Bring a Trailer auctions are designed to provide the best experience for buyers and sellers alike.
The auction process starts with sellers submitting their cars through the website. We select the most interesting and work with the seller to compile a thorough listing for the vehicle. Auctions typically run for 7 days.
What makes BaT different?
After an auction closes, we put the seller in contact with the winning bidder to complete the transaction.
How to Submit a Vehicle
All submissions are done from the vehicle submissions page.
We offer three levels of service based on the needs of a seller—Classic, Plus, and White Glove.
After choosing a service level, sellers answer questions on the submission form and upload photos so our auctions team can evaluate if it’s a good fit for our audience.
If a vehicle is accepted, the seller pays the listing fee and we work with the seller to gather all necessary information (including videos, maintenance records, vehicle history, and service documentation).
With the information and photos provided by the seller, our Auction Specialists craft an honest and informative listing for the vehicle.
How our Live Auctions Work
Every auction goes live with an informational listing, photo gallery, and additional seller features that help ensure a great result.
- Each auction has a comment thread where the BaT community discusses the vehicle and asks the seller questions. Sellers are encouraged to be active participants in the comments section—answering questions and engaging with the community increases bidder confidence.
- Potential bidders can use the Contact Seller button to ask the seller questions, schedule a viewing, or set up a test drive.
- Each seller has the ability to lower their reserve while the auction is live.
How Bidding Works
You must register to bid to place bids on BaT.
- All bids are verified by a credit card hold to ensure commitment of potential buyers. When a bid is placed, we place a hold on the credit card on file for 5% of the bid amount. When the auction closes, the hold is released for all bidders who didn’t win the vehicle.
- Sniping protection extends the auction clock by two minutes each time a bid is placed in the auction’s final moments. The auction isn’t over until two full minutes have elapsed since the highest bid was placed.
- We encourage all potential bidders to read the listing and review the entirety of the comment section before placing a bid. It is important that bidders do their due diligence to understand all the details of the car and insights offered by members of the community.
The Post-Auction Process
If the auction reserve is met when the listing ends (or the auction is no reserve), BaT provides the seller and winning bidder with each others’ contact information.
The buyer and seller then work together to complete the transaction and arrange for shipping if necessary. BaT is happy to provide assistance or answer questions during this part of the process.
If the auction reserve is not met when the listing ends, BaT will provide the high bidder’s contact information to the seller in hopes that they can work out a deal.
How Our Fees Work
- Sellers pay a $99 listing fee, with the option to add our Plus photo service for an additional $250. There are no other seller fees on BaT.
- Buyers pay a 5% fee on top of the final sale price to BaT, with a minimum of $250, and capped at $5,000.
- Contact us for pricing of our White Glove Service.
Common Seller Questions
How much does it cost to list my car as a BaT Auction?
It depends! If you choose our Classic submission (no professional photos included), the fee is just $99. If you opt for Plus submission type (pro photos included), the fee is $349. Either way, that is the only fee a seller pays, period.
For White Glove submissions, we will construct a package to your liking that will best suit your needs.
How do I submit my car and what happens after I submit it?
You can submit your vehicle by going here. Once you submit, one of our Auction Managers will review your submission and get back to you, typically within 2 business days. If we accept your vehicle for auction, you pay the listing fee and an Auction Specialist will be assigned to you who will assemble your listing based on the information you provided. If you have chosen Plus, we will arrange a photographer to come take photos of your vehicle.
View our tutorial below or visit the Submitting on Bring a Trailer page.
How long does it take for my vehicle to go live?
For a Classic submission, it usually takes a few weeks to go from submission to live on the site. For a Plus submission, professional photos will need to be taken, so the time may be a little longer depending on when the shoot is scheduled. The more information and photos you provide us during submission, the quicker the process goes.
What happens after the auction? How do I get paid?
The transaction for a vehicle won on BaT is between the buyer and the seller. At the close of auction, the winning bidder and seller will receive each other’s contact information via email. We recommend that the seller send the buyer a photocopy of the title and a bill of sale prior to the buyer sending payment, and we recommend a wire transfer.
How do you choose which cars to accept?
How long do auctions last?
Can I edit my submission?
Can I relist my car if it doesn’t sell?
Shipping is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange and pay for. We offer BaT Shipping and you can request a quote during the auction or after.
Can I bid on my own listing?
Fairness is one of our most important values on BaT and we have gone to great efforts to develop a system that is transparent and fair to all of our users. We do not allow sellers to bid on their own listing, and any such behavior is strictly prohibited. We have tools in place that monitor bidding and the user accounts from which bids are placed to ensure this doesn’t happen. Additionally, we choose to make each user’s account history public via their user profile.
Can I cancel my auction once it’s live?
How do I take good photos of my car?
Good photos are very important to the success of an auction. We put together a photo guide to help you take photos of your vehicle, which you can see here.
Can you provide me a photographer recommendation?
For $250 you can add BaT Plus professional photography to any listing. Your photographer will capture a comprehensive gallery of your vehicle’s exterior, interior, engine bay, along with any documentation that you bring to the shoot. Learn more about BaT Plus photography here.
I am having problems uploading photos in my submission, can you help?
If you are having problems uploading photos in your submission, try starting with 5-10 photos that show the overall condition of the vehicle. In addition, we recommend that photos be 2000 – 3000 pixels on the long side, which usually results in a 1 – 2 MB file size. Photos that are too small or too large might not be able to be uploaded. If accepted, more photos can be added prior to the auction going live.
If you are still having problems, please email us at [email protected] and let us know the specific problem you’re having.
Common Bidder Questions
How do I register to bid?
You can register to bid by entering your information on this page. You will receive an email asking you to verify your email address and doing so is required in order to place a bid. If you don’t see the email, make sure to check your spam or junk folder as these emails often are labeled incorrectly as spam. Learn how to register here or watch the video below.
You simply type in the amount you would like to bid. If it’s higher than other bids and there is still time on the clock, you become the high bidder. Bidding advances immediately to your entered amount. The bid you place in the bid box will become the new high bid and the amount you will be responsible for paying should you win the auction.
View our tutorial below or visit the Bidding on Bring a Trailer page.
How do I sign up for auction updates?
You can subscribe to receive email auction updates by clicking into an auction listing and selecting the WATCH button at the top. If you no longer want to receive auction updates from a particular auction, you can click the WATCH button again to un-watch it.
If you would like to see all of the auctions that you are “watching”, you can go to the general Auctions page and click “Watched” at the top. This will filter so that you only see which auctions you’re “watching”.
I want to bid on a listing. Where can I find all of the relevant details?
We encourage all potential bidders to read the listing and review the entirety of the comments for details of the car and insights offered by members of the community. Questions can be asked via the comments section or the Contact Seller button, and we recommend potential bidders to do so prior to placing a bid.
What happens if I win an auction and how does payment work?
The 5% buyer’s fee is paid via the buyer’s card on file at auction close. The transaction for the winning bid amount is between the buyer and the seller. At the close of auction, the winning bidder and seller will receive each other’s contact information via email. We recommend that the seller send the buyer a photocopy of the title and a bill of sale prior to the buyer sending payment, and we recommend a wire transfer.
What happens if the reserve is not met on an auction?
How much is the buyer’s fee?
Shipping is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange and pay for. We offer BaT Shipping and you can request quotes both during and after an auction.
Why is there a charge / hold on my card?
When bidding, we place a hold on your card for 5% of your initial bid amount with a minimum hold of $250 and maximum of $5000. Should you win the auction, that hold will be converted to a charge. If not, the hold will be released immediately at auction end. It can sometimes take a few days for your bank to release the funds.
How do I update my credit card information?
You can update your credit card information by going to your My Account page. If you have an active bid on the site, you will not be able to update your credit card information until you do not have an active bid on a live auction.
Can I bid if I’m not in the US?
Why does the clock keep resetting?
It’s common in online auctions for buyers to use special software to enter a bid in the very last seconds of the auction to outbid others without giving them a chance to respond. During the last 2 minutes of BaT Auctions, the clock resets to 2 minutes after every bid. This happens until no more bids are placed and the auction ends. This gives everyone a chance to place their bids and gives sellers a chance to sell to the true high bidder.
How do I know if an auction has a reserve?
Can I buy a car that didn’t meet reserve?
For cars that do not meet reserve, the seller receives the high bidder’s contact info upon close of auction as they have won the opportunity to purchase the car. From there, it is up the two of them to work out a deal. In cases where reserve is not met, we do not share other user contact info or broker deals after the close of auction.
Where can I find the Buy it Now (BIN) Price?
How do I contact a seller?
Can I contact a seller after an auction has closed?
How can I change my password?
You can change your password at any time by going to your My Account page and updating the information there.
I’ve forgotten my password, how can I retrieve it?
If you’ve misplaced or forgotten your password, you can reset it by going here. Be sure to watch out for an email from us!
How can I change my username?
We rarely change usernames except in special circumstances. If you need your username changed, please email us at [email protected] and provide us with your requested username along with why you would like it changed.
Where can I find my bidding, listing or comment history?
How do I subscribe to the daily email?
Subscribe to the Daily Mail by going here.
I am not receiving BaT emails even though I’m subscribed.
Sometimes our system emails get flagged as spam by email providers. Make sure to check your spam / junk folder if you’re expecting an email from us, and make sure your email on file is correct by checking it here.
Many models have a “Model Page” that show current and past auctions, feature stories and a results graph of all past auctions among other information. We are constantly adding more of these and and adding great content within them.
Model Pages also allow you to subscribe to a particular model. Want to be notified when a new Porsche 914 goes live on the site? Click the “Notify me when one is listed” button right under the header image.
There are three ways to get to a Model Page:
1. Use the Search Tool. Searching for a model page is best done by being generic. For example, instead of typing in “1965 Sunbeam Tiger”, type in “Sunbeam Tiger”. The second search will bring you right to the model page, while the first search will not. Try it out! Type “Acura NSX” or “Alfa Romeo GTV” or “E28 M5” into the search bar and see what comes up.
2. We list a vehicle’s relevant model page in the BaT Essentials section of the auction, down at the bottom of the box. Look for the words “Model Page” right above where it lists the vehicle’s Category.
3. We keep a running list of Make and Model pages here.
I want to get an email when a new model is listed. How can I do that?
Where can I see completed auctions?
I want to be added to the BaT Photography Network, how do I do that?
Go to our Photography Page and fill out the bottom form. We’ll be in touch shortly.
How do I tag a user in a comment?
How do I turn off the comment and bid sounds?
How can I review the commenting rules?
Bring a Trailer Shipping Questions
There are two ways to get a shipping quote, depending on whether you’re interested in shipping a BaT Auction vehicle or not.
For non-BaT Auction shipments, head over to the Shipping page and use the quote calculator at the top of the page to generate a quote. For cars and trucks, we will show you a quote for open and enclosed shipping. For motorcycles, you’ll see a quote for enclosed only. You will have the opportunity to email yourself the quote, if so desired.
For BaT Auction shipments, there is a quoting tool on every applicable BaT listing, right above the bid box. Simply enter your zip code and click “Get Quote.” We will display the quote value for both open and enclosed shipping (or enclosed only for motorcycles). This quote will be stored for you on the listing until it ends. If you win the auction, you will have the ability to act on this quote (or generate a new one) and purchase shipping.
What happens after I get a quote?
For non-BaT Auction shipments, you’ll have the opportunity to email yourself the quote, or continue with shipping checkout. For BaT Auction shipments, we will save your quote on that listing until it ends. If you are the winner, we will email you your most recent quote on that listing with the ability to get a new quote or purchase shipping.
What’s the difference between open and enclosed transportation and why might I want to use one over the other?
Great question! We’ll try to break it down clearly.
- Open transit is less expensive because they are more common and fit more vehicles. Your vehicle will be exposed while being transported, but this can be a great option if cost is a factor.
- Enclosed transit shields your vehicle from the elements, but is more expensive. This is a great option when you want more protection for your vehicle.
- Please note that motorcycle shipping is available via enclosed transit only.
- For questions about which type of transporter is right for you, contact [email protected]
Where can I ship a vehicle?
What vehicles are eligible for Bring a Trailer Shipping?
Generally, we can ship most cars, two axle trucks, and motorcycles. If a vehicle is too large, we may not be able to accommodate enclosed shipping, but we will work that out with you after purchase.
For BaT Auction shipments, the Bring a Trailer Shipping quote box will be active on all applicable listings on the site. Generally, if you see the quote box on a listing, it is shippable.
I’ve just won an auction and want to ship the vehicle. Now what?
Congrats! If you generated a quote prior to close, great. The email you receive when you win the auction will display that quote and have a link to generate a new quote or set up shipping.
If you didn’t generate a quote prior to the close of auction, no problem. You can follow the link inside of the email that we send when you win an auction to get a quote and proceed.
Alternatively, the auction you won will have a link to get a new quote right above the bid box, or you can head to your “My Bids and Wins” page to get a quote or set up shipping from there.
How long will shipping take?
This is quite variable and depends on a lot of factors. These are the things that influence the total shipping time:
- The total distance the vehicle will be traveling. The farther the pickup and drop-off locations are from one another, the longer it will take.
- The specific pickup and drop-off locations. It will be quicker to pickup and drop off a vehicle in major metro areas than it will in more rural locations.
- How communicative the buyer and seller are. The quicker we can correspond with you to arrange details, the quicker we can get the vehicle on a truck and on to its new home.
- Weather. Inclement weather can have an impact on total transport time. We will do our best to get the vehicle to the drop-off location quickly.
How do I contact Bring a Trailer Shipping?
What happens after I place my shipment order?
For BaT Auction Shipments – After you place an order you will receive a confirmation email with a receipt and we will contact both you and the seller to confirm order details, confirm vehicle payment status, and arrange a pickup time. Once the vehicle is picked up, you and the seller will both receive an email with a link to GPS map tracking of the vehicle so you can follow along on its journey.
For general shipments – You will receive a confirmation email after you place your order and we will reach out to you to confirm order details. Once the vehicle is picked up, you will receive an email with a link to GPS map tracking of the vehicle so you can follow along its journey.
How do I manage my shipment?
You can manage all of your auction wins and shipments right from your My Shipments page.
Once you order shipping, we will send you a link to your shipment management page for that vehicle. This won’t have much in it to start, as most of the details will be arranged via phone. Once the vehicle is shipped, you’ll get another email with a link to track the shipment.
Who do I contact if I need to make a change to my order or need help?
Can I cancel an order after it’s been placed?
Yes. You can cancel or change your shipment anytime before the vehicle has been picked up. If you need to change details regarding your shipping order, please email us at [email protected]. Or, for more urgent shipping concerns, you can give us a call at 415-787-0961 selecting option “4” for shipping.
Am I able to send extra parts with the car?
Can I ship a non-BaT Auction car?
Yes! Head to the Shipping page and use the quote calculator to get a quote.
What happens if my car is damaged in transit?
How will I be contacted by Bring a Trailer Shipping?