By joining you will help ensure that we can continue to provide this service
I have seen some unbelievable prices being asked for vintage motorcycles there. Who is buying the bikes at these high prices? Is it hurting our industry? I understand the value of a vintage bike is based on how much it sells for but come on ... If the prices keep going up the average person will no longer be able to afford one.
I asked the question because last month I asked a friend about selling one of his motorcycles. It was an old Honda XR600R. When we started talking about price he said he would have to look at Bringatrailer.com to give a quote. Is BAT now the baseline for used/vintage motorcycles?
I originally though BAT was a place to sell high quality concours level bikes. I'm not sure anymore.
Originally, they were significantly pickier about what vehicles they would list (had to be on the rare/unique side, but not even necessarily mechanically sound, hence "Bring A Trailer" to pick it up!), but they have 'loosened' their standards over time, in my opinion. A lot more (run of the mill) bikes and pick-up trucks these days, and not even close to concours standards for most of them. They managed to tap into a collector community hungry for buying opportunities outside of the high-end auction companies, which has pushed prices upward since they started. BAT's low commission structure is helpful to bringing sellers with unique vehicles, which in turn has brought huge numbers of viewers (and subsequently, bidders). The concours crowd has been willing to support the site, so lots of high-end rarities in addition to the more 'mundane' collectibles for the middle class crowd.
In terms of driving prices higher, it has certainly done that. Strangely enough, quarantine really boosted their impact (since they are on-line only), as they continued to offer unique vehicles while other auction houses curtailed business. Also, I wouldn't consider BAT to be a site for new/minimally-informed buyers--you better know what you're getting into on any given auction you choose to participate in (true of any buyer/seller situation, but especially so on BAT). If you have a truly concours bike, BAT is the place to go for top $$; there is a bit of a rising tide effect that has pulled the middle-of-the-road bikes up along with them. I've seen local ads for bikes that reference BAT prices as justification for a high ask (even though the bike in question probably would never make it to a BAT listing).
Scottsdale, AZ, USA
1960 R60 (currently), 1974 R75/6 (past), 1984 R100RS (past), 1999 K100RS (past)
Your description of what's going on is what I expected. Fewer high end bikes, more lower quality bikes which is causing a spike in prices for the average buyer. So sad in a lot of ways. How long will it take the buyers/collectors to realize the quality is just not there anymore and stop buying? Time will tell.