Is Hemmings Legit? A Guide to Buying & Selling Used Cars with Hemmings

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Online car buying and selling have become increasingly popular over the last several years. With reputable and experienced sites like Hemmings, buyers have access to hundreds of vehicles and sellers have exposure to hundreds of interested people—no matter where they are in the United States.

Discover the benefits of buying or selling a car through Hemmings, as well as how its auctions work, customer reviews and FAQs. 

What is Hemmings?

Hemmings has claimed itself to be “The World’s Largest Collector Car Marketplace,” offering a space for individuals to buy or sell collector, classic, muscle, exotic, sports and custom cars, as well as some trucks and SUVs. People looking to sell their vehicle can utilize Hemmings’ auction, direct sales through its website or classified advertising online and in print.

Since its founding in 1954 as Hemmings Motor News, Hemmings has grown to include additional publications Hemmings Muscle Machines and Hemmings Classic Cars, the Hemmings Daily newsletter and multiple annual calendars for hobbyists. The introduction of its online auction in 2019 puts it in competition with Carvana, Bring a Trailer, classiccars.com and ACC Auctions, to name a few.   

How does Hemmings work?

Buying a car with Hemmings

Individuals interested in purchasing a new collector car have access to hundreds of vehicles on Hemmings. Buying through a Hemmings auction is quite simple—just follow the steps below. 

  1. Register on hemmings.com
    You’ll need to sign up for a free account before bidding on a vehicle. Also required is a valid credit card.
  2. Browse listings and find the car you want
    All listed vehicles will feature detailed descriptions and photographs, as well as a comments section where you can ask questions directly to the seller.
  3. Place your bid
    While it doesn’t cost anything to bid, you should only do so on cars you’re serious about buying, since you won’t be able to cancel once confirmed. When you find a car you’re interested in purchasing, click on the “Bid Now” button on the listing page to place your bid. Before confirming your bid, you’ll be shown your full cost: the bid price plus your buyer’s fee. (Buyer’s fees are 5% of the car’s purchase price, with a minimum of $500 and a maximum of $10,000.)
  4. Complete the sale
    If you’ve won the auction, you’ll be notified and charged the buyer’s fee automatically. You will also be provided with the seller’s contact details so you can work out the final details together.
  5. Arrange transport with the seller
    The last step is to finally get the car to your location. Auto transport services offer a hassle-free method for shipping a vehicle across the country. Before finalizing anything, make sure you and the seller both agree on who will be responsible for shipping costs.

Selling a car with Hemmings

Car sellers have several options to promote the sale of their vehicles: Auction, Make Offer (sell your car directly to registered buyers) and Traditional Classified Ad (advertisement published online and in the Hemmings Motor News publication). 

Below are the steps for selling your car via Hemmings auction. 

  1. Register on hemmings.com.
    You’ll need to sign up for a free account before selling your vehicle.
  2. Select “Auction” and submit details about your car.
    It doesn’t cost you anything to submit your car for consideration. After submission, a representative from Hemmings will interview you to get more details about the vehicle’s condition and history. Their decision is based on the potential appeal of your car and the historical success of similar vehicles.  
  3. Get your vehicle approved and ready for auction.
    It can take several weeks to get your car approved, at which point you will receive a call from Hemmings. Upon approval, you will be connected with a listing specialist, who will gather more details about the vehicle. At this point, you will be charged a $99.95 seller fee. 
    Note: If your vehicle is not selected for auction, your listing specialist will help you convert it to either a Classified or Make Offer listing.
  4. The auction is launched.
    Your listing specialist will work with a professional writer to create a listing and get a date for your auction scheduled. During the auction, buyers have two weeks to bid on your vehicle. Check in on your auction frequently, as bidders often post questions and comments.
  5. Complete the sale.
    When the auction ends, Hemmings collects the buyer’s fee and connects you to the buyer. From there, you and the buyer must work out the financial details. Hemmings suggests sending the buyer a copy of the title and bill of sale and requesting a wire transfer before sending the original documents. 
  6. Arrange transport with the buyer.
    Finally is the matter of getting the car to its new owner. Auto transport companies relieve you of the effort it takes to drive the vehicle yourself. Before finalizing anything, make sure you and the buyer both agree on who will be responsible for shipping costs.

Pros & cons of using Hemmings

Pros:

  • Strong selection of cars for enthusiasts
  • Reputable company with a decades-long track record
  • Listings are written in-house
  • Other options for sellers if they don’t want to go through auction (direct sale, classified ad)

Cons:

  • Buyer’s fee of 5% with high maximum
  • Vehicle must be approved for auction
  • A seller’s vehicle might not be approved to list at auction
  • No guarantees of a sale
Wooden blocks spelling FAQ

Frequently asked questions about Hemmings

Is Hemmings legit?

Hemmings is a well-established and trusted source for buying and selling collector cars. Hemmings Motor News started in 1954 and is the oldest and largest publication of its type in the United States.

Is Hemmings a reliable place to buy/sell my car?

The Hemmings website is a great resource for buying and selling a car. Its ads are more focused on collector vehicles, so it may not be the best site for the average buyer or seller.

What is the difference between Bring a Trailer and Hemmings?

Bring a Trailer offers the same auction services as Hemmings, with some key differences:

HemmingsBring a Trailer
Buyer’s Fee5% (min. $500, max. $10,000)5% (max. $5,000)
Seller’s Fee$99.95-$129.95$99-$349+ (more for white glove service)
Bid AdjustmentsBids cannot be adjusted or canceledBids can be adjusted, but cannot be canceled

How much does it cost to list a car on Hemmings?

The cost of listing a vehicle depends on the type of listing you choose. Sellers have the following options:

  • Online Auction ($99.95): The vehicle is on the auction site for two weeks.
  • Make Offer ($99.95): The vehicle is sold directly to registered buyers who can make offers in real time.
  • Traditional classified ad ($129.95): The vehicle is advertised online and in Hemmings Motor News magazine.

Does Hemmings charge buyers fees?

Buyers must pay Hemmings a fee totaling 5% of the sale price, with a minimum fee of $500 and a maximum of $10,000. 

Where is Hemmings located?

Hemmings’ world headquarters is located in Bennington, Vermont.

Does Hemmings have an app?

Unfortunately, Hemmings does not have an app at this time.

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