Thinking of selling your classic car? Well, I have the perfect solution for you.
Tom Marshall is a good friend and the general manager/partner of the Auto Barn in Concord, N.C., which is a consignment type of dealership and so much more. Tom and his friendly staff will make the buying and/or selling of your cherished ride very easy and simple – I know this for a fact as I am one of their customers from back in 2008. Tom also counts Hank Williams Jr. and Brad Whitford of Aerosmith among his satisfied customers, as well as many international customers. In fact, Tom tells me that roughly 55 percent of Auto Barn’s sales are sight-unseen sales, and that’s very important because it tells you that the cars are being represented fairly and honestly.
The Auto Barn is in a unique setting – it resides in what was once one of the mills owned by Fieldcrest Cannon, and on average there are between 85 to 110 cars on consignment for sale. The inventory for sale at Auto Barn ( autobarnclassiccars.com) is quite diverse – from pre-war classics up through the 1950s and the muscle car era, both past and present.
So, you may ask, how does the consignment process work at Auto Barn? After contacting Tom or one of his staff, the net price that the owner wants to realize on the sale of the car is negotiated. Auto Barn advises you on what may be an appropriate price for your car based on market conditions and the overall condition of the car. Tom points out that the Auto Barn provides a great service to people who don’t like the selling process and all the hassles that go with it. Auto Barn adds a 10 to 15 percent commission to the net price negotiated that the owner wants to take home and then they basically do all the work to sell it, including taking pictures for advertisement on eight to 10 websites and handling queries from potential buyers all over the world.
The normal consignment contract is for 90 days and costs $100, but that’s cheap considering all the advertising they do for you and the fact that you no longer have the car taking up space in your garage. Tom points out that in order to consign an owner needs to provide a valid title and driver’s license. At this point, any offers that may come in are handled by Auto Barn and communicated to the owner with the goal of selling the car. Like most items for sale, price is always important and if your car has not sold within the 90 day contract, then your file will be reviewed about the next steps.
The Auto Barn is not just consignment and sales; it also offers collector car storage for your classic that runs around $115 a month for inside storage and for roughly half that price outside storage in a fenced-in area. They also have the Auto Barn Clubhouse, which is inside the facility and is a great room for up to 100 people that can be used for car club meetings and get-togethers. The Auto Barn does not do restorations, but they do have a veteran mechanic that can help you with small issues like carb work or recharging the A/C system. There is also an upholstery person that rents space inside the facility that can help you with any cuts in your interior or perhaps a detached headliner. The services of a detailer are also available who can spiff up your classic to make it look as sharp as possible.
Tom’s best piece of advice when bringing in your classic for consignment is to have it as clean and presentable as possible, so give him or one of his staff a call at 800-650-1055.
Bill Deaton of Fort Mill is the owner of B&D Business Services in Rock Hill and also a classic car enthusiast. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for comments or if you have any story ideas.