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How it Works

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How it Works

Sotheby's Motorsport combines the best aspects of in-person and online auctions to provide our valued buyers and sellers with a trusted, high-touch experience to ensure a successful transaction.

Join our community by selecting any or all of our three membership options, each offering exclusive benefits tailored to suit your needs.
Member

Member

Even without buying or selling a car, you can participate in our community by engaging with other members and placing vehicles on your watchlist for notifications:

  • check iconMake comments about auctions and ask sellers questions
  • check iconSend Direct Messages to other members through our open communications platform
  • check iconSave vehicles of interest and receive notifications
Member

Registered Bidder

As a Registered Bidder, you have access to all the features of a Member, plus:

  • check iconApproval to actively bid on an auction
  • check iconGet help with buyer financing and payoff of seller's lien if needed
  • check iconReceive assistance with money, and title transfer and paperwork needed to close the transaction
  • check iconGet support for vehicle transportation
Member

Registered Seller

As a Registered Seller, you have access to all Member functionality, plus:

  • check iconSubmit vehicles for auction listing
  • check iconAt no cost to you, have professional photographs and videos taken of your vehicle
  • check iconReceive assistance with money, and title transfer and paperwork needed to close the transaction
  • check iconGet help with paying off your vehicle lien if needed
  • check iconAt your option, receive help selling your car if your reserve price is not met
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For Registered Bidders

Discover the simple step-by-step process below for our Registered Bidders.

Review Bidder Agreement
Evaluate Vehicle
Set Your Bidding Strategy
Obtain Financing if Needed
Place Your Bid
Receive Buyer's Kit & Transaction Support
Review Our Bidder Agreement

While we strive to include comprehensive information in the auction listing, it's important to note that the vehicle is sold "As Is, Where Is." Bidders are responsible for conducting their own due diligence before placing a bid, and sellers are responsible for the accuracy of the information provided in the listing.

Evaluate the Vehicle

We encourage our bidders to evaluate each vehicle listing carefully by checking the following:

  • Vehicle Description
  • Vehicle History Report
  • Photos and Videos
  • Service Records
  • User Comments
  • Documentation
  • Seller-provided disclosure form and/or Professional third-party inspection report

Should you have additional questions, we encourage you to communicate directly with the seller or other members through direct messages or in the public comments, and when possible, arrange to inspect the vehicle in person.

Set Your Bidding Strategy

Our site has two kinds of auctions: Offered Without Reserve and Reserve Price auctions.

In Offered Without Reserve auctions, the highest bidder wins, while in Reserve auctions, the seller has set a minimum price for the vehicle to sell. The Reserve Price is not publicly disclosed unless the seller chooses to do so and may be lowered at any time during the auction, at the seller's discretion. If the high bid doesn't meet the Reserve Price at the end of the auction, no fees will be charged to the seller or the bidders.

When setting your bid strategy, we encourage you to:

  • Check market prices using Hammer Price and other reputable vehicle price guides.
  • Decide on the maximum price you are willing to bid including the buyer's fee in your total cost. Our buyer's fee is 5% of the winning bid with a $25,000 cap.
Obtain Financing if Needed

If you plan to finance your vehicle purchase through a loan or lease, you have the option to collaborate with your preferred financial institution, or we can assist you in arranging financing.

Place Your Bid

Placing a bid in our online auctions is a binding commitment, so ensure that you are comfortable with the purchase amount. We will send you a notification to confirm your bid and notify you if you have been outbid. To ensure fairness, our site employs a 2-minute clock at the end of the auction that resets with each new high bid. In case the auction does not meet the reserve, Sotheby's Motorsport will reach out to bidders to determine if a deal with the seller can be reached.

Receive Buyer's Kit and Transaction Support

All winning bidders will receive a Buyer's Kit and transactional support. All the steps needed to complete the transaction after the auction will be described in the Buyer's Kit.

After the auction ends, we will assist with the following steps to ensure a smooth transaction:

  • We will provide you with:
    1. Your Buyer's Kit
    2. The contact information for the seller or seller's agent
    3. The invoice
    4. The Bill of Sale
    5. Copies of the title and ownership documents
  • You will be asked to pay the Sotheby's Motorsport invoice by the end of the next business day. Upon receipt, we will hold your funds until you or your transport service picks up the vehicle. If there is a lien on the vehicle, we will pay off the seller's loan or lease and obtain a clear title to the vehicle.
  • We will arrange to send you the original Vehicle Title and other relevant ownership documents. You can then take those documents to your local DMV or other agency to arrange for the transfer of the title to your name. Any taxes due on the transaction will be due to the agency in your state.
  • You will choose your preferred transportation method from the following four options:
    1. Collect the vehicle yourself and arrange transportation or drive it home.
    2. Utilize your preferred vehicle transport service.
    3. Allow us to connect you with a trusted nationwide transport service.
    4. Allow us to handle the entire transportation process in collaboration with you, the transport service, and the seller.
    The transportation service that is actually transporting the vehicle will be responsible for any damages.
  • The seller will receive their funds following vehicle pickup.

At Sotheby's Motorsport we aim to provide the ultimate luxury online auto auction experience.

Become a Registered Bidder
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For Registered Sellers

Discover the simple step-by-step process below for our Registered Sellers.

Submit Your Vehicle
We Create Your Listing
Live Auction Participation
Post-Auction Transaction Support
Submit Your Vehicle

At Sotheby's Motorsport we are seeking 21st century sport, exotic, and luxury vehicles, and we carefully consider every submission.

To submit your vehicle for approval, simply complete the vehicle submission form.

In the form, we ask for basic vehicle information, history, photos, and copies of your vehicle title and driver's license. All your personal information is protected according to our privacy policy.

You'll also choose between a Offered Without Reserve Price or a Reserve Price auction. In Offered Without Reserve auctions, the highest bidder wins, while in Reserve auctions, you set a minimum price for the vehicle to sell. The Reserve Price is not publicly disclosed unless you choose to do so during the auction, and you can lower it at any time. If the high bid doesn't meet the Reserve Price at the end of the auction, no fees will be charged to you or the bidders. Based upon market conditions and recent transactions, we may ask you to set a lower Reserve Price before accepting your application.

Once submitted, we will let you know if your vehicle has been accepted within two business days. We may ask for more information and get clarifications within this two-day period. If you are an agent for the seller, we will ask for a notarized letter from the seller authorizing you to be their agent.

We Create Your Listing

Once your application is approved and the $199 listing fee is paid, you'll be assigned a dedicated Auction Specialist. They will set up your listing, provide you with a Seller's Kit containing all the necessary auction information and guide you through the auction process.

  • We will ask you to review and sign our Seller's Agreement which overviews the terms of the sale.
  • Your Auction Specialist will confirm your vehicle details such as history, features, service records, any known flaws or mechanical issues, and other relevant vehicle information to ensure an accurate listing description is drafted.
  • You will choose to have a professional third-party vehicle inspection, fill out a Seller's Disclosure form, or do both.
  • A professional photographer will be scheduled by your Auction Specialist to capture high-quality photos of your car. High-quality photos are essential for effectively presenting and selling your vehicle. They serve as a powerful marketing tool, generating excitement and interest in its sale. Sotheby's Motorsport covers the cost of this service. If you prefer to provide your own photos or hire your own photographer, we'll work with you to ensure all necessary photos are included.
  • Your Auction Specialist will prepare a draft of your auction listing for your approval.
  • Together, we'll coordinate a convenient start date and time for your auction listing, which will be accessible in your Seller Dashboard.

While your vehicle is listed on our site, we'll ask you not to advertise it elsewhere or sell it outside the auction.

Live Auction Participation

During the live auction, it's crucial to allocate a few minutes each day to answer questions, respond to inquiries, and monitor bidding activity. You have the option to receive real-time notifications whenever bids are placed, and messages are received.

Your Seller's Kit will also provide valuable tips to drive engagement and excitement around your vehicle to maximize your auction outcome.

If you've chosen a reserve auction format, you can access your listing in the Seller Dashboard and lower your reserve at any time, should you wish to do so.

Your Auction Specialist is available to answer any questions you have about the process during the auction.

Post-Auction Transaction Support

At Sotheby's Motorsport we aim to provide the ultimate luxury online auto auction experience.

After your auction ends, we will take the following steps to ensure a smooth transaction:

  • If your auction is successful, we will send you the buyer's contact information and begin our procedures to help you complete the transaction, securely receive your funds, and receive settlement documents for your records.
  • We will send you a Summary of Sale document that overviews the auction information and vehicle(s) sold, funds you will receive because of the auction, and any Seller's fee we will collect from you.
  • If your auction had a Reserve Price that was not met, we will contact all bidders to determine if they have interest in making an offer, and we will help you make counter offers to find a selling price that is acceptable to you.
  • If your vehicle has a lien, we will work with you and the lender to pay off the loan or lease before finalizing the transaction.
  • We will collaborate with the buyer to coordinate the timing and location of vehicle pickup according to their preferences.
Become a Registered Seller
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How is Sotheby's Motorsport Different?

Discover how we excel in delivering unparalleled service, trust, and confidence for our valued members, bidders, and sellers.

Learn About Us
Community Guidelines

To ensure a positive experience for everyone, we have established community guidelines. These guidelines are designed to promote constructive engagement, discourage offensive behavior, prevent spam, and respect personal privacy. We kindly ask all members to familiarize themselves with these guidelines and actively contribute to creating a friendly and inclusive community.

Promote Constructive Feedback
Promote Constructive Feedback

Share comments that are constructive and well-founded when discussing cars, entities, or individuals.

Maintain Respectful Communication
Maintain Respectful Communication

Offensive comments are strictly prohibited.

No Self-Promotion or Spam
No Self-Promotion or Spam

Comments and profiles must not contain any self-promotional content or spam.

Respect Personal Privacy
Respect Personal Privacy

Obtain prior permission before posting personal information, such as email addresses or phone numbers, especially when recommending individuals or businesses to sellers or buyers.

One Account per Person
One Account per Person

Each individual is allowed only one account, ensuring fairness and equality within the platform. Please do not share your account with others.

No Comment Editing
No Comment Editing

Please be aware that comments cannot be edited after being posted for 5 minutes. If you need to make any changes, kindly submit a follow-up comment.

Registered Bidder FAQ

How do I become a Registered Bidder?

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To become a Registered Bidder, follow these simple steps:

  1. Visit our Sign Up page and select the option to Become a Registered Bidder.
  2. Provide your information, create a password, and choose "I want the ability to bid on auctions." Entering credit card details during signup is used to verify your identity. Rest assured, your credit card will not be charged, even if you win an auction.

At Sotheby's Motorsport, we enhance the confidence of our Sellers by ensuring that bidders identities have been vetted. The upfront verification minimizes the risk of no payment and ownership transfer issues or delays. This requirement aligns with the standard practice in the live physical auction industry, adding trust and credibility to our online auction experience.

To place a bid on a vehicle, you must be a Registered Bidder. The steps required to become a Registered Bidder are outlined above. Once you are a Registered Bidder, you will have the ability to click the “Place a Bid” button on a vehicle and enter your bid amount.

Once you are a Registered Bidder, you will have the ability to click the “Place a Bid” button on a vehicle and enter your bid amount.

Bids placed will need to be higher than the current high bid on a vehicle. Depending on the current high bid, there may be minimum increase required. Bid increments are outlined below.

We do not place a hold on your credit card during the bidding process. As noted above, your credit card is only used for identity verification.


Here's a breakdown of the bid increment structure for our auctions:

Minimum bid of $1,000 to start the auction

  • $0 - $250,000 - increments of $1,000
  • $250,001 - $500,000 - increments of $2,500
  • $500,001 - and up - increments of $5,000

A bid placed on a live online auction is a binding commitment to purchase the vehicle at the amount submitted. At the end of the auction, if you are the winning bidder, you are obligated to purchase the vehicle. Please carefully consider your decision and have a firm intent to purchase the vehicle before placing a bid. This ensures fairness to both the seller and other participating bidders in the auction.

All auctions on the Sotheby's Motorsport platform are in United States Dollars (USD).

Yes, international bidders are welcomed and allowed. International bidders are still required to pay in full for the vehicle promptly following the close of the auction. Importantly, any transportation, legal fees, and other export/import logistics will be the buyer's responsibility following the close of the auction.

To ensure a smooth post-auction experience, please make sure all these logistics have been researched and planned for prior to bidding.

As a convenience benefit for bidders, Sotheby's Motorsport allows proxy bidding on all live online auctions so that bidders do not have to be in attendance at the end of the auction. Proxy bidding is a feature that allows you to enter the maximum amount you're willing to pay for an item. The system will then automatically bid on your behalf, up to your maximum amount, to keep you in the lead until the auction ends or you are outbid. If your proxy bid is outbid, you will be notified via email alert so you can opt to increase your bid if you so choose.

Any bids placed within the final 2 minutes of an auction will reset the clock to two minutes. This gives all interested bidders a chance to enter competitive final bids and prevents auction “sniping.”

You must be a registered bidder to contact a seller. Once you are a registered bidder, you can contact a seller directly by going to the contact seller area and selecting the “Send Message” button in the live auction. When the seller responds, you will be sent an email alert and will be able to respond in your account dashboard.

If you are the high bidder and win an auction, we will share your contact information with the seller, and you will receive the seller's contact information.

At Sotheby's Motorsport, we provide an open communications platform that enables any user to contact and communicate with any other user through our platform. After making initial contact, users can communicate off platform if they desire.

To contact a member directly, click on their username. On the seller's bio page, you can click “contact,” which will allow you to send a message.

Yes, we highly encourage in-person due diligence prior to placing a bid on a vehicle. Bids are binding, so please conduct any inspections prior to bidding.

All live online auctions will have either a Seller's Disclosure or Professional Third-Party Inspection displayed on the vehicle listing page which supplements any additional inspections you may choose to perform.

Use the “Contact Seller” button to confirm the seller's willingness to allow an inspection, a time that is mutually convenient, and the location of the vehicle.

We have established relationships with several financing institutions that can provide buyers with various kinds of financing solutions, including both loans and leases.

A Seller's Disclosure is a document that outlines any known issues or defects, modifications, and documentation of the vehicle being sold. It is completed by the seller and provides the buyer with important information about all aspects of the vehicle. This document is an important part of the sales process and helps ensure transparency about the vehicle for the buyer.

A professional third-party inspection is a thorough evaluation of a vehicle's condition conducted by a professional mechanic or inspection service. The inspection includes a multi-point examination of the car's mechanical systems, body and frame, interior and exterior, and other components. The inspection report provides valuable information to the buyer about the car's overall condition, any necessary repairs, and potential future maintenance needs.

The seller is responsible for providing accurate information in the seller's disclosure, and the inspection company is responsible for providing an accurate report for the professional third-party inspection. However, it is ultimately the buyer's responsibility to carefully review and verify all information provided before making a purchase. We encourage buyers to ask questions and seek clarification from the seller or inspection company if they have any doubts or concerns before bidding.

The professional third-party inspection is conducted by a reputable independent agency that is familiar with your car. Sotheby's Motorsport pays for the inspection as part of our commitment to providing our buyers with accurate information about the vehicles they are interested in. Our goal is to ensure that buyers have as much information as reasonably possible prior to bidding.

If you believe a vehicle you purchased was materially misrepresented, please contact support@sothebysmotorsport.com. We are here to assist you.

A Buyer's Fee is an additional amount charged to the winning bidder of an auction. Sotheby's Motorsport normally charges a Buyer's Fee of 5% of the winning bid with a $25,000 cap. The Buyer's Fee applies to all live online auctions and sales completed through post-auction negotiations.

The buyer is responsible for paying all applicable taxes and registration fees after purchasing a car on Sotheby's Motorsport.

A Reserve Price is the minimum price that a vehicle can sell for on our site. All auctions will have a Reserve Price unless “Offered Without Reserve” is displayed on the auction itself. To view all current live Offered Without Reserve auctions,

Reserve Prices are not disclosed to buyers unless the seller chooses to do so during the live online auction. The seller may also lower the Reserve Price at any time.

If the Reserve Price is not met during an auction, the vehicle will not be sold via live online auction. Post-auction, our team will work directly with the seller and the bidders to determine a mutually agreeable price.

At the close of the auction, the winning bidder will receive a Buyer's Kit which will detail all the steps necessary to complete the transaction, as outlined below:

  • We will send you the name and contact information for the seller or the seller's agent so you can begin coordinating timing for vehicle pickup.
  • You will be asked to pay the invoice to Sotheby's Motorsport by the end of the next business day. Upon receipt, we will securely hold your funds as a trusted intermediary until you or your transporter picks up the vehicle. If there is a lien on the vehicle, we will pay off the seller's loan or lease and obtain a clear title to the vehicle.
  • We will arrange to send you the original Vehicle Title and other relevant ownership documents via courier.
  • You will choose your preferred transportation method from the following four options:
    1. Collect the vehicle yourself and arrange transportation or drive it home.
    2. Utilize your preferred vehicle transport service.
    3. Allow us to connect you with a trusted nationwide transport service.
    4. Allow us to handle the entire transportation process in collaboration with you, the transport service, and the seller.
  • The seller will receive their funds following vehicle pickup.

If you win an auction, you can pay via bank wire transfer or ACH transfer. You will be asked to pay the invoice to Sotheby's Motorsport by the end of the next business day.

No, all bids are binding commitments to purchase the vehicle.

Vehicles listed on Sotheby's Motorsport are for sale exclusively through our live online auction. Attempting to contact the seller and arrange a sale outside is against our and is strictly prohibited.

You can contact us at support@sothebysmotorsport.com or by phone at +1 (786) 539-4674

Registered Seller FAQ

How much does it cost to list my vehicle for sale on Sotheby's Motorsport?

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Sellers pay $199 to list their vehicle on Sotheby's Motorsport.

The benefits that sellers receive for this fee are:

  • A 2-hour professional photography session of your vehicle including videography.
  • A professional third-party inspection, at your option, to document the condition of your vehicle.
  • Access to our large audience of Registered Bidders interested in your vehicle who have verified their financial capability.
  • A dedicated Auction Specialist who will create a custom auction on your behalf, list it after your review and approval, and provide any assistance you need during the live online auction.
  • A dedicated Post-Auction Specialist to coordinate finalizing the transaction and securely handling and transferring money and ownership documents.
  • Assistance with paying off any loans or liens on your vehicle.
  • Helping you sell your vehicle if the Reserve Price is not met by working with multiple bidders to find a price acceptable to you.

To submit your car for sale, click the Submit A Vehicle tab in the header. From there, you will be guided through our vehicle submission form which helps us learn more about your vehicle and gather details like year, make, model, mileage, and VIN.

Once submitted, we will let you know if your vehicle has been accepted within two business days. We may ask for more information and get clarifications within this two-day period. If you are an agent for the seller, we will ask for a notarized letter from the seller authorizing you to be their agent.

Yes, we can help assist with the sale of your vehicle if you live outside of the U.S. However, certain restrictions may apply. Please contact support@sothebysmotorsport.com if you have questions.

Absolutely. When you submit your vehicle for auction, we will verify your ownership and loan details to ensure a smooth and secure transaction for all parties involved. Additionally, if there are any outstanding loans on the vehicle, we can assist you with paying them off as part of the auction process. Please contact support@sothebysmotorsport.com if you have questions.

At Sotheby's Motorsport, we primarily specialize in high quality 21st Century sports, exotic, and luxury vehicles. When considering whether to accept a vehicle for auction, we consider a range of factors such as the vehicle's condition, mileage, vehicle photos and information provided, including its history, market trends, and the reserve price requested by the seller.

After you submit your vehicle for consideration, our team will assess whether it is a good fit for our online auction. The process is simple, quick, and free of charge.

A Reserve Price is the minimum price that a vehicle can sell for on our site, while a Offered Without Reserve Price auction has no minimum price, indicating that it will sell to the highest bidder at the close of the auction.

A desired Reserve Price is requested from the seller in the initial submission form. We work with each seller to determine a mutually acceptable Reserve Price based on current market conditions, vehicle details, and other information about the car. We may ask for a lower Reserve Price than you requested before we agree to list the car for sale.

Yes, after the live online auction begins, you can lower it at any point by clicking the “Lower Reserve” button in your personal Auction Dashboard or by contacting your Auction Specialist. You can also disclose that the Reserve Price has been met during the auction if you so choose.

Once your application is approved and you pay the $199 listing fee, your dedicated Auction Specialist will provide you with a Seller's Kit outlining the remaining steps in the process. They will also get to work on creating your auction listing. To do this they will request additional information about your vehicle, arrange for professional photography and a third-party inspection, and prepare a draft of your auction listing for your approval. Once approved, they will work with you to select a convenient start date and time for your auction. While your vehicle is listed on our site, you will agree to not advertise it elsewhere or sell it outside the auction.

While your vehicle is listed on our site, you will agree to not advertise it elsewhere or sell it outside the auction.

Upon acceptance of your vehicle and after the listing fee is paid, a dedicated Auction Specialist will be assigned to you. This Auction Specialist will create the auction listing on your behalf by utilizing your provided information and by verifying all pertinent details directly with you through phone and email communication. The Auction Specialist also coordinates with you on the timing and logistics of professional photography and a professional third-party inspection. Before your auction listing goes live, we will seek your approval to ensure accuracy and completeness.

Once sent to you for approval, sellers can suggest edits to their listing draft before it goes live. Our auction descriptions are crafted to be concise, factual, and informative, highlighting the most relevant details to help bidders make informed decisions.

If you need to edit your auction listing after the auction is live, just reach out to your Auction Specialist and let us know what changes may be needed. Sellers can also leave comments, post additional photos and videos, and answer questions from potential buyers and other members.

To ensure that your vehicle is presented in the best possible light, your Auction Specialist will arrange for a professional photographer to take high-quality photos and video of your car.

The benefits that sellers receive for this fee are:

Typically, it takes approximately 1-2 weeks from the time of submission until the live auction begins. Throughout the process, we will keep you informed of your progress and what to expect next. Our team is dedicated to assisting you every step of the way.

Yes. Your Auction Specialist will work with you to schedule a date for your auction listing to go live, ensuring it aligns with your schedule. You can communicate your scheduling preferences to your Auction Specialist at any time during the process.

We highly encourage sellers to actively participate in the comments section of their listing by replying to questions and comments submitted there, as well as those sent directly from members to the seller. Sellers who engage actively in their auction listing tend to have better outcomes. Responding promptly and maintaining a positive and constructive tone while replying to comments will instill confidence in potential bidders.

At Sotheby's Motorsport, we place utmost importance on the integrity of our online auction experience. To maintain a level playing field, we have a strict policy against sellers bidding on their own vehicles. Moreover, engaging in shill bidding, which involves having a known person bid on your vehicle to artificially inflate the price, is strictly prohibited.

Sellers agree to list their car on Sotheby's Motorsport exclusively and not sell their vehicle outside our auction platform.

After your auction is completed, we will take the following steps: If your auction is successful, we will provide you with the buyer's contact information and guide you through the transaction process to ensure that you securely receive your funds and all necessary settlement documents.

If your reserve price was not met, we will contact bidders to see if they are still interested and help you negotiate a selling price that works for you. If there is a lien on the vehicle, we will work with you and the lender to pay off the loan before closing the transaction.

Finally, we will collaborate with you and the buyer to determine the best time and place for vehicle pickup according to the buyer's preferences.

All bidders on Sotheby's Motorsport are verified for financial capability to ensure they can adequately complete the transaction if they win the auction. If your auction is successful, we will provide you with the buyer's contact information and guide you through the transaction process to ensure that you securely receive your funds and all necessary settlement documents.

After the sale, do I need to send the buyer a Bill of Sale? No, as we facilitate the transaction on your behalf, we will handle all the necessary paperwork, including sending the buyer a Bill of Sale, the Vehicle Title, and ownership documents.

You can contact us at support@sothebysmotorsport.com or by phone at +1 (786) 539-4674