Seven Advantages Listing With GuysWithRides vs. Barrett-Jackson or Mecum Collector Car Auctions

Are you considering selling your collector or classic car at a traditional in-person classic car auction house, such as Barrett-Jackson, Mecum, Carlisle, or Broad Arrow?  There are seven advantages (Lower Fees, Faster Timing, No Seller Transport Fees, Venue Risk, Fee Transparency, “No Reserve” Risk, and a Level Playing Field) to listing your collector car online you can read about further down.

For now, Here’s our one-minute video on how offers a better customer experience than either traditional or online auctions:


Here are seven advantages of listing your collector car in an online auction versus a traditional in-person venue:

1. Time Savings – Choosing an online auction means you’ll get your classic car listed for sale and sold at auction much sooner than traditional venues. Here at, we can have your collector car’s auction ready in a few days.  Contrast that to having to work around the venue schedules of traditional in-person auctions.

For example, the Barrett-Jackson Auction Company currently hosts four events quarter each year:  Barrett-Jackson Scottsdale starts its year during the last week of January.  Next up is the Barrett-Jackson Palm Beach event in April. In June, Barrett-Jackson Las Vegas is its summer event.  Finally, Barrett-Jackson Houston held in October winds down that company’s schedule.

Following the Pandemic, Mecum’s competitive response to the expanding number of online venues is to offer monthly events throughout the year across the country.  Here’s the typical Mecum Auctions schedule:

Mecum Kissimmee 1January
Mecum GlendaleMarch
Mecum HoustonApril
Mecum IndyMay
Mecum TulsaJune
Mecum Kissimmee 2 Summer SpecialEarly July
Mecum HarrisburgLate July
Mecum MontereyAugust
Mecum DallasSeptember
Mecum IndyOctober
Mecum Las VegasNovember
Mecum Kansa CityDecember

While the sheer number of venues appears convenient, remember that a traditional auction requires many more logistical pieces to pull together. Consequently, these venues cut off docket entries approximately one month before the date of the auction start. Additionally, the closest venue to you might be months away, forcing you to spend more on shipping for an auction farther away.

2. Lower Auction Fees – Online collector car auctions such as GuysWithRides, Bring a Trailer, and Cars & Bids enjoy much lower overhead costs.  That low overhead is passed directly onto both the sellers and buyers alike.  With inflation at record highs throughout 2022, Mecum and Barrett-Jackson raised the seller’s premium from eight (8%) to ten (10%) percent on top of the placement fees.  What are placement fees? On top of the ten percent seller’s premium, sellers pay a scheduling fee depending on the day and time they would like their classic car to cross the auction block. While Barrett-Jackson does not post these fees anyway (more on transparency later), here’s an example of Mecum’s fees that increase from $350 to $1,000 depending on a car’s value throughout a multi-day auction:

Source: Mecum Auctions

Here’s an example of the seller’s costs at a traditional auction versus for a $50,000 collector car; as the table illustrates, a seller can save over seven thousand dollars auctioning their classic online versus a traditional venue:

3. Shipping and Lodging Costs – In this age of five-dollar-a-gallon diesel fuel, shipping costs for collector cars doubled since 2021.  Using an enclosed carrier to ship your ride to the desired auction venue will cost a seller two to four thousand dollars one-way.  While a seller only has to pay one way if they are brave enough to auction their car at no reserve, for traditional venues that allow a reserve price, sellers might be faced with a second transportation bill if their car does not sell during their auction.

Additionally, most traditional venues require the seller or a representative to be present when their car crosses the auction block.  Consequently, the seller has the added expense of travel, lodging, and meals when they attend the event.

4. Minimal Risk of Car Damage Keeping It In Your Garage – The beauty of an online auction is that your collector car never has to leave your garage until you’re paid, and the buyer (or their hired transport company) comes to pick it up.  With a traditional in-person auction, there is always a risk your collector car could be damaged in transit or, worse yet, at the venue itself.  In January 2010, OldCarsWeekly reported during Scottsdale auction week, heavy rains and sustained winds in excess of fifty miles took their toll on several tents at three of the five auction sites held that year. Here are just two examples of collector cars damaged in 2010:

This Pontiac GTO and DeTomaso Pantera are just two examples of the extensive damage sustained during the 2010 Scottsdale auctions.


Weather aside, at a Barrett-Jackson or Mecum Auction, your collector car gets exposed to crowds of people, most of whom have no plans on bidding on any car, who treat the event like a huge car show.  Consequently, there is always a risk someone will inadvertently damage your car before it crosses the auction block.  An online auction might be your preferred venue if you tend to be more risk-averse.

5. Transparency – All online auctions, including Guys With Rides, are very transparent with their fees.  While Mecum Auctions is fairly open about its consignment fees, as noted above, the same cannot be said about Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions.  To be considered for one of their events, Barrett-Jackson collector car auctions require potential sellers to fill out a Preliminary Consignment Form with no fees listed.  Sellers learn the extent of the fees when they receive a call from one of their Consignment Specialists.  With no publicly listed prices, sellers do not know whether they are more or less than other consignees for a given venue.

6. The “No Reserve” Risk Barrett-Jackson prides itself on having a sufficient pool of able-bodied bidders to support virtually all of their auctions to be “No Reserve,” i.e. the highest bidder wins. Depending on the time and day your car crosses the auction block, the right bidders willing to pay top dollar for your car might not be present.  Consequently, you might leave money on a non-reserve auction block.  While the risk is somewhat minimal when the collector market is strong, you risk losing big when the market starts to correct.

7. No Control of Who Bids On Your Collector Car Have you ever watched the traditional in-person auction venues on TV? The “VIP” tables typically found in the first two rows of these auctions are usually filled with dealers or their representatives hoping to find bargains to maintain inventory at their brick-and-mortar location. Dealers then pass their fees and transportation costs directly to the next buyer.  We can’t think of anything worse than a seller seeing their collector car sold at a traditional auction only to come across it several weeks later listed on a dealer’s site for thousands more.  That’s why Guys With Rides is the only dealer-free collector car marketplace that not only lists private party collector cars but also does its best to prevent unscrupulous dealers from bidding on our auction lots.

Have questions? Please call Rudy today at (877) 468-6497!



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