November 25, 2020

Auction

The Week

Biden says if Trump administration doesn’t coordinate with his transition team, ‘more people may die’

President-elect Joe Biden is calling for access to the Trump administration’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, saying “more people may die” if there’s no coordination with his transition team.During an address on Monday, Biden celebrated the “great news” that COVID-19 vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer appear to be more than 90 percent effective, but said “the sooner we have access to the administration’s distribution plan, the sooner this transition would smoothly move forward.” As President Trump continues to refuse to concede the 2020 presidential election, Biden’s transition team “does not have access to the administration’s COVID-19 data and vaccine distribution plans,” CNN reports.Asked what is the biggest threat of Trump obstructing a smooth transfer of power, Biden said, “More people may die if we don’t coordinate.” It’s crucial for his transition team to know what the “game plan” is for the “huge undertaking” of vaccinating over 300 million Americans, he added.”If we have to wait until January 20th to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month, month and a half,” Biden said. “And so it’s important that there be coordination now, now or as rapidly as we can get that done.”Ron Klain, Biden’s chief of staff pick, previously emphasized the importance of the transition being able to access the administration’s vaccine distribution plan, saying, “Our experts need to talk to those people as soon as possible so nothing drops in this change of power we’re going to have on January 20th.” And asked on Sunday whether it would be best if health officials could begin working with Biden’s team, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, told CNN “of course” it would be, adding, “That’s obvious.” > “More people may die if we don’t coordinate,” Biden says about Trump administration’s refusal to help his transition and COVID-19 plans https://t.co/kFrcNHA9Vf pic.twitter.com/BVDTk1mu7y> > — CBS News (@CBSNews) November 16, 2020More stories from theweek.com 7 scathingly funny cartoons about Trump’s refusal to concede Trump is reportedly ‘very aware’ he lost the election but is putting up a fight as ‘theater’ Texas senator suggests it’s too soon to declare Biden the winner because Puerto Rico is still counting votes

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  • Car demand is currently high during the COVID-19 pandemic as supply struggles to keep pace.
  • That’s also impacted the auction industry. Car auction companies such as Hemmings Auctions, Bring a Trailer, and RM Sotheby’s have all seen very positive buyer and seller feedback during the pandemic.
  • They reason that it’s because people aren’t going out or going on vacation as much, so they’re putting their money toward a nice car instead.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

For many businesses, the COVID-19 pandemic brought a sharp halt in operations and a slow crawl back to normalcy, even if the world around them remains far from normal. But for car auctions, the pandemic brought a huge opportunity — and huge returns — in moving online. 

To a degree, that online shift was already underway in order to grow business and reach new bidders. But some company leaders say the lack of in-person auction events has accelerated that move — and its growth potential — by several years. 

1995 Ferrari F50 _5

This 1995 Ferrari F50 went for auction during RM Sotheby’s Driving Into Summer online-only auction in May.


Courtesy of RM Sotheby’s



Except for maybe a brief couple of weeks at the start of the outbreak, car demand is surprisingly high despite the COVID-19 pandemic. That’s been the case everywhere from the inflated used car market to the more niche side of things: car auctions.

For those who would rather bet against other buyers than haggle with a seller on Craigslist or at a dealership, the most fitting experience comes from auctions. And as the proliferation of online listings from companies like Hemmings Auctions, RM Sotheby’s, and Bring a Trailer have caught on, so has the popularity of the business model.

As much of the world around them reels from the impact of the pandemic, car auctions are thriving.

Pivoting to the internet

For Bring a Trailer, which has been online since its inception, and Hemmings Auctions, which launched as an online-only car auction site in August 2019, lockdowns and social distancing haven’t been much of an issue. 

James Wyler, Hemmings Auctions’ auctions director, told Business Insider that from April to now, the company’s had way more bidders than ever before.

Bring a Trailer’s co-founder and CEO, Randy Nonnenberg, said that his company has seen an incredible increase in bidders as well. Of the 485,000 registered users on the site, more than 205,000 are registered to bid — up from 130,000 this time last year, he told Business Insider. 

From August to October of 2019, Bring a Trailer sold 2,148 cars out of 3,172 listed, which works out to a 68% sale rate. From August to October of 2020, the site sold 3,136 cars out of 3,963, which is a 79% sale rate.

“That is a 47% increase in sold listings and our average listing sale price was also up 13%,” said Nonnenberg.

But for an auction company such as RM Sotheby’s, which started its auction business in the 1990s, the pivoting online took

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