1957 Chevrolet Bel Air

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5 Things Everyone Should Learn from Barrett Jackson Auctions

by Eric Ford

Whether you’re a player in the world of high-end classic cars, or an enthusiast drooling on the sidelines wishing you were, you’ve heard of the legendary Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions. One of the largest, longest running and most successful classic auto auctions in the world, the auctions often break bidding records, with cars routinely selling in the millions of dollars. They’ve sold some of the rarest and most coveted cars ever made.

Founders Tom Barrett and Russ Jackson first met in the mid 1960’s. Jackson had his eye on Barrett’s ‘33 Cadillac Towne Car. They became friends and in 1972 partnered in an auction at which they sold Adolf Hitler’s armor-plated Mercedes-Benz limousine for $153,200, three times the record at that time.

Barrett-Jackson Auction Photo

In addition to cars, Barrett-Jackson Auctions also sell trucks and motorcycles, planes and boats, and other collectible items.

There are great lessons that can be learned from the principles that have made Barrett-Jackson Collector Car Auctions so successful. They can be used to sell your own car, boat, house or whatever else you want to put on the market of course, but the same principles can be applied to running a business or just life in general.

A Great Presentation = A Great Sale

Barrett-Johnson is a classy act. From the company's website to the highly polished, exquisitely detailed look of its cars, it presents products in the best way possible. Of course the owners are mostly responsible for this, but who gets the credit come auction day? Whether you’re putting a car for sale in your front yard, or posting a picture on Ebay or Craigslist, make sure whatever you’re putting on public display looks the best it can.

Win Friends Who Are Influential

Take a gander at some of Barrett-Jackson’s sponsors. There are some pretty heavy hitters. Even Cessna signed on, and they don’t even make cars. It may seem shallow to recommend making friends who can be beneficial to your bottom line, but hey, it’s a two way street.

Know Your Market

These guys know what gets car buffs’ salivating. Know what you’re potential buyers are looking for and do your best to give it to them. If you’re trying to sell something, even if it’s yourself, play up the characteristics that will most appeal to the likely potential buyers. If you’re selling a ‘33 Essex Terraplane make sure to note that John Dillinger used one for his getaway car.

Know Your Product

If you’re selling a car or (fill in the blank) be ready to spout off everything known to man about it, right down to who likely made the tailpipe which, in that year, had to be made in Chile because of a labor dispute.

Protect Your Investment

You can bet your bottom dollar that Barrett-Jackson doesn’t skimp on classic car insurance. Think how easy it would be for some idiot to do a first-class key job on one of its cars. If you’ve got something of value, make sure it’s covered. And remember, you don’t have to go to Lloyds of London to get good insurance.


About the Author:
Eric Ford has three loves: his kids, his dog and restoring classic cars. Eric is a business analyst by day and auto junkie/freelance writer by night.

Creative Commons image by darinrmcclure




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