Many people know too little about the classic car market to have a good understanding of how it works. Therefore we would like to give you a little insight in the next paragraphs.
A trader of classic cars is usually a genuine car professional. He knows this profession through and through and is therefore usually specialised in one brand and sometimes even one model or family of models (e.g. Mercedes SL from 1972 to 1989). Because he invests his own capital in the car he is selective in his purchase and he also makes sure the car is in perfect order for sale. After all, he puts his reputation on the line with every sale. The buyer expects - quite rightly - a lot of service and explanation, he is also willing to pay more than the normal market price. Because the trader can also buy ‘better’, he earns his living well (buy at low cost, make repairs (or not) and then sell good and high). In this case, the turnaround time is usually low. You will often see a combination with a specialized garage which buys and sells. The buyer goes there because he knows perfectly which model he wants to buy at which price. In this scenario, it becomes much more difficult to sell cars of moderate quality. After all, it is all too easy to buy a defective car at a low price and then conceal those defects when selling it. This leads to dissatisfied customers and a professional will avoid this. It becomes more difficult when it comes to a private seller who buys with the intention of selling. While pretending to have a passion for cars, people are going to sell cars. The buyer will not get the service he deserves and often only realises what happened after a few weeks or months. A recent inspection can provide some kind of guarantee in this situation, but not always. If the buyer does not know the car he is going to look at perfectly well or he is not assisted by a professional, this can often lead to dramas in the first round of repairs. Oldtimerfarm is here to help you, though. After all, we do not always have the exact car the customer wants. We would like to make our fully equipped workshop available to private individuals and salespeople for expertise, assessment of defects and estimation of improvement options. We are also happy to be your partner for inspections (periodically for Belgium) in Belgium, France and the Netherlands.
Traditional auctions are usually large organised events often conceived as a show and a high number of visitors. The ingredients needed for a successful auction are a car that (almost) everyone wants and several buyers who have the opportunity to decide immediately and, above all, to pay. That is why successful auctions usually take place in combination with a major happening or event.
We don't want to talk about online auctions here, classic cars are subjective and passionate items and it's best not to buy them at an online auction. Everyone knows someone who has been seriously deceived by online auction sales, so let’s not waste any more time with that.
The idea is for the prospective buyer to get caught in the atmosphere of the moment and let him buy the car of his dreams at the highest possible price! The buyer is blinded by the atmosphere, the entourage and also the feeling that everyone wants the car he has his eye on.
Once the audience and the tent and the entourage are gone, the buyer often sobers up quite quickly. After all, there was no option to check the vehicle, not on a bridge and not on the road either. No one heard the motor run. Moreover, the terms and conditions of sale of the auction houses are so strict that you usually do not even have the certainty that the car can even be used on the road one day, let alone that it can be authorised. One of the success formulas of the internationally organised auction houses is to move cars from one market to another. As a private buyer you have to know the tricks of the trade quite well to see if the supplied documentation is correct. Again, Oldtimerfarm wants to assist car lovers with advice and assistance. What is the right market value? What will the purchase cost in the end, when everything is paid? To what extent are the supplied documents and accessories in order? What happens to the car after it is sold? As advisors in this case we have to take into account the limitations of the sales model. If the car cannot be tested or inspected, then it is also impossible for us to draw a complete picture.
It may be a good idea to put a very rare car, of which just a few exist and for which there are several candidates, up for auction. However, the interest of the auction house is diametrically opposed to yours as a seller. The auction house wants to generate margin. Margin is generated by asking a commission from both the seller (+/- 10%) and the buyer (+/-15% + VAT or 18.15%). Together 28.15%! An example in figures: You offer €100,000 for a car. You pay €118.150. The seller gets €90.000. Gross margin is €28.150!
In auctions, you, as a customer, do not have to agree to any price. A reserve price is agreed. In this case the interests between the collector and the sales house are also contrary to each other. The seller only wants to sell at a certain price level and not below it. The auction house wants to keep the reserve price as low as possible so that even if there is not much response the car can still be sold and they get the return on their investment in publicity and the organisation of the sale. In extreme cases, the auction house will suggest that you give the car without a reserve price. This means it will be sold from a bid of €1 and you will be required to let it go. It is of course try that there are more candidates in an auction if the car is definitely going to be sold to the highest bidder (no reserve price), but this involves a huge risk for the seller!
Oldtimerfarm knows most auction houses quite well and can represent you there and assist you to put a car up for auction in a professional way. If you choose this sales method you will also (given the high cost) have to compromise a bit and negotiate a realistic reserve price!
Since the start of Oldtimerfarm’s activities, Xavier has tried to provide a solution to all the possible obstacles that can be encountered when buying or selling a classic car.
Solution: +150 photos per car, also pictures of (minor) shortcomings. Communication by phone in 7 (!) languages, clear direct explanations adapted to the knowledge level of the buyer and the things he finds important. Sending large format photos over the internet.
Solution: more than 15 years of good business and positive feedback. A worldwide network of references.
Solution: Opening hours, welcome without appointment 5 days a week and available 6 days a week. With a team of 12 people there is always a specialist who can talk to the prospective buyer.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm offers every visitor the possibility to inspect the car on the bridge under the supervision of a professional mechanic. On site, the workshop contains all the equipment needed to make a diagnosis: brake test, CO test, light test, etc. And last but not least, a test drive on the road is also possible! Not only do we draw the candidate's attention to the lesser aspects of the car, but we also provide an estimate of the expected cost of repair. This is not just an empty promise (it would be typical to estimate the cost lower than it actually is) but with a quote at a fixed price associated with it. And the prospective buyer can have any repairs or adaptations carried out by us.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm is committed to delivering cars that have “passed" the inspection, and this without surcharge. If any defects are known in advance, a proposal is made for repairs and a subsequent visit to the technical inspection.
Example: the brakes of the vehicle on offer are not what they’re supposed to be. The price on the website is a price ‘as is’ because the car can not be inspected in its current state. The price will be lower than normal. During the visit the candidate will be told that the brakes require action and a proposal will be presented to have them repaired by Oldtimerfarm. This will cost e.g. €1,500 including VAT. The price of the car will now be increased by that amount and not only the brakes will be repaired, the car will also be taken to the technical inspection.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm does not only have a fleet of trucks and trailers (open and closed), but also skilled and trained staff that we invest in all the time. Professional skills, the right driving licence and all the social requirements are just a few of the elements. In addition, a correct and accurate loading and unloading technique is of crucial importance in order to deliver without damage.
Solution: Since Oldtimerfarm also has successful storage solutions, you do not have to collect the car purchased from us immediately. For a short period it can often be included in the sales price (
Solution: Oldtimerfarm has built a unique know-how, not only with regard to the technical side of the car but also in terms of maintenance, repairs, accessories, insurance and storage. We are happy to share this with our customers. This may be 1 day after the sale or 1 week, 1 month 1 year or even 10 years! If Oldtimerfarm sells something to the customer, we apply the legislation in force with regard to warranty on used cars. This means that the customer's reasonable expectations must be met. This means that a used vehicle with a certain mileage or a certain age should not be assessed as being just as reliable as a new vehicle. In practice, this means that a car older than 15 years is sold without a mechanical guarantee. You can reasonably expect it to break down. However, this does not apply to matters such as inspection and registration (presence of the correct documents). For these matters no discussion is possible, it is either inspected or not, the buyer can register the car or there are missing documents and then it won’t work. Oldtimerfarm gives a full guarantee on the above. Although this does not prevent the seller from providing service. Oldtimerfarm is organised like no other to help the buyer in everything that can happen and that will help him. This is not included in the price and not free but it is high-quality service after all.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm wants satisfied customers. Therefore it is useful for us to see the car again after a few months or some driving. In this way we can follow the evolution of the car and also adjust small things if necessary. Normal maintenance will be charged, but after-sales service not necessarily.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm is very flexible and continuously open, officially from Tuesday to Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm but we can also attend you outside these times and make it as easy as possible for potential buyers.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm will be happy to assist you in the valuation of your car. We don't do this out of thin air. Before we move the car, we will discuss the state of the car, your expectations and the market value with you over the phone (or at our premises). We give you an idea of what we think is worth the model based on our own sales experiences. So not on the basis of online auction prices, catalogues of all kinds or ‘hearsay’, no, our own experiences! If the proposed price range coincides with your idea of value, the car must be moved, you can either do so yourself, by contracting an external transport company or Oldtimerfarm can pick up the car with its own staff.
Once you arrive in Aalter the car willl go through a ‘check-in’ procedure. This is somewhat like an inspection, but without the destructive and negative comments. Oldtimerfarm has all the equipment needed to measure the performance of the car. It will be fully reviewed, also in terms of other commercially important matters, and the results will be recorded in a report. Some details that need taking care do not need to be repaired immediately, but it is important that the seller, Oldtimerfarm and also the prospective buyers are aware of the actual condition of the car. This will avoid major disappointments afterwards. With this report on the table Oldtimerfarm’s manager will discuss the value of the car with the owner. In this way, we will arrive at a realistic price.
Solution: Oldtimerfarm stands for a full service approach. We come to pick up the car with the closed trailer and take over all your worries from then on. We will take care of the inspection (if necessary) and we apply Z number plates during a test drive at our responsibility.
Solution: Selling via Oldtimerfarm is a 100% safe and secure solution. Not a single car that has not been paid is handed over to the buyer. Not even when it’s family and friends. Once sold Oldtimerfarm becomes your buyer. So we become your debtor for the net price and you have no legal relationship with the buyer, which completely safeguards you with regard to possible after-sales claims. As long as the car has not been paid it will stay with us so there is no risk!
Solution: In today's world, it's best to read the small print because some companies make it a sport to have very high prices paid if their customer does not comply 100% with the agreement. Just think of low cost airlines that make you pay more to transport your luggage than the cost of your ticket. Applied to the car sales sector, this may be the case, for example, if you leave a car too long and then suddenly have to pay storage fees per day which were previously included in a per month formula.
Oldtimerfarm does not have these kinds of clauses. We agree that you leave your car for six months, since we invest heavily in your car, we ask for a fee if you come to collect your car earlier. After six months, if not sold, the car will be free again and we evaluate our contract. We will usually want to try a little more, sometimes under different conditions, but if you want your car back at that moment, you will have it, of course, completely free of charge! There is no small print.
Solution: Except for the fact that all cars stored at Oldtimerfarm are insured for an agreed amount (in contract), we will only apply best practices to your car. The best cleaning products, the best battery charger, moving with Stringo, always indoors, etc. You are also welcome to come and visit your car without an appointment at all times.