Marine Auctions has added an online auction component to its sales arsenal, launching the innovation from 14 November as an additional medium for clients selling their boats and those interested in buying from afar.
Adrian Seiffert, principal at Marine Auctions says the new facet of the company is the culmination of the team’s accumulated skills, contacts and expertise over nearly three decades of auctioning.
'I have spent most of my working life in auctions. We have moved to online auctions because some boats are geographically impossible for people to attend. Our market is located around the country, and the world. Every month at our auctions, we have six to 10 telephone bidders from all over Australia, and internationally, who had not inspected the boats. Online is taking it that next step and adding a new medium to complement our existing business.'
Seiffert is a pioneer in online auctions, having been one of the first ever to be involved in online auctions of machinery about 10 years ago. 'In those days, not everybody was connected with email and internet. Today, people are more tech-savvy and everybody is comfortable with buying online, in most cases sight unseen.'
The first of Marine Auctions online forays will run for 10 days, from 14 November. 'The boats are already listed on our site with all details. They are two boats in The Whitsundays, a charter boat called Coral Trekker – a square-rigged, topsail ketch in survey, and Apollo III, a fast cruiser race in survey, designed by Ben Lexcen for Alan Bond.'
Contrary to the belief that auctions shift goods at the cheapest price, Seiffert explains that it’s the seasoned auctioneer’s job 'to get the best price for clients'.
'Hence our emphasis on marketing and bringing prospective buyers in. We spend a lot of money on marketing, getting our name and the vessels out there. That’s why we get 10,000 hits a day on our website!'
Auctions, particularly those that pull a crowd, convey the 'true market value of something', says Seiffert.
'We are in a position to gauge market response. We get good money for boats and in some cases more than a traditional brokerage. Our price reflects the true market value. We are selling between 20 and 30 boats per month, so it’s working. And buyers and sellers are satisfied.'
Two weeks ago, Marine Auctions attracted 300 people to their auction at Runaway Bay on the Gold Coast. 'The 29th of October is the next one and we anticipate the same number,' says Seiffert.
All this comes at a highly competitive period of immense flux in recreational boating, as grey imports flood the market and buyers look far and wide for 'the best bargains' while their dollar is still high.
'In Brisbane, three ships unloaded boats in a period of two weeks. They must have had 200 boats onboard. There are more boats in the market than ever before, that’s why we are so busy.'
The next Marine Auction event at Brisbane’s Rivergate will be held 26 November. 'We have the maxi Wild Thing, ex-Skandia, and a Hanse 400 that’s just two or three years old. There are plenty of boats available, as well as six marina berths from Rivergate, Dockside, Manly Harbour, Horizon Shores and Scarborough.'
Seiffert says online auctions are just the start of many exciting projects ahead. 'There are a lot of great concepts in the pipeline which will really impact on the industry and create an enormous amount of interest. We will be revealing these in about six to eight weeks.'