Has the pandemic changed the buying habits of those in the market for used Porsche 911s?
It would be naive to think that global lockdowns and disruptions from a pandemic wouldn’t bring with it some changes, but has it left a mark on the used 911 buyer? Two respected specialists concur it has.
“Yes, buyers’ habits certainly changed,” says Jamie Tyler of Paragon. “A lot more people are buying remotely now; this has continued from the days of only being able to buy cars via ‘click and collect’.” For that to thrive, stock must be of a quality to support worry-free purchase. “We have a powerful reputation, so we’re lucky that people have the confidence to buy cars unseen, knowing it to be a good example,” explains Jamie.
Jonathan Ostroff of Hexagon Classics agrees, but adds that the post-lockdown free-for-all has altered. “The early excitement of online auction sites has given way to a more cautious approach to online auctions,” he says, adding, “this is because tales of poorly described cars, rejected sales contracts and underfunded auction house fees have become more commonplace.” He agrees this is good news for established dealers, pointing out that buyers “opt for the peace of mind that comes from doing business with established organisations.”
There is, in effect, little change. The best way to buy a great 911 has always been to go to a respected specialist. The fact that they stock, prepare and offer a 911 for sale means it must already have passed in-depth checks. That may come at a slight premium but Jonathan – quoting 19th century writer John Ruskin – says, “It is unwise to pay too much, but it is worse to pay too little.” Jonathan highlights that, “The choice of several cars, properly prepared and a high level of aftersales, go a long way.”
Jonathan notes that buyers are now also happier to wait for their ideal car. “Buyers are certainly more adept and precise in their searches,” he says. Jamie points out that some are compromising on a wish list, due to the available stock. “There’s definitely more of a ‘you only live once’ attitude, and people just want to get out and enjoy themselves,” he finds. Good, used stock is increasing recently, now that new cars are entering the market again. Buyers’ habits will always change, but for now, online – from reputable experts – is here to stay.