How Does a Classic-Car Auction Work?


Quick Answer

While the procedure for a classic car auction varies depending on the auction house, it typically begins with the auction house verifying each classic car, choosing a location and setting the lineup for the auction. Bidders then place bids on the car they want, and each winner must pay for the car by the end of the next business day.

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Full Answer

Auction houses employ car experts, each knowledgeable in a specific field of cars, to verify that each classic car brought in by a seller is legitimate. The auction house may set a reserve price for the car, which is the minimum sale price. If the bidding doesn't reach that amount, the car isn't sold. The auction house doesn't tell the bidders of the reserve price beforehand. The auction house chooses the location based on the cars, as different areas prefer different types of cars.

The auction house attempts to set the lineup in a way that satisfies all the sellers and encourages bidding. Some auction houses require bidders to register before the auction. During the auction, the auctioneer introduces each car and calls out bids. Sellers typically accept any certified form of payment, such as a money order, wire transfer, cash or a personal check with a bank letter of guarantee.

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