BAT Auctions - to Post or Not?

Just saw the result of the 65 Warwick Grey OTS which I thought sold for all the money given the color and condition.
But the auction got me to thinking - if you are a non bidder and learn or know certain information about a car being auction which has not been disclosed or revealed by questioning . Similarly if you saw something in the pictures that a novice wouldn’t notice would you volunteer that information or say nothing not wanting to sabotage the seller?
A while ago a car I was familiar with was listed on BAT. The pictures looked good but I knew the paint had tiny cracks everywhere which were not visible. I did not post and the car did not meet reserve so no harm.
What is the right thing to do? Obviously bidders are in a different position

Ed;
Interesting concept. We are all adults here and the adage about “buyer beware” also comes into play. I have made very few comments in the past and mostly in regards to MG exu auctions. There are a few J-L listers that I think know the cars well and after reading their comments on this site in regards to Jags, I find it refreshing to read their comments about an auction car. Not accusing anyone of trying to get by but asking about a particular point. the person listing the car can or can not comment as they desire.
I do not know if my comments help or not but this is all I have to say.
Regards, Joel…

There are a few other BaT threads here that delve pretty deeply on this subject, some very recently. Pretty sure you can find them with a simple search.

One thing I have a big beef about is undocumented
“restorations.” In the last 30 years, there have been a ton of botched jobs on the body. Rust never sleeps, and it will turn up sooner or later. The cost to fix, depending on who does the work, can be over $30k, and requires the car to be dismantled.

Pretty photos on BaT with no supporting docs or resto pics is a scary proposition, and calling it to the attention of the seller can raise a lot of ire. Therefore, a careful warning to get a pre-purchase inspection is the polite way to go.

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Note, @davidxk, @L.Lynn and @unclmank, among others, are experts from J-L who often gently nudge the seller into disclosing information. I’m less of an expert but have friends who have been majorly ripped off, so I can be pretty vocal if a seller appears to be flipping an unknown quantity. That said, I’ve learned to never post during cocktail hour!

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Hi Ed,
I really don’t think that there is a right answer, when I first started posting on BAT I was a lot less tactful (not sure I’m still all that tactful but I try). If I see a car that has issues I will generally suggest that the bidders get a PPI, however there are some sellers that make it very difficult to keep ones mouth shut. Case in point, the silver '68 OTS that’s up for a second try on BAT. The car looks to have been assembled by someone unfamiliar with an E Type and the seller, at least in his first attempt was obtuse to be polite. JM2CW,
I think that Tom’s comments have been pretty much spot on, and yes it’s best not to post during happy hour :wink:
Cheers,
LLynn

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Given the colour and condition, I think that car was grossly undersold! That being said, I believe the flaws seen should be pointed out to the novices and anyone trying to learn something when a car is listed. The problem is how to do it tactfully. The other problem is comments made on “opinions” rather than"facts"! In my world, this Warwick Grey is a great car and it would be sacrilege to take it apart and restore it, turning it into a good car!

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If the buyer seller is either dishonest, or lazy, or simply overlooked disclosing something then it’s a kindness to the eventual buyer to politely point it out. But it’s unfair to speculate about things you don’t know and that’s when the peanut gallery becomes abusive. Comments like Buyer beware because “such and such thing” was done badly, therefore the rest of the car must be a fright pig are really over the top. Bidders can’t unsee that after it’s been posted.

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I politely started asking a seller questions about a very nice car (not E-type) that I personally knew and that wasn’t being represented accurately. I ended up not being able to comment on BAT then and ever since then without being screened by BAT first. And they won’t dialogue with me to resolve the situation, no response at all.

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From what I can see, BAT has devolved down into the same rabbit hole that eBay has: it’s all about protecting the sellers and very little effort to inform the buyers.

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Very helpful insights. I have long suspected that BAT protects sellers if need be. I think the answer for me is to suggest a generic PPI and let the Buyer beware.
I also am curious why BAT doesn’t announce “Reserve Off” as they do in a live auction?

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Ed, here’s the analysis of an eBay auction from a week ago, spanning the prior week:

Paul, you are probably correct. But then maybe the question could be who should be protected.

IMO, this is not the typical consumer that is trying to buy a dresser and does not want to have it tip over and trap their child. These are buyers that do not need this product and will not depend on this product and have decided this is how they wish to spend their “fun” money. They should be alert enough to realize that they are buying a 50 year old product that was designed to last ten years, maybe, an old used car that should not be worth much, a car that many are rusted out, many are repaired poorly. If they think a car like that can be purchased sight unseen and to just “happen” upon a great one, how sympathetic should I be?

IMO, BAT has become what it is. A bunch of posters making comments from everything including constructive comments to repeating Enzo F, to telling their own life story.
Tom

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Tom, well said.

(And 20 characters)

I used to browse BaT fairly often and post sometimes but not much anymore. It has started giving me the creeps similar to social media and 24/7 news channels. I never would buy a car there without going to see it in person first.

David
68 E-type FHC

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I follow BaT mostly for fun, although I have bid on several cars. Just yesterday, a very nice 150 fhc 3.8 closed RNM. The comment thread is fascinating–many “non’bidders” commented about many issues–some mechanical (a BW auto transmission) and some aesthetic (the color of piping and absence of an ashtray on the transmission tunnel). As the new (April, '21) owner of a late 150dhc, I learned a lot, and was directed to this forum by one of the commenters. To see this thread, go to: 1960 Jaguar XK150 SE 3.8 FHC for sale on BaT Auctions - closed on December 29, 2021 (Lot #62,448) | Bring a Trailer.

To those already very knowledgeable, perhaps not too useful. But, for those of us who are learning, really good.

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I think it is common for someone who has seen the car in person to chime in on the BAT comments. Many times these comments are favorable and may be coming from friends of the seller. Unfavorable comments after seeing a car do pop up. A year ago I went to look at a local car (S2 2+2) being advertised on BAT at the request of a club member several states away. My “trip report” was a mix of pros and cons. Nobody, including BAT, came down on me and the seller seemed appreciative of my feedback. I guess every case is unique but in your case of cracks in the paint, I guess I would have come forward with that, since knowing that paint work might have to be repaired would certainly be a big deduct for me when bidding.

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Harvey, I did the same thing almost exactly a year ago. A Series 1 4.2 OTS was being auctioned by a local flipper. He allowed me to do a look-over and test drive, kind of a mini PPI. The BaT photos showed a near perfect though undocumented restoration. In the flesh, however, the car had some electrical switch issues, inoperable blinker, headlamp dipper, wiper motor, questionable cooling fan, etc. It drove okay. Most importantly it failed the “rubberized refrigerator magnet test” in ALL the important places. I told him what it likely meant, and said I wouldn’t post the results if he didn’t want me to. Fortunately, the seller was honest and said go for it. The BaT community was appreciative and the car RNM’d in high five figures when the BaT servers failed! I contacted the seller and he said he made a deal offline with the high bidder. Everyone was happy.

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Post away. The comments are one of the defining characteristics of BaT. Sellers know what they are getting into. More than likely they’re going to get a premium result. I don’t understand why you would hold back from commenting. I agree with Tom; lots of irrelevant comments, but the constructive ones are just that… constructive.

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If I were going to spend a signifcant amount of money on a toy, I think I would make the effort to see it first hand or have someone I trust examine it, with me on the phone.

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I believe it was @Ahwahnee who mentioned that two E-Types he sold on BaT had auction winners who were not engaged in any discussions, nor did they contact him for a PPI. They just bid and won. George, if my memory is wrong, please correct me.