Selling classic car via consignment

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Selling classic car via consignment

Post by strafe » Wed Apr 19, 2017 7:54 pm

Does anyone have experience selling a classic or special interest car via consignment?

I'm planning to sell my mid 80s Mercedes SL convertible this spring. The car is in impeccable shape. The prices for these are highly dependent on condition (many of them are junk).

A local classic car dealership is willing to sell it on consignment for 10% of the final sale price, with no other fees. That includes all local and national marketing, showing on their lot, periodic detailing, etc. They estimate it will take 60-90 days to sell. I would have final say on the transaction and pricing. This seems like a good deal to me. Am curious if anyone on the board has experience selling a car this way.

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by rallycobra » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:22 pm

No experience here.
That seems like a very fair and reasonable arrangement. Personally, I would hold the title myself until a deal is struck. Good luck with the sale on a beautiful car!
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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:31 pm

Not classic, but I consigned a relatively new Audi at a specialty company in Boston who seemed to market to rich foreign college students with tons of money but no US credit. They worked with a set price that I would receive rather than a percentage. So they could sell it for way more than the agreed price and keep the added amount or sell it for a little more. It dragged on for a while and I decided to retrieve the car and the next day, they magically had a sale.
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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by dbphd » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:50 pm

That's not a very rare car. An '89 560 SL might bring a bit more, being the last year. Of course it depends on your location -- they're really common in our small town, but I'd try an ad first in the local paper and tell your MB dealer you want to sell it. Look up it's value on the internet. If it doesn't sell in a few weeks, you might consign it.


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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by fund » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:29 pm

Have a look at I've neither bought nor sold via their service, but I do enjoy looking at their offerings. They've evolved into a lot more of an auction style format from their more humble beginnings. They conduct auctions of cars, so it's similar to eBay in that sense, but there's a real community of incredibly knowledgeable people who are members of the site and who comment on cars on offer and ask questions of the sellers. You can submit your car to them and if they accept it, they'll run the auction for you. Check their site, but if memory serves, it's normally $250 for the seller to list his/her car. The winning bidder pays them a five percent fee on the winning bid, from a minimum of $250 to a max of $5K. They're currently having an April sale and have dropped the fee to $49 to list a car.

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by Ron » Wed Apr 19, 2017 9:34 pm

Not a classic, but I sold my wife's Chevy Impala via consignment through a local garage a few years ago that was formerly a GM dealership (they still do a lot of maintenance on GM autos).

We agreed to a price along with a 50/50 split of additional profit if it sold for more than the agreed upon price. They did the detailing (sales prep) and took care of advertising along with all sales paperwork.

It took about a month to sell and we split the additional $800 the dealer was able to get on the sale. The dealership was able to get $400 profit (minus their sales costs) and didn't have to floor plan any inventory to make the sale. And if the vehicle did not sell? It would just be returned to us.

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by vabeek » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:02 am

No personal experience, but I am reminded of a recent scam with a national automobile consignment service reported in the nyt: ... nment.html

Best of luck!

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by onourway » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:28 am

This would largely depend on the particular consigning dealer. If it's a good one in a good location with the right kind of customers, you will probably make more money even after paying their cut as they attract buyers who you might otherwise have little access to. Selling a car like this on your own can be a challenge unless you are willing to do some legwork. The Bring a Trailer suggestion is a good one, but their fee is still fairly high, and a lot of the work is still left in your hands.
Last edited by onourway on Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by BackOfTheNet » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:33 am

fund wrote:Have a look at
I would also vote for bring a trailer. Like fund, I've never listed a car but I do browse quite a bit. Here is a listing of all SLs that have been listed there to get an idea of what they bring.

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by Frisco Kid » Thu Apr 20, 2017 10:15 am

It all depends on what level of involvement in selling this car you are willing to make. If you are hands on I suggest you handle yourself. If you are looking for a "convenience" sale go for the consignment arrangement. Many times these consignment dealers have walk in showrooms where the "lookey loo's" can go. As a lifelong classic car enthusiast/owner often cars sell at the club level and/or by word of mouth. Have you considered contacting a local club? Good luck with whatever path you take................

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Re: Selling classic car via consignment

Post by dbphd » Thu Apr 20, 2017 12:13 pm

OP didn't indicate the milage of his mid-80s SL (but he's not selling a mid-50s 300 SL or even 60s 280 SL); I'd expect the sale to be in the teens, not much room for profit for a consigner. I'd be skeptical of a consigner who's willing to take the car and provide the services offered to OP. A good detailing can run several hundred dollars, and that's before-sale risk money.


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