People hoping to make a quick buck off some of the hottest cars released in the last year appear to be facing the bitter reality that the market may be cooling off. Vehicles that could once be sold for considerably nice profits, aren’t selling at all, because the insanely high reserves sellers are requesting, are simply never met. The most recent buy and flip fails happened to two C8 Corvette Z06s sold on two different auction sites. Of course, both failed to meet their reserve prices.
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First spotted by Corvetteblogger, the first Z06 was listed on Bring a Trailer, a site that’s blown up through the pandemic and provided the car world with both good and bad examples of how wild the market has been. A 70th Anniversary C8 Z06 Convertible listed, was probably the more egregious of the two, listed by Loehmann Blasius Chevrolet, a dealership in Waterbury, CT. That information was confirmed in the auction comments before the auction ended.
A photo of the window sticker was included with photos of the car and shows that this Z06 had an MSRP of $146,340. But the auction ended on 3/2 with a final high bid of $222,000. Still, at that price, the reserve wasn’t met. I reached out to Bring a Trailer to find out what that reserve was, but they responded with, “we are unable to divulge reserves as public information.” Wanting more, I reached out to the dealer to see if I could get the price that they would actually sell it for on the lot. Instead, they sent over information for another Z06 that’s actually listed for sale on their lot (it’s not the same car listed for sale on BaT – the VINs are different. That non-auctioned 2LZ though, was listed at an MSRP of $249,990.)
The fact that a dealer is listing this for sale and it’s never been sold says a lot. “This car does not have a title as it has never been sold to a private party owner. It is being offered with its Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin, and the selling dealer will assist the buyer with registration and titling,” the description says. The more likely story is that this dealer received a Z06 allocation, marked it up, and no one bit, likely due to that markup. Still wanting to make something off of it, the dealer thought they’d try their hand at an auction…and failed.
The second C8 Z06 was listed on Cars & Bids, and again, like the Bring a Trailer auction, didn’t meet the reserve when the auction ended on March 2. The black 2023 Z06 with red interior had a window sticker original MSRP of $131,255, and only received 11 bids and a final high bid of $178,569. I also reached out to Cars & Bids to see if anyone would tell me the reserve price, but they don’t share that information. They did send me a link to another C8 Z06 auction that ended on Valentine’s Day. Owned by Youtuber TheStradman, his C8 Z06 actually sold for $218,200.
Both these auctions show that the buy and flip mentality on popular cars, especially as of late, doesn’t automatically result in a hefty payday. Both sellers could have made a nice profit from these cars, but wanted way more than what the cars are worth. Their loss, I guess.
It also goes to show that treating mass-produced versions of things as an investment to make money is a dumb move, and has been made clear by these two Corvettes and other recent examples put to auction for profits. So if you, or anyone else you know, are thinking of trying to flip or auction some sports car or hot hatch, sell at your own peril. It’ll ultimately be entertainment for the rest of us.