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(ISeeCars) – The abstraction of an online, or digital, car bargain armpit is not new. Fleet managers and wholesalers accept been application the bargain exchange to locate and acquirement account for dealership lots aback the early-2000s. And alike retail bidders accept had admission to auto bargain sites like eBay Motors for over 20 years, admitting aback again the anticipation of affairs a agent through an online car auction, afterwards seeing it in being or assuming a pre-purchase inspection, was advised chancy at best.

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The automotive apple has acquired over the accomplished two decades, and in that time eBay Motors has awash millions of cars, best of them to aboriginal time online car buyers accommodating to booty a adventitious on the agenda marketplace. But we now alive in a apple area online car affairs isn’t aloof common, it’s dominant, helped forth in contempo years by aggregate from a all-around communicable to confidence-bolstering technology like high-resolution photos and agent history reports. 

But the better about-face in the aftermost year or two has been the atomic advance of car enthusiasts axis to car bargain websites like Bring a Bivouac (or BaT) and Cars and Bids back gluttonous their abutting alien or archetypal car. Aggregate from a best Chevrolet Corvette or Ford Mustang GT to the latest Mercedes-Benz AMG or Porsche 911 consistently change easily on these sites.

For these buyers this isn’t like activity to an Autotrader or Craigslist classified ad, area the acclimated car appraisement on a high-volume Dodge, Nissan, or Toyota adeptness ambit from $5,000 to $25,000. These enthusiast bargain sites generally barter in attenuate beneficiary cars or high-end coupes from brands like BMW, Ferrari and McLaren, with the accomplished bidders consistently committing to 6 – or alike 7 – amount amount tags.

Is spending that affectionate of money on a car you haven’t apparent in being a acceptable idea? Do sites like Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids accept behavior in abode to ensure high-quality alive auctions that assure buyers and sellers? Let’s booty a afterpiece attending at the origins of Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids and again accede their behavior that assure users.

Bring a Bivouac (

Bring a bivouac started in 2007 as a pet activity for architect Randy Nonnenberg. As addition who obsessively bolter online classified ads, Randy accomplished his efforts to assay the best absorbing cars for bargain online were activity to decay – alone he was seeing them. So he started Bring a Bivouac to advertise his findings, and over the abutting 7 years BaT congenital absolutely a afterward of agreeing car enthusiasts. 

Randy credits Bring a Trailer’s absolute community, continued afore it switched from a classified ads aggregator to all-encompassing bargain site, as BaT’s greatest asset. “The community, which is axial and aboriginal and foremost, and everybody that looks at a BaT advertisement and the blazon of discussion, the way we collaborate with the community, the akin of adeptness in the absolute BaT community, is a huge differentiator,” says Randy. 

This adeptness shows up in the comments area of anniversary BaT auction, which could about be declared as watching real-time forums, committed to specific appropriate absorption cartage or sports cars, actualize out of attenuate air over the advance of a 7-day auction. These comments appear from the hundreds of bags of registered BaT members, who organically acquisition their way to the aforementioned agent auctions area they accept the best absorption and knowledge.

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Additional Bring a Bivouac factors Randy Nonnenberg calls out accommodate the site’s advertisement descriptions, which he says abstain the hyperbole that pervades best car sales situations. Randy told us the car has to angle on its own and the virtues of the vehicle, and the association will advice vet the car aloft that. Randy additionally alleged out BaT’s allegation to chump service. For example, the armpit doesn’t get a fee if a car doesn’t accommodated reserve, alike if the agent finds a BaT client afterwards the auction, and a accord is fabricated beneath reserve. 

Cars and Bids (

Cars and bids was co-founded by accepted automotive YouTuber Doug DeMuro and launched in 2020. Doug’s acceptability for anecdotic not alone absorbing cars but absorbing capacity about absorbing cars plays able-bodied in the online bargain world, area bisected the fun and activity for a appropriate absorption agent derives from the “quirks and features” Doug is accepted for identifying.

Cars and Bids has developed quickly, with over 220,000 registered users. Doug says he’s got abstracts to appearance Cars and Bids delivers a college bargain amount than its competitors on a advanced ambit of models, which he credits to the site’s affianced bidders, committed focus on avant-garde enthusiast cars from 1981 and up, and adeptness to get a seller’s bargain alive quickly, usually beneath than a anniversary afterwards accepting all the agent advice and photos.

Doug admits to not accepting the aforementioned ultra-high-end buyers as some others sites. At least, not yet. But he’s additionally assured about the able prices he’s accepting in the sub-$100,000 market. “I’m adequate owning the $20,000 to $90,000 market. There are added of those cars, and we accept the abstracts to appearance we’re accepting college prices in that range.”

Other advantages Doug claims for Cars and Bids accommodate its low buyer’s fee (4.5 percent), aught seller’s fee, and a babble abutment arrangement to advice users before, during, and afterwards the auction. Doug additionally has a huge amusing media afterward aural the automotive enthusiast community. In his words, “Simply put, we’re able to drive added absorption to anniversary auction, and the aftereffect is added views, added bidding, and added money.”

How does Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids Work?

The affairs and affairs action for both Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids is appreciably similar. Both sites crave users to annals with a acclaim agenda to awning the advertisement fees, both action assets amount and no assets auctions, and both accept a abutment aggregation in abode to abetment sellers back advertisement a agent and both buyers and sellers afterwards the bargain ends. 

Both sites crave sellers to accommodate affidavit of ownership, and both animate sellers to accommodate in-depth, high-quality photography that accurately represents the vehicle. Video assuming the agent starting and active is additionally encouraged. Both sites additionally action chargeless CarFax agent history letters for every agent listed, and both acquiesce for real-time questions and answers amid -to-be buyers and sellers during the 7-day auction. You additionally don’t accept to anguish about last-minute sniping because any bids that appear in during the final account of a alive bargain extend the bargain to acquiesce added bidders to respond.

What are the key differences amid Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids? Aloft the items anniversary site’s architect mentioned above, the differences appear bottomward to fees and a few policies.

Bring a Bivouac auctions amount either $99 for sellers who booty their client photos, or $250 for sellers who appetite a able columnist to booty the pictures. You can additionally get a “White Glove” account from Bring a Trailer, advised for sellers who accept high-end cartage and appetite high-end service. The White Glove amount is capricious and based on the akin of account a agent receives. The buyer’s fee for BaT is 5 percent, with a $250 minimum and $5,000 maximum.

Cars and Bids allows sellers to account cartage for free, but the armpit will affix you with a accurate account alms a 1-hour, 50-image shoot for $149 or a 2-hour, 100-image shoot for $249. The buyer’s fee for Cars and Bids is 4.5 percent, with a $225 minimum and a $4,500 maximum. 

How Am I Protected if There’s a Problem with an Auction?

This is the best important catechism accompanying to any online bargain or acquirement process. Alike with hundreds of photos, a video, a CarFax history address and a association of enthusiasts involved, a client in New York is still agreement a lot of acceptance back affairs from a agent 3,000 afar abroad in San Francisco. What accoutrement do Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids accept in abode to assure addition spending tens – or hundreds – of bags dollars on a acclimated car they’ve never physically inspected?

As mentioned, both sites crave a acclaim agenda to annals to bid and a buzz cardinal to sell, and both allegation the acceptable bidder’s agenda as anon as the bargain ends. That discourages buyers from not afterward through on the purchase…but it still happens. Randy Nonnenberg told us Bring a Bivouac has a 97.7 percent success amount on completed auctions, which agency alone 2.3 percent accept commodity go awry afterwards a acceptable bid is declared. If it’s a client that refuses to chase through they are still answerable the buyer’s fee (up to $5,000) and they are banned from the site. 

Cars and Bids has agnate behavior in abode and a analogously low “failure” amount on completed auctions, but they go a footfall added by not alone charging the buyer’s fee but giving bisected that fee to the agent if a client flakes and doesn’t complete the purchase. Of course, Doug additionally confided that buyers can, and generally do, appeal a “chargeback” in these situations, – acceptation they altercation the allegation with their acclaim agenda aggregation and are refunded the buyer’s fee.

Conversely, what if the client follows through in acceptable censor alone to accept a agent that’s annihilation like what was declared in the auction? Again, this is a almost attenuate accident because of the all-embracing photography and agent history address presented for best cars. But it does appear and, like the chargeback bearings above, there’s not abundant a client can do afterwards the acquirement has been accomplished and the money has afflicted hands.

This is why, admitting the atomic advance of Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids contempo years, buyers and sellers should accomplish their own due activity afore application an online bargain site. Remember, at the end of the day these sites are about busy systems meant to acquaint a agent and a client to anniversary other. These sites don’t alone vet the cars, or the individuals, complex in the transaction.  

Examples of due activity accommodate contacting the client or agent directly, afore the bargain ends, to get a faculty of who you’re ambidextrous with. Better still, as a client it’s consistently in your best absorption to alone bid on cars you can physically inspect, and hopefully alike analysis drive, afore an bargain ends. That adeptness beggarly attached your bids to bounded auctions, or it adeptness beggarly booking a last-minute flight. 

Neither of those are adopted methods of affairs or affairs a vehicle, but they are advisable measures back spending the affectionate of money these auctions about generate. Alike with all the technology we accept at our auctioning in 2022 the archetypal mantra is still the best policy: 

Buyer (and Seller) Beware…

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This article, Bring a Bivouac and Cars and Bids: How Online Bargain Sites Work, originally appeared on  

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