1500-mile Audi RS6 Avant sells for MSRP, proving dealer markups are BS

The 2021 Audi RS6 Avant is the ultimate do-it-all car. It’s blisteringly fast. It’s full of gadgets and cowhide and shiny metals. And it carries a bunch of stuff and people. Naturally, it costs about as much as a sports car, luxury car, and people carrier combined as well: about $130,000. The question is, though, is it worth it?

Currently, it’s tough to say. The RS6 Avant has been so rare, and so hotly anticipated, that dealers are asking tens of thousands above sticker. And people are paying to be the first. But is the RS6 Avant a $180,000 vehicle?

Some would argue yes. People are willing to pay the markup, so that’s where the market price is. But another way to determine market value is through an auction.

Selling a car through a platform such as Bring a Trailer is a great way to gauge its market value. This is because no one will bid more than a car is worth since they could just find another example elsewhere. Of course, if you’ve ever browsed BaT results, you’ll know this is absolutely not true. $310,000 240Zs, $600,000 C4 Corvettes, and $50,000 20-year-old Honda Civics are just some of the site’s actual sales. But you get the point — theoretically, the cars will sell for a market-correct price.

Recently, one of the featured auctions was the famed 2021 RS6 Avant, finished in red and showing just 1,500 miles. The wagon was not brand-spanking-new like the examples marked up at dealers, but it may as well have been. And given how scarce these cars are, you would think they would sell for well over MSRP.

It didn’t. It sold for $127,500 before site fees, which puts it right about at MSRP. No markup, no ‘market adjustment,’ none of that. If the market price of the RS6 were above MSRP, then surely this example would have sold for more, as potential buyers would have been willing to pay more for the privilege of owning it. But they weren’t, because the car simply isn’t worth more than MSRP.

And that proves market demand simply does not justify dealer markups for the RS6 Avant. If you’re lucky enough to be shopping for a six-figure high-performance station wagon, don’t be lulled into paying Maybach money for it. If you want it that badly, wait for prices to stabilize, and you’ll only have to stomach a standard amount of Audi depreciation.

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5 responses to “1500-mile Audi RS6 Avant sells for MSRP, proving dealer markups are BS”

  1. Sjalabais Avatar

    Is a single auction enough to disprove an apparently widespread dealer strategy? Aren’t people buying these overpriced cars, or are they haggling them back to MSRP, feeling that they got a good deal? My mechanic is looking for an RS6 Avant as his wife’s car, and I just recently saw one in my little village. An odd beast. New price here in Norway is 190k$:

    1. OA5599 Avatar

      Time to look for a less expensive mechanic.

      1. Sjalabais Avatar

        Hehe, fair point. I just saw him drive away with the Centennial, have been waiting for this all winter.

        Also, I liked too many posts again and can neither upvote nor comment on the phone…again. This comment system sucks.

    2. Maymar Avatar

      That dealer markups still exist is probably proof enough that they work. That said, most dealers probably recognize they can only get markup on the first few units, for the buyers who will spend through the nose to be the first one on the block with whatever car.

      Of course, that a car with about a month’s worth of mileage still sold for MSRP still represents markup.

      1. Peter Tanshanomi Avatar
        Peter Tanshanomi

        Exactly my thought. 1500 miles is potentially an unacceptable compromise to the guy willing to spend significantly over MSRP for that fresh-intro feeling.