Who We Are
With a career that started in the suburbs of London at the age of 3 with a tricycle and toy cars from Dinky and Matchbox, ClassicAvenue.com’s principal, Nick Smith, in due course, graduated to full sized cars and motorcycles, racing around the country lanes of Hertfordshire on 2 and 4 wheels with jaunts to the Isle of Man. Eventually, after an abrupt career change, a proper professional position in the motorcar field was attained in sales at purveyors of the most incredible classic and exotic and luxury automobiles, Symbolic Motors, he was initially in Beverly Hills, until promoted to the position of Bentley Sales Manager at the La Jolla showroom with Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Lotus, and Bugatti franchises. Varied and extensive experience in both new luxury and exotics as well as the finest classic and vintage motorcars led to an offer to join Bentley’s flagship dealership as the Bentley Sales Manager in Beverly Hills, enjoying the sale of the brand plus Rolls-Royce, Lamborghini, Aston Martin and Bugatti.
In 2007, Smith’s desire to explore a different facet of the industry led him to Bonhams Auctioneers. As a Specialist, he played a key role in the Motorcar Department’s successes with sales at Quail Lodge in Carmel, CA, for the famed Monterey Classic week of Concours D’Elegance, motor racing and auction events, as well as sales at Concours D’Elegances at Amelia Island, Florida; Greenwich, Connecticut; Los Angeles’ Petersen Museum; and the Larz Anderson Museum Sale, Brookline, MA. In conjunction with his car specialist duties, he was handed the reins of the Motorcycle Department, responsible for the company’s hugely successful expansion into the U.S. classic and vintage motorcycle market, initiating a sales programme in Las Vegas and attaining numerous World record prices for 2 (and 3) wheeled machines.
From Bonhams, Nick moved to Barrett-Jackson Auctioneers, heading The Salon, the primarily European exotic section of their classic car sales in Scottsdale, Las Vegas, and Connecticut. Then in 2017, Nick took a plunge in to self-employment and through this website, markets and sells a plethora of classic and collectible motorcycles and cars.
Nick is also a seasoned professional appraiser of cars and motorcycles with over 20 years’ experience. Appraisals for estate planning and valuation, insurance claim, divorce settlement, or charitable donation with clients including trust and estate attorneys, insurance companies, and private collectors. It should be noted that all appraisals conform to USPAP (Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice).
Nick has also been featured on several television shows – Sticker Shock (Discovery), Geared Up (Motor Trend) and Car Masters: Rust To Riches (Netflix) – appraising cars and motorcycles on each show.
In 2022, ClassicAvenue.com launched an online auction platform, designed to offer an open, secure and honest sales outlet for interesting and collectible motorcycles. Utilizing the team and database from the Bonhams days, experts are on-hand to ensure the motorcycles on offer are correctly described.
How It Works
For the Seller
The first step is to submit your vehicle through the submissions page. We will look at the photos and details and determine that is a good fit for our audience. We will then contact you to finalize details and accept the listing fee. We will then accumulate all information for the online presentation, including restoration details, ownership history, accompanying paperwork, parts, etc. We will then craft a listing for your final approval and determine your desired sales environment:
How our Live Auctions Work
Once live, the auction can be viewed with an informative description, numerous photos and video.
The auction runs for 7 days.
The Classic Avenue community is encouraged to offer expert insight and observations in the Comments Section of the listing. The Seller is similarly encouraged to be an active participant in the Comments Section, available to answer questions a potential buyer may have, increasing bidder confidence.
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 ClassicAvenue.com.
All bids are verified by a credit card hold to ensure the commitment of potential buyers. When a bid is placed, we place a hold on the credit card on file for 7% of the bid amount or a minimum of $250. When the auction closes, the hold is released for all bidders who didn’t win the vehicle.
Enter the amount you would like to bid for the motorcycle. The minimum increase is $100 over the prior bid amount but will vary according to the value of the bike. The amount you enter is the amount YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE TO PAY if you win the auction, NOT INCLUDING the Buyers Fee, shipping, registration, or taxes.
Due diligence: We encourage all potential bidders to read the listing and review the entirety of the comments section before placing a bid. It is important that bidders do their due diligence to understand all the details of the vehicle and insights offered by members of the community. The Classic Avenue team are there to assist.
Sniping protection extends the auction clock by two minutes each time a bid is placed in the auction’s final two minutes of bidding. The auction isn’t over until two full minutes have elapsed since the highest bid was placed.
The Post-Auction Process
If the auction reserve is met when the listing ends (or the auction is without reserve), Classic Avenue provides the seller and winning bidder with each other’s contact information.
The buyer and seller then work together to complete the transaction and arrange for shipping if necessary. The team at Classic Avenue 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, contact us and we may be able to contact potential buyers on your behalf to consummate a deal.
The Car and Motorcycle Showroom
The car and motorcycle showroom sections are for vehicles available for purchase, but not by auction.
How Our Fees Work
Selling is free on ClassicAvenue.com.
Buyers pay a 7% fee on top of the final sale price to Classic Avenue, with a minimum of $250, and maximum of $5,000.
Frequently Asked Questions
For the Seller
How much does it cost to list my vehicle on ClassicAvenue.com?
Listing is FREE. That’s it. No hidden fees, commissions, or charges.
If you would like a custom quote to ship the vehicle to our Los Angeles warehouse, store it, detail it, photograph it or perform some service work, please contact us here.
How do I submit my vehicle and what happens then?
You can submit your vehicle by going here. Once you submit, it will be reviewed and we will get back to you, typically within a couple of business days. If we accept your vehicle for showroom or auction, and we will assemble your listing based on the information provided.
How long does it take for my vehicle to go live?
Usually within a few days, the listing will be processed, written and the online presentation will be available for your approval.
What happens after the auction? How do I get paid?
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 scan of the title prior to the buyer sending payment, and we recommend a wire transfer.
Can I sell if I’m not in the US?
Absolutely. We consider vehicles from anywhere in the world.
How long do auctions last?
7 days, although there are options for longer.
How do auction reserves work?
An auction reserve is the minimum price that a vehicle will sell for. Reserve values are not shown on the listing, but we will show that a reserve has been met, to encourage an increase in bidding activity at the end of an auction.
Can I edit my submission?
We cannot edit an auction listing once it is running, but you can add additional information on the comments section. We can, however, add photos and video.
Can I relist my car or motorbike if it doesn’t sell?
If a motorcycle does not sell at auction, there are other options we can offer to help you with a successful sale. Contact us to discuss.
How does shipping work?
Shipping is the responsibility of the buyer to arrange and pay for. We offer a couple of recommendations should they be needed. Contact us for specific help.
Can I lower my auction reserve?
You are welcome to lower the reserve on your motorcycle at any time during your live auction using the button on the auction page. Only you will know the details of this.
Can I cancel my auction once it’s live?
We do not cancel auctions. We require listings to be exclusive to ClassicAvenue.com during that time with all other ads taken down.
Can I bid on my own listing?
No. Bidding on your own listing is strictly prohibited. This is a fair and transparent platform and bidders are to be left to bid against each other.
How do I take good photos of my vehicle?
Quality photographs are of paramount importance to the success of an auction. Have a look at cars and motorcycles listed for a idea on good photography… and bad.
Can you help with photography?
We have a global database of photographers available to help you. Or you can ship your motorcycle to the Los Angeles warehouse and we can photograph it here for a nominal fee. Contact us for a quote and information.
For the Bidder
How do I register to bid?
To register to bid, please click here. Once confirmed, you’re all set to go.
Why do I need to enter payment information into my account to bid?
In order to make every auction fair, we ensure that every bid placed is both real and reliable. When you place your first bid on an auction, your entered payment information is used to place a hold on your account for the buyer’s premium of 7% of your bid (minimum of $250, maximum of $5000). This both ensures that each bidder has the valid ability to back their bid and that they are committed to the bid. If the bidder loses the auction, the hold is canceled, and no charge is made. If the bidder wins the auction, the hold is put towards the total of the buyer fee.
How does bidding work?
Simply type in the amount you would like to bid and click the BID button. 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.
My bid is higher than the current bid. Why isn’t it enough?
The minimum increase is at least $100 over the prior bid amount, higher in some auctions. The amount you enter is the amount YOU WILL BE RESPONSIBLE TO PAY if you win the auction. Bear in mind, this amount does not include the Buyers Fee, shipping, registration, or taxes in your state.
How will I know if someone outbid me?
You will receive notification by email if someone has outbid you. You can also check on the auctions you are bidding on in the Auctions tab of your account dashboard.
How can I receive auction updates?
Just click the ADD TO WATCHLIST button on any auction that you would like to see updates on. You can then view your “watched” auctions from the MY AUCTIONS tab in your account.
If you bid on an auction, you will receive notification by email if someone has outbid you. If you have not received an email and you think that you won an auction, be sure to check your spam folder for the notification. You can also check on the auctions you bid on in the Auctions tab of your account dashboard.
I’m interested in an auction but want more information.
Ask away in the comments section of the auction you are interested in and the Seller will reply as time permits. Alternatively, click on the Inquiries button to send us an email and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
I won the auction! Now what?
The Buyer’s premium of 7% ($250 minimum with a maximum of $5,000) will immediately be charged to the payment method provided in the winning bidder’s account. At the close of the 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 prior to the buyer sending payment, and we recommend a wire transfer.
I’m on the beach in Hawaii. Can you store the bike until I get back?
If the bike is still in the possession of the seller, we can help to arrange storage for you. If the bike is with us… Absolutely! We will give you up to 30 days of free storage to give you plenty of time to pick up or arrange shipping. We offer secure warehouse storage for $100/month if you need longer. Call or email us and we can work it out.
The motorbike didn’t make reserve, but I want it…
If an auction does not meet the sellers reserve, contact us to see if we can work out a deal with the seller. We will do our best to find a price and deal that helps the motorcycle find a new home.
Can I avoid bidding and just buy it now?
Unless specified in a given listing, auctions must run through the full time to allow everyone an equal chance. Sellers are not permitted to sell outside of our platform while the auction is running. If you would like to purchase the motorcycle, make sure you are the highest bidder.
Can I speak directly to the Seller?
Our goal is to promote open communication – as such we ask that you reach out to the seller in the Comments section of a given listing. If you need private communication for a specific reason, reach out to email@example.com and we’ll do our best to put you in touch.
May I inspect the motorbike before I bid?
In most cases, yes you can and inspections are encouraged. Contact us help arrange that in person or by independent inspector.
Can ClassicAvenue help arrange shipping?
Absolutely! We have a number of preferred shippers. Contact us for details.
How do I change or retrieve my password?
You can change your password on your account page or here.
To retrieve your lost password, click on the “Forgot your Password” link on the Login popup.
If you need further assistance, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
How do I sign up for Auction Updates/New Listings?
We have a newsletter sign up form at the bottom of the webpage.
I would like to be a photographer for ClassicAvenue.com.
We are ALWAYS looking competent photographers to help achieve the very best online presentations. Please contact us at email@example.com.
How may I contact ClassicAvenue.com with questions?
We are always happy to answer any questions that you have. You can send your questions to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us at (424)228-4148, or, if you are in southern California, come in and visit us.