Bring-A-Trailer

Bring a Trailer

 1.3/5 (12 ratings)
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About Bring a Trailer

This profile has not been claimed by the company. See reviews below to learn more or submit your own review.

Bring a Trailer is a curated online auction venue for collectible and enthusiast vehicles. Its auction specialists create listings with materials provided by sellers, and many features focus on transparency. Buyers and sellers handle purchasing transactions directly.

Overall Satisfaction Rating

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Pros

  • Free CARFAX reports available
  • Writes listings in-house
  • Multiple service levels for sellers

Cons

  • No guarantees
  • No financing

Bottom Line

Bring a Trailer is an online auction platform for classic and vintage automobiles. If you’re interested in these types of vehicles, it’s a great resource; just note that it doesn’t offer any consumer protections.

What is Bring a Trailer?

Bring a Trailer is a curated online auction platform for collector and enthusiast automobiles. The site provides listings at three service levels:

  • Classic service includes a seven-day auction with a custom-written listing from an auction specialist.
  • Plus service adds professional vehicle photography. Plus listings stay on the site for seven to 21 days.
  • White Glove service is available for significant cars and collections. Just contact a Bring a Trailer representative and let them know you want to sell, and a concierge will do the rest, assuming you qualify.

Bring a Trailer also provides shipping for some vehicles purchased on its site. If the vehicle is eligible, the Bring a Trailer shipping quote box will be active on its listing.

How does Bring a Trailer work?

Bring a Trailer works differently depending on whether you’re buying or selling:

  • Buying: Potential bidders can use Bring a Trailer to ask questions, schedule a viewing or inspection, or set up a test drive. The minimum price the seller is willing to accept, called a reserve, is not shown on the site, though.
  • Selling: For Classic and Plus service, start by submitting information about the vehicle online. You need to call for White Glove service. Once the listing is approved and scheduled, the auction eventually goes live with an informational listing, photo gallery and additional seller features.

Auctions continue online for a set period, and Bring a Trailer does not announce if or when a reserve has been met (if there is one). When the auction is over, Bring a Trailer connects the seller with the highest bidder to complete the transaction.

Selling a car on Bring a Trailer

To get started, first choose a service level and submit your vehicle. This involves answering questions on the submission form and uploading photos so the auction team can evaluate if it’s a good fit.

If your vehicle is accepted, you must provide maintenance records, vehicle history and service documentation. Then an auction specialist writes a comprehensive, honest listing.

With Classic service, you approve the listing, and the Bring a Trailer team then schedules the auction. This process typically takes a few weeks from submission to auction. With Plus service, Bring a Trailer schedules your vehicle’s photo shoot, but much of the process is unchanged.

You can lower the reserve during the auction if desired. If the auction reserve is met when the listing ends (or there is no reserve), Bring a Trailer provides you and the winning bidder with each other’s contact information. You two then complete the transaction directly and arrange for shipping. Bring a Trailer provides support during this part of the process if needed.

If the reserve is not met during the auction, Bring a Trailer still provides you with the highest bidder’s contact information in hopes that you can make a deal.

Buying a car on Bring a Trailer
Buying a car on Bring a Trailer starts with browsing current auctions. You can look at detailed listings, photo galleries and additional seller features. Each auction also has a comment thread to discuss the vehicle and ask the seller questions. Potential bidders can also set up a test drive.

You must register to bid on Bring a Trailer. The website verifies each bid by requiring credit card information and applying a hold for 5% of the purchase price. When the auction closes, the hold is released for losing bids.

Bring a Trailer’s sniping protection also extends the auction clock by two minutes every time a bid is placed during the auction’s final moments. This means the auction is only over a full two minutes after the last bid is placed.

If you win the auction, Bring a Trailer shares your contact info with the seller and gives you theirs. Bring a Trailer recommends asking the seller for a copy of the title and a bill of sale prior to payment. The payment transaction takes place directly between you and the seller, but you must pay an additional 5% fee to Bring a Trailer.

Bring a Trailer fees and financing

To sell a vehicle, Bring a Trailer costs start at $99 for Classic service and $349 for Plus service. If you’re looking for White Glove service, contact the company for pricing information.

Buyers pay a 5% fee to Bring a Trailer on top of the sales price, with a minimum of $250 and a maximum of $5,000. Bring a Trailer does not provide financing for vehicles since all transactions are direct between buyers and sellers.

Bring a Trailer FAQ

Who owns Bring a Trailer?
Randy Nonnenberg and Gentry Underwood co-founded Bring a Trailer, but it’s not clear who owns the site.
Where is Bring a Trailer located?
Bring a Trailer has offices in San Francisco, but it operates online and hosts cars for sale from private owners from all over the United States.
Does Bring a Trailer have an app?
No, Bring a Trailer does not have an app.
What types of vehicles does Bring a Trailer sell?
Bring a Trailer specializes in classic, collector and enthusiast cars. Sellers can also list wheels, engines and automobilia.

Is Bring a Trailer legit?

Bring a Trailer is legit, but that doesn’t guarantee it’s safe. It aims to be as transparent as possible, asking sellers for documents, maintenance records, photos and videos of the vehicles before listing a vehicle. Buyers and sellers can communicate during the auction process, and buyers can request an inspection. However, purchase transactions (except for the buyer’s fee) take place exclusively between buyers and sellers, and Bring a Trailer doesn’t guarantee the authenticity or condition of the vehicles on its site.

Bring-A-Trailer Reviews

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Page 1 Reviews 0 - 10
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Nov. 1, 2022

First, I should’ve done some online homework about Bring-A Trailer. Yelp – 2-1/2 Stars out of 5. ConsumerAffairs.com only has 1 and 2-star ratings – no 3, 4, or 5-star ratings. Better Business Bureau – 2 stars out of 5. I have a 1974 VW Thing that has $30K invested in a complete restoration and new motor. It looks terrific, and it is in excellent condition. On the submission of the photos, BaT stated that the reserve be set at $18,500 but stated that it “…would allow for the potential for room to go higher in the auction with competitive bidding.” And “but there's always the chance the bidding goes higher in the auction.”

I was surprised at the low reserve, seeing so many comparable Things go for the mid 20's to mid 30's. So, I then told the representative that there was no way I’d take a chance of the Thing selling for $18,500 and lose that amount of money. When I inquired why the low reserve, BaT's representative Robert ** told me the undercarriage was below par. The pans have high-quality undercoating, which is in good condition – no tears or holes. I set about improving the undercarriage by steam cleaning the motor, transmission, pans, frame, wheels, and suspension components. Then the undercarriage was painted. I resubmitted new undercarriage photos to BaT.

The response was the same – $18,500 reserve. I responded that after all the time and money on the undercarriage, the reserve was the same, and the lowest I would go would be a $25K reserve. The response was “I'm afraid this one is not going to be a good fit for us with a reserve in the $20s." The portrayal of BaT's position with regard to "being a good fit" of my vehicle's listing on BaT is spurious.

I have serious questions about BaT transparency in dealing with potential clients... nowhere does BaT state that the company has the right to set a reserve price for listing a vehicle and reject listings based on the requested reserve of the vehicle. The BaT referral of the "approval" statement - is very murky at best. I have been watching many recent Things not meeting the reserve, and I assume that this is influencing their position on setting reserve prices. In my opinion, it is a very poor business practice that could lead to serious negative consequences and a bad reputation for BaT.

Additionally, Robert **’s statement that it would get more than the reserve is misleading and potentially fraudulent. Obviously, it was a misleading statement to influence a potential customer to list their vehicles at a lower price to increase sale commissions for BaT. I'm surprised that this lack of disclosure hasn't been an issue for BaT to date, but it probably will be in the future. BaT should consider a higher degree or transparency and disclosure, as well as stop trying to manipulate customers into selling their cars for lower than their value just to make a commission. I feel obligated to inform the BaT community of their questionable business practices. Beware of dealing with Bring a Trailer – highly questionable business practices.

10 people found this review helpful
Rated with 1 star
Verified Reviewer
Original review: Oct. 29, 2022

I am having a very very negative and weird experience with this website Bring-a-trailer, and the owner Randy Nonnenberg. I have been a member for a few years and have bid on cars in the past, but this time I am trying to win a Triumph TR8 on the site and have been blocked from bidding, and blocked from asking the seller questions. The owner has also removed my comments on the tr8 auction and now blocked me from leaving comments. This is bad for the seller if the owner of this site is blocking people he thinks he does not like. And the seller is not getting the highest price.

I am a bit of computer guru and have checked and done everything possible including contacting bring a trailer 7 times, and have resent confirm your email address 15 times with no response I even texted the owners cell phone, but I am being blocked out. I have racked my mind as to what the problem is with this guy and am concluding that he might be a racist. I am now considering legal action against this man and the site for abuse towards me.

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    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Sept. 30, 2022

    ***SELLERS BEWARE!*** Worst experience I've ever had selling a vehicle. Don't hold your breath on their winning bidders actually paying you. I've had 2 auctions that both were unpaid and they did nothing. It's all about the commission they pull from the buyers credit card at the time of the bid, they don't care after that nor will they ban the buyer from it happening again.

    17 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 2 stars
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: Aug. 23, 2022

    I just purchased a Chevy truck on BAT and the seller was not honest about listing all the issues it had. It arrived with an inoperable gas and temp guage, as well as an oil leak and a gas leak from the gas cap that it came with. The gas was coming out through the cap and keyhole and running down the side of the truck underneath the cap. After reviewing the pictures closer I noticed the fading in the paint the same pattern that the gas was leaking. This leads me to believe that this issue has been ongoing. Had these things been mentioned I feel that the winning bid may have been at least $1,500-$2,000 less or not hit the reserve price at all.

    I also noticed two other bidders that mysteriously joined BAT around the same time the truck was listed and have not bid on anything else shortly after the auction ended. Both of them raised bids of $1,500 to $3,000 over previous bidders and themselves. Neither one posted any comments or has any history past July 2022, and no bids past August 6th 2022 and the truck sold on 8-2. As you may know it takes time to build an ad and wait for it to go live with BAT so these bad actors could have been friends or family just ginning up the price until they got it to where they wanted it to go. Don't get me wrong, I like the vehicle but not for the price it sold at with all the undisclosed issues. Now I have contacted both the buyer and seller in order to reach an agreement to refund some of my money. I have bought and sold on this site a few times without a hitch. Hopefully it will be corrected soon as I like this platform.

    12 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 29, 2022

    I submitted a fairly rare classic muscle car to go up for sale on Bring-A-Trailer. The next day I received an email stating my vehicle was not accepted, no explanation no valid reason. Now I could understand if my listing was sub-par or I was sketchy on the information but I wasn't I had almost 50 pictures of the car and all of the thousands of dollars in new parts that's coming with it. It is a project car that comes some assembly required but that's why I tried to list it on BRING A TRAILER! It's in the name! So I begin reading consumer reviews with the BBB and elsewhere and they have overwhelmingly bad reviews and horror stories from people who have either used or tried to use their service.

    Keep in mind this is no free listing service, these people pay a minimum of $99 to list on this site $349 if you want them to take the pictures yet they never seem to accept any vehicles, the ones they do according to the reviews either the seller or the buyer seem to get screwed over. It appears I dodged a bullet. Just beware! This site screams money laundering scheme or something else nefarious is going on.

    12 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: July 28, 2022

    I attempted to list my car for auction with BAT. I completed the application and received an email response suggesting that I lower my reserve citing their experience with similar cars. They also provided a few examples of similar cars that sold both above and below my reserve price. I tried to engage the representative in discussion to understand their rationale. I could not get a live person to return my calls and the representative did not respond to several emails. They are unprofessional and difficult to deal with. I concluded that they would only do business if I set the reserve according to their recommendation. Without an explanation it was impossible for me to move forward. I would not list a car with them.

    16 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 2 stars
    profile pic of the author
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 20, 2022

    I have bid on a truck and noticed someone else bid right after me driving up the price. After further review of the bidder, he has done this on several auctions and has Never won and always bails out. After seeing this researched a few others that do this as well. Pure scammers driving up the prices. Will never buy on this site.

    32 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: May 13, 2022

    All I can say is that this company-BaT, is all about making it difficult to see a vehicle and communicate with the seller. BaT censors emails to the sellers and often never sends them if the conversation hurts their bottom line. They allow and encourage shill bidding and flag anyone who calls them out. If you want to buy a ridiculously priced car without ever getting to see it, this is the place to go. BringATrailer.com- Barrett Jackson for suckers.

    24 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 24, 2022

    What an outrageous thing. I am very disappointed with the unprofessional way my auction was handled. At the last minute, several people showed up on the comment section and started to denigrate my vehicle acting as experts and from that point on nobody else bidded on the car. No BaT representative acted on my behalf or moderate the comments. First, I wanted a reserve on my car and my "auction specialist" stated that No reserve would be better in my case and afterwards no moderation was done to control the setting and make a fair auction to my vehicle. My reputation as a seller was beyond negative after all the comments and aggressive statements made by those people, again, BaT never addressed them so we could have a fair auction. This is worse than eBay bidding system.

    42 people found this review helpful
    Rated with 1 star
    Verified Reviewer
    Original review: March 9, 2022

    BaT Is nothing but a Shameful & desperate attempts by greedy Swindlers who consistently Hide facts which would either Increase, or Lower, the actual value of items for sale by making illegal, Luring, con attempts to exaggerate prices by squelching free & open speech from prospective buyers. In addition, according to the Federal DOJ, they are under investigation for participating in Money Laundering. They, in fact, refuse to allow questions/comments which would prove embarrassing for the seller to answer, thereby driving the price of the items they're auctioning, up. BaT does this because they derive almost 100% of their income from buyers fees based on selling prices.

    This also limits free & open conversations to protect buyers, who can't protect themselves from bad deals, by not getting detrimental, value related, questions answered by sellers. And, whether BaT knows it or not, they ARE under investigation by the DOJ for participation in money laundering. Their inflated prices attract/encourage drug dealers & the like, who need to turn illegal cash into something tangible, then back into legal cash.

    41 people found this review helpful
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    Bring-A-Trailer Company Information

    Company Name:
    Bring A Trailer
    Website:
    bringatrailer.com