How To Conduct a Vintage and Classic Car Auction

So you're interested in vintage and classic cars? Why not earn money from this hobby and conduct an auto auction? It will require time, effort and much preparation on your part. But if you're ready and committed to this project, then here are some ways to help you get started:

  1. Visit auction sites. One of the first things you have to do is acquire an idea about how a vintage and classic car auction is run. Visit online auction sites to see the different years, makes and brands of cars that are currently being sold. Keep an eye out also for announcements and public notices about upcoming auctions near your area. One good website to visit is This site also has pages for online auction; you get to see different second hand cars and vehicles for sale, with car prices ranging from a low of $510, to about $16,000 or higher. Why not volunteer to help out at a vintage car auction near your area? Through this, you would get firsthand experience with classic auto auctions, and the people who conceptualized it can also train you. Ask them how they acquired the second hand cars they're selling; get an idea how they assess the initial auto prices; ask about the costs and net profit of conducting vintage auto auctions. The key point here is to observe and research how classic cars are auctioned, and to establish a solid network of individuals and companies who would help you out in your venture.
  2. Frequent goodwill auto shops and salvage car stores. In order to build a collection of cars for your auto auction, allot some time to visit second hand car stores as well as government auctions and be on the lookout for cheap, old, but classic cars. That's why it's very important that you have a wide and thorough knowledge of vintage cars so that you pick up an instinct for spotting a truly valuable model. Also, you will need to have a fair idea as to when a specific car was actually made and you won't have to rely solely on the salesman/car attendant's say-so. An additional word on U.S. government car auctions: Vehicles sold in these auctions are generally in excellent condition since these cars were bought by the U.S. government for a federal agency's use. After these agencies complete their lease term on the vehicles, they then have these vehicles put up for sale. Check out these auctions' websites.
  3. Prepare necessities. It's important that you have enough capital to buy vintage cars from second hand auto shops, and to have them repaired. However, you can choose to partner with a vintage auto shop so you won't have to buy their cars; instead, you may offer your services as an auctioneer, and you will just get a percentage of total revenues from all successfully sold cars. Advertise your auctions; remember, you don't have to go all out (financially) in this regard. Blog about it for free (or for a minimal fee); print and reproduce fliers and hand them out to your community; take out an ad in the local newspaper. It's a good idea to start small-scale and target your immediate community so you would managerially conduct an intensive but low-cost advertising strategy.
  4. Get some skills training. Apart from having the ability of knowing the intrinsic (as well as current market) value of a classic car (essential for determining auto prices), another skill you would have to develop is the ability to determine if vehicles can still be repaired with realistic costs. Get trained on how to check on the condition of auto parts, and know the availability of these parts in the market.
  5. Network with auto repair shops. It's good to have some friends and contacts within the auto repair industry. Not only will their additional car expertise help you develop your knowledge of cars, but these people may also help you out when you need to have an old vintage auto repaired and refurbished. It is a win-win situation, after all; you will be putting more business their way, and they will probably give your big discounts on bulk repairs.
  6. Know your area's laws and regulations regarding auctions. Of course, you'd want to work within legal boundaries so you'd have to read up on your location's laws regarding auctions and trading. Find out the requirements you'd have to submit; the taxes you'd have to pay; the permits you'd have to acquire, etc.

There you have it! Remember, as long as you have the commitment, the perseverance and the resourcefulness, your car auction venture may just be the most lucrative project you will ever undertake. Good luck, and have fun!


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