3 November 2023

Canberra's very own 'Antiques Roadshow' is getting bigger than ever (and comes with a car version)

| James Coleman
Start the conversation
CarBids warehouse

Ben Hastings is general manager of AllBids. Photo: James Coleman.

Have a family heirloom you suspect has ties to the ancient Mayans, but everyone else you show it to just shrugs it off as a piece of rubbish? Next Saturday could be the day you settle it for good.

Evans Hastings Valuers and Auctioneers (EHVA) is holding a free appraisal day at the AllBids warehouse in Fyshwick on 11 November, and you’re invited.

Estate auction managers and specialists will be on-site, ready to take a look at your jewellery, decorative arts, artwork, antiques, machinery, motor vehicles, or anything in between. They can also offer advice on estate and downsizing auctions.

READ ALSO ‘Be bold, be bright’: expert tips for shining at Thoroughbred Park’s Melbourne Cup Fashions on the Field

The first of the quarterly appraisal days was held earlier this year and was a “great success”.

“This will be our third and we’re going to host them more often just due to the fact Canberra seems to be really engaging,” AllBids general manager Ben Hastings says.

For more than 20 years, AllBids has morphed into “Canberra’s most trusted auction house”, but since it was founded two years ago, a larger share of the action is actually happening in the warehouse next door – CarBids.

Australian car insurance and auction company Shannons closed its online auction offering this week after four decades in the business, blaming an “increasing number of competitors offering frequent and low-cost online auctions”.

Chances are CarBids is one of them, because it has seen “huge growth”.

“Trying to privately sell a car on the open market these days has become increasingly difficult due to the number of scammers and low ballers,” Ben says.

“And you’ve got to have the time and know what you’re doing for photography and descriptions and stuff.”

CarBids basically takes care of all of this, for a flat rate of $250 and $500 for a luxury car. Everything else is yours.

“We do our due diligence as far as taking the car out for a test drive to make sure we know what we’re selling. We take about 100 professional photographs, take it around the block for a test drive to make sure there are no major issues, and write a full description of the car top to toe.”

READ ALSO Meet the guy who’s trying to stop Canberra’s men from being ‘boring’

The cars are listed online, with bidding started at $1. There’s normally no reserve, but rest assured – there’s always a “mad rush” in the last five to 10 minutes.

“It’s a more competitive way of buying,” Ben says.

“And the perks of an auction is there’s stuff that will fall through the cracks and be an absolute bargain. But then obviously for the sellers, we’ve also set many records with cars and number plates.”

Used car prices skyrocketed over COVID, to the point a Toyota Landcruiser 200-Series was selling for more than double that of a new one. Ben says this has calmed down.

CarBids warehouse

This Holden HR Premier is awaiting a new home, and someone to fix it. Photo: James Coleman.

“With the constant interest rate rises, people are being pretty conservative with their spending, so it’s a fantastic time to buy, even if it’s not the strongest time to sell.”

Vehicles that turn up for the appraisals are typically run-of-the-mill cars and motorbikes – “nothing too special that someone’s been hiding away” – but there are exceptions. For instance, a couple of weeks ago, a Lamborghini Huracan shifted from the lot for $330,000.

“And we’ve currently got a Holden HR Premier over in the corner of the warehouse at the moment, which has been sitting in a Canberra shed for just shy of 20 years, unmoved,” Ben says.

“It was handed down to the family and they’ve held onto it all that time. Obviously, it’s deteriorated a little bit so they’re looking to sell while the car’s still salvageable, in the hope someone will restore it.”

The Appraisal Day will be held on Saturday, 11 November, from 12 to 2 pm at the AllBids and CarBids showrooms at 7 Wiluna Street, Fyshwick. No appointment is necessary.

Start the conversation

Daily Digest

Want the best Canberra news delivered daily? Every day we package the most popular Riotact stories and send them straight to your inbox. Sign-up now for trusted local news that will never be behind a paywall.

By submitting your email address you are agreeing to Region Group's terms and conditions and privacy policy.