PRINT IS ALIVE!

Buy­ers still want a paper cat­a­logue, de­spite the web

Classic Car Weekly (UK) - - Buying & Selling -

‘The paper cat­a­logue is a great way to present our cars’

Clas­sic auc­tion­eers are pre­dict­ing that the tra­di­tional auc­tion cat­a­logue’s fu­ture will re­main se­cure in the face of ris­ing in­ter­net use. De­spite would-be buy­ers search­ing on­line for the car of their dreams, the print cat­a­logue – often a pre­req­ui­site of vis­it­ing an auc­tion – is as much part of a sale as the man on the ros­trum.

‘I think that paper cat­a­logues will still be used by auc­tion houses for the fore­see­able fu­ture,’ says Barons Tim Gas­coigne. ‘Our ex­pe­ri­ence is that cus­tomers still want qual­ity printed cat­a­logues, – they are ex­pected as part of the pack­age and ex­pe­ri­ence of at­tend­ing a tra­di­tional clas­sic ve­hi­cle auc­tion.’

Gas­coigne says that the in­ter­net has an in­creas­ingly im­por­tant part to play, but not at the ex­pense of the more tra­di­tional cat­a­logue: ‘A lot of our busi­ness is be­com­ing more on­line-fo­cused; our pre-sale cat­a­logue is on our web­site, and most cars con­signed with us are done so on­line, as a strong in­ter­net pres­ence gives ex­po­sure to a large au­di­ence and of­fers con­ve­nience to cus­tomers. How­ever, when at­tend­ing a sale, peo­ple like to have a cat­a­logue in their hands that they can flick through, write notes on, and take home af­ter­wards.’

Sil­ver­stone Auc­tions’ sales man­ager Will Smith reck­ons that paper cat­a­logues and the in­ter­net can work suc­cess­fully to­gether and sees a bright fea­ture for the older and more tra­di­tional method of mar­ket­ing. He says: ‘I think it is im­por­tant to cre­ate a paper cat­a­logue for our auc­tions. Whilst fo­cus is in­evitably shift­ing to­wards so­cial me­dia and on­line ad­ver­tis­ing, the paper cat­a­logue is a great way to present our cars and pro­vide de­tailed de­scrip­tions.

‘ Web list­ings pro­vide a vi­tal source of in­for­ma­tion for buy­ers as an ini­tial av­enue of in­ter­est. How­ever part of the ap­peal of a qual­ity

auc­tion en­vi­ron­ment is a tan­gi­ble, real cat­a­logue – it still has huge emo­tional ap­peal to buy­ers and sell­ers alike.’

DVCA’s Brian Chant agrees. ‘I be­lieve a nice cat­a­logue is part of an auc­tion­eer’s pre­sen­ta­tion, es­pe­cially as there are peo­ple who like sit down with it and work out what they’re will­ing to pay,’ he says. ‘Get rid of the cat­a­logue and it’s the be­gin­ning of the end – next auc­tion­eers will say they won’t bother with mar­quees.

‘At the end of the you should do the job right, or not at all.’

The in­ter­net has its place, but buy­ers and sell­ers still value a tra­di­tional printed cat­a­logue.

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