PRINT IS ALIVE!
Buyers still want a paper catalogue, despite the web
‘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.