patience and lot of time returning phone calls and sending photos you can find a buyer.

Make the Decision
This may sound a bit silly but…make sure you truly want to sell your vehicle. I have heard many a story about seller’s remorse or a frustrated potential buyer who had his heart set on a vehicle and the seller backs out. They remember and word travels fast. You may very well muddy the water when you are later serious about selling.

Build Your Ad
Your ads need to be detailed with a lot of photos. Did I mention detailed with lots of photos? You will thank me later for this. It is always a good idea to run spell check and have someone else read it over. Lots of people will be looking at your ad and whether you believe it or not, the more time and effort you take in creating the ad the more money you will end up with when you sell.

Target Your Audience
If you want to sell your collectible vehicle in a relatively short period of time and at a good market price you need to target your advertising. You should spend some time finding related car clubs in you area. There are also great websites like Hemmings Motor News and organizations like the AACA to assist in your research.

Choose Your Medium
Online Classifieds
Online classified sites like and Collector Car Trader Online offer you a tremendous opportunity to put your vehicle in front of thousands of internet surfers. Just understand that you will be spending a lot of time answering the same questions and your email will be full of a lot of unqualified lookers. A word on free ad sites: Some work…some don’t. In many cases you get what you pay for. Many keep sold cars to give appearance of a very active site. Nothing annoys buyers more than hearing, “I sold that vehicle months ago and they just won’t take it off the site.”

Niche Magazines
Another advertising resource is magazines and websites that are specific to the marque or type of collectible automobile. They have a highly targeted audience but in most cases it takes 30-60 days for your ad to appear in print.

eBay Auctions
eBay is the world’s largest online auction site. Millions of registered users are buying and selling everything from knick knacks to project cars. They are starting to lose some of their luster with all the fraudulent emails, stolen cars and a less than stellar sell-through rate. I ran a report earlier this year and found that over 3,000 vehicles were listed and the number of successful auctions was under 400. Hmm…$40.00 to list for a 7-day auction multiplied by 3,000 is $120,000. Good for eBay—not so good for collectors. On a side note, the most searched for vehicle make on eBay is Honda and last time I checked there were not a lot of Hondas garnering collectors’ interest. Do your homework when you price the vehicle and be prepared for a lot of bogus bids.

The New Approach
Many sellers are turning to specialized marketing and online auction organizations that will analyze your target market, develop a marketing plan, take care of all of the ad placements and even pre-qualify your potential buyers. These new organizations have various programs, so choose carefully. Some want a percentage of selling price much like a broker, and others offer flat-fee programs. Do your homework. Ask lots of questions. One of the top organizations who provide these kinds of services is The Route 66 Auction. They offer online auctions and marketing programs for collector cars, trucks and other collectible automobiles, with packages ranging from sell-it-yourself auctions to full-brokerage of your vehicle.

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