The man behind a historic $50 car sale says he would never do it again.
The man behind a historic $50 car sale says he would never do it again.

Historic $50 car sale will never happen again, says owner

THE man behind a historic $50 car sale in Brisbane insists he would never do it again despite selling more than $600,000 worth of vehicles within two weeks.

As the COVID-19 pandemic hit businesses hard, Bartons Motor Group, at Wynnum and Redlands, put 240 traded in cars up for public tender earlier this month.

The sale, where you could grab yourself a used set of wheels for as cheap as $50, was needed because the company couldn't sell the vehicles to wholesalers and auctions as per usual.

It immediately grabbed the attention of people all across Queensland with more than 3000 people attending inspections and 210 vehicles sold.

A Toyota Hilux was one of the top cars available for tender at the Bartons sale. Picture: Supplied
A Toyota Hilux was one of the top cars available for tender at the Bartons sale. Picture: Supplied

The cheapest car sold was a 1997 Mitsubishi Mirage, which went for a pineapple - or a $50 note for those who don't know the expression - and the most expensive was a 2011 Volkswagon Amarok with a price tag of $17,000.

Bartons managing director Mark Beitz said the money brought in from the sale would help keep their staff employed and business running during these COVID-19 struggles with revenue down 41 per cent.

He also said he would never do a public tender again after it was marred by heavy social media criticism as well as one car being stolen from their holding yard and another ruined by a trespasser.

Bartons managing director Mark Beitz. Picture: Liam Kidston.
Bartons managing director Mark Beitz. Picture: Liam Kidston.

"Reality is that whilst it was hugely popular, the compliance to hold such a tender to the public has way too many restrictions and has subjected us to way too much criticism from some people on social media," he said.

"Being subject to this abuse from people including those on social media really is disappointing as their own agendas are more important than our objective of keeping all staff employed, paying all of our creditors and ensuring we continue to be a loyal reputable local business.

"Would I do it again? Sadly not because of the minority and sadly it is just easier to send them to the auctions who have far less restrictions than I do to sell them to the public.

"I would consider doing a public auction instead."

Mark Beitz and some of his staff from Bartons. Picture: Liam Kidston
Mark Beitz and some of his staff from Bartons. Picture: Liam Kidston

Mr Beitz said he was surprised by the criticism and complaints during the sale.

"We have been closely watched by the Office of Fair Trading to ensure we have not done wrong by the consumer and are confident that when they visit again today that we have been fully compliant," he said.

"We had multiple complaints at our holding yard which was disappointing.

"We did not attempt to inconvenience anyone, we are just trying to survive in these times.

"It would be nice, once in a while, where we would actually get supported and not rubbished for being a business that despite a 41 per cent downturn in April, have not stood our staff down and have continued to trade on."

Originally published as 'Never again': Historic $50 car sale marred