“The process is a little bit quantifiable and a little bit qualifiable,” he says. “Dealers that overdescribe cars—those are out. So are those who don’t want to say a price, who make setting a price like a fishing expedition. Or somebody who seems like a liar. Those are out, too. People want to just be able to check boxes that you list on a car, and then you’re in. But it’s still very much a human process, and we don’t want to lose that filter.”

BAT accepts only 40% of the vehicles that apply to be listed every week.

Going High-End
Scrolling through Bring a Trailer is indeed addictive and all-consuming. It’s thrilling to see a Lotus Esprit Series 2 like the kind James Bond drove in The Spy Who Loved Me going for $10,000. It takes just moments after you start scrolling to see something you’ve always had your eye on, maybe even the car you dreamed about when you were in high school, listed for a bargain basement price. After that, you’re hooked.

One user who goes by the name @mmalamut has bought six cars off BAT since February of this year. Another, @chookasd, has bought 30 cars on BAT since March 2015.

In the past 30 days, having never bought anything on it before now, Kogan has actually bought four cars on BAT—two for himself, including the Speedster and a 1974 Jeep, and a Legacy Power Wagon and 1973 Porsche 911 for clients.

The Speedster in particular illustrates why BAT could be prompting a larger shift in the collector car market in general. Kogan bought it from a special new section of premium tiers of sale that Nonnenberg introduced last June. He used a 1956 Mercedes-Benz 300SL Gullwing, which sold for the PR-perfect price of $1,234,567, as a way to promote the new service.

It’s the new Plus and White Glove tiers that are handling these super high-dollar cars. Plus, which costs $349 for each car listed, sends BAT photographers to the seller to produce quality photos that will support the auction listing. White Glove, which costs considerably more, though the pricing depends on the car, promises that BAT will tailor the listing via concierge, with professional photos, writing, and curating, and will provide company-sponsored marketing for the car while it’s for sale.

Auction House Opt-Out
For those who can afford its elite ante, the biggest draw for the extravagant cars now for sale is the fee structure: Auction house fees can reach 20% on one individual sale, but BAT caps the buyer’s fee at $5,000 regardless of the price of the vehicle. So instead of paying a $50,000 commission on his Speedster, as he would have if he had bought it at a Gooding & Co. auction, Kogan paid only $5,000.

“Superhigh fees chafe, and people don’t like it,” Nonnenberg says. “Do we really do more work to list a $100,000 car than to list a $400,000 car? I don’t think we do. So we came up with the cap idea. I think it’s fair. It resonates with people. I mean, I don’t want to participate in the big auctions because I feel like I’m being taken by the house. It’s like Vegas—the house always wins.”

It raises this question: If wealthy collectors can save money buying a classic car from an online auction community that they trust, why would they keep patronizing traditional auction houses? Is BAT the auction house of the future?