The heavy equipment industry relies heavily on person-to-person interactions to conduct business, meaning that in today’s world, it’s extremely difficult to inspect, list, and buy and sell inventory. Now faced with fewer business avenues and evolving demand, bidadoo, an online auction and remarketing service for heavy equipment and other capital assets, has doubled down on ecommerce and its eBay presence to operate in today’s market.
The company has been an exclusive seller on eBay for 17 years, arranging the sale of everything from construction equipment and trucks to forklifts, trailers and more. For sellers, bidadoo provides end-to-end inspection, valuation and auction, as well as access to eBay’s 183 million active buyers. For prospective buyers, it manages a robust selection of inventory and facilitates auctions that don’t require bidders to leave their home or office, while enabling sellers to list without the expense of transporting equipment to land-based or traditional auction sites.
Howard Hawk, president of bidadoo, speaks to the current climate and how the company is remaining open for business:
Q: How does your business look different today in comparison to the beginning of the year?
Many auction sites in the face of coronavirus have had to shut down their in-person bidding and shift their business online, or otherwise navigate the challenges presented by limited inter-personal contact, travel and other precautions. bidadoo is finding new ways of working too; while our auctions have always been held on eBay, prior to the pandemic, we still did a lot of commercial flying and face-to-face meetings to meet with sellers in order to evaluate the inventory and facilitate a sale.
Today, those components have been scaled back to ensure the safety of our employees and customers. Our production team travels by car or truck to the seller’s location and adheres to current COVID-19 safety guidelines, and our sales team conducts meetings with sellers digitally. While this has certainly been an adjustment, the impacts on our business have been manageable because we were already conducting so much of our operation on eBay.
Q: bidadoo was built online from the beginning; how has that helped the business to address the new retail landscape?
Heavy equipment is unlike other industries and we’re seeing very different patterns from more traditional retail. bidadoo works with customers and companies that are considered necessary and expected to conduct business as usual, and because we’re well-established on eBay’s marketplace, we’ve been equipped to adapt and quickly meet this demand.
Specifically, we’ve seen bidding activity spike 60% since February and overall traffic to www.bidadoo.com has risen notably during the COVID-19 outbreak. With ecommerce at the core of our business, we’ve been able to accommodate that influx by maintaining a weekly cadence of auctions to reach bidders and buyers looking to safely source quality equipment, and create more listings as individual and large-scale manufacturers look to liquidate inventory.
Q: What market factors do you see emerging and how is bidadoo addressing them?
The construction market is still strong, overall. While many construction projects have been on hold during the coronavirus crisis, the industry is generally confident about a rebound in construction and infrastructure projects as stimulus funding is pumped into the economy and interest rates remain low. While there is a lot of used equipment on the market, the demand is still holding relatively steady.
Relating to our customers, we’re seeing more engagement from both buyers and sellers. As mentioned above, sellers are looking to offload spare equipment in order to earn extra money, or in the case of national brands, move large amounts of equipment in response to market pressures. On the buyer side, we’re working with essential workers who are searching for the tools and machinery needed to do their jobs everyday. With the agility, size, and global reach of eBay, we’re able to scale our listing capacity and offerings to serve both our buyers and sellers effectively.
Q: How are pricing, financing and logistics being impacted and what does this mean for bidadoo?
While markets have swung widely since the start of this pandemic, the prices of equipment haven’t been as volatile. While values are about 10% down for used equipment, many segments are actually doing as well or even better than prior to the pandemic. With many manufacturers cutting their production, good quality used equipment will be in demand as supply becomes limited. In addition, with the cost of financing, many buyers have greater buying power in today’s market.
Q: What are some of the long-term impacts the current state of affairs will have on the industry and bidadoo more specifically?
We’ve seen a gradual shift from traditional, land-based auction and retail models to online marketplaces, but the industrial markets have always been slow adopters of this technology. While the transition was already happening pre-COVID-19, the current crisis has expedited the adoption of the online model for both buyers and sellers. This is driven in part by necessity, but also by a renewed focus on efficiency, greater returns on assets, cost savings, and quicker time to market and payment for assets. The online model has always provided these benefits, which is even more critical for businesses during this economy.
The past 2 months have accelerated people’s need, acceptance, and desire to be able to source quality equipment from trusted sources — and do it 100% online. The old model of having to see equipment in person and “kick the tires” is being transitioned and replaced by a much more efficient and desirable online model for buyers and sellers. While live auctions have shuttered, bidadoo has scaled with eBay in support of our buyers and sellers and grown 36% in April.
Ecommerce and marketplaces like eBay enable businesses to accelerate growth in a meaningful and sustainable way, which now, more than ever, is critical to effectively connect with customers and remain open.
Learn more about how eBay is helping businesses here.