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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Recently posted at another forum, thought I would share it.

As you may be aware Barrett-Jackson in Phoenix has grown over the years from being a small classic car auto auction to a major powerhouse in the car collecting business.

This year a car collector entered his car for sale no reserve at Barrett-Jackson, it was a Hemi Cuda, last of the Ramchargers. At Barrett-Jackson you consign your cars "no reserve" as this has become the montra at Barrett-Jackson.

He was unhappy with the final price he received and placed a small 81/2x 11 piece of paper inside the car, claiming his sale was invalid due to the short timing his car received on the auction block. He also placed some chains around the axle to try and prevent the transfer of the car to the new owner.

Rather than simply ignoring his protests, or contacting him to resolve the matter, the Barrett-Jackson folks cut the chain removed the paper and moved the car from the premier viewing tent.

This action caused the small protest, which probably would have been nothing more that a sore seller story, to take on a life of its own.

At the same time this was going on the well know and well liked editor of Sports Car Market Magazine, Keith Martin, had his press pass taken away, and was physically escorted by two security guards off of the grounds. His mistake, he was talking in the press lounge to other reporters about how muscle car prices were really getting out of line and he expected to see a price decline in the future. Keith had been up to that point one of the Speed Channel's on air experts at Barrett-Jackson.

Soon the stories in the media were not about the successful Barrett-Jackson auction, but the expulsion of Keith Martin and the protest by a car seller about being short timed.

Later when the consignments for their next auction dropped, rather than trying harder to woo their clients, they decided to file a libel lawsuit against the former owner of the Hemi Cuda Ramcharger and their former customer. He is a judge no less.

Keith was removed as an on air commentator at the Barrett-Jackson auctions on the Speed channel. He has since moved his operations to another auction in Phoenix and now has started another new magazine about Corvette market prices. (By the way he owns a Corvette split windown NOM and generally does not lump Covettes in with muscle cars for the number of reasons we are all familar with.)

Now gone from the Speed Channel, Keith has started a reality TV show with the Discovery Channel, and I expect him to be broadcasting from his new auction location next year.

The judge, now sued by Barrett-Jackson, has counter sued, so I expect to continue to see stories from this disgrultled customer to show up from time to time for the next few years. It will again drag up negative comments and stories about Barrett-Jackson further worsening their position in the market.

Recently as the other auctions have prospered due to Barett-Jackson's negative press, they have struck back. In one case apparently strong arming the City of Scottsdale to try and reassign the ground lease for another nearby auction to be used for their parking.

This has of course resulted in even more negative press, for the company.

Sometimes a company should just realize what has happened, make amends with their customers and return the old ways that made them so successful.

Am I wrong or what do you all think, Barrett-Jackson should do?
 

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This was discussed at length on another Corvette board and the truth is that it in no way benefits B-J not to sell a car for the max that they can get as they take a percentage of the sale from both the buyer and the seller.

The person in question who owned the Cuda was some backwater judge or jp and felt that the car was worth more than the bidders did. He made a fool of himself and I believe he paid the price in the courts. Make no mistake, I think the car auction business is on the same honesty level as the sideshow at the circus, but it can be really funny at times particularily when someone pulls a "Camille" when they don't get a million bucks for a used car and chain the thing to the ground. :laughing:

The nature of a "No Reserve" auction is that some people are not going to get what they believe their car is worth. The nutcases who used home equity loans to buy these muscle cars at B-J will not be there this year so prices will return to normal numbers and those people who paid stupid money last year and want to flip their cars this year will be screwed. There are a lot of people who think that the prices paid here in Scottsdale are indicative of the value of their car. Sure :crazy:

There are Corvette C2 guys who think that these cars are $100K pieces. Those that paid this kind of money are not very bright if they care about value for their dollar. They made 117,000 C2 cars in 5 years. About the same output that Ferrari and Maseratti and Lamborghini have ever had altogether in 60 years... Vettes are not rare and are not in huge demand, something we lose sight of as enthusiastic collectors. I paid $32K for my car about 16 months ago and feel that it was about the right amount. I can add any options that I want at pretty low cost and no one younger than about 45 will care if it is original or not because they do not remember the original cars in a showroom. That is the way it is so having some crybaby whine that he couldn't find someone drunk enough to pay an idiotic amount for his car is not really worth worrying about.

Come to B-J , you will see some nifty cars and if you get a bidder's pass you get 12 free alchoholic beverages a day so that you can make rational buying decisions :D or you can hold your breath til you turn blue if you feel you didn't get enough for your car..:thumbsup:

By the way that is a total fabrication about the City of Scottsdale wanting to give the auction to someone else. I happen to live here and the truth is that B-J wants to move because the parking is not paved and it has rained the last few years leading to a mud bowl. Trust me , there is no other auction anywhere near big enough to fill Westworld. The competitors are mostly ex-B-J employees you know...
 

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Great response, tint.Very tired of the dredging up of this old BS just to take a cheap short at B-J just because of petty jealousy. I agree, a trip to Scottsdale (not Phoenix, Mr OP) is an incredibly worthwhile trip.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Actually this is not about Barrett-Jackson, well it is, but not really.

Its about getting to big for your britches. Forgetting who your customer is and failing to understand you have made a mistake and just making the situation worse.

Its old news but the thoughts seem topical for some of us newbies.
 

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Actually this is not about Barrett-Jackson, well it is, but not really.

Its about getting to big for your britches. Forgetting who your customer is and failing to understand you have made a mistake and just making the situation worse.

Its old news but the thoughts seem topical for some of us newbies.
Right, execpt that they weren't anywhere near as responsible for making a mistake as you tried so hard to infer. The fact is, the concept of being TOO big for your britches is code for, "I'm jealous of success and can't wait to try to take them down a peg." The boring class warfare attitude towards B-J, Pro Team, etc, etc.

B-J will be just fine.
 

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AND...it all boils down to this numbnuts judge that owned the car signed the contract to sell the car at NO RESERVE....the car SOLD...and he whined like a little girl because it didn't sell for what he thought it should sell for. Just like all the morons that think their non matching numbers car should sell for $60K-$100K like some restored documented car does. If you can't play by the rules then sell your car with AutoTrader and have every loser that wants the car but has no money come and kick your tires and try and get a free ride. BJ brings out the people with REAL money who can actually afford to buy the car and who is stupid enough to pay some crazy price for a car by looking at it for 5 minutes and really not knowing anything about the car. BJ makes money from the buyer AND the seller so they don't benefit by trying to give the car away, they try and get what the top dollar is for that car...but they also have to get through SEVERAL hundred cars over the weekend.
 
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