It’s tough to understand how it feels to let something go “no reserve” until you’ve actually done it. I tried it once about a dozen years ago with my 1989 BMW 535i. It was modified by the previous owner: M5 suspension bits, hot cam, 7-series diff, brake work and other stuff. It scooted. Yes, it was a 5-speed manual. Unfortunately it also had 210,000 miles. The mileage didn’t bother me, other than the repair bills. Ok they bothered me and when I was done with the bills, I was done with the car. eBay no reserve auction here I come.

It was a clean car and if you know me, you know that I document everything good and bad about the car. See this list of the last car I sold, 1987 Porsche 928S4. I would rather the potential buyer knows everything about the car before they show up. That is why out of 25+ cars and motorcycles I’ve sold in recent years, the first person that shows up is the first person to buy it. As my friend once said, “gotta see it to verify it’s not a cardboard cutout.”

My BMW attracted some attention. Dare I say the wrong attention. A high mileage car at no reserve usually means something is wrong. One guy came out to drive it then dropped slammed it through the gears. I think to see if he could break it? I was so pissed. To make matters worse, he didn’t bid on it. The winner was a nice enough kid that paid $2,200 for it. He loved the car. He drove it about 25,000 miles and put it back up on eBay two years later. I saw it coincidentally. He lied about it as many do on eBay. “Why did I do all this work if I’m going to sell it?” he wrote. Because I love the car but need something bigger… or smaller… or whatever he said. He did none of the work. He bought it, drove it and sold it for his starting price of $3,000 with no reserve. Lesson learned. Price the car where you need to be and don’t do no reserve on eBay.

Where does that leave us with this beautiful GTV at no reserve? Well, the market is different for a vintage Alfa vs. my BMW so long ago. But more importantly, the venue has changed. Bring a Trailer doesn’t accept all entries. They make you give complete details, photos and video. Then the peanut gallery calls attention to the flat head screw that was supposed to be Phillips-Head. In the case of a highly detailed vehicle with excellent paint and interior at no reserve as this, you may find a bidding war ensues. At the very least, you’ll find a buyer that truly appreciates the car, will most likely be a good steward for it and won’t drop the tranny during a test drive. GLWS.

Leave a Reply