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eBay. Are they the Best Option for Collector Cars?

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Author: Shane Corliss

eBay is the largest online auction site in the world. You can find anything from Wind Captured from the Katrina Hurricane to Rare Antiques. They have made millions putting buyers and sellers together and pioneered consumer and dealer based online auctions. I decided to take a good look at the over 1,000 collector car auctions that were posted on eBay in the last two weeks. I think you may agree that my findings are a bit startling.

The Statistics
Most searched for term on eBay: Xbox 360
Most Watched Item: One Owner 1942 Vintage Martin D-45 Guitar
Hmm. No collector cars here!

Most Popular Make and Model Listed
1969 Chevrolet Z-28 Camaro. Low Retail $19,100
Average Winning Bid: $7,296.
A staggering $11,804 off a low market price.

Top Auction:
1968 Shelby : Shelby GT500 Matching #s
Auction ID: 4611842807 - Winning bid $118,000

Auction Results From February 9 to February 22 2006
1,000 Collectible Automobile Auction listings were examined
280 Sellers appeared to be dealers
4,944 Bids Were Placed
120 Cars Had 0 Bids
263 Cars Reached the Reserve Price (Successful Sale) estimated gross $1,911,000
738 Cars Did Not Reach Reserve (No Sale) estimated gross $5,400,000
Volume of Non Winning Bids $2,900,000
Average Winning Bid: $7,296
Successful Sales $1,911,000

*Estimated eBay Revenue $58,000 (based on current eBay insertion fees)
$24,000 from Auctions reaching the Reserve Price
$34,000 from Auctions not reaching the Reserve Price (No Sale)
Estimated Fees Collected: $58,000

The eBay Money Machine
Keeping the above statistics in mind, the emergence of new online auction sites has been a bit slow partially because of the tremendous marketing power of a multi-billion dollar behemoth that rivals Wal-Mart in the marketplace. Most have gone the way of the Mom and Pop stores. One of the biggest challenges faced by alternatives to eBay is attracting sellers who are willing to give them a shot. You need listings to attract bidders and you need traffic to attract sellers. It's the whole chicken and the egg story.

Challenges with eBay.
The good news is millions of buyers and sellers meet online every month to look for bargains, rare and unique items and yes even collector cars. The bad news, fake cashiers checks, stolen cars, fraudulent emails and more. As you can see from the stats we gathered many individuals spent $45.00, answered a lot of questions, sent a lot of pictures and unfortunately the car still sits in the garage. Are there other options?

The Route 66 Auction
The Route 66 Auction an emerging online auction site that touts "No Dolls, No Knick Knacks...just everything automotive". You can place your vehicle online for $29.95 and they will relist it until it sells at no additional charge. They also have a marketing program that will place your vehicle in an online auction and then advertise it in car classifieds sites like Hemmings, Old Car Trader and Collector Car Trader Online. The owner of The Route 66 Auction, Shane Corliss has chosen more of a grass roots ad campaign--Car Clubs, make and model specific websites, discussion board postings and every link exchange he can get their hands on. Adoption is slow but steady. You might want to show them your support by registering at http://www.theroute66auction.com.

Cal Cruising
With over 12,000 members nationwide, CalCruising is one of the largest online auction sites for Classic and Muscle Cars. In addition to auctions, they are a full service transportation super-site with many site features including, Auto-Dispatch, Auto Directory, Dealer Programs, Muscle Car Directory, and much more. CalCruising Members can post auctions for free in our Member area or for $39 post their vehicles in featured auctions and be seen by thousands of collectors and enthusiasts. Already members have run over 5,500 auctions and placed over 26,000 bids. As far as presentation CalCruising needs a huge face lift but their results speak for themselves. Your can check them out at http://www.calcruising.com.

Online auctions can be a great way to sell your collectible automobile. Explore your options and do not become discouraged. A collectible automobiles is sold every day. The keys are persistence and effective targeted marketing.

About the Author

Shane Corliss is one of the leading sales and marketing strategist for the automotive publishing industry. He can be reached at shanecorliss@gmail.com

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