Tips, Tricks & Trends

Cars & Bids Is a New Car Auction Site With a Twist

Craigslist may be a used car shopping go-to, but it’s not the only such website. Especially if you’re after classic or enthusiast vehicles, car auction sites are sometimes the better choice. And there’s a new one joining the likes of Bring a Trailer and Manheim that claims to offer something different. At the very least, the person helming it is something of a trusted enthusiast source: it’s YouTuber Doug Demuro.

Doug Demuro launches a car auction site

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Demuro is well-known in the automotive world for his YouTube deep-dives into cars’ quirks and features. In the past, he’s worked for Jalopnik, which is where his YouTube channel started from, and AutoTrader. And now he’s branching out into online car auctions with his site Cars & Bids.

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In fact, Doug Demuro’s own Mercedes E-Class AMG wagon is up for sale on the site. As of this writing, it’s listed at $27,000 with 6 days to go.

To be sure, Cars & Bids isn’t the only car auction site that has an enthusiast focus. Besides big auction houses like Mecum, RM Sotheby’s and Bonhams, there’s Bring a Trailer and Hemmings. And of course, there’s eBay Motors. But because BaT has quickly become the de facto enthusiast car auction site, it’s arguably new site’s biggest rival.

Cars & Bids vs. other car auction sites

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On the face of it, Doug Demuro’s site seems fairly similar. Sellers upload pictures and a vehicle description, and bidders submit their bids. And, like BaT, there’s a comments section. But, as Demuro details in his video and r/Cars sub-Reddit comments, his car auction site does have some interesting features.

Firstly, Cars & Bids is focused exclusively on modern enthusiast cars. Specifically, the 1980s to the present day. Secondly, rather than long paragraphs of text, the descriptions are formatted around bullet points. Admittedly, that’s not impossible to do on eBay or even Craigslist. But BaT doesn’t do this.

Also, the fees are reportedly lower than on other car auction sites. The buyer’s fee is 4.5% of the final bid, with a minimum of $225 and maxing out at $4500. In comparison, BaT’s fee is 5%, with a $5000 maximum and $250 minimum. The seller’s fees are also lower on Cars & Bids—even for first-time sellers.

Cars & Bids also provides some services that don’t necessarily come standard on other car auction sites. Each listing comes with a free vehicle report. BaT doesn’t expressly provide this, but the site does factor “quality of information” into its listing acceptance procedure. Doug Demuro will also be periodically reviewing listed vehicles and holding Q&A sessions.

However, unlike BaT, Cars & Bids doesn’t offer an in-house photography service. And although BaT doesn’t review listed vehicles, it has published some editorial pieces.

Is it worth checking out?

Ken Miles' 1965 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang prototype in white with blue racing stripes
1965 Ford Shelby GT350R Mustang prototype | Mecum

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Because Cars & Bids focuses on modern enthusiast cars, logically, it’s not for everyone. If you’re after a 60s Mustang or 70s Porsche, you won’t find it on Doug Demuro’s site.

1996 Chevrolet Impala SS front
1996 Chevrolet Impala SS front | Bring a Trailer

However, as Demuro himself discusses, as car events like Radwood show, 80s, and 90s cars have gotten very popular. That’s in part down to Gen Xers and millennials are starting to dictate collector tastes. 80s, 90s, and early 2000s cars are the ones we thought were cool when we were in high school.  And for Gen Zers, the collectors and enthusiasts of the future, they’ll want the cars that are relatively-new today.

Will Cars & Bids become a go-to car auction site? That’ll take time to determine. But getting another accessible platform like it is always welcome.

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