I have successfully sold two vehicles via eBaymotors. These were Mercedes-Benz classics. This article will explain some of the experiences I had while the auctions were live. Using eBaymotors to sell a vehicle is a way for you to access the entire market of active car buyers. Good luck!

1959 Mercedes 220S Front1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S side

Three times I listed vehicles on eBaymotors. Only one of the listings was unsuccessful while the other two did manage to sell. Each of the listings showed different behaviors on the part of the various ebay viewers and bidders. Your experience will be different, but it can work for you as well.

The first vehicle I tried to sell was a 1959 Mercedes-Benz 220S sedan with four doors and a standard transmission. This was not a convertible or a coupe, which are far more desired by the collector car market. This car had been listed locally on Craigslist and on an Internet user group without success. When the car was really clean, I listed it on ebaymotors. The listing was fully described and it contained a lot of pictures. I made a point of showing exactly was was good and bad about the car. There was a little rust which I showed. Some of the chrome parts were tired so I showed pictures that were representative. For it's age, it was in great shape and had been cared full really well.

With the auction underway, I watched the progress on ebay. Unfortunately, the listing didn't get indexed properly. By reviewing the new listings, I couldn't find my car. I could see it via my account selling features. This was going to be a problem if the public couldn't find my listing. When I contacted ebay support about this, they said that the indexes sometimes take up to two hours to be rebuilt. By the time I received their answer, my car was showing in the listing pages. When it did, there were viewers who started to look at the car. At first, there were a few and then more. I didn't do anything to advertise the listing outside of ebay for a few days. In the next two days, the number of viewers of my auction listing started to increase. Then the count stalled. I then started to get some questions about the car. The first was from someone in Africa who wondered how much it would cost to ship the car to his country. I had specified that the car was available to North America only so it was surprising to get a question from Africa. The next question was similar but the person wanted to know how much it would be to ship it to Poland. Again, this was a surprise. I received a few other questions about the general condition of the car. I posted a link to my auction on the Mercedes user group for this vehicle. There were some comments from that group but no obvious buyers. They must have checked the ebay listing because shortly afterward, there were a lot more viewers recorded on the listing.

One night, when the listing was active, I received a call at about 2AM. The caller was from Croatia and he asked about my car. Being quite tired, I didn't understand him at first. He also had a strong accent so his English was hard for me to understand. He assured me that he was a sincere buyer and wondered if I could check out shipping options for Croatia. I promised that I would. He gave me his email address. The next day, I called a car shipping company who began to check rates for shipping the vehicle to Croatia. I tried to contact the caller using the email address that I had written down. Nearly immediately, I got a message back that there was no such domain. This was disappointing, but I really had no belief that this car would ever be shipped to Croatia. That same night, I received another call from the Croatian. I told him that his email address was no good. He tried to spell it out for me again. I gave him mine as well. In the morning, I tried to send another message which was again unsuccessful. Luckily I received an email from Croatia. For whatever reason, a couple of letters were mixed up. Neither the written nor corrected address made sense to me so I just noted the good one. I faxed a copy of my title to Croatia. This was disturbing to me, but I figured that if I had the car and the title in my name, I should be pretty safe. Over the next 24 hours, I received another couple of calls from Croatia. The authorities there were not very impressed with my title documents. I decided to wait to see if the Croatian would win the auction. I would deal with his title issue then, if necessary. As it turned out, he never once bid on my car.

In the end, this first ebaymotors listing experience resulting in no one purchasing the car. There were a number of bids but it never reached my reserve price. I did think that the bidding pattern was interesting, though. The listing price started at $200. I got a few bids right away for $200 to $300. It then received a few more bids until it got up to $450 or so. The auction listing then stalled with no more bids or viewers. This was during the middle period of the listing. When there were two days left in the auction, there started to be more viewers. They didn't bid at first, though. When they did, the bids were not much higher than the original bids, going up by $25 each time. All the while, the reserve showed as not being met. Several questions came via email asking me for my reserve amount. I thought that it might be against ebay's rules to respond to these so I refrained.

On the last day of my Mercedes-Benz auction on ebaymotors, there was a real flurry of activity. The number of viewers went up significantly as soon as there was less than 24 hours left. More bids came in, again just a little higher than the current bid price. It was still below the reserve price. One bidder put in 6 bids in 10 minutes, all $25 higher than the previous one. I started to get concerned that the car would not sell at my reserve price of $7500. I thought that this was a fair level for the car. It was a luxury car that had been well cared for. It had no damage and just a little surface rust. The car had cost me $8000 a few years before and I had put quite a bit more into it. It had a new battery, muffler, windshield and rebuilds on the dual carburetors. I had even upgraded the distributor to use electronic ignition. There were new door seals on all four doors. These seals were quite expensive at over $100 each. They were also the last set of door seals available from Mercedes. All in all, I thought that a $7500 price for the car was reasonable. I had driven it myself from Sacramento to Seattle and I had no doubt that it could drive anywhere in its current condition.

In the end, the flurry of last minute bids pushed the auction up to $6000. I was confident right until the end that someone would push the price past the reserve amount. No one did, not even the Croatian. I decided to wait for a while before I started a new ebaymotors auction listing for this car. In the meanwhile, I again listed it locally but never got a buyer. Finally, I listed it on ebay again and it sold for more than the reserve price.