I think the comment about collector cars being an asset class, along with other collectables, is insightful.  I've noticed over the years that when conventional investments (stocks, bonds, real estate, etc.) seem to be topping out, then collectables pick up.  Now that the economy is humming, conventional assets are doing well, and interest in collectables is weakening.

Lots of good discussion on the market and I think it's a complex set of factors. Interestingly among the gloom of sales being off 34%, Russo & Steele posted year on year sales total increase with fewer cars at higher average selling price.

January auctions will be interesting to watch and see if the trends are sustained or a one off.

I can see your point Cuvee. Keep in mind buyers/sellers at live auctions, we know our way around fees. Whenever I sell Panteras at Mecum, when the bidding gets close, we make a deal. It works this way in simple numbers: I need to realize 100k on the sale for argument sake. The car bids to a buck five. I'm not selling & paying them 10 grand. I tell Mecum or the auctioneer up stairs in the box, I need 100 in my pocket. Do the numbers any way you want, but it's no sale unless I realize $100,000.00. They bump the buyer up a tad sometimes or not, cut the commission they charge me, done deal drop the hammer. Works EVERY time for me. On mid-6 figure cars, the game gets real interesting. Buyers & sellers BOTH demand 5% or even less. Seven figure fees? Nobody pays 10%. You have to play the game Cuvee. These big auction houses all play the same, their not going to lose 5 grand trying to be greedy.

That's sort of like saying you can't buy a $1 Candy bar with a a buck as sales tax is added at checkout isn't it? Everyone goes in bidding knowing the fees on the back end and a maximum 'all in' price.

But unlike BaT where the transaction is direct seller to buyer with only a fee paid to BaT, the auction houses are dealers. For me in the state of NV that means 7.75% sales tax on top, whereas Private Party sales are not subject to sales tax, now that does make a difference in how I approach my car buying.

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