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Thread: Best place to sell a 190SL

  1. #1
    Registered User dino5564's Avatar
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    Best place to sell a 190SL

    I've decided to sell my very early 1955 190SL since I never drive it and it should be in the hands of someone who will. So the challenge is where/how to go about the selling process. The major auction houses (eg, RM, Gooding) don't allow a reserve on cars valued under $250k, so that's just too darn risky. Then there are the other auction houses such as Mecum, Russo & Steele, etc, but I'm not sure a 190SL is a fit for them and therefore less likely to bring in a respectable bid. Then there's Bring-A-Trailor which certainly allows you to accept a lower price given their $99 listing fee.

    Any thoughts on the best way to get maximum return in a time when valuations seem to be dropping for a large number of older classics?
    1955 190SL Roadster (5500064)
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  2. #2
    23K Original Miles slover's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    A great presentation on BAT (think 150 pictures or more showing every detail and videos of driving and running) can net some great results. They allow reserves, but may be in conflict with what you want it set at. Provenance, documentation of past history and restoration work are all positives. You have little to lose trying it first other than your car will become "known." You're right about fit at the other auction houses you mentioned and I don't think the big boys consistently do the best on 190 SLs. Bonhams may have a lower reserve threshold.
    John Lewenauer - Newsletter Editor - Regional Director
    1961 190 SL
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  3. #3
    Registered User momsfudge59's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    Quote Originally Posted by slover View Post
    A great presentation on BAT (think 150 pictures or more showing every detail and videos of driving and running) can net some great results. They allow reserves, but may be in conflict with what you want it set at. Provenance, documentation of past history and restoration work are all positives. You have little to lose trying it first other than your car will become "known." You're right about fit at the other auction houses you mentioned and I don't think the big boys consistently do the best on 190 SLs. Bonhams may have a lower reserve threshold.
    John,

    I agree with you! Yesterday on Motortrend, I saw a beautiful red 190Sl with hardtop only gather $90k which did not meet the reserve. I believe that the Charlie Thomas collection of cars that sold at auction, severely damaged the market on these cars.
    1956 190SL


    Regards,

    Mark LeVang

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    Registered User MBdrvr's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    You might try eBay with a classified ad or a buy it now price. This gets the car noticed. As long as your price is reasonable you'll get some interest. Hemmings online also works.

    If you don't want tire kickers looking for a ride in a nice car, find a classic car dealer in your area who you can consign it to.
    Paul Greenblatt
    1960 190SL
    1966 250SE Cabriolet
    2015 E400 Coupe

  5. #5
    Registered User dino5564's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    Quote Originally Posted by MBdrvr View Post
    You might try eBay with a classified ad or a buy it now price. This gets the car noticed. As long as your price is reasonable you'll get some interest. Hemmings online also works.

    If you don't want tire kickers looking for a ride in a nice car, find a classic car dealer in your area who you can consign it to.
    Consignors I've spoken to want 8% and if the car sits w/o a sale for more than 3 months, then they charge a monthly fee as well.
    1955 190SL Roadster (5500064)
    Click HERE to email me

  6. #6
    2007 2018 Best of Show David Preston's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    If You go BAT pay a professional photographer that knows cars. Should be well worth the money.
    Also know the market and what your 190 is worth.
    Hagerty web site has some good auction results to review.
    190 SL 60 Strawberry
    280 SL 69 Blue / Grey
    280 SE 69 Cabriolet Blk / Blk
    Corvette 67 Conv 327/350hp Red / Blk
    Porsche 912 67 Red/ Blk

  7. #7
    Registered User dino5564's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    I guess the current market will speak this Aug...Mecum already has (3) 190SL's in their docket and RM has one also.
    1955 190SL Roadster (5500064)
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  8. #8
    Registered User MBdrvr's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    The market seems to be softening.

    Hagerty recently put out their list of the 25 worst performing cars in the market. They use insurance quoting activity, the number of new policies purchased, sales data, auction activity, and other metrics to rank vehicles compared to the overall collector car market. Based on a 100-point scale, a vehicle that matches the overall trend of the collector market will score 50. Those that are trending better will score higher. According to their statistics the 190 SL is well below the market average with a score of 19.

    I've been tracking 190 SL auction prices for a while using results reported on www.hi-bid.com, Bring-A-Trailer and eBay. This includes international sales which always seem to be higher than they are here in the U.S. The market was hot from 2014 to 2016 when the average sale was about $140,000. In 2014 the record sale at auction was $341,000. Then the market cooled until there was another upward trend in 2017-18 peaking at about $120,000. Now the average auction price is a bit over $100,000. Keep in mind that this includes cars in all conditions from parts cars to concours.

    The attached chart illustrates the ups and downs from 2002 to today for cars that sold (blue dots) and cars that did not (red). The lines are a 50 car moving average.

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	190SL Sales 02-19.jpg 
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    Paul Greenblatt
    1960 190SL
    1966 250SE Cabriolet
    2015 E400 Coupe

  9. #9
    Registered User Leif190's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    That's a very useful chart you have made there, Paul!

    Maybe you can share it with us a couple of times a year here on the forum?
    __________
    Leif Eriksrød
    1957 190 SL

  10. #10
    Administrator JimVillers's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    Paul .... Or pass it on to John for the Enthusiast.
    Jim Villers
    1961 190SL, 230SL 5-speed, MGB 5-speed, Porsche 356C; 1967 Porsche 911; 1950 Jeep CJ3A

  11. #11
    Registered User MBdrvr's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    My charts have been in the Enthusiast before. There was no room in the upcoming issue but it will probably be in the one after that. I'll post it here more regularly.

    Here are charts for the #1, #2 & #3 cars. Keep in mind that someone or something classified these cars so the condition of a particular car may not be accurate.

    Click image for larger version. 

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Name:	190SL #3 Sales.jpg 
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    Paul Greenblatt
    1960 190SL
    1966 250SE Cabriolet
    2015 E400 Coupe

  12. #12
    Registered User dino5564's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    Not entirely sure people care so much about valuations from 2000-2010, or even before 2015. I think it would be much more illustrative to just show 2018 & 2019 for those that are considering a sale or even a purchase.
    1955 190SL Roadster (5500064)
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  13. #13
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    If you list on BAT, as others have said, you need to have it well documented via pictures. Be ready for some nit picking and have a thick skin. It might be a good avenue for you - a friend just bought an MGB on it a few weeks ago.
    Bill Streep
    San Antonio, TX
    1957 190SL
    2009 CLK550
    2014 E550
    2014 E63s Wagon

  14. #14
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    It’s a no brainer........ go BaT first. I’ve been on there since 2008 & have 3 successful sales with them.
    Bob West

    '60 220se Cab
    '55 300sl

  15. #15
    Registered User dino5564's Avatar
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    Re: Best place to sell a 190SL

    If you search BaT for the 17 190sl's offered since the start of 2018, you'll find that only 2 broke $100k. So were they all in mediocre condition or is that confirming that values have dropped significantly? Probably the main reason for listing a car on BaT is to avoid the 10-12% commission charged at typical auctions, but if the sales prices are significantly lower than the commission savings, what's the point?
    1955 190SL Roadster (5500064)
    Click HERE to email me

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