Buying online is no longer the domain of teens and tech-savvy. As this year’s Christmas e-retail figures attest, spending online is estimated to have risen 30% over the festive season according to Experian, as consumers attempted to buy everything from CDs to property from the comfort of home and beat sale queues.
Researching, buying and selling online have changed the way we do business, with traditional bricks and mortar brands vying for consumer loyalty and their cash by reducing margins to keep pace with their online rivals. With comparison sites proliferating, consumers need only basic PC skills to compare and buy online.
Brisbane-based Marine Auctions has become global in its reach, since adding online auctions during 2012. For 2013, the concept will only grow and reinforce this medium as the ideal means of buying and selling boats.
'It’s economical and accessible to anybody, wherever they happen to be,' says Director, Adrian Seiffert. 'Especially over the summer when people are on holidays, travelling. It means that if they’re too far from the auction centre, they can sell and bidding on their phone or laptop, with absolute confidence as we are the faces behind the site.'
John Ferrett handles the online auctions for Marine Auctions, joining the company from a background in running an auction firm specialising in IT.
'Online auctions broaden a boat’s reach to the world. It’s a win-win for vendor and customer. It reduces costs, opens up the market to more people, increases competition which gets better prices for the vendor, which leads to happy vendors who in many cases, go on to buy another boat.'
The use of webcams facilitates the process and the website, marineauctions.com.au contains thorough descriptions, images and details on all boats on offer. Buyers all over Australia, and the world, can see the boats, watch the auction as it happens and bid online.
Pre-loved (used) boats are enjoying buoyant sales, according to Seiffert, who says 'pre-loved boats suit everybody'.
'People entering boating for the first time, those getting back in to it after many years, even long-time boaties are looking around for the best buys and finding pre-loved is the way to go. That’s how they buy their cars, their homes, their clothing, so it makes sense that they are confident to buy second-hand boats from a reputable, reliable source.'
The next online auction commences on Friday25 January and ends 3pm Thursday 31 January.
The next traditional on-site auction will take place at Rivergate Marina, Brisbane, 10am Saturday9 February 2013.
'We are currently accepting entries for both auctions,' says Seiffert. 'Being the first of the year, there are some good boats coming in already, including a 2005 57ft Bertram with a tuna tower, a good, low hour boat.'
There is also good interest from buyers, with 'two to three registrations per day' in the lead up to the events. 'Many people wait until just before the auction to register, so it’s an unknown quantity until the day. But saying that, we are very happy with enquiries so far and this great weather will mean boating is on people’s minds in the New Year.'
In 2013, Marine Auctions will no longer hold events at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast, centralising all auctions at Rivergate. 'There are three million people in Brisbane, more if you consider the Gold and Sunshine Coasts. It makes sense to hold them at Rivergate, which offers excellent parking and central location.'
One of the main reasons for conducting the traditional auctions in Brisbane, continues Seiffert, is the better prices obtained. 'At the last auction held at Runaway Bay we offered a Rogers Catamaran that was passed in at $100K and the same vessel was offered for Auction at the Rivergate Auction held in December just one month later and sold for $126K.'
Also for sale by auction in January is the Noble brand of new boats for which Seiffert is the exclusive agent in Australia.
'We have had such excellent response to these sturdy fishing boats that we can’t keep up. We’ve sold about 40 at auction over the past three months, mostly to commercial fishers and some to dealers. We sell them complete with Seatrail trailer, 5m, 5.8m and 6.2m at a competitive price.
'The Noble Boat delivers a superior soft ride, has excellent stability at rest and cuts through waves like no other aluminium boat. You stay dry while underway and it is far easier to fish out of. They are safe, solid, tough and comfortable. They don’t broach and are better looking boats with double reverse chines, 38 degree variable dead rise in the bow and a 24 degree dead rise in the stern.'
Prices range from $15,000 to $35,000 for the largest size, and Seiffert offers clients their choice of outboard with dealer discounts thrown in. 'We realise people have their preference in outboard, so they can choose which brand they will go with and we can secure them the best price.'
Also under the Marine Auctions banner is Marine Sales, which has a selection of covetable marina berths for sale on the Gold Coast, at Manly Harbour, Rivergate Marina, Dockside Marina and Scarborough Marina.
'We are seeking a return of investor interest in marina berths, as they are coming back a fair bit and represent a good, solid investment, especially in Queensland where berths are very much in demand.'
A registered valuer, Seiffert is in demand from finance companies and dealers to assess the value of pre-loved boats and trade ins. 'I am noticing a 20% difference in the asking price and sale price,' he says.
From the vantage point as a valuer, Seiffert observes a lot of the impact of grey imports on the market and wants to dispel the misconceptions that cheap US imports represent good value for those shopping with a strong Aussie dollar in their pockets.
'I see the prices people are willing to pay and I can tell you, that with GST and import duty, local boats are nine times out of 10 better value, without the risk and the hassles. Consumers are smart, they can do the sums and see that it’s a buyer’s market out there.
'They are in the driver’s seat on used boats so why risk the added expense of repairs, compliance and taxes associated with bringing in a grey import? Those who still think there’s a bargain to be had need to do their homework.'
According to Seiffert, the segment that is showing the most movement in pre-loved boats is sailing yachts. 'Both mono and multi are selling well, and there is a lot of interest in the up to 40ft segment' he reports.
'In motoryachts, people are looking for well-known brands, with low hours and late models. Boats that are 10 years old or older are harder to sell and there is a glut of the smaller sports cruisers, which is good if you’re a buyer.'
Some of the boats available for purchase at auction include a 2009 Wild 22ft Centre Console on trailer, a 1998 Wharram Tiki 28 Catamaran and the 2001 40ft Phoenix Cruiser, 'Margaretville' with four double cabins which is described as the 'ideal party cruiser and proven extended offshore cruiser'.
For more information contact John Ferrett on 0448 881 902 or email email@example.com
More at www.marineauctions.com.au
by Jeni Bone
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12:38 AM Sun 30 Dec 2012GMT
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