It looks like Barrett Jackson is going to start offering reserve style auctions once again. I'm not sure why they decided to make this change but I've got a theory. Over their last few auctions I've noticed a few cars that were talked up as being big sellers that wound up becoming big flops instead. In January Barrett Jackson sold an ambulance that was said to have carried JFK after his assassination. The Speed TV commentators hyped it up like it was going to be the biggest seller of the show. According to Jalopnik.com the car was estimated by some to be worth over $1 million. When all was said and done it sold for a mere $120,000. I'm guessing that the current state of the economy has resulted in fewer big bidders than Barrett Jackson is used to and that has effected sales of certain high value vehicles. So to keep the sellers of those cars coming back Barrett is going to allow reserves again. The question is what will it do to their television ratings? Anyone who watched Barrett Jackson when they first appeared on Speed knows that the reserve auction format was horribly boring. Cars would roll up, get tons of bids, and anticlimactically not sell due to a much too high reserve.
Barrett Jackson wrote:Honoring its past and looking to the future, Barrett-Jackson Auction Co. LLC will offer the option for both Reserve and No Reserve consignment applications exclusively at the company’s 9th annual Palm Beach auction to be held April 7-9 at the Americraft Expo Center at the South Florida Fairgrounds.
Vehicles with an agreed estimated value above $50,000 will be considered for Reserve placement, creating a hybrid environment that appeals to consignors and buyers within all price ranges.
From the first Barrett-Jackson auction in Scottsdale in 1971 until today, the company has offered a combination of Reserve and No Reserve style sales. In recent years, Barrett-Jackson has become well known for being the only collector car auction house to produce auction events that accept exclusively No Reserve consignments, a format that was market-driven and customer-supported. With this auction format—and by offering a true No Reserve platform with real buyers and sellers—the company has continually provided an accurate snapshot of the collector car market at any given time.
Since January 2005, Barrett-Jackson has offered this all No Reserve format, which is unique in the auction industry. This was introduced in Scottsdale in 2005 and has continued since that time at all Barrett-Jackson auction venues, which now include Palm Beach, Orange County and Las Vegas.
In the past 6 years alone, Barrett-Jackson has sold nearly $1 billion of collector vehicles at No Reserve. This represents approximately 13,000 cars across the Barrett-Jackson auction block.
Barrett-Jackson just completed the Scottsdale 2011 auction which was the company’s largest single auction event in its 40-year history: more than 1,200 collector cars, all offered at No Reserve, with total auction sales greater than $70 million. In fact, this was the largest single No Reserve collector car auction in the history of the industry.
Even though its auction sales have been exclusively No Reserve in recent years, Barrett-Jackson has maintained its commitment to carefully screening all consignment applications and assessing estimated values. This will continue in the careful consideration of both Reserve and No Reserve applications for Palm Beach.
“Throughout Barrett-Jackson’s history, we have always remained committed to having an open dialogue with our customers about their wants and needs,” said Steve Davis, President of Barrett-Jackson. “In the course of this dialogue, we have heard from some of our customers that they are committed to the Barrett-Jackson auction model and the Barrett-Jackson No Reserve format that offers a fair platform for buying and selling collector cars to the largest pool of qualified bidders anywhere in the world. On the other hand, we heard from others who would like to participate in a Barrett-Jackson auction but have cars they aren’t comfortable selling at No Reserve. These same customers have asked us to consider re-introducing a Reserve element into our auction format so they can participate in Barrett-Jackson auctions.”