A Deep Dive Into The World Of Cars & Bids

The Daily Vroom

Ah, Cars & Bids, the supposed runner-up in the car auction world, nipping at Bring a Trailer's heels, or so I thought. As someone with extensive experience in the car auction world, I had my assumptions before diving deep into the world of Cars & Bids, curious to uncover some hidden gems and insights into what makes this auction site tick. I was convinced that I would uncover some secrets to their success, more than just Doug Demuro, but what I found instead was far from what I had expected. As it turns out, Cars & Bids may not be the runner-up that we thought they were, and my journey into their world uncovered some surprises along the way.

Just before I get into it. I want to thank the 4,500+ of you that signed up in our first week of launching the Daily Vroom.


For those that don't know, Cars & Bids is an online auction platform for buying and selling enthusiast cars that was founded in 2020 by Doug DeMuro and Blake Machado. DeMuro, a popular automotive journalist and YouTube personality with over 4.2 million subscribers, is known for his humorous and informative car reviews. Machado, on the other hand, is a tech entrepreneur who previously worked as the product and technology founder at a software company. Together, they combined their expertise and passion for cars to create Cars&Bids, a platform that offers a unique experience for car enthusiasts looking to buy or sell their vehicles online.

n the first 18 months of its launch, Cars & Bids boasted high sales numbers, averaging 25-30 sales per day with impressive sale prices. However, like with any platform, maintaining a consistent supply of quality cars for auction proved challenging, and since then, daily sales have decreased to around 15-20 with a dip in average sale prices.

In January 2023, Cars & Bids received a significant investment of $37 million from the Chernin Group for a majority stake in the company. With this investment came a new CEO, Rogelio Choy, who took over from Doug DeMuro. DeMuro, in a statement, expressed his excitement about combining his YouTube channel with Cars & Bids to create a central hub for car enthusiasts.

Since its launch in May 2020, Cars & Bids claims to have hosted over 10,000 auctions and sold over $230 million worth of cars. However, the impact of the Chernin Group investment and the leadership of Choy on the company's sales and growth is yet to be fully realized. Choy has expressed his focus on content, technology, and business operations as the platform aims to take on competitors such as Bring a Trailer and Collecting Cars. It remains to be seen what new technologies and content strategies Cars & Bids will implement to continue growing and expanding its reach in the enthusiast car market.


This table compares the sales numbers of Cars & Bids, Collecting Cars, and Bring A Trailer since The Chernin Group takeover of Cars & Bids at the end of January.

It is interesting to note that Cars & Bids has sold more vehicles than Collecting Cars in February and March, but with a lower average sale price. This indicates that they are struggling to attract the higher priced vehicles to list.

Their revenue is also lower than Collecting Cars having sold 245 more cars than them. (think about the extra resources they've paid to get those listings live such as copywriters, support etc..) 

As for BaT, they are by far the market leader in terms of cars sold and revenue generated. It was only two years ago that BaT average sale price was in the mid 30's- how quickly times have changed.

To provide a clearer visual representation of the yearly sales revenue, we've extrapolated the data from the previous section to show a 12-month period for each platform:

While the numbers may seem impressive for Cars & Bids with 750 vehicles sold in February & March, it's clear when the numbers are extrapolated it is quite concerning how far behind they are.

Cars & bids sit in 3rd place in terms of revenue which is the number that REALLY matters. In fact, over a 12-month period, Collecting Cars is doing double the revenue of Cars & Bids, and BaT is nearly six times more than Cars & Bids. 

It's worth noting that there may be other revenue streams that the platforms utilize, such as affiliate fees from recommending finance and shipping options. However, running costs should also be considered. Cars & Bids has a lean team with fewer than 20 employees compared to Collecting Cars 70+ staff members.

Despite the investment and change in leadership, it appears that there hasn't been any significant growth in sales for Cars & Bids since the takeover by the Chernin Group.

The sales data for February and March show that the average sale price has actually decreased compared to the numbers from earlier in the company's history. The quick 'bounce' from a new management team is not realistic. It's going to take some time (how much, depends on the strategy employed) before we can see the results of their work.


We’ve now had a look at the overlying numbers, let's delve into the specific cars that Cars & Bids are selling:

BMW's is the top-selling vehicle make for Cars & Bids, comprising roughly 17% of all sales in the last two months. Within the BMW category, Series 3 vehicles make up the majority with 57 cars sold, accounting for 44.5% of all BMWs sold. The highest recorded sale for the company was $90,000, which was for the below Series 5 BMW.

The breakdown of BMW models sold by the top three auction platforms:

Although Cars & Bids has sold more BMW's than Collecting Cars overall, they have fallen short of BaT in terms of BMW sales and revenue earned. This is because Cars & Bids average sale prices are significantly lower than their competitors, leading to lower revenue from BMW sales.

The breakdown of Porsche models sold by the top three auction platforms

In February and March, Cars & Bids sold 60 Porsches out of the 750 cars they sold, which accounts for 8% of their total sales. Their highest sale price was $175,000 for the 2016 911 GT3 RS (below).

2016 Porsche 911 GT3 RS

Bring a Trailer sold 269 Porsches out of a total of 2,170 cars sold during the same period, which accounts for approximately 12.4% of their total sales, with the highest sale price of $1,075,000. Collecting Cars sold 42 Porsches out of a total of 505 cars sold, which accounts for approximately 8.3% of their total sales, and their highest sale price was $500,000.

Once again Cars & Bids are left behind their rivals in terms of bottom line revenue. The same theme repeats itself with Cars & Bids selling more cars than one of their competitors, but not generating more revenue as their average sale price is a lot lower.

*** A side note – although not really a side note! 

Pcarmarket sold more Porsche's than Cars & Bids in the last two months. Their average sale price was also a lot higher. So don't think for a second this is just a three competitor market!

Cars & Bids has found success with the Rivian, outpacing their competitors by selling 31 of these vehicles over the last two months, which represents 4% of their total sales. While this may not be a significant portion, it's a somewhat promising sign if the market for Rivians picks up in the future.

However, it's worth noting that only 34 Rivians were sold in total across all online auctions over the past two months, making it a relatively niche market, of which they are the market leader. 

***My suggestion: Facebook targeted ads to Rivian owners.  Creative would be C&B logo with a king crown next to a Rivian saying something like "We sell over 91% of Rivians- sells yours for free etc.." The imagery and copy should get them a ton more Rivians to sell. (went off on a tangent here, feel free to ignore ).

While I could delve into the specifics of every make and model, my findings are largely consistent with what we have seen thus far. Across the board, Cars & Bids tend to fall behind their competitors in terms of average sale price, often placing in 3rd or 4th place. This pattern holds true across all brands and vehicle types.


After conducting a thorough analysis of Cars & Bids car sales, let's examine some of the external factors that could potentially drive growth for the company. Where else to start but with the founder and legend himself, Doug DeMuro.

Most of you know that Doug is one of the leading car influencers on YouTube with 4.62million subscribers. He had expressed an interest in combining his channel with C&B following the acquisition. 

However, while Doug has continued to post videos on his own channel at a steady rate of one every two to three days, there has been no work that I can see about combining his channel & the website. The only video I saw being significantly different and connected to the website, was when he did a live commentary on a number of auctions. Aside from that nothing has changed aside from Doug having more time to create video's!  

As for the official Cars & Bids YouTube channel- this has remained stagnant for the past three months, indicating that the company is not investing in this. I feel this is a shame as all the YouTube eggs are in Doug's basket and not owned by the brand (even though Doug is kind of the brand). More on content ideas further down.

In addition, there have been no other notable content implementations from Cars & Bids to bring awareness to the brand or provide value to their existing community. 

In their press release from January about their new priorities, one area they mentioned to improve was business operations. They've hired Rogelio Choy as their CEO to lead their very lean team. But what other positions do they need?

The only current job posting is for a Business Development Manager with a focus on increasing vehicle submissions. This suggests that Cars & Bids recognises the difficulty of attracting cars to sell at auction and is actively seeking ways to overcome this challenge. This is a start, but I wonder why there have been no other significant hires thus far. *significant meaning – making a material difference to the bottom line.

Turning to Cars & Bids technology, it is worth noting that the company has made significant improvements in this area, most notably the implementation of a shipping widget. This tool is elegantly designed and integrated seamlessly into the site's dashboard, providing users with shipping quotes in under 10 seconds.

While Cars & Bids shipping prices may be higher than some of their competitors, the convenience and ease of use offered by the widget makes it a compelling choice for buyers who value a hassle-free shipping experience.


Overall, while there have been some promising technological developments and a recognition of the importance of vehicle submissions, there is a clear need for C&B to invest more in marketing and content creation to grow their brand and increase their sales.

As I look at the market for online car auctions, I can't help but think that Cars & Bids has a real opportunity to become the number one player. The Chernin Group didn't invest $37 million just to settle for third place, and their track record of successful ventures like Mr Beast management company, Cameo, The Athletic, and Barstool Sports suggests that they won't be satisfied with anything less than the top spot.

So what can Cars & Bids do to get there?

First of all, they need to broaden their content beyond just Doug Demuro. While he's done an excellent job getting them this far, they should be looking to bring on other influencers and experiment with new types of short-form content on platforms like YouTube and TikTok. They also need to beef up their website content by adding guides, articles, and videos on a daily basis. This will not only attract organic traffic but also provide value to their current community.

Take the example of Hagerty, who are in one of the most boring niches possible, 'Insurance'. They turned insurance into so much more by doing one thing REALLY well. You know what that is? Content. 

I've sat down with their executives (a story for another day) and they told me how their plan was to produce 25 pieces of high quality content daily. Cars & Bids need to think differently. Experiment with content ideas and put some of it on their website. It really does drive traffic and provide value to their community & worry not, it won't take away eyeballs from their auctions.

But content alone won't cut it. They need to leverage technology to create a competitive advantage. While their current shipping capabilities are a good start, they should be thinking bigger about how to use emerging technologies like AI and Web3 to provide real value to their community. I can think of so many examples of tech they can build/implement. So if I can think of it, surely they must have some ideas?

So how can they get there quickly, assuming they want to?

Acquisitions. Cars & Bids should be analysing companies in their space and looking to make strategic investments that can quicken the process.

Acquisitions make sense for so many reasons and I could write a whole new article just on this subject. Why do you think Facebook acquired Instagram instead of building it, it was a short-cut to accelerate growth. Everyone said at the time $1bn was overpriced. But now look at what it's worth. This happens in all markets. A friend of mine sold his cybersecurity company to Microsoft for a lot of money. I asked him, couldn't Microsoft build it themselves. He answered, 'of course they can, but they want a competitive advantage tomorrow'.

So with Cars & Bids an acquisition can help them grow by providing access to new markets, increasing its user base, diversifying its offerings, and achieving synergies. Acquiring companies with advanced technology can also help Cars & Bids increase its efficiency, gain a competitive advantage, and access new tools and capabilities.

Furthermore, acquisitions can inspire innovation within the company and lead to the development of new and improved products and services. By strategically acquiring companies with a range of strengths and capabilities, Cars & Bids can accelerate its growth, expand its reach, and achieve its strategic objectives quickly.

This is a fast-moving market with a number of companies that now have deep pockets. BaT, Collecting Cars, and Hagerty are already ahead of Cars & Bids, and they're not resting on their laurels. Cars & Bids needs to gain serious ground if they want to compete.

The other option is to make some key hires and hope to grow over time. This is the "easy way," but it will likely have little impact over the next 12 months. By that time, BaT, Collecting Cars, and others could have taken even further leaps ahead, which could be catastrophic for Cars & Bids.

As the new CEO and the Chernin Group begin this exciting new chapter, they have a unique opportunity to shape their future and chart a path towards success. My advice to them, based on my analysis since the takeover, is to put their skates on, be brave, and make some bold decisions. It's all there for the taking, but will they be courageous enough to seize the opportunity? Time will tell. I for one, really want them to succeed.

Buckle up, car enthusiasts – that's all for today's edition of The Daily Vroom. Until next time, happy bidding! If you want more, be sure to follow our Tiktok (@TheDailyVroom) 

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