Once, in the before times, you could go on Bring a Trailer, find your vintage car at a not-insane markup, buy it and get it home. But buyers have been pumping in more and more money and, well, things have changed. I guess to match the lofty new prices its listings now fetch, Bring a Trailer has rolled out premium listing services.
Now, in addition to the standard listing fee of $99, BaT is offering Plus and White Glove services. With Plus, you can submit your car, but pay $349 for professionally shot photos to accompany your listing. A car ad that is well-shot can make all the difference, so I imagine that quite a few people will jump on this one.
White Glove is the top tier service. It’s meant for “owners of rare and significant vehicles and collections,” BaT explains via a press release. Like, actually rare and significant cars. Not your Alfa Montreal with rust holes the size of grapefruits or your Volvo 142 that doesn’t have two body panels the same color.
If you sign up for the service, the company will “tailor an exclusive offering of listing services to the specific needs of each seller.” That can either mean photography, writing or curation and there apparently isn’t a limit to the marketing of your car through internal and external promotion.
White Glove also means the seller has direct communication with staffers at the company. The price for this service is on request.
I’m really happy that BaT is doing so well. It was started in 2007 and shifted to BaT Auctions in 2014. From there, it has taken off. For people who maybe didn’t feel like sifting through the information overload from places like Craigslist or Autotrader, it’s the perfect solution.
But seeing a Gullwing with a bid of $1 million on the site makes clear that BaT is very much not the plucky little site it once was. That’s something you’d see on an RM Sotheby’s page. Bring a Trailer’s very name implies that you bought something vintage that maybe didn’t run, so you’d have to bring a trailer to take it home.
Now, with cars like that Gullwing? More like bring a luxury, soft-side, enclosed car carrier. With its own insurance. And a transporter that has a credit score above 720. That doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue.
Still! The rest of BaT is staying the same and who am I kidding? I’m still going to happily waste hours and hours of my day flipping through listings, burning time.