Reality bites at the auction

On making my first visit to the ‘ring’ for a few weeks I was determined to keep an open mind as to how cars were selling, what was hot and what was absolutely ice cold. I discovered that, probably like most forms of buying and selling, cars which looked the part and had the “pedigree” to back them up sold and had many and various bidders vying for them.

On the other hand cars which were not prepared very well, had damage and little or no documentation hardly attracted a bid and the fact that many were on their 3rd or 4th journey through the sale was made somewhat more obvious by the glum looks on the faces of the auctioneers.

Let’s be truthful here, many of us are not sorry to see the smug, self satisfied grins wiped off their faces after spending most of this year encouraging buyers to pay well over the odds for less than average cars.

It’s funny how during tougher times the industry defaults to the good, the bad and the ugly and trade buyers become far more selective about how they stock their forecourts once more and again we become colour and spec sensitive.

I watched some cars, which on the face of it, may have been quite saleable a few weeks ago not sell because they were white or not the “SE” model or didn’t have the leather.

There also seemed to be less familiar faces and many more people just looking and observing, however vendors who have basically had it all their own way this year are clearly now realising that the market has found its latest level and have had to re-adjust those reserves or face a backlog of cars which in the short term will not increase in value.

There seems an overriding feeling that prices have reached a plateau and are now dropping but will probably make small rises again when the new year comes around.

Whatever happens, this correction will bring a reality to the market which has been sorely missing this year and let’s hope that dealers who have paid the crazy, over the top prices do not take too much pain when attempting to replace their stock with more desirable less expensive examples.

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