As the auctioneer introduced...
As the auctioneer introduced the Mustang and gave a brief history of the car, potential bidders were allowed up on the block to get one last look at the ride. Air Ride team members were also on hand to show off memorabilia, like the Forza trophy and check. All of this while the Speed Channel rolled tape of the event. In Air Ride's case, the TV coverage was a definite bonus.
We asked Bret Voelkel, owner...
We asked Bret Voelkel, owner of Air Ride Technologies, what he was hoping to get for the Mustang, and he felt $50,000 was a reasonable target. The bidding stalled out at $30,000, but after some work by the auctioneer, it ratcheted up to a final sale price of $45,000. Not quite $50,000, but it was close enough to make Bret happy. The ending price means Air Ride got $41,400 and the buyer paid $49,500. Do the math and Barrett-Jackson's commission came out to $8,100. Ouch!
Once the sold sticker is slapped...
Once the sold sticker is slapped on, it's moved outside to a tent where paperwork is finalized, and the new buyer has a chance to check out his purchase. We tried to find the buyer of the Mustang, but had no luck. We imagine some buyers just want to stay incognito. As for the Air Ride team, their job was done and they could relax and enjoy the rest of the show.
The Mustang now temporarily...
The Mustang now temporarily belongs to Barrett-Jackson until the title paperwork and payment is completed with the new owner. Their handlers put the Mustang back in its original display spot.
Transport-The Hidden Cost
One cost that's often overlooked by both sellers and buyers is transportation to and from the event. Air Ride Technologies had a booth at the show, so it was easy to get the Mustang to Scottsdale. But for the average guy, this can run from a few hundred bucks to a few grand. Buyers also need to arrange to have their new purchase insured. Barrett-Jackson has thought of all these details and has insurance companies like Hagerty, and transport companies like Intercity Lines, on hand to help buyers with the entire car-buying minutia.
One big difference for the buyers is the aspect of sales tax. Yep, local and state officials are on hand to make sure they get their cut. If a buyer isn't having his car professionally moved out of state, complete with a bill of lading, he will have to pay sales tax. This means a buyer can't bring his trailer and say the car is going out of state.
The Costs of Doing Business
Barrett-Jackson is a business, and it makes its money off fees and commissions. Nonetheless, it's not all profit. Barrett-Jackson spends quite a bit putting on the week-long event, and promoting the cars up for sale. Still, when you do the math, it's definitely a business we all wish we had thought of first. Here's a sampling of the costs involved.
Buyer's premium: 10 percent
Internet/phone buyer's premium: 12 percent
Absentee bidder fee: $100
Seller's commission: 8 percent
Bidder's card: $500
Seller's entry fee: $600 to $1,500, depending on lot number
General admission into show: from $15 on Monday, to $55 on Saturday. A week-long pass runs $160
The Deal of the Auction
Barrett-Jackson has a somewhat unfair reputation as a place where buyers typically overpay for cars. While this does happen, it's more of an exception rather than the rule. Many times, buyers can scoop up cars at a fraction of their build cost. Case in point is the Hemi powered Dart, lot number 1017, picked up by Yancy Johns, of Pigeon Forge, Tennessee. PHR featured this Dodge back in January of '06, and at that time the builder had roughly $250,000 into this highly modified Dart. Since then, he had refurbished the fuel-injected Hemi, and added a very nice high-end interior. A battery issue prevented the car from starting, and had to be pushed over to the auction block. We don't know if that scared away the bidders, or if other factors came into play, but Yancy ended up winning the Dart for the meager sum of $51,000. That's about 18 cents on the dollar, and less than what was in the drivetrain alone. "I didn't really expect to win when I put in my bid since it was so low," says Yancy. "Next thing I know, I was told that the car was mine, and I was figuring out how I was going to explain this to my wife." Turns out that Yancy didn't have to worry about telling his wife, since the action was broadcast on TV, resulting in a phone call from the missus. We've since heard that Yancy is out of the doghouse, and enjoying his new Mopar.