In its early years, the site was informal, friendly, and also deeply knowledgeable. A listing might be about a project Porsche 911 for sale on Craigslist in Kansas City, Mo., or a pristine 1957 Chevy Bel Air convertible being auctioned on eBay in Tacoma, Wash. The copy was informed, and illustrated with photos from the auction sites.
The pair went full time with their increasingly trafficked site in 2010, and then launched BaT Exclusives as its own for-sale listings. That grew into BaT Auctions, beginning in 2014. That first year, the site put up 450 cars and sold 72% of them. By the end of 2018, the volume of auctions had grown dramatically—7,718 were offered, and 74% sold.
San Francisco-based BaT offers several tiers of service. The standard fee to sellers is $99, though in the early days at least special sales sometimes meant it would cost only half of that. The “Plus” listing ($349) includes professional photography of your car, at the location of your choice. It’s advisable for amateur shutterbugs, since good photos sell the car when visual inspection is impossible. Finally, there’s a “White Glove” a la carte service launched earlier this year for “significant cars and collections,” with varying prices.
Winning bidders pay BaT a 5% fee, on top of the auction price. The fee is capped at $5,000, even if the sale went into six figures.
BaT listings are turned into must-reads by the insightful comments of the global collector car community. The site’s daily emails are received by more than 200,000 people, many of whom are experts and former owners of the marque they’re commenting on.
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