KBzine: the original kitchen and bathroom industry e-news - since 2002
18th January 2019
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I was approached by a reader several weeks ago, worried that his business was being hit by the rise in numbers of auction houses selling off bankrupt stock and seized goods. He explained that the lots often comprise white goods and other household appliances as well as kitchens and bathrooms. He argued that if the public could buy at auction prices, they’d no longer shop with specialist retailers. I felt he had a point so promised I’d investigate and report back.
When people ask about KBzine’s readership I say it was the first e-zine for this industry and that everyone who was anyone in the trade, signed up to receive their weekly copy which was, back then, produced by Richard and Debbie Schwarz. I add that because we’re all consumers, the circulation could be double what’s quoted, because while we look at things from a professional point of view, our personal feelings also come into play. I get the ‘I wants’ when I receive press releases and am probably just as likely to be wooed by products featured in KBzine as a pukka member of the trade would be.
Now, as someone who was left to bring up our children alone (because of their father’s illness) I’ve always been one for a bargain. I’ve had to be! So I must confess that it was as much with my consumer’s head as it was my professional head when I signed up for the auction houses’ mailers.
Several weeks down the line and I’m still lacking the things I so covet for my home but can’t afford to buy through normal channels. As limited as my budget might be, I’m not going to buy white goods that are ‘soiled’ or ‘shop damaged’ without inspecting them and nor will I buy something with a European plug. I don’t need the hassle. And the ‘sold as seen’ flag is worrying when you consider I’d have to travel across London to view and that I may be up against buyers with bigger budgets for any goods worth having. So it’s a ‘no’ from me.
Of course businesses could buy up multiple lots and resell them, but with the costs of transporting and storing goods and getting them to saleable condition with boxes, instructions, British plugs and potential repairs needed, I’m not sure the margins would be worthwhile unless the goods were being auctioned off really cheap. My investigations continue…
24th July 2015