Thursday, January 15, 2009


- Mark C Bach

Even after the dust settles from the auctions currently being held in Arizona, I’m not sure many folks will know the answer to that question. That being said though here are a few thoughts to ponder.

Most cars are being bought at a car auction with a buyer’s premium. That means above the stated purchase price, the buyer must pay an extra amount. And most sellers get a commission deducted from the selling price. So auction houses make money from both the buyer and the seller. What that also means is there is always a gap (sometimes huge) between what a buyer pays for a car and what a seller receives for that same car.

So buying at an auction and then quickly selling it can be an expensive and harsh lesson.

Hagerty Insurance sponsored a Smart Collecting Seminar at the Russo and Steele Car Auction this morning, Thursday January 15, 2009 in Scottsdale. The six panelists voiced their opinions on several items that collectors can take to heart.

Has the Collector Car Market Tanked?

No. Some speculators who rushed blindly into the market may get spanked, but prices- while soft- have certainly not dropped as much as the US stock market.

“Knowledge is Power” said McKeel Hagerty and with the growth in the Internet and the sources available to knowledgeable appraisers, a prudent buyer will know more about the cars available today. They’ll know common repair issues, past history on specific cars and what prices have been going for on that marque around the world.

Collect with a Passion

For the past five years many felt that the collectors are buying cars that they had a personal connection to. So even if the market does drop, the collector can still keep the car without regrets. The car was bought to bring pleasure and that won’t change.

Many of us can remember when silly money was being spent for questionable 57 Bel Air Convertible Fuel Injected cars in the late 1990’s. If you were buying as an investment that was probably dumb. If you bought one because you always wanted a Bel Air convertible and have kept it, what’s the harm? Just as in stocks you don’t suffer a “loss” until you sell.

Photos and copy all copyrighted 2009 by Mark C Bach

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