With Technology changing almost every aspect of our lives, it’s no surprise that it has entered into the auction arena. Oh trust me, the days of searching garages, barns, and talking to the guys at the gas station aren’t gone, and never will be, but the facts are that technology has changed how we work with collections and finding cars. Finding a car online falls short in comparison to finding that lone barn find in the middle of nowhere. The Internet has taken away the thrill of the find. But the internet also allows me to show all kinds of cool pictures of things I’ve come across.
We have been selling online since 2004, and promoting auctions online with our website even before that. We have seen the influence of technology. VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC is able to reach more buyers for our sellers, and in turn more money utilizing the Internet. It’s an amazing advertising tool. Information and pictures are right at your fingertips. The fact that buyers can type in key words to google and boom, find multiple items matching their descriptions. VanDerBrink Auctions has taken this by the horns and ran with it. I once got called a techie car geek- I’ll take that as a complement.
When we started doing online auctions, there weren’t many companies to work with. One of the first ones we worked with operated through eBay. It was a headache, and we DID NOT see as many qualified buyers and often had to deal with many inexperienced buyers. That experience left a bad taste in my mouth towards eBay. Trust me, I buy things and occasionally sell on there, but not often. The Internet has let people have a virtual garage sale and even sell the cars in the garage. With eBay, at first it was reasonable, now it’s cheaper and more beneficial to have a professional auctioneer that is a savvy marketer give the seller’s their day in the sun. We are able to reach more quality people than on generalized auction and classified websites.
EBay and Craigslist have also brought out the worst of people to the virtual marketplace. People routinely get scammed on eBay, Craigslist and other venues. Most car buyers still deal in cash and love to hunt for the next treasure. One of the biggest scams I have seen was a HEMI ‘Cuda advertised with Plum Crazy Purple paint and many rare and wonderful options. The winner bid and bought online, wired the down payment and went to get the car. When they got there, there was no sign of a car or even a legitimate property at the address. It was reported and the Feds tracked down the culprit, and get this, they had professionally photographed a TOY DIECAST car in a background. Needless to say, the buyer lost out the deposit and a would-be valuable car. This wasn’t the only time where digital pictures and fake adds have taken buyers. Scammers have gotten very good at learning how to take your money. They prey on collector’s affection towards classic cars and realize there usually is a sentimental attachment to them. Buyers will stop at nothing to get that car of their dreams. Craigslist also has had many scams, not to mention multiple murders involved with purchasing of old cars. In July of 2015, an older couple was searching for a 1966 Ford Mustang. They found one on Craigslist and took cash to meet the seller. The couple never returned and was reported missing. Their vehicle was found in a lake and the couple murdered. I have bought items off craigslist but always have that story in the back of my head. Now most people that you encounter are on the up and up, but you have to remember that greed drives people to do crazy things.
Social Media has also influenced the hobby and selling of collections and cars. Facebook, Instagram and YouTube have opened up a cornucopia of options for sellers and buyers of collector vehicles. I myself use all of them and love to interact with my buyers and sellers. I’ve had several videos go viral with our barn finds, including the infamous Lambrecht Collector Car Auction in 2013. That started with a story and a video and took on a life of its own.
The Internet has made some people very wealthy and has also let the state governments know who’s selling cars and maybe should be a dealer. Trust me, they watch. But most of all, it delivers a wealth of information into the hands of buyers and promotes our sellers.
I quite often have sellers that don’t have large collections, and this is where the ONLINE ONLY auctions work exceptionally well. We are able to market their collection, and competitively sell them for good prices. We have sold many 1959 Cadillacs this year in “online only” format with great success and high prices. VanDerBrink Auctions uses technology to reach thousands of people in seconds for our sellers.
There is nothing, nothing that beats the atmosphere and excitement of an onsite and in person auction. We also provide an online bidding aspect that allows the world to come to your auction. At a VanDerBrink Auction, on average, about 26% sells to online bidders, but we see prices increased by as much as 38%. Most of all is the exposure and it give anyone no matter where in the world they are the chance to bid and buy the car or truck of their dreams. We sold some rough 1957 Chevy convertibles that went wild and sold to Dubai, Amazing! In this age of technology and instant gratification, you can’t just sit back and wait for buyers to come to you anymore. Newspaper readership is down by 45%, many publications have gone digital with over 60% of people getting their information/news from the internet. Facebook has captivated over 1 billion users. Through effective advertising for our sellers, knowing these trends and keeping a captive audience with a social media presence along with traditional advertising, VanDerBrink Auctions can get your auction right in front of the right bidders and bring them to your auction and make you the money.
One final thing to remember is that technology does benefit and inform, yet a smart person also knows when to just simply have a good ole’ conversation face-to-face and talk cars over a pop or beer. That’s still the best way to communicate and have a good time. There is nothing compared to face-to-face conversation and interaction. So see you at the next VanDerBrink Auction and say hi, and let’s shake hands and talk cars! If you’re looking to sell, VanDerBrink Auctions has the means to get your collection in front of the right buyers. See you at the auction!
Yvette VanDerBrink- VanDerBrink Auctions, LLC
The Salvage Princess
“The Lil’ Nordstrom’s Gal”